Locker rooms aren’t the cleanest place on Earth, but at least they’re bearable — and this is coming from someone whose worst fears are dirty bathrooms and heights.
It’s all about respect. Respect for the fact that other guys don’t want to step in your bodily excrement. Occasionally, someone has terrible aim and tends to completely miss the urinal or the toilet seat altogether. These things happen, but it is never fun to step barefoot in regurgitated mac and cheese. If we all practice our aim, clean up after ourselves, flush regularly, and wear shoes (or slippers), then everyone should get along just fine.
Oh, and no masturbating in the showers. Ever.
Male locker room nudity and the Sex and the City movie have a lot in common: Guys hope to get through the day without seeing either of them. I understand that some guys are comfortable letting their junk air dry, but I think I speak for the greater good when I say, “Wear an effing towel.” We’ve all accepted RIT as being a sausage fest, but no one said we had to actually see the meat locker.
If you’re trying to avoid subjecting yourself to the blinding truth that roams the aisles of the male locker room, I suggest not going to the gym around mid-day. Otherwise you might get an eyeful of something frightful. Picture John McCain naked and you’ll get the idea.
It’s all about proxemics, really: “Personal bubbles.”
The general size of one’s personal bubble varies from culture to culture, but in American society people feel comfortable when others keep about an arm’s length away. That’s how things work at the Gordon Field House locker rooms. I’d assume the same would apply to the Varsity locker rooms, though you might have to factor in the occasional bromance after the team wins a big game.
Bathrooms are a bit different. When using the urinals, the “1-3-5 rule” should be applied whenever possible; there should be at least one urinal space between you and the other guy at all times. Same thing goes for bathroom stalls; it’s part of the unspoken social contract subconsciously agreed upon by all men.
There’s nothing wrong with good old locker room talk. In fact, some of the funniest conversations you’ll hear all day happen at the lockers. It’s a great place to talk about how there were only three girls at that UC party last weekend, or how you forgot your girlfriend’s birthday because you had a 20-kill streak in Call of Duty 4.
Chatter in the restroom area, however, should be kept to a minimum; it defeats the efficiency of the male restroom system. Unlike the female bathroom process, ours is quick and basic: Go in, do your business, wash your hands (sometimes), and go out. No time for chitchat or eye contact.