11 Feb

College football star, Michael Sam, recently announced that he is gay and because he is almost certain to be drafted, he could soon be the first openly gay active player in the National Football League. So naturally this is a matter of major concern to big strapping male jocks all across America. Why?… Mostly because men are idiots (just ask women)

But more importantly my question is…why must male athletes always shower together? In one big giant shower room? Who else does that? Prisoners? And who invented the communal shower room? Caligula?

I mean really! If guys are so worried about other men’s sexual orientation…

Then stop showering with other men! And/or stop making them shower with each other…and you!

The photo above is from the Dallas Cowboy’s state of the art multi-zillion dollar football stadium. You’d think that they could afford separate shower stalls… with doors even…for their multimillionaire employees. After all the Cowboys do earn over 1 billion dollars a year as an NFL football franchise! Do they have a portable black and white TV with rabbit ears hanging over the stadium? No! They have 2 state of the art 13,000 square foot high definition video monitors…so what’s with the shower room that looks exactly like the one I was herded into like a terrified wildebeest when I was in high school?

And  why communal showers anyway? Do you shower with your co-workers after a hard days work together? If you’d like to, then go ahead and suggest it, and see if you have a job tomorrow.

What other career do you know of that requires everyone changing and showering together as part of its job description?

I remember being in the 7th grade and suddenly learning that one of the prerequisites to being a high school athlete was showering with other naked guys. This was apparently supposed to be some kind of tribal rite of passage…although no one told me what tribe we were suppose to be in.

Judging by the highly sophisticated and intellectual coaches we had… I’d say it was the Homo-Genius tribe!

Haven’t Sports evolved?…So when will men?


15 Responses to “Homo-Geniuses?”

  1. momshieb February 11, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    What a funny and quirky question; I have literally never wondered why pro athletes have to shower together! So funny!

  2. theycallmebetty February 11, 2014 at 3:17 am #

    Because its the way we have always done things???? Because its a therapeutic form of understanding another’s shortcomings???? Because its a new way of thinking therefore it must be feared??? Win as a team, lose as a team, shower as a team?? Identifying the forward receiver?
    I have run out of answers to this fabulous question…

  3. kingmidget February 11, 2014 at 3:33 am #

    Beautiful post, just beautiful. That seventh grade experience was one of the most traumatic of my life. When I go to a gym now, as a 49-year-old man, I still have issues with the whole locker/shower experience.

  4. francisguenette February 11, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    Classic question that so obviously begs to be asked – why indeed? Maybe some type of twisted act-as-if logic that says – if we all shower together then of course none of us could ever be gay because that would just be too beyond the beyond? It is time to knock the dust off of all of these archaic practices and part of me thinks that the attitude toward gays at the Sochi Olympics is just the push that sports needs to do the dusting. The Russian powers that be have overplayed a hand on this topic and the backlash is going to be more and more athletes coming out. Great post and great question.

  5. mvschulze February 11, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    Now that you mention this….how odd this “tradition” is in today’s world!

  6. A Voice February 11, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    The only logical answer to this question is construction costs. While laying pipe may or may not be an issue, supporting structures like walls and potentially doors for single shower stalls costs more than having a large open space.

    The bigger problem, though, is the incoherent way sexuality is addressed, portrayed and accepted in the US. One the one hand it’s remarkably Victorian while on the other hand it’s remarkably open or crassly portrayed. Add to this the issues of obesity because people don’t give enough fucks about their health and there’s a huge issue. Pro-Ana fucktards are, of course, the other side of the idiotic self-damage coin.

    Our culture isn’t complex or nuanced, it’s incoherent and rarely articulated outside of academic circles seeking to study its various facets.

    • A Voice February 11, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    • A Voice February 11, 2014 at 5:26 am #

      WordPress and YouTube…I swear. Watch the video link for a solid musical commetary that is relevant to the issue of sexuality in the US.

  7. Harold Knight February 11, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    A minority report: From the vantage of the gay boy who was forced to shower with all of his friends in P.E. classes from sixth grade to senior in high school: Forcing me into a situation where I was terrified my sexuality would show–literally–was, I would guess, at least as traumatic for me as it was for the “straight” boys. At least they had the camaraderie of knowing inherently how ridiculous the situation was. I was not a part of the life of their humor dressed and in class. How could I possibly be naked with them in the shower? If private fitness centers can provide single showers, it cannot be a problem either of cost or of modesty that perpetuates this tradition. It’s somehow a rite of passage: prove you can be naked with your friends and not make it apparent that you’re gay.

  8. drshyamalavatsa February 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Yes, why indeed? I never stopped to wonder. Now that you’ve brought it up, I can’t imagine why this practice was established and unquestioningly accepted all this time. Yeah, you’re right, no other job requires you to shower with your co-workers. Funny post, but serious too, if you think of some of the little 12-year-olds traumatised by this tradition.

  9. petejoem February 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    It is silly that a business hauling so much money couldn’t afford separate showers in their multi-million dollar stadiums. This fellow is certainly not the first gay player in the NFL, he is just the first to come out before joining the league. The Skins had a great player in the seventies that came out later. I’m sure his teammates figured it out and they managed to shower with him.

  10. cindy knoke February 17, 2014 at 4:04 am #

    Plus why do they pee next to each other in urinals and why is there often only one private stall in men’s bathrooms? Don’t ask me how I know all this. It’s some peculiar mental induction process that I think is actually harmful and lots of men and clients I have known resent it. It a sensitivity squasher. Don’t talk to other men, their naked all around you. And for God sakes don’t tell them how you feel about it. The first thought that flashed through my mind when I saw the photo was one of the prisons I worked in. Inhumane to rob young men particularly, of privacy.

  11. Jennifer Anable | Photographer February 19, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    You bring up a good point here, I’ve wondered why do they do community showers together but never tied it with homophobia. Very ironic now that I look at it this way.

  12. findyeshall March 5, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    You kill me!

  13. Outlier Babe March 12, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    1. We had communal showers in the girls’ gym also, in our high school, and dressing rooms in some fairly upscale department stores used to be communal. (!) Just to say. Of course we hated it exactly as much as do guys. 2. Re: costs to retrofit, no plumbing changes are need to adhere plastic or fiberglass dividers to ceramic tile to add privacy on 2 sides, or simple designs could add suspend from ceiling rods to hold curtains to enclose all 3 sides. 3. My guess about the urinals is that, now, if you retrofit dividers, it would give add’l surfaces to clean. ‘Cause, sad to say, put a surface near most guys taking a p#ss, it’s gonna get p#ssed on.

    Good post, good question.

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