||[May. 11th, 2009|11:41 pm]
I used to swim at the public baths, with its completely unisex changing facilities; separate men’s and women’s showers, obviously, but apart from that, just a great prairie of slam-door cubicles. Now I use the pool at the local gym, and the men and women change communally, but in total seclusion from each other. These are some of the things I see men do, when amongst men only:|
- use the puny hairdryers to dry all body areas. Under the arms; between the toes; across the hairy chests and backs. One massive regular pulls open the waistband of his briefs, sticks the nozzle of the dryer right in there, and wiggles it around a bit as a sort of finishing flourish.
- preen, epically and unselfconsciously. This really surprised me, and I think I’m quite vain. I get mesmerised watching all the dudes make imperceptible changes to their very short, gelled hairdos before the mirrors. Quite a few arrive, get half undressed, and then just stand there for ages looking gormlessly at their muscles, or their nipples, or whatever, I don’t know.
- make noises in the showers. They’re not communal here; it’s a series of individual cubicles with opaque curtains arranged around the edges of a square room. You walk in and look about for a free shower, and you hear these strange, mournful sounds. People letting go in a tiny semi-private space, I suppose. Deep sighs, little whimpers, low moans. Sometimes it sounds as if you might pull back one of the curtains to see what’s wrong and find a beautiful, dying foal under the shower, instead of a chubby middle-aged man wringing out his swimming trunks.