Post-pandemic situation reveals writer’s fear of human nipples

I often forget how much of a prude I am. I forget, mostly, because my prudishness is inadvertent. I don’t want to be a prude, nor do I make an effort to promote prudishness. It’s just how I am… for unknown reasons. Somehow I exited a Christian education in the heart of Texas with a slightly odd relationship with sexuality. Go figure.  Well, for the sake of modesty, go not-so-form-fitting-dress-with-a-modest-neckline.

I forget about my prudishness until I am woken up to it by external circumstances. These circumstances rarely happen, since I seldom put myself in situations that involve delicate topics. On the very rare occasion, however, I find myself confronted head-on (or other things-on) by nudity. And I don’t mean streakers. Thankfully I have never run into an exposer, but if I ever did, at least my reaction of running away in terror would be warranted. In museums, however, it’s frowned upon to sprint in the other direction after accidentally making eye contact with a naked statue. I have always been completely unsure of how to react to nudity. In fourth grade, while most of my peers were curiously asking questions about the female anatomy during “the talk,” I was taping pieces of paper over the nipples of the woman in my biology textbook. 

It’s not that I have a moral disagreement with the naked human body. I simply don’t know how to act like a normal person when I come across one. Recently, I went to the gym for the first time since being vaccinated. I strutted into the locker room ready to throw on my running shoes, when suddenly a woman walked out in front of me completely naked. In the time I spent away from gyms I had totally forgotten that it’s customary to walk around locker rooms without clothes on. We locked eyes and I froze. 

“Hi!” I chirped. “How are you today?” 

Oh my God, why did I say that?

“Um. I’m good. How are you…?”

Why am I doing this to myself? 

“Oh I am just great, it’s such a beautiful day don’t you think?”

I could have just ended it there. She probably THINKS I’m insane. 



Her “totally!” was very enthusiastic. So enthusiastic, I think, that it might have been a tactic to avert being killed by the insane person she probably thought she was talking to. I shuffled away mortified by my awkwardness. 

Perhaps one day I will be comfortable in those types of situations, but until then I will be avoiding all beaches just in case. I can’t stand the chance of accidentally showing up at a nude beach… I’d be stuck in conversation for hours.

One Comment

  1. I know that this is classified as humor & satire, so it’s tongue in cheek.

    But I have always been baffled by women that are so embarrassed or shocked when they see nude women in a locker room. No offense to those of you who are shocked by it. But I just don’t get it?!?!
    I have always thought that it’s rather silly for women to be embarrassed to be nude in front of other females in a locker room, but I some what understand it in theory.

    But if I’m the nude one, why should it bother anyone else? I never initiate a conversation with a stranger while either she or I am nude. So it’s not like she’s forced to stand there talking to me while I’m nude. And I don’t stroll around nude, my nudity is limited to while I’m showering, drying off and changing in or out of a swimsuit or workout clothes.

    I have a membership at a health club where I workout, and they have shower stalls. But since the health club does not have a pool I swim at a near by university. The university’s women’s locker room has a big communal shower room with no stalls, just shower heads lined up on two walls. I’ve seen some women walk into the shower room still wearing their swimsuit after their swim and look shocked when they’ve seen me or other women showering in the nude. Really? Shocked to see nude women in the showers in a women’s locker room?

    One time when I was around 14 or 15 years old I was showering (In the nude) after a swim at the YMCA and a friend of mine’s mom walked into the shower room (Also in the nude) after having worked out. I know that it didn’t bother me, and she didn’t show any signs that it bothered her, and we did carry on a conversation.

    I have to wonder if these same uptight women are shocked and embarrassed when they see Kate Winslet’s breasts in Titanic, for example? Maybe they fast forward through the scene?

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