On Meat-Peeping In The Shower With Other Men
In my life, I have been in a great many showers with a great many men. Some of those men are gay.
I’m not some kind of slut or anything. And this isn’t anything weird. It was all on the level. Also, I’m straight.
It’s just that I spent most of my youth playing sports, and a part of that once I hit adolescence included showering after practices and games.
This isn’t something I ever thought I’d be writing about, my showering with enemies and friends, but since we live in a society where people try to make it a big deal and something worth talking about that homosexual people play sports, I feel like it’s appropriate to address the topic. Especially since some people are weirded out or frightened to shower in the same open locker room shower as a gay person. It’s a sad thing to think about, but here we are.
When Michael Sam came out of the closet, one of the things people talked about was Sam showering in locker rooms with his teammates. (I guess Tony Dungy finds that icky or whatever.) There have been concerns voiced by arrogant bigots who are vain enough to believe that Sam is going to roll up into a locker room shower and view it as a meat market—that he’s going to stare at dudes’ junk while furiously masturbating in a corner or something like some kind of sexual deviant. (This despite the fact that Sam has been showering in locker rooms since adolescence, and has had no issues with, like, boner-popping or whatever.) ESPN even reported on Sam’s showering habits. Seriously. That really fucking happened.
This seems patently ridiculous to me for two high-level reasons:
1) Locker rooms are not generally a sexual venue, and to think so is totally ignorant. Just because genitals are available for viewing doesn’t mean that it’s inherently a forum for uninhibited arousal. Consider for a moment the millions of straight male gynecologists out there doing saintly work. Those dudes stare down vaginas all day long, and women aren’t all freaked out that he’s pitching a tent and sexually relishing the fact that he’s got unfettered viewing access under the hood from 9-5 every weekday. Why is a gay player showering with people of the same sex all that different? Showering is part of the business in which he is employed, and he’s not some gigolo.
2) Every single man in the history of showering in same sex locker rooms has looked at another man’s penis while doing so. Numerous times. If they say they haven’t, they’re a fucking liar.
It’s called meat-peeping. And I’m as guilty of it as anybody else.
Meat-peeping is when you check out the genitals of other guys in the shower. It’s usually a product of genuine human curiosity. You want to know what you’re working with in comparison of others. Us guys look at the penises of our peers to see how we (literally) measure up. I often say that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, and that some are big and some are small.
And often, if you’ve got a fun culture in your locker room (which is a must for any really successful athletic crew), meat-peeping leads to razzing one another about your dicks. If a guy is hung like Greg Oden, you’re going to address that in a jovial way. (I went to high school with a dude who had a gigantic dick, and I’ve lived with a dude who is known among our college friends as that guy who unexpectedly has a third leg. I brought their size up to them often, always in jest.) If a guy is uncircumcised in a room full of wide-open lighthouses, you’re going to bring that up, maybe say something to him about how you hope his banjo never snaps.*
At first blush, this might seem bizarre, but it’s really not. It’s no big deal. It is—and I write this earnestly—an integral part of team bonding. You spend a lot of times with the guys you play sports with. You will all do a lot of strange sh*t together. And meat-peeping is one of them.
Michael Sam will shower with his teammates at least once a workday for the entirety of his career. And I guarantee you that his dick will be looked at exponentially more often by other players (who are, at least to the public’s knowledge, straight men who probably slay superstar amounts of pussy) than he chances a glance at their downstairs parts.
When in the locker room, guys look at other guys’ dicks. It’s part of life. And it’s no big thing, even if you’re looking at a big thing.
It’s time that the people outside the locker room stop being dicks about it.
*I have been told that if you are not circumcised, there’s a chance that your foreskin can tear during sex. Which makes quite a bloody mess. This is referred to as “banjo snapping” because I guess it’s like when a string snaps? I don’t know.