Put Some F*@cking Clothes On

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

“Put some f*@cking clothes on!” I yelled in the locker room at the gym.

“We’re not all gay! I don’t want to look at you naked. You’re hairy and disgusting.”

Such is the life of a straight man in San Francisco.

But, even though I cannot use the spa at the gym, because some dude started touching himself while I was steaming, I have to thank San Francisco. I thank San Francisco for the acceptance of gay people.

We overlook scientific facts in our world.

10% of the population is gay.

The rest of the population may be partially gay, at least Kinsey thinks so. How gay are you?

Yeah, you, Mr. football player, you’re part gay. You may be more gay than the rest…loitering as you do after practices and games in your locker room. Why must you linger? Why must you have your post-game repertoire in the showers, in your towels, naked? Was it you who got so defensive when female reporters were allowed in a locker room? Afraid she’ll uncover something?

I had a peripheral friend in high-school. He frequented many of the same parties and we got along well. He was a closeted gay and, growing up in St. Louis, nobody would dare speak of it, least of all him. John was his name. John was best friends with a jock named Bill, Bill who excelled in all sports. Bill had a girlfriend named Mary all through high-school. John, Bill, and Mary were three peas in their proverbial pod.

Well, as time passed, each off to their respective colleges and careers, John made his way out to San Francisco. The move confirmed everyone’s suspicion. Months later, Bill and Mary decided to get married (even he though treated her rather like shit). John, their life-long best friend until his move, was not invited to their Catholic wedding.

I grew up Catholic.

I believe now you can “intuit” religion.

I believe that I can state factually, based completely on intuition, that the God we believe in does not denounce gay people.

Retort: “God does not denounce gay people. He renounces their actions.”

“Really?” Whatever.

Ever had sex with your wife or girlfriend the other way-yeah, that way, you know what I mean! Have you wanted to? Every straight guy I know has done or desired to do this. Does God renounce all of them?

Now, jacking off in the steam room is wrong and offensive and would certainly be renounced by God, me, and you. Shame on that gay man. Unless, of course, you’re alone. Then, be kind and clean up your mess.

Gay men in San Francisco have also given me a better understanding of women. Specifically, the objectification of women.

The stats at my gym differ significantly from the norm. Like John, gay men move to San Francisco in droves to be among their kind. I would. So, a conservative estimate would put the gay men at my gym at roughly 80%. This figure is disproportionately large because gay men take care of their bodies so much better than straight men.

Because gay men are men, they think about sex all the time, or least every 7 seconds. At the gym, they eye you with an uncomfortable intensity. The incessant ogling makes me uncomfortable at the gym. I feel objectified.

I realize, as men, we do this to women all the time. Women, you are just too beautiful. Your feet. Your legs. Your thighs. Oh, my, your thighs. Your sweet as honey treasure. Your hips. Your abs. Your breasts and beautifully rounded backside. I could spend a lifetime in admiration. Your soft lips and tongues. An eternity of bliss. These are my thoughts when I see you at the gym, sweating your feminine sweat so sweetly.

I apologize for my objectification.. Eye aversion is nearly impossible. But, as I am victimized, and made uncomfortable, by this at my gym, I will try to do this less frequently. But please, if you don’t object, give me a wink and let me know it’s ok.

I worked in London last year for a few weeks. One night, I headed out for some evening fun and stumbled upon a bar that looked inviting. Outside, there were numerous people of both sexes enjoying cocktails and laughs. I proceeded inside and ordered a Stella.

What happened? As I looked around the inside, it was all men. Projectile art on the wall showed nothing but pictures of half-naked men. Ladies, where have you disappeared to? You are nowhere in here; it’s all men.

A hand grabbed my package as these thoughts went through my head.

“Hi”, said the nice looking Asian guy who’s hand was now on me.

“Hi” I responded taking his hand and removing it from my nether regions.

What to do? What to say? Do I tell him I’m straight and risk being outed as straight at a gay bar?

“I’m waiting for someone.” I say.

“Well,” the gay Asian said, “he’s not here now. How ‘bout we head to the back for a few minutes?”

You, gay men, lucky bastards. I feel no sympathy at this point for your lack of acceptance in this world. I’m jealous. I now realize that you are all men, and being men, want, and get, sex all the time…with very little effort. Where is that world for the straight men? Is this your reward for youthful persecution and insecurity? I suppose so. Lucky bastards.

“I’m sorry” I tell this young, buff Asian. “I’d like to, but I’m faithful.”

If straight people are misguided in not realizing that 10% of men are gay, gay men are similarly misguided in their thoughts. They tend to think most guys are gay and just don’t know it. In spite of all evidence to the contrary.

I’ve had great friendships with some of my gay coworkers. However, each has misdiagnosed a smile as flirtation, a touch as an advance, and a blink as a wink. I’ve received a few proposition emails and one outright “I love you”.

And they all swear Tom Cruise is gay.

I suppose we all desire most what we cannot have.

I desire a world with awareness.

The awareness that acceptance of everyone is what God wants, that at least 10% of people are gay, that the rest of you may be at least partially gay, and, finally, that you should…


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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
Richard Cummings
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Richard CummingsPut Some F*@cking Clothes On

Comments 11

  1. a. friend

    Your perceptions are unique yet familiar. Some of these thoughts echo a report done on a similiar subject in Durham, England nearly 20 years ago. RK

  2. Liane

    I remember… I was a student in English, and our lecturer was gay and from California. One day he spoke about my boyfriend that he found nice, and then said he was not the kind of man who would try to steal him from me. I answered too quiclky “good quality”, so that I received the ball back as a smash ! “And good warning too!”
    I might have said something in French, but that was too much for me in English ! How could I share with him that my boyfriend was partially gay !?

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  4. pjd

    hey. haven’t read this yet but the start is funny. Anyway. I my copious spare time I’ll read how your trip was. Are you still in SF? I’m still at ADVS. And yes I’m finally moving. Looks like oaktown. Anyway. chat soon. paul

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  8. Chris

    Thanks so much for articulating this problem so well. And it is indeed that: a problem. I have been going to different gyms for the better part of ten years now, and can safely say I have been sexually harassed by (I’m assuming, gay) men about a dozen times. I have been inappropriately and incessantly glared at in mirrors, had men masturbating in the shower while stealing glances, and been asked to look at phalluses in the sauna. The worst cases were involved actually being followed out of the gym by these offenders. If any of this sounds funny, trust me that it wasn’t at all amusing at the time.

    The larger problem is that there is really no easy solution. As much as I’d like to point out the fact that “since I cannot go into a women’s locker room to glare at their naked bodies, that should mean gay men should not be allowed to make me feel similarly uncomfortable in men’s locker rooms”, that solution would simply be impossible to implement. I guess all I can do is ask that these predatory gay men just have some fucking decency and respect for those who, regardless of their sexual orientation, just do not want to be harassed, propositioned, stalked, or made to feel uncomfortable in any way after going to the gym.

  9. James

    Loved this article Richard, going to follow you now 🙂 Uruguay sounds awesome, looked the country up after they thrashed our soccer team (South Africa) in last night’s world cup game. I could most certainly live there, it looks like an undiscovered secret (apart from the single beds and limited hot water, which I suspect can be overcome!). Chris ^ maybe us gay guys should get their own bathrooms, which we could share with all the lesbians. NO chance of any nonsense then! I’ll send you pictures..

  10. Lino Sanchez

    Hello Richard! Ensenada, Baja, 12/25/2010

    I (75, straight behavior) just read this, and can’t stop smiling (very amusing, causing to reflect, etc.).

    I moved to San Francisco, 1964, from Sacramento. Polk street (Polkstrasse) in those days, heavy hustle everywhere. Your photo of the Golden Gate, (if I recall correctly) the foreground, is near Lincoln Park, whose ocean slopes, were an area of much Gay hustle, about 1964 (out of Sacramento, a former hunter, new to San Francisco, I
    thought: “What are those guys doing down there, strange movements. Weird!”).

    Graduated from U.C.S.F. dental school, 1969, office in 450 Sutter for a year and a half (ex-wife hounding me)(reached for an instrument far to my right (Japanese assistant busy at desk), while holding a cotton role in the mouth of a young male patient—he started sucking my finger).

    Great comments. Yes!, sure makes one aware of how we straight men often harass women. Related, and a great favorite of mine: Lesbian Cowboy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vm2jPM4ee8

    In general, I admire Gay men, and they were the people that helped me very much, when I moved to San Francisco. I have had much social pleasure, business help, thanks to Gay men. We heterosexuals, tend to be “no fun”.

    Regarding God: reportedly the Romans had a total of 1,200 Gods and Godesses, all of which have been rejected by present believers in one God. We non-theists treat the 1,201, obviously, as mythology (folklore). See: http://www.godchecker.com/

    Spanish: Your reminders to speak some Spanish, excellent. Of course, it is the key. I am finally (we all waste so much time with other involvements) getting much out of local papers (El Mexicano, Frontera, El Vigia). Wow!, is that key. Number one, practice the Spanish alphabet; using the English alphabet to pronounce Spanish words, is a common error with Americans. Use the homonyms (in spite of some exceptions in meaning). See the book “501 Spanish Verbs”. Etc.

    Best Wishes! Lino Sanchez (nom de plume)

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