Open Bay Catharsis


When you watch movies and television, you occasionally see scenes that involve lockers and showers. They usually seem very relaxed and casual. People walk around as if they were alone in their own bathroom, yet they converse with one another as if they were having lunch in a sports bar. In real life, shower rooms typically have a sort of nervous tension. Most people do not feel quite so comfortable being naked around others. It’s not even gymnophobia really. Being naked in front of others can make one feel vulnerable. This is normal.

When I served, we usually had these trailers with somewhat private individual shower stalls, but sometimes you would encounter the “open bay” shower facilities.  Everyone reacts differently to this. Some people take it in stride, while others take up a more defensive posture. Then there’s the ones who suddenly let it all hang out as if they just arrived at some kind of wild beach party with an open bar. Long story short, if you’re a dude who has a problem showering with other dudes, then the military may not be for you.

It’s not just the guys either… Females also deal with this. One corporal I knew was completely mortified by another female’s disregard for personal space in the showers. I had a pretty good chuckle when she irritatingly referred to the offender as “Chesty McTits”, but I’m sure she didn’t find the situation quite as amusing.

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