Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Do guys check each other out in the locker room? Or what about at the urinal? Not necessarily in an attraction way, just in an “how do I measure up” kind of way?
Straight Married Guy (Fred): Nope. There’s an unspoken rule, at least among straight guys, that in the men’s room you look anywhere but at another man’s equipment. The straight male culture is so incredibly homophobic that the mere suggestion of potential homosexuality that comes from looking — even just for a split second, even accidentally — is what keeps straight guys eyes averted as if every penis were the Lost Arc. (I wonder what the protocol is for gay guys?) The only other John Thomases hetro men ever see is the elephant timber in porn, which doesn’t help at all, so if a guy just has to know how he measures in the real world up he’ll probably resort to asking a woman (and we all know how well that works).
Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Yes, guys check out other guys’ equipment — even if they are straight. This isn’t to say that straight guys actively and persistently look in order to compare one man’s anaconda to another man’s pretzel stick (though I am sure some do), but comparing is something that potentially happens on the sly and in one’s own head (a guy thinks to himself, “Well, he’s certainly bigger than me”). It’s not unlike women checking out each other’s breasts, except where women feel comfortable commenting on the differences (“Oh, you have such nice boobs” or “Her breasts aren’t that big but they’re perky”), straight guys cannot comment on another man’s wang without being thought of as a homo. Gay guys obviously don’t have that problem, so they’re free to talk — but when they do, it’s waaaaaaaaaay more sexualized. Hahaha!
Straight Single Guy (Mark): Not to put too fine a point on it, but…no, sorry. Nothing to do with attraction or even comparison — I guess it’s just an unspoken courtesy to give that modicum of privacy in an otherwise exposed situation. At the urinal, there’s simply the invisible line below which thou shalt not gaze, and in the shower, it’s pretty much the same understanding. So yeah, guys check each other out in the locker room probably about as often as girls actually have pillow fights in their underwear at slumber parties. But seriously, I suppose girls are more stereotypically body conscious and comparing-prone, so I’d imagine they’d be the ones more likely to check out what’s doing with their cohorts in that environment and see how they, um, stack up. But guys are utilitarian — we’re all business in the locker room. We want to empty our bladders, or shower up and get dressed again, and get out of there to carry on with our busy days of manliness [cue Tim Allen “Home Improvement” sound effect].
Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University; and our straight married guy is shy. To ask the guys your own question, click here.