I sit intrigued rather than aroused as six nude men dance around in their birthday suits. I can’t help but feel guilty and naughty, my teeth chattering and skin nervous as if everyone’s eyes are on me while my eyes are fixed on the stage. I find such irony in that there is fun and mystery in guessing how someone looks under their clothes, yet when the guesswork is removed I find myself shrouded in discomfort. I continuously tell myself if I look at their abs I won’t have to look at their penises and I can avoid the seductive gaze of the stage actors’ eyes, yet I am content in this space. I am content in knowing that I’m not sitting here alone, that there is an audience and we are all staring. I feel the environment is free of judgment, and where I would consider myself some pervert in a fantasy (if alone), amongst others I am a simply another admirer of homoerotic art, a person capable of appreciating the male form.
Growing up I remember being told that only fresh little boys run around naked. I was to always be a gentleman whose body was to be kept private, not for the world to see, but I always questioned why. Why are boys taught to keep their “privates” private, while women are objectified and encouraged to bare it all? I once heard a comedian joke that to be a woman was to be beautiful because vaginas are shapely like flowers, whereas penises look as if God got lazy and decided to just stick them on to guys. Of course this is a joke, but why are we not taught to love our penises? I can think back to health class hearing about breasts coming in different sizes and how each woman is beautiful despite her endowment, but yet my brethren and I never received this talk despite one’s size being a very constant source of stress for the teenage boy.
I smile as the boys sing quirky songs of circumcision, erection, and gratuitous nudity because I can relate. I love showering in my glass shower knowing no one will see me, but if I wanted they could. I dance nakedly with “nothing but the radio on” and I am happiest. I find the celebration of the male form beautiful, but the display of said beauty is revolutionary and new to me.