1990: 6–7). The two-gender exclusiveness of the shower website betrays the high

potential of the website as a sexual site, the gaze at nakedness as a sexual act and the
implicit eroticism that is encoded in this type of website. The relative adjustment of the
‘heterosexual matrix’ which sees an increasing legitimation of a gender-sexuality
system where the trajectory of sexual or attractive want is allowed to expand
to either sex (as long as it is an ostensible, coherent gender) destabilizes the
non-sexuality of the site. Where the gender exclusiveness CAn’t be under-
stood to safeguard against the presence of want as homoerotic want, and where the
potential fall of homosociality with homosexuality is increasingly billed,
the site becomes unstable, and nakedness and gazing upon it can no longer be
understood as exclusively non sexual forms of pleasurable action.
Nevertheless, the uncertainty between the frame of the communal showers and
that of the sexual is usually understood by participants. Special rites are
in place to stop the homosociality of communal nakedness sliding into homo-
sexuality. As Janene Hancock recently points out, these rituals are practised in
the forms of ‘proper’ dialogue:
When sportsmen assemble in the locker room, before or after a game, and their dialogue turns
to girls, the semantics used aren’t always complimentary. They discuss problems like their

sexual conquests, their art at picking-up, taking out and ‘going all the way’ the women they meet,
Too as quite often-lurid details concerning their sexual exploits. . . . Locker room conversa-
tion is about making men feel positive about themselves, solidifying their maleness and
rejecting any understanding that they may belong to the marginalised masculinity of homosexuals or
poofters. It is a sort of bond between men, strengthening their relationship with each other
— verbally more than physically. (Hancock, 2001: 3–4)
Among guys, statements of homophobia, dialogues about girls and the
ways in which the gaze is performed as a non-lusty looking shield the
communal nakedness of guys from signifying nakedness-as-sexual. Furthermore,
among girls there are particular codes of behavior that discontinue the nakedness in
communal showers from stealing into the sexual. I am reliably advised that
women in such a site will frequently either have a conversation that prevents drawing
Focus to the common nudity as accessible to the gaze of others or, if more
Comfy, stay absolutely silent. These also are unique ritualistic codes
which prevent the nakedness/gaze duality from being understood as having a
sexual part, no matter the ways in which such nakedness/gazing might
be involved in actions of policing the physical.
So what, recently, has been happening to the site of the communal shower as
a framework in which authorized nakedness is tied up with various legitimate
codes of gazing? Based on a 1996 New York Times article, showering after
Physical education class by secondary school males is not only on the decline but has now
become a signicant rarity (Johnson, 1996). Although the writer theorizes that
this decline intersects with issues of modesty and expectancies of body image and
tness, he also points to an erotic part:
… some health and physical education specialists claim that many pupils get [from
post-exercise showering] precisely because of the overload of lusty pictures — so many totally
toned bodies cannot help but leave average people feeling a bit insufficient. (Johnson, 1996)
The proliferation of a sexualized male physique reliant on the show of esh in
Promotion, combined with the failure of ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ and the
heterosexual matrix raises the fear that communal nakedness among boys will
be gazed upon in sensual or sexualized ways that have previously been shielded
by the gender segregation of communal showers on the presumption that all
participants in the showers are heterosexual and can thus merely perform a
sexual gazing at another sex. http://x-nudists.com/index.php/2016/05/26/my-first-public-nude-expericence-was-on-holiday-in-mallorca/ ‘ is augmented further as
the stereotype of gay men as non-athletic is increasingly discredited.
The legal controversy that surrounded the lming of Apt Pupil (1998) illus-
trates this recent cultural concern over shower-space nudity increasingly coupled
with sexual or erotic kinds of gazing. While depictions of nude women in lm
have been common and cannot easily be distinguished from a want for sexual gazing
The Naked Subject

by a phallocentric lm business, the portrayal of naked males in lm is by no
means recent. As early as the 1925 production of Ben-Hur, male frontal nudity
was shown on-screen and, despite the ban on nudity through the intervention of
the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code between 1934 and
1968 (Russo, 1981: 121–2), a spate of popular lms from the 1970s onwards
depicted man nudity — Born to Win (1971), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Ace Ventura