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The Sweetest Taboo
Turning legitimate needs into a stigmatized taboo empowers unnecessary fear, not change. Example, you don't have to be afraid of swinging richards in the locker room.
I am twenty-five pounds lighter than last Christmas! This makes me very happy even though I have a bit more to lose. I can’t say I am super strict, but I have improved my food and exercised more.
One thing that dawned on me recently is that I am no longer afraid of the locker room.
If that sounds odd, it should.
One of the things I had to be “accountable” for in my exgay days was when I would go to the gym. I was not allowed to stare at, lust after, or look at other men and their… you know… attributes. As a result, I hated going to the gym locker room because I *always* noticed the men and their impressive “features.” Then that would be followed up with a humiliating confession to my accountability partners.
More often than not, I changed clothes in my car or at work in the restroom before going to the gym and went home in the same sweaty mess. Sometimes I would have to change in the locker room, but I did so as quickly as possible, far away from the others, and yet I always noticed someone’s swinging richard (that’s code for you know what).
This may also sound weird, and it should; I had deep anxiety about going into a locker room. I once visited a gym (same chain) in a different state. They had a tiny locker room, and I nearly had a panic attack. I almost ran out of the place.
That’s the power of taboo. To stigmatize something so normal and common only makes it more intriguing and alluring, especially when it is an innate drive that shouldn’t be divorced from everyday life.
Now that gym locker rooms aren’t taboo in my world, guess how many swinging richards I notice? Unless I am in a hurry, I notice almost all of them! :::laugh::: I am a gay man, for crying out loud. But guess what? I don’t lust after, obsess, or compare because I am confident in myself to the point that it does not affect me most of the time. And if it did, so? I can steward my sex life with my husband quite contentedly. We can appreciate God’s beauty in other men; it is fun and not evil.
In a nutshell, the locker room and many other things in life are no longer taboo. Therefore revealing the assumed temptation to sin is just silly. Now that the locker room isn’t a den of potential iniquity, I see it for what it is; an environment that could always use a little more cleaning and a place that provides a convenient way to change clothes or shower if needed.
Nothing nefarious… unless you are on certain websites… so I’ve heard ;)
Beyond The Stained Glass Closet by Randy Scobey is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Exgay ideology abuses assumed power in this dynamic instead of simply appreciating this is a normal part of gym life. To create fear in someone over a god-given drive and appreciation creates unhealthy behavioral responses and unnecessary inner turmoil.
So, if you identify as exgay and are reading this article, go change your clothes, you sweaty mess. If you notice someone in the locker room, it’s not a sin. You will be fine.