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Dear Ryan


The column where I take the time to answer pressing questions that nobody asked me.  In fact, they actually asked other people, and I decided to chime in.  See how we’re all happier now?

Dear Abby reader rights:

DEAR ABBY: I just joined a gym, and I love everything about it except for one thing — the ladies’ locker room.

I am modest so I use the private changing rooms when getting dressed. There are some women who feel very comfortable walking around in various stages of undress. Not only are they naked, they don’t think twice about bending over to get into their lockers, or standing topless while blow-drying their hair.

In a place full of mirrors, seeing all this is difficult to avoid. I don’t want to stop using the locker room because it’s convenient. Is there anything I can do, or must I put up with the peep shows? — MISS MODESTY IN PRINCETON, N.J.

My Reponse:

Dear Miss Modesty,

First off, I’d like to ask if Miss Modesty is an official title, or if you’ve just staked claim to it?  Many would consider giving yourself a nickname to be the portrait of immodesty.  But I digress…

To your point, I admit that I’m not as familiar with the Ladies’ Locker Room these days as I was during High School, but I’ll assume the basic layout persists.  At root you have an area, the locker room, where men or women feel they are surrounded by peers, people who are striving towards the same fitness goals as them.  Perhaps they’ve gotten too comfortable and let their guard down a bit much, but I’m sure that around the room, there are many more self-conscious people than there are exhibitionists. Of course, if you’re in the private stalls, you’ll never see this majority and also miss out on the traditional bonding.

We each have our own comfort levels and boundaries, but insisting that all other patrons hide the very object they are subscribing to the gym to improve sounds rather puritan.  If it were me, I’d consider what makes that person so confident and speculate how I could tap into that.

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  1. March 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    I’d just like to point out that there are several ladies at my gym who blow dry their hair, use straighteners and curling irons, etc in the buff. It’s not that I’m concerned with their being nude, it’s that I get nervous that there will be some, um, burning of, er, lady bits. It’s concerning. How would you address this problem?

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