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

potential of the website as a sexual website, the gaze at nakedness as a sexual act and the
implicit eroticism that’s encoded in such a site. The relative adjustment of the
‘heterosexual matrix’ which sees an increasing legitimation of a gender-sexuality
system in which the trajectory of sexual or attractive want is permitted to extend
to either gender (so long as it is an ostensible, coherent gender) destabilizes the
non-sexuality of the site. Where the gender exclusiveness can no longer be under-
stood to guard against the existence of desire as homoerotic want, and where the
potential fall of homosociality with homosexuality is increasingly charged,
the site becomes shaky, and nakedness and gazing upon it can no longer be
understood as exclusively non sexual forms of pleasurable action.
However, the instability between the frame of the communal showers and
that of the sexual is generally 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’ conversation:
When sportsmen assemble in the locker room, before or after check it , and their dialogue turns
to women, the semantics used are not always complimentary. They discuss issues such as their

sexual conquests, their prowess at picking-up, taking out and ‘screwing’ the women they meet,
Also as fairly regularly-lurid details concerning their sexual exploits. . . . Locker room conversa-
tion is about making men feel positive about themselves, solidifying their masculinity and
rejecting any understanding they may belong to the marginalised maleness of homosexuals or
poofters. It’s a kind of bonding between men, strengthening their relationship with each other
— verbally more than physically. (Hancock, 2001: 3–4)
Among men, statements of homophobia, dialogues about women and the
ways in which the gaze is performed as a non-erotic looking protect the
communal nakedness of guys from signifying nakedness-as-sexual. Furthermore,
among girls there are particular codes of http://x-topless.com/pins/when-i-was-in-my-very-early-teens/ that cease the nakedness in
communal showers from slipping into the sexual. I am reliably informed that
women in this type of website will often either have a conversation that averts drawing
Focus to the common nudity as available to the gaze of others or, if more
Comfy, stay perfectly silent. These also are particular ritualistic codes
which prevent the nakedness/gaze duality from being understood as having a
sexual element, regardless of the ways in which such nakedness/gazing might
be involved in actions of policing the physical.
So what, lately, has been occurring to the site of the communal shower as
a framework in which authorized nakedness is tied up with various valid
codes of gazing? According to a 1996 New York Times article, showering after
Physical education course by secondary school men is not only on the decline but has now
become a signicant rarity (Johnson, 1996). Although the writer supposes that
this decline intersects with issues of modesty and anticipations of body image and
tness, he also points to an erotic part:

… some health and physical education experts contend that many students draw [from
post-exercise showering] just due to the overload of erotic pictures — so many perfectly
toned bodies cannot help but leave common people feeling a bit inadequate. (Johnson, 1996)
The proliferation of a sexualized male physique reliant on the display of esh in
Marketing, combined with the failure of ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ and the
heterosexual matrix increases the fear that communal nakedness among boys will
be gazed upon in lusty or sexualized ways that have formerly been shielded
by the sex segregation of communal showers on the presumption that all
participants in the showers are heterosexual and can thereby simply perform a
sexual gazing at another gender. This ‘ethnic concern’ is augmented further as
the stereotype of gay men as non-sport is increasingly discredited.
The legal controversy that surrounded the lming of Apt Pupil (1998) illus-
trates this recent cultural matter over shower-space nudity increasingly coupled
with sexual or erotic forms of gazing. While portrayals of naked women in lm
have been common and cannot easily be separated from a desire for sexual gazing
The Naked Subject

by a phallocentric lm sector, 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 male nudity — Born to Win (1971), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Ace Ventura

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