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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've discussed nudity in France before. I think we arrived at the conclusion that the French have a much more open and healthy attitude than the Brits, and certainly than in the US.

The local gym that I use is quite popular and the changing rooms may have 6 or more men changing at any one time. Also, the building is undergoing major refurbishment, so there are usually workmen active somewhere. The gym manager is a rather attractive blonde young lady.

Yesterday I had just emerged from a well earned shower after a good gym session. Suddenly the changing room door opened and the lady manager entered, followed by a plumber to look at some pipes. There was a sudden covering up of male bodies, a buzz of horror, surprise etc and after the lady left I heard a few negative comments. For me, I'm sure she had need to enter, so there was no problem. I've got nothing that she probably hasn't seem before, so I just carried on getting changed.

Overall, I was suprised by the French male reaction...or perhaps I welcome every opportunity to be an exhibitionist? The reaction that I saw was contrary to my view on how the French see nudity. Or is that for French men nudity is ok for others, not for them?

DejW
 

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Oh, this is yet another "interesting" question. (Your exhibitionist tendencies aside, of course....)

I suspect what you have run into was the good ol' double standard. It's usually female nudity that everyone is so blasé about - at least in France and much of Europe. But full frontal MALE nudity is something else altogether. And I'm sure it has something to do with the appreciation (or not) of "wobbly bits."

And on that thoroughly tasteless note, I will step aside and let others voice their thoughts on the issue.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Although to be frank, male nudity is not an issue at French nudist colonies :D But maybe it's just the individuals concerned (for whatever personal reason). It's not as if a woman marching into a male changing room is the same thing as art appreciation and I know lots of French women who would not appreciate a man marching unannounced into the female changing room.
 

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Come to think of it, it may have something to do with the notion that "everyone" appreciates a tasteful nude - as long as said nude is not oneself. Being "seen" as the nude in question is the real problem....
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't thing the semi dressed (semi nude) group of men changing for the gym could every be considered "tasteful"! I shall ignore the comment by Bev about "wobbly bits".......well really!

However, I can understand the shock by men on seeing a woman enter the changing room, albeit clearly "on business" with a plumber in tow. But why the obvious feelings of discomfort and feeling "anti"?

I like Bev's comment about "it's ok for women to be nude" ....there's more than a bit of hypocrisy?

As for me, I cannot claim to be an Adonis, worthy of gaze, wobbly bits or not.

DejW
 

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I don't thing the semi dressed (semi nude) group of men changing for the gym could every be considered "tasteful"! I shall ignore the comment by Bev about "wobbly bits".......well really!

However, I can understand the shock by men on seeing a woman enter the changing room, albeit clearly "on business" with a plumber in tow. But why the obvious feelings of discomfort and feeling "anti"?

I like Bev's comment about "it's ok for women to be nude" ....there's more than a bit of hypocrisy?

As for me, I cannot claim to be an Adonis, worthy of gaze, wobbly bits or not.

DejW

I do not think that the French are very open on nudity. In my yoga class I have to wear socks not for health reasons but because it is rude to be in bare feet. Also you rarely see young French girls walking around topless on beaches. Unlike older British and Dutch woman who almost take your eye out swinging their bits around.

A trip to any large UK city on a winter evening when the pubs and clubs are open would be enough to convince you that there is no hang up on nudity. Have you ever seen a US Spring Break in full swing? It is more about the type of person than the nationality.
 

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Oh, this is yet another "interesting" question. (Your exhibitionist tendencies aside, of course....)

I suspect what you have run into was the good ol' double standard. It's usually female nudity that everyone is so blasé about - at least in France and much of Europe. But full frontal MALE nudity is something else altogether. And I'm sure it has something to do with the appreciation (or not) of "wobbly bits."

And on that thoroughly tasteless note, I will step aside and let others voice their thoughts on the issue.
Cheers,
Bev
Is this not rather sexist, inferring that females don't have "wobbly bits"?
 

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Are you saying that females DO have "wobbly bits?" When I first encountered that term during my residence in the UK, it was pretty clear that it referred only to, well, male wobbly bits.
Cheers,
Bev
Unless you have been wandering around with your eyes shut, you must have noticed that many females even clothed and fully holstered DO have wobbly bits and not always on the front. In fact some even make a great show of them - I believe the term is "twerking" - sometimes even to a musical background. Most male "wobbly bits" would more accurately be termed "droopy" bits!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This thread is in danger of descending into " my bits are more wobbly than yours", as found behind school bicycle sheds!

Despite Smeg's comment about "Brits view of French nudity" etc I still think the French have a more open and healthy attitude than the Brits or US. My evidence for this is....

1. Example, there used to be a Fr TV add showing a baby at its mother's breast. Quite adorable in my view. I don't think that would be acceptable in the UK or US? Perhaps I'm out of date ( ie old and stupid)?

2. In the house of one of my French relatives they have a super, big double walk in shower. On two occasions I've been in the shower (luxuriating in the big space, hot water, multiple jets etc) when female family members have entered the bathroom to find something in the cupboards.....it was clear to me that this was acceptable and not unusual. By the same token I've noticed that the bathroom door is never locked.

Donc, therefore, I am still surprised by the male reaction to a female in the gym changing room.

Let the debate continue......

DejW


Unless you have been wandering around with your eyes shut, you must have noticed that many females even clothed and fully holstered DO have wobbly bits and not always on the front. In fact some even make a great show of them - I believe the term is "twerking" - sometimes even to a musical background. Most male "wobbly bits" would more accurately be termed "droopy" bits!
 

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I do not think that the French are very open on nudity. In my yoga class I have to wear socks not for health reasons but because it is rude to be in bare feet. Also you rarely see young French girls walking around topless on beaches. Unlike older British and Dutch woman who almost take your eye out swinging their bits around.

A trip to any large UK city on a winter evening when the pubs and clubs are open would be enough to convince you that there is no hang up on nudity. Have you ever seen a US Spring Break in full swing? It is more about the type of person than the nationality.
I agree, although I can't comment on the UK or US. I find the bare feet thing hilarious, although I suppose it's for hygiene reasons (athlete's foot, verrucas) - but even at home you're always supposed to have something on your feet. I find socks a bit slippery for yoga if you happen to move off the mat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Bare feet, sounds very Victorian to me.

My grandmother....born 188? told me that after the age of 15 she wasn't allowed to display her ankles. Except for the highly sexualised tennis and walking dresses. I think our thinking has progressed since then?

I'm in bare feet as I type, I hope no-one is offended?

plipoty plop....sound of bare feet on the net.....DejW

I agree, although I can't comment on the UK or US. I find the bare feet thing hilarious, although I suppose it's for hygiene reasons (athlete's foot, verrucas) - but even at home you're always supposed to have something on your feet. I find socks a bit slippery for yoga if you happen to move off the mat.
 

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I find nudity much more open here in France than in the US. I remember when I first got here, and was shocked at all the barebreasted dancers you see on tv even before 9 pm.

When we had our first child, my husband sent out birth announcements with pictures, and one of them was of our newborn breastfeeding - I didn't pay attention, but later my american relatives let me know it was a scandal and they were upset they couldn't put it up on the fridge where people might see it. (no nipple was showing or anything).

At the beach, most of the women go topless (I've taken up the habit there too). There's so many nude beaches and camp grounds around here. We've gone to the nude beach a few times, hubby and I, and I was surprised how quickly I was comfortable with it.

Though in most other places, I think, upon reflection, that it might be more female nudity that is appreciated and welcomed than male.

There was a male employee in the female dressing room at my gym once when I was there, and he very politely asked me if he should step out. I wasn't going to undress so I said no, but I appreciated his respect for my privacy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Bluey!

Yes, a good example of US / French differences of morality. There are many more. Certainly in France, and perhaps the UK there is a move towards considering that nipples and breasts are not sex objects, but are there for feeding babies.

Not for children or those easily offended......years ago I was taken by business colleagues to a rather shady night club in Rome. One of the strippers ended up nude, except of course for the obligatory nipple tassles, which by the the way she could twirl in opposite directions...defies basic mechanics! She also lay down on a bench and did the "lemon shooting" trick. I asked my hosts why she wore her nipple tassles while her genitalia were on very public view. "Ah", said my hosts, "nudity laws".

If you don't know what the lemon shooting trick is, in the interest of good taste, I'm not explaining here!

In shorts, but respectably clothed.....DejW

I find nudity much more open here in France than in the US. I remember when I first got here, and was shocked at all the barebreasted dancers you see on tv even before 9 pm.

When we had our first child, my husband sent out birth announcements with pictures, and one of them was of our newborn breastfeeding - I didn't pay attention, but later my american relatives let me know it was a scandal and they were upset they couldn't put it up on the fridge where people might see it. (no nipple was showing or anything).

At the beach, most of the women go topless (I've taken up the habit there too). There's so many nude beaches and camp grounds around here. We've gone to the nude beach a few times, hubby and I, and I was surprised how quickly I was comfortable with it.

Though in most other places, I think, upon reflection, that it might be more female nudity that is appreciated and welcomed than male.

There was a male employee in the female dressing room at my gym once when I was there, and he very politely asked me if he should step out. I wasn't going to undress so I said no, but I appreciated his respect for my privacy.
 

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Hi Bluey!

Yes, a good example of US / French differences of morality. There are many more. Certainly in France, and perhaps the UK there is a move towards considering that nipples and breasts are not sex objects, but are there for feeding babies.
Morality or hypocrisy?

My grandfather (b. 1893) was very much a bosom/breast/tit man and my grandparents used to take me at the age of 5 (1946) and older to a local theatre where it was the norm for semi naked (top half) females to be on stage (we even used to get free entrance because the girl who worked in the box office lived a few doors away from us.) A few years later (I think about 1949) I was taken to the Finsbury Park Empire to see the Folies Bergère when they were performing there.

I recently encountered a note by somebody on internet saying the she/he was also taken there for the same performance but, unfortunately, could not remember the date.

Needless to say I have my grandfather's taste
 

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Oh, I suspect every country has its own special brand of hypocrisy. I've always found it strange that here in France, prostitution is not illegal, but pimping is. And they periodically talk about making "buying it" illegal, though not the selling of "it." (All this in the same country that gets its knickers in a twist over the "oppression" aspect of women wearing headscarves or burkinis.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Great topic. I don't live in France but this is a bit of an issue in The Netherlands.

To give anecdotal examples, a Dutch female friend of mine, (Dutch born and bred) was complaining that she wouldn't go to her gym's sauna because you must go in naked and she wasn't thrilled at the idea.

Another Dutch male friend of mine (again Dutch born and bred) also dislikes the idea of naked sauna and would never do so and said it would make him uncomfortable.

These are younger people.

Thus, I hardly think one can make broad conclusions about an entire country's attitude about this. Perhaps it was more accepted in the past.


At my current gym (with several naked saunas and spas) it is evident to me there are exhibitionists. I do not enjoy looking at other people's naked bodies, in particular those of the opposite gender in a gym context. I see no need for it? Putting on a towel hardly takes effort?

My opinion is that for better or worse, there remain power imbalances between the genders, to a greater degree in some countries, that make such facilities improper and abusive.

In my opinion, Netherlands is one of those countries where this power imbalance is very evident, women's role remains very traditional - e.g. I know very few Dutch females who work full time. And I am asked by them why don't I work part-time!

This imbalance is reflected in the pervasive objectification of women in adverts (at bus stops etc, I've seem some shocking things!).

I hosted a young (early 20s) very liberal girl from the US recently, and one of the things she said surprised her is the objectification of women everywhere in The Netherlands. I was surprised that in 3 days she was able to already form such conclusion, which I agreed with after living here 5 years!

I'm also repulsed by the fact that this 'movement' or its remnants may be largely credited to the Nazi Freikörperkultur (free body culture).

Anyway, sometime ago I went to my gym's hot tub (not knowing it was supposed to be naked), there was nobody there when I went in. Later two men came in. As I came out they stared intently at me, they seemed to be expecting some 'entertainment' and were disappointed.

Thus, my opinion is that what keeps this going in NL is a combination of exhibitionism and gender power imbalance. I am very curious as to how it is in France though, as I imagine women's traditional roles are not as ingrained there as here, from what I have seen.
 

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The gym manager is a rather attractive blonde young lady.

...
Overall, I was suprised by the French male reaction...or perhaps I welcome every opportunity to be an exhibitionist?

DejW
Since you ask, I think the comment on the woman's looks and age (completely irrelevant to the post) give a hint to the answer to your question. That is, it's probably an exhibitionism issue for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
aha, you've guessed my secret!


I'm flashing in front of the screen now, hoping Bev will see the wobbly bits!

DejW


Since you ask, I think the comment on the woman's looks and age (completely irrelevant to the post) give a hint to the answer to your question. That is, it's probably an exhibitionism issue for you.
 
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