the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Adventures in Male Bonding

This is an embarrassing story that I vowed never to tell. 

When I was a kid, my friend and I found this really old “nudie” magazine in the garbage.   The magazine must have been published pre-Playboy because the photos were supposedly a behind-the-scenes look at a “nudist colony.”  Maybe the only way to legally show these photos back then was under the guise of “sociology.”  I don’t know whatever happened to that magazine, but the images of the bosomy naked women playing volleyball have been seared into my memory.

That’s not the embarrassing part.  My friend and I then concocted a game which we called “Nudist Colony.”  (Mr. “I Now Work for Big Company” Friend, you know who you are!).  

The object of “Nudist Colony” was to never touch the floor of my room.  You could jump from the bed to the top of the dresser.  You could slide across the room using the desk chair and hop onto the desk.   You just couldn’t touch the carpet, or else you had to take off a piece of clothing.  The first person to be naked lost the game.   Weird?   Gay?   Not really.  That was “Nudist Colony,” and I remember it being a lot of fun. 

As an adult, I frequently miss male companionship.  After a certain age, men become socialized into becoming “men,” whatever that means, and male friendship becomes associated with work and sports.  Sometimes, I’m envious of all the close, emotionally-connected friends that most women seem to have.

I’m not suggesting to return to that fake male-bonding that was a joke ten years ago, when guys would sit around a campfire and bang drums.  I just wish that it was easier for guys to talk to each other, particularly in times of need.  Statistics show that after a stressful event, like a divorce, the man is hit the hardest.  Typically, a wife is the husband’s closest friend, while women tend to have other female friends for emotional support, ala "Desperate Housewives."  

Sometimes, when Sophia goes to her breast cancer support group at the Wellness Community, I go to the “friends and family” group.   The biggest complainers in this group are usually the wives of prostate cancer patients.  It’s usually, “My husband won’t talk about how his illness is affecting our sex life.”  Even worse, the prostate cancer group is always half-empty because men fear being seen by other men as being “less than a man.”  

Meanwhile, in the breast cancer group, Sophia tells me the women are much more open, sometimes even  flipping up their blouses and showing each other their scars and reconstructed breasts.

Here’s another embarrassing story from my past. 

One summer night, while at Camp Kinder-Ring, all the guys in Bunk 5 sat on their bunk-beds and passed around a ruler so we could each measure the size of our own dicks.  I remember it was a little confusing at first, because we weren’t sure where the penis actually started and ended.   Eventually, we figured it out, wrote up all our sizes on a ripped-out page from Mad Magazine, and stuck it on the bathroom wall.   Boy, those were the days of real male-bonding! 

I’m not saying I want to do that now  — let me say that before you permanently cross me off your blog list —  but it would be nice to expose myself emotionally to other men, at least every once in a while.

By the way, I wonder what happened to David M., the winner of our camp contest.  He is either now a porno star or making some woman very happy.


  1. Jim

    Here’s a good nudist colony joke:

    A man joins a very exclusive nudist colony. On his first day there he takes off his clothes and starts to wander around. A gorgeous petite blonde walks by, and the man immediately gets an erection. The woman notices his erection, comes over to him and says, “Sir, did you call for me?”

    The man replies, “No, what do you mean?”

    She says, “You must be new here, let me explain. It’s a rule here that if you get an erection it implies you called for me.” Smiling she leads him to the side of the swimming pool, lies down on a towel, eagerly pulls him to her and happily lets him have his way with her.

    The man continued to explore the colony’s facilities. He enters the sauna and as he sat down he farted. Within a few minutes a huge, hairy man lumbers out of the steam toward him. “Did you call for me?” says the hairy man.

    “No, what do you mean?” says the newcomer.

    “You must be new here,” says the hairy man, “it is a rule here that if you fart it implies that you called for me.” The huge man easily spins him around, bends him over a bench and has his way with him.

    The newcomer staggers back to the colony office, where he is greeted by the smiling, naked receptionist. “May I help you?” she says.

    The man yells, “Here is my membership card, you can have the key back, and you can keep the $500 membership fee.”

    “But sir,” she replies, “you’ve only been here for a few hours, you haven’t even had the chance to see all our facilities.”

    The man replies, “Listen lady, I’m 65 years old, I get a hard-on once a month, but I fart 15 times a day. No thanks!”

  2. Neil

    Thanks. Between my post and your joke, I’m sure I’m going to win over a quality readership.

  3. bill

    What years were you in Kinder Ring?

  4. Tim

    Any reason to think that David M. isn’t making some man happy?

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