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.