What is our fascination with locker rooms? It is a source of complex feelings for many gay men. Many of our most impactful teenage memories are made in this place of vulnerability. Some of us used to dread the locker room out of fear of bullying. For others, it was a source of shame and anxiety surrounding our bodies. Then there were those of us for whom it was an awakening. This brought with it its own anxieties, of course. “What if they know? Can they tell I’m not like them? Don’t look directly at them, just shower and get out of here.” For some, these complex feelings develop into a kind of taboo fascination. So let’s explore this fascination through the safe and limitless medium of art.
Masculinity and the Men’s Locker Room
Safe is the operative word here. For so many straight men, it seemed that navigating this place was second nature. Not only were they not anxious, but they also seemed to thrive. The locker room was a space to perform masculinity. To flex your ego and to blow off some steam. Smacking butts, whipping towels, communal showering, and general rough-housing. There is something very homoerotic about the whole thing. With that in mind, keep scrolling for some of our favorite illustrations that evoke the same sweaty, homoeroticism that makes locker rooms so fascinating.
Make sure to follow the artists listed here and support them in whatever way you can. Whether that’s through crowdfunding, commissions, or purchasing a print/merch in their stores, anything helps.
1. Felix D’eon (@felixdeonart)
2. Syrs (@syrs)
3. Daniel Jaen (@danieljaenart)
4. Rene Farias (@rfariasamores)
5. Daisuke (@daisukebear)
6. vrsa minor (@vrsaminor)
7. Ryan the Artist (@ryantheart)
8. Zach Brunner (@zacharyiswackary)
9. Iliev Illustration (@ilievillustration)
10. Dopey (@yy6241)
11. Qaisan (@kkai_san)
12. Ralph Cervi (@ralphcervi)
Have you followed these artists or shared their work? If you’ve made it this far now would be a great time to go back up and click through on their names and images to show your support. There is plenty more where this came from. Go ahead and work through your complex relationship with locker rooms some more.