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How to Shower in a Public Shower Without Fear or Embarrassment

Randi has Crohn's disease and an ileostomy. She has visible scars on most of her body along with the bag she wears permanently.

"I'm too embarrassed to be seen naked!"

"I'm too embarrassed to be seen naked!"

How to Be More Comfortable With Nakedness

The best way to handle this issue would be to just "get past it." Unfortunately, that is not a viable option for some people. If you can get over your fear or embarrassment of being seen in the buff, you wouldn't have to worry about this article. But if you are one of the many who prefer to keep their "privates" private, my goal is to help you find a way to participate in the activities that your fear has kept you from. Here are a few tips.

Some of the Reasons Why People Don’t Want to Be Seen Naked

Although it is not unusual to be embarrassed by your body, it isn't always embarrassment; it can simply be modesty. Some people feel that they don't want to share their nudity with everyone. But more often than not, it is our poor self-image that is not strong enough to support our comfort level in nudity. Whether we are overweight, out of shape, short, tall, thin, or not, we find fault with ourselves and assume that others will find it too. In some cases, there are more extensive, underlying reasons to be embarrassed. Many of them are based on physical aberrations. It can be something as mild as a beauty mark or scar or something a bit bigger like an amputee, an ostomy or a mastectomy.

Some people are embarrassed by what they consider to be imperfections, such as:

  • Inverted nipples
  • A third nipple
  • Overly large or small breasts
  • Large or small genitals
  • Too saggy
  • Acne
  • Unwanted hair
  • Asymmetrical

And the list goes on. You name it, and there will be someone with a real or perceived reason to choose to cover up.

Cover it up!

Practical Advice for Showering in a Public Shower

I am not here to lecture you or tell you that everybody is beautiful. That's all well and good, and if you are of that opinion, you don't need me. Instead, I am here to give you some practical advice! I have spent the past 40 years covering up without having to give up activities that were clearly out of my comfort zone. It started in high school. Those were the days when we had to parade through the girls' locker room naked in order to pick up a towel/bathing suit. After we showered, we had to parade back out and show that we were clean enough to go in the pool. That was a tough one because a cover up was not permitted until after the shower. I had three ways to get around that one. Most days, I got to class very early. I was able to get through the ordeal before too many people came in. If I was unable to get there early, I would hang back and come in late. There were also fewer people at that point. My third method was what I call the "Magic M" This was back in the 70s. About the only way a girl could get out of swimming was if she was menstruating. That meant that if a girl came through the line, fully clothed, and said "M" to the teacher, she was automatically excused. Magic! My next encounter with public showers was in a college dorm. And, after that, the health club. I got very adept at gathering all my things in the proper order for a most expedient cover up. Again, timing is crucial. I would watch and pick the less populated times. I would make sure that I had all my gear on me. If I am unable to avoid a crowd, this is what I do.

Steps to Avoid Being Seen Naked

  1. Avoidance always works! Try to arrange your schedule so that you can shower at home.
  2. Most locker rooms have some private showers. Even if you have to wait for a bit, try to always use those.
  3. Invest in a good towel wrap, robe or even swim shorts.
  4. Pack your bag so that you can reach everything quickly and easily that way, you won't be standing in the raw while struggling to find your undies.
  5. If you are not able to get dressed in the shower area, you can get dressed discretely under your robe or a long t-shirt. The trick for that is to remove/add only one item at a time. Don't start on anything else until the previous article of clothing is firmly in place.

How Not to Call Attention to Yourself

It's very important to remember that people see what you want them to see. There have been many articles on this, and magicians are the greatest masters of illusion. You can learn how to call the attention off your naked body by distracting the people around you. Draw their attention elsewhere until you are comfortably covered!

It's a Process

While this may seem like a lot of effort, please keep in mind that once you get in the habit of covering up, you won't believe what you have been missing. There is no longer a reason to avoid the gym or a trip with joint showers, living in a dorm or living with roommates. Life is short. You shouldn't have to allow your embarrassment or fear to keep you from enjoying it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Randi Benlulu


Josh on September 16, 2018:

I have gathered the courage to use the showers, i have to admit it was a very bold move. I just went in and striped down to my birthday suit. I feel very glad that i did it and a lot more convenient. The reason i never used the showers before was because i have a lot of hair. But i have been taking care of that. Now i can be butt crack naked at the showers without a care about what people think. Thank you!!!

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on August 24, 2018:

Anonymous I'm sorry i can't answer your question. This article is about being embarrassed just tobe on a public shower, i am pretty sure that people who are shy would try to avoid a coed shower

Anonymous on August 24, 2018:

Is it normal to be totally nude in a coed locker room/shower. I was at one recelty and i thought i had it all to myself so i used the urinal, i was wrong because an older lady came in. This was my firts time in a coed locker room so i would like to know what the rules are. Thank you!!

Anonymous on August 03, 2018:

Thank you for the asnwer! Ill get myself a clothes pin when im able to. I dont mind being in the buff at the showwr room but i feel like i draw attention when my towel dips from my back side and shows my buns!!!

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on August 02, 2018:

Maybe you can bring a clothespin with you.just clip the towel after it's wrapped around you and you should be able to free at least 1 hand! Good luck!

- Anonymous on October 06, 2017:

I'm a girl in high school doing wrestling. I have to shower but I don't have any self esteem issues I'm just not comfortable with it. I'm a very shy person and I don't like attention. Does anyone have some hacks to help cover up while showering?

Molly on September 05, 2017:

I'm in middle school! I have volleyball practice right before school! And I would very much like to shower. But would if I'm the only one who wants to shower? I'll be left out! This is really weird for me I have never showered in a girls locker room before! What should I do!?

Steve on August 31, 2017:

Listen, If I had a huge penis I wouldn't be ashamed or that nervous. I wouldn't flaunt it but Im very tall and everything shrinks esp if Im anxious.

I turn my back and go as quick as I can.

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on April 30, 2017:


Thank you for reading and commenting. I think it might help you to follow the steps in the section "How to avoid being seen naked"

In addition, even if it is completely unavoidable, I have 1 more trick that helps me. I avoid eye contact and make sure I don't look at anyone else's naked body. Doing this helps me trick myself into believing they can't see me either. Good luck!

Cadet399 on April 29, 2017:

I'm going to a cadet fire academy and I am scared to shower with everyone else what should I do is there any advice from anyone

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 18, 2014:

I agree, Cheryl! They did the same thing at my high school. Luckily, we didn't have a pool in junior high!

Cheryl on January 16, 2014:

Sorry, I forgot to answer your question where you asked if the whole shower and locker room routine was humiliating? It wasn't so much the showering in front of my classmates part that was so bad. The worst part was having to walk up nude to my fully clothed gym teachers and having to have them check to see if I was wet allover or not, and then hand me a towel. One of the gym teachers in particular was also my health class teacher a few periods later in the day. Awkward!!!

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 15, 2014:

Ah, thank you, Cheryl! I didn't understand what she was referring to. Now I not only see it but feel bad because i pretty much went right along with it. Thank you for pointing that out.

Cheryl on January 15, 2014:

No, my school system had that policy up until the mid to late 1990s. I have since found out that in the late 90's the ACLU basically made it illegal to force students to have to shower naked in front of one another. However, my 14 year old niece says that her school still makes the girls take nude showers before swimming classes this year. But she says that it doesn't seem to bother most girls.

It wasn't just my high school that made us shower, we had to in junior high as well.

I've heard that some schools did away with the showering rule as early as the 1970s, but, as I mentioned, some schools were still requiring it in the 90's.


I don't think that jfj989 was saying that you were being rude, I think that she was referring to a post made by lovedoctor926?

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 15, 2014:

Wow, Cheryl! I am quite a bit older than you. I would have thought this behavior stopped before you got to high school! It's humiliating, isn't it?

Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Cheryl on January 14, 2014:

I had a very similar situation to you with gym class showers. The gym teachers at my junior high and high school seemed to go out of their way to make us be naked as much as possible in the locker room.

After each gym class session we had to undress at our lockers and walk buck naked through the locker room to the shower-room. After we finished showering we had to line up (still naked) and wait for the teacher to call our names one-by-one, and when your name was called you would walk up to her and you had to turn around so that she could see that we were wet allover. Then she would make us dry-off right there and then throw the towel into a big hamper, and then you could walk naked back to your locker and get dressed.

All of the gym teachers had the exact same routine for us.

Some of us hated having to parade around like that. Some didn't seem to care one-way-or-another, and some girls seemed to love parading around like that.

At my gym we are required to take a nude soap shower before we are allowed to enter the pool. It doesn't particularly bother me now at age 38, but I still don't parade around more than I have to.

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on November 09, 2013:

jfj989, I am a bit confused by your comment. This article does not call anyone rude for how they look. This article speaks about what to do if you are too shy or embarrassed to be seen naked in public. No judgements here, nor I am saying that you can't dress how you choose.

jfj989 on November 08, 2013:

I don't mean to be rude, but this all sounds so prudish. Calling other women "rude" just for not shaving their pubic hair or for having sagging breasts? These are normal parts of the female body! It is rude to expect someone to cover themselves just because you are too sensitive and prudish to be in their presence!

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on March 07, 2013:

Thank you, carozy for reading and commenting. It's so funny. When I wrote this hub, I thought I was the exception. Now I see that I am the norm!

carozy from San Francisco on March 07, 2013:

I have never felt comfortable walking around naked in gym locker rooms. I do my best to cover up, dry, and change as quickly as possible.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 11, 2013:

Ah, I had this problem as a teen and the looks of my body had nothing to do with it ( I was a cheerleader). I was just shy and my showers were quick, and though I lived through it I never liked it. Everyone was in a hurry though so that made it a little easier. Even at my age now I can't say I would like to shower with an audience, lol.

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on February 03, 2013:

Thank you, Colin!

epigramman on February 03, 2013:

..... yes you are much appreciated, respected and admired too, Randi.

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on February 03, 2013:

Well, my friend, Colin, I bet a caribbean cruise is sounding mighty good right about now! thank you for always being here with your support and fun comments! You are so appreciated!

epigramman on February 01, 2013:

....well the last time I showered in pubic , some smart ass said 'hey, there's a button on a fur coat' lol lol - and me said - never again , will I shower in public (yes, don't worry I left the 'l' out) lol lol

sending sincere warm wishes to you dear Randi from a sunny but cold day at lake erie time ontario canada 11:25am but it's February 1st now and 13 days away from when I smuggle you onboard a Caribbean cruise .....or is it 'snuggle.'

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on February 01, 2013:

I totally agree. I write to the title and not to my original ideas!

Mary Craig from New York on February 01, 2013:

Okay. The Apprentice Program is a challenge for sure. How about you? I try to find topics I think I can write on as the Exclusives seem to have dried up for me.

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 31, 2013:

Thank you, Mary. I do appreciate the visit, comments votes and shares. I was just about to hop over to your hubs. How are things going for you?


Mary Craig from New York on January 31, 2013:

Then or now doesn't matter to me, I always had a problem walking around with no clothes on. Fortunately, in a Catholic school we had no showers and no swimming pool ;)

You make some good points and have good advice here btr...nicely done.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 31, 2013:

Thank you, Leslie! Yes, when I was younger, we had our own pool and I really loved the whole privacy factor. I do use the pool here but only for short periods of time, usually at off hours and when it is too hot to be outside! I also used to be proud of my body with ballet and jazz dancing and a great metabolism. I was even the Cheerleading coach. Now I am an endomorph! Thank you for your votes and share, my friend!

Karen Silverman on January 31, 2013:

You are so right! Personally, i find that some people seem to LOVE walking around naked in front of others...can you say exhibitionists?

personally - i have a beautiful pool where i live, and yet - i still prefer to sit in my back yard when i'm half naked - it's strange..

i used to be in amazing shape - i mean an 8-pack, from gymnastics and coaching and teaching aerobics, and still - i could always find a toilet stall to change...

Food for thought: I think men have it even harder? lol...excuse pun..


up and sharing, my friend!

have an awesome amazing day!

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 28, 2013:

Good one, Perspycacious! Thanks for stopping by!

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 28, 2013:

Thank you, Amy. See that wasn't so hard to read, right?!

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on January 28, 2013:

My hat is off to your article....but that's all I'm taking off at this point!

Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on January 28, 2013:

Oh, Randi, I remember the agony of gym class in high school. And, I have to say, in all honesty, I am no more grown up about public showers than I was way back when. I enjoyed your article, as it reignited my anxiety ridden memories and made me realize I am so glad I am no longer a teenager who endures the humiliation of embarrassment in the locker room showers. Your piece also makes me realize that there is no activity I would miss enough to ever subject myself to public nudity! I wouldn't want to inflict that on anyone. LOL

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 28, 2013:

It's really funny,Bill but when I set out to write this, I saw myself as the exception but now I'm thinking I'm probably more of the rule! Thanks for stopping by! I hope Bev is continuing to feel better.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 28, 2013:

It really is an uncomfortable situation for almost anyone. I'm not sure I would describe it as embarrassing for me, but it is most definitely not a comfortable time. I doubt that are many of us who really want to be seen naked in a public setting. :)

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 28, 2013:

Thank you, peachpurple. I appreciate your stopping by and your comments and vote up!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 28, 2013:

interesting article. People in Malaysia do not shower in public. I think Korea people love sauna, shower in hot warm spa. Yes, i do agree that shy people try to avoid this issue. Voted up

Randi Benlulu (author) from Mesa, AZ on January 27, 2013:

Thank you for reading and commenting, lovedoctor! Yes, even when I was tiny and proud of my body, I wasn't comfortable flaunting it and I totally agree with you, I DO NOT want to see a lot of what I do see at the club!

lovedoctor926 on January 27, 2013:

Interesting hub. I'm a member of LA Fitness gym and I notice that many of the older ladies walk around nude in the locker room. Even in the sauna where the temperature increases rapidly, there are many women sitting and lying down naked. I'm not kidding, some of them have the saggiest boobs and don't even shave their pubic hairs. It hangs so low that you can help but notice. Personally, I find this disrespectful and rude. I do agree with your points that there are many women who might be shy or embarrassed because of their body image, but this is not the case for every woman. I'm in very good shape and when I shower at the gym, I keep my bathing suit on at all times and when I change my wet clothes, I keep a towel underneath.