Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Innocence and decency

Why does it seem that some people these days want to treat male shirtlessness as if it is somehow dirty? Of course, most wouldn't say it so bluntly, but if you asked why guys can't take their shirts off at the gym, for instance, you might get an answer like, "This is a family-friendly establishment", or "It's a modesty (or decency) thing". The implication, of course, is that a shirtless man would have been indecent, immodest, and inappropriate for families with small children. Strangely enough, most of the same people might not have had an objection to a bare chested man at the beach or pool, but might have qualms about the same man in a gym or other establishment. While again, I am not trying to establish that men should go shirtless anywhere and everywhere, there is no reason for a shirtless man to be considered indecent, particularly in places where it has often been customary for men to go shirtless and where there is good reason for it (comfort while working out, for instance).

Shirtless freedom isn't about men vainly showing off their bodies, and it's not about sexual innuendo. Rather, it's a matter of comfort and simple innocence. Think of a group of boys playing shirts versus skins. They aren't being lewd, in fact, they probably haven't given much thought to the idea of being seen shirtless. They just aren't concerned with such things. Most guys tend to want to be on the skins side, simply for the comfort of being shirtless.

As a last example, I am going to reference the classic TV program from the 50s, a veritable symbol of decency and innocence, Leave it to Beaver. Here we have Beaver and Wally getting ready to play ball.

And here getting ready to go snorkeling.

Wally reading a book on the lawn, enjoying the sun on his shirtless back.

And Wally working out shirtless.

Just normal innocent boys, comfortable and free. Why don't we all learn to enjoy this innocence?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Definitely one of my favorite sports that presents an opportunity to peel off your shirt is bouldering. It's an intense, full-body exercise and it's a lot of fun. Plus, it's a great chance to get outside and enjoy some sunshine and the beauty of nature as many bouldering locations are outdoors in nature. Basically, bouldering is climbing lower rocks without ropes. A crash pad is frequently used for safety to break your fall if you slip. It is always a good idea to have a partner to spot you. He can move the pad to make sure it is still under you if you climb to the side, or catch you when you hit the pad, so you don't roll off to the side and hit something hard anyway.

It's pretty common and widely accepted for guys to go climbing shirtless, especially when it is warm outdoors.

It's even fairly common for guys to shed their shirts when bouldering at indoor facilities and dedicated bouldering gyms.

I highly recommend you give bouldering a try. Find some guys in your area who have the right equipment and ask if you can tag along, or find a gym and give it a try. Be safe, use common sense and proper safety practices. If you like it, you may want to invest in your own climbing shoes and crash pad. So get out there and have fun!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Beach or sand volleyball is another great sport for going shirtless. In fact, it's pretty much expected for shirts to come off in this sport. Afterall, swim trunks or board shorts are standard attire for men at the beach anyway. It's a lot of fun, great exercise, and a good chance to get some sun.

Even an indoor volleyball game could go shirtless, though.

So, get out, try some new sports, and most of all, have fun!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Support the Longhorn Hellraisers on Facebook!

The Hellraisers, a group of shirtless supporters of the University of Texas athletic teams, has a fan page on Facebook!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rain or Shine

Just getting out in the park on a sunny day is a great chance to experience shirtless freedom. Lots of guys tend to run and play sports shirtless in the park. It's a good chance to get some exercise, sun light (which makes vitamin D and lifts your mood), and build camaraderie.

Of course, rain is also a great excuse to get out and have fun in just your swim trunks!