During the week, I work out at my job's gym. I workout, shower quickly, get back to work. On Saturdays I work out at a Sport and Health gym; I take my time and they have a suana/steam room. I love taking a long sauna and steam after working out.
Here's the thing: I much prefer to sauna naked, which is how you're supposed to do it. To be very clear: I'm a happily married, heterosexual 48-year-old dude with two kids. And when I say sauna naked, I don't mean prancing around or displaying my junk; i simply mean sitting there on a towel reading Men's Health.
I've noticed that about a third of the guys in the sauna are naked or almost; the others have a towel wrapped around them -- which I just find restrictive and uncomfortable. And yes I sometimes get some unwanted vibes from gay guys cruising the sauna, which is annoying. But I don't have a problem with gay guys -- I think being gay is totally normal. I don't like sexualizing public spaces, but the presences of gay guys doesn't set me off as it does for some -- I think i'm confident enough in my dudeness that this doesn't threaten me.
So the dilemma is this: I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and it almost seems like a generational thing -- guys my age are often naked in the locker room; younger guys often aren't. But saunaing clothed or wrapped in a towel is a drag -- and I don't think guys should be uptight about being naked in front of other guys. But maybe I'm not getting it. Is being nude interpreted automatically as a signal that I'm gay and looking for some man action? I once visited a Gold's Gym where it was homo central in the sauna -- but that's not what I'm talking about. This is by and large a normal gym with your occasional Sauna cruiser but usually just reguar guys. I want to be respectful of other guys, but I also want to enjoy my one day of leisurly workout-followed-by-a-sauna.