A couple of years ago, I was wandering aimlessly around central London when I stumbled across a truly magnificent thing: the London Naked Cycle Ride. A whole bunch of different people, some painted, some in capes, some on rollerskates, most on bikes – all naked. Most smiling. Some looking a bit chilly (it’s London, after all). It was a pretty amazing thing. As someone who is incredibly insecure about my own body, the temptation to take part in one of these events is often outweighed by the terror of anticipating the moment I’d have to strip off. So I’m delighted to welcome this week’s guest blogger – Chris – who’s going to talk to you about what it’s like to take part in an event like this. In his case, it’s a clothing-optional run.
Far more than just a nudist account, though, this is a blog about Chris overcoming his insecurities. Chris has a micropenis. Not just a ‘small’ penis – he describes it as ‘the size and shape of a little sewing thimble.’ When he sent through this week’s guest blog about his naked run, Chris told me: “I never could have brought myself to have done it before about age 48, I was so worried about my worth as a man and sexual sufficiency being judged or ridiculed by others.” I’m really pleased that he’s happy to share such a personal journey.
At the Finish Line
“I’m an old man, and I’ve known a great many troubles, and most of them never happened.”
The post-race announcements of fastest times were well underway. The fastest runners announced by age bracket where approaching his own age. The announced ages were into the 40s already, women now, alternating women’s times and men’s times. His jaw clenched down more tightly. He knew that he’d run fast today, that there weren’t many standing around the finish line when he’d crossed, and that he’d watched the vast majority come in after him. He desperately hoped that he hadn’t run fast enough to be in the top three men in their early 50s. He was already dying a little inside at the thought of being called to present himself in front of all 300 or so other runners and the couple of hundred more spectators cheering them on. Almost all of them were nude, but for running socks and shoes, as he was. The more busty women tended to wear also sports bras, which he hadn’t expected from his earlier nudist activities, but which he also found thoroughly exciting this day. It also made great sense. A bra isn’t required for yoga or a day at the beach, but it’s a necessary item for many women on a run, and particularly in a competitive race. He’d always particularly admired the sight of bottomless women, whether in pictures or in the bedroom. He’d never before seen bottomless women, total strangers, out and about in person like this.
The announcements and applause continued. His left leg twitched involuntarily as the next medaling runner’s full name and race time was announced by the woman wearing black running clothes, both top and bottom, and holding the microphone, one of the event’s organizers. It made sense – she had office duties and a job here, and would have to be clothed much of the time, even if she was a nudist.
He nervously bit his upper lip. As he stood in the crowd, taller than most, the palm of his right hand slid down his chest stopping at his navel. No one seemed to be looking, attention on the loudspeaker, announcer and next runner to have woman-in-black smile broadly, run her fingers through her blonde ponytail, and hang the medal ribbon over the stooping head and around the neck of that most recently announced man, the crowd of smiling people applauding. Now that man had a very nice cock on his short and paunchy body. Even if he was also losing his hair, lucky bastard!
Suddenly even more self-conscious by the mental comparison and growing dread of being called to center of it all, and considering it a private act where he stood in the crowd, he darted his right hand from his belly and navel to between his legs. With his fingers, quickly, hoping no one noticed but considering it necessary to lessen his growing sense of panic, he pressed the small pad of fat over his pubic bone, causing his fully-retracted penis to emerge from its hiding place. “Emerge” is an exaggeration, as it was even now just the size and shape of a little sewing thimble, protruding ever so slightly, about 2 cm (a single inch) in length, where it rested atop his implausibly small scrotum, sized to match his drastically undersized penis.
With a final and deliberate movement of the fingers of that same hand, and before returning to a standing rest with hands clasped behind his back (no, nothing to hide here) he pulled-back the skin around the head of his tiny little cock, putting its customary, everyday walking-around flaccid stature of about 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) on display for any who cared to look…and he had noticed the looks. There were understandable looks of surprise, often double-takes and usually by women, who couldn’t help but notice that one of the tallest and visibly most fit men in this crowd of nude adults had what was, by far, the smallest penis of any man present.
How and why did he reach this conclusion of relative size himself, and among hundreds of men and women all milling about and talking in groups. There’s a saying that when a bald man walks into a room, all he sees is hair. There is some definite truth in that. Well, this man had a full head of still-mostly-dark hair, and his own preoccupying insecurity and intense self-consciousness was at a point lower on his body.
Where is this fictional tale going? Well, although begun in the third person, it isn’t fiction, and I am that man.
Backing Up a Bit
Having by about age 48, finally come to some realistic acceptance of his situation, and accepting that everyone, or almost everyone, has some body-image insecurity, I’d finally reached the point at which I could participate in an adult discussion that turned to penis size. Previously, and the subject does come up especially when alcohol is involved, I’d usually turned red, grown silent, and walked away as soon as I could, aware that handling it wrong would be like self-outing, carrying a sign that said “I have a puny pecker.” Well, at age 48, I could finally laugh and join in, even allowing some self-deprecating expression of humor. I’d also begun exploring nudist activities, being nude at clothing-optional events and in clothing-optional spaces.
It was freeing and wonderful. A day on a sandy Mediterranean beach, for a stroll in the breeze and swimming in the warm sea, was so much more pleasant without just that one pair of swim shorts. I’d no idea that it would have made such a difference, leaving them behind that is. That led to clothing-optional yoga classes closer to home, and the growing realization that nudists are just about the most relaxed and accepting people he’d ever met. I was always nervous getting there, driving or on the bus, but once the clothes came off, everything was always fine, even standing nude in a group carrying on a casual conversation. Like Mark Twain’s old man quote, most of the horror I imagined at being found to have tiny male genitals, didn’t happen, and it certainly didn’t kill me.
Still, those old humiliations and rejections, the ones that happened from about age 11 through age 28, were still vivid in my mind. Men identify very strongly with our penises. When people are nude, like it or not, others make judgments and presumptions about their sexual sufficiency based on whether they have the rare club, the equally rare nub that I have, or are like the vast majority of men in a narrow range in the middle.
With growing acceptance that adults in social situations do not judge me harshly for having a small penis, so I began worrying less about being judged in that way. I wasn’t a child anymore. I had agency and control. Unlike at age 6, or 11, or 14, I’d chosen to be nude in front of others, as they were vulnerable in front of me, and if the situation became unpleasant, I could simply go home. I learned first-hand that adults don’t behave like children, and I had nothing to fear.
I’d heard of the annual Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco, which sometimes attracted 10,000 nude runners and walkers, or the annual London Naked Cycle Ride. I wanted to do something like that, if not one of those exact things.
One frigid January afternoon in the US Great Lakes region, I picked up a take-one magazine at the fitness club from a stack on the front desk and took it home, not something I’d ordinarily do. Most of the periodicals I read are in doctors’ offices or while waiting for a haircut. This magazine was a running-focused publication, of course about half advertisements. As I flipped through it at home, a number of articles caught my eye. I run regularly, and I’m at the fitness club and otherwise exercising on my own or taking a yoga class just about every day now, necessary since a spine injury in a car crash three years ago.
One article in particular caused me to pay attention. It was a several-page article with 18 tips for improving fitness in 2014, all related to running, very good ideas. Item 4 – “Register Now for a Race in 2014, and give yourself something to motivate you.” Great idea! I kept reading. Item 12 – “Run Naked,and try something different; mix it up.” Now the wheels were turning. I put the two items together, and did it that very day, registered to run in a clothing-optional race last summer. I’d never run nude before, not in an organized event anyway, with hundreds of other people. I’d been too shy for most of my life, too aware that my male parts are exceptionally small, to even consider doing anything nude in a semi-public way, until the past few years. Now was the time.
The experience was an unequivocally good one, and I’m registered to run the race again this summer. There were a few surprises last year. I was especially nervous at the registration office, realizing that I and everyone else standing around me in running clothes getting their wristbands, having numbers felt-tip-markered onto our upper arms, and picking up commemorative race tee-shirts before driving the race parking area and start/finish line area, would soon know every visual detail of each others’ bodies, and my “little secret” would no longer be a secret.
I mentioned the sports bras on the women with average- or above-average-size breasts. That came as a pleasant surprise, my own kink. I was surprised at how fit and fast most of the runners were. All of the 5K races I’d run before, all clothed events, were charity run/walk events to raise money, and most of the people were an average cross-section of humanity, most obviously getting very little exercise. This race wasn’t for charity, and everyone competing was a regular runner, with much more athletic bodies than those I’d seen on beaches or in yoga classes. My old confidence about the rest of my body, which had previously balanced-out insecurities about being seen to have a genital package literally the size of three grapes, was gone. Here, I was a fit adult among fit adults, and I had nothing to compensate in arriving at being whole person for what others might think, what I certainly might have thought about my sexual capacity if I was one of them seeing me.
I was also surprised by the amount of time milling about the start and finish area, not much to do but chat and people-watch. A 5K takes most people between 24 and 30 minutes to run, but even if I just stayed for the race and matters directly related to it, it was a two-hour drive to get there, nervously creating in my mind of all of Mark Twain’s great many troubles. The pre-race registration, milling about, running, and post-race announcements, meant a total of several hours, before I slipped my running shorts back on and drove home.
I had remembered from registering that it was an age 18 and older event. I had been my experience nude on beaches that teenagers in groups, whether male, female or a combination, are completely unreserved in their comments about what they see. It’s natural at that age, but having my conspicuously small penis noted or laughed about during the race wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and I was glad it was an adults-only event. As I read the registration information again the night before the race, getting the exact address to plug-into my GPS device for the drive, I saw it: “must be at least 18 or accompanied by someone who is 18 or older.” Sure enough, there were many, many teenagers along the course, helping out by handing out water, and running.
These clothing optional events, all of them, are completely nonsexual. That said, it’s natural to observe in an appreciative and curious way labia, penises, and other parts not normally seen on strangers and outside the home. For me, I’ve also sexualized some of life’s earlier unpleasant experiences that involved notice of my unusually small penis and comment by others, some playful, some biting and intended to wound, but all of them beyond my capability to accept and ignore until only a few years ago.
If anyone else is interested in doing a nude run, visit:
It’s a listing of organized nude runs, most in the USA, but elsewhere also. I spotted races in Finland, Spain, and the UK, among other places. I didn’t pick the race closest to home, but I found one reasonably close. For my first, I wouldn’t necessarily want to run into anyone from my neighborhood or – bunch of professional colleagues. I hope to get there, but I’m not there yet.