Dear Father Tony,
This is about my husband's "little problem" at his gym. Every time he comes home, I ask him "Was he there?" We are getting a lot of laughs out of this but my husband (straight and with a great bod) is asking me what he should do. I'm a (straight) woman so I'm in the dark about this so I'm asking you because you would know...
In the shower at the gym is a guy who is very friendly with my husband. My husband says he likes talking with this guy who is funny and smart but after they got to know each other, one day he comes home and tells me that when they were in the shower together talking, this guy got an erection in the middle of the conversation. I said "What were you talking about?" He says "the economy!" Anyway, the guy doesn't try to hide it and my husband doesn't know what to do so he went back to his locker and left really fast.
The thing is that now, it happens the same way every time they are in the shower together. They could be talking about anything and after a few minutes the guy gets an erection and just keeps on talking.
A vociferous American erection
My husband is cool with the gay thing in general but he is not sure how to handle this. It's like "out there and pointing at him." He thinks he should say something. I asked him if it happens to the guy only when he's talking with my husband or with other guys also and my husband says he has never seen it happen with other guys but it's not like he's looking so he doesn't know for sure. He thinks he should say something, but what?The Housewife
I hope you'll know how greatly I like the attitude you and your husband seem to have about this funny little matter. Neither of you is freaking out or becoming enraged or insulted. I wish more people would reach the point were an erection doesn't trip an alarm siren causing gentle folk to run for cover and soldiers to march into battle.
And, before I forget, I want to dispatch my opinion of the behavior of the man who is producing the erection. His first one was, perhaps, unavoidable. The second one was probably more intentional and a way of saying "Just in case you missed it the first time" but the subsequent ones may be evidence of bad manners and indicate a gay man with an unfortunately immature and desperate sexuality. Although an erection can occur without notice and with no correlation to the subject at hand or the circumstances (and I dare any man to say that he has not gotten hard at incongruous or inconvenient moments such as supermarket, church, wake, lawn mowing, office meeting or classroom), we have an obligation to refrain from waving the thing about when in congress with those who deserve a sex-free common experience. This guy does not seem to understand that, and so your husband is forced into a responsive position not of his own design, unless he is not telling you the full story, and is actually flaunting his good looks before his admirers in the shower room - a "straight" male behavior that is not at all uncommon, incidentally.
(I am remembering a certain local television personality who used to pretend to wash himself energetically so as to produce a monstrous erection as soon as we were alone in the shower room of the gym. I knew he was married, and he often spoke of his wife on-air. I made no acknowledgment of his big production until the day he decided to make absolutely sure I got his drift by slamming the thing across my butt while walking behind me. With my eyes closed under the spray and a headful of shampoo, my voice echoed off the tiles "I get it. I get it." There's a lot more to this story, but some other time.)
Let's also pause for a moment to sing an anthem of praise for that great clarifier, the American erection. In a nation beset with religious nonsense and intolerance, the American erection boldly steps up to the plate, rips through the codpiece of ambiguity and raises a defiant fist, God bless it.
Men can engage in androgynous harmony that is unavailable to women: our mouths say one thing, and suddenly our dicks pipe up with an entirely different message. But like small children, our dicks should sometimes be seen and not heard.
You must first ask your husband what he would like to say to his agitated friend. Does he want to thank the guy for the compliment? Does he want to alert the guy to his feeling uncomfortable with what has come between them? Does he want to ask the guy for an explanation? Does he want to tell the guy he is not interested in a sexual relationship? Does he want to tell the guy that he is interested in a sexual relationship?
Have you ever asked your husband if he was bi or bi-curious or straight-curious or some-kinda-gay? Sometimes, gay men in showers pick up on things that a "straight" man thinks are hidden and that even a smart wife can't be expected to notice. I'm just saying.
I'm guessing that the owner of the erection is testing your husband. Because your husband has been polite, the erector may press the advantage by bringing their above-the-neck conversation around to the subject of sex. Your husband can wait until that happens and have a response prepared, or, he can initiate the conversation himself. He should simply point to the erection and say, "What's that all about?" I suspect the ensuing conversation will end the mystery, and that the erect guy will confess his attraction and his hope for sex. He may try something laughably artful like "I'm just as straight as you are but damn you've got a great build and you can just blame my dick because it's got a mind of its own." Your husband should be prepared for some version of this classic trap-a-straight-guy line designed to provide him with a way to sex that doesn't necessitate surrendering his status as a heterosexual. It's an old ploy, and, I have to say, it works nine times out of ten, leaving some of us able to say that there's not a man on earth who can't be had. (And don't say "Not my husband", because I'm here to tell you that the bigger they are the harder they fall. I've lost my appetite for that sort of conquest, but there are many gay men who relish it and practice it with skill.)
In conclusion, if I were you, I'd be curious to know what my husband has prepared to tell the guy when he is next confronted with his erection. Let me know what he intends to say and I'll certainly tell you what I think it means or how I know the erect guy will respond.
Your husband should know that if he really wants to defuse the situation, he needs to be nonchalant (a perfect word for this situation because it comes from the French meaning "not heat-inducing"), as he silently reaches over and cranks the erect guy's shower dial into the cold water position.