Modesty in dorms, etc


I fairly frequently find myself sharing a hotel room or dorm room while on retreats (like Steubenville, our diocese puts one one like that in January/February), and our church does a retreat for confirmation students before they get confirmed which I have been helping with, in all of these I end up sharing a room with 1-2 other students (I’m 17 and presently a Junior in High School), on the Confirmation Retreat, i am in a cabin with ~16 other students (usually 1 chaperone). Further I will soon be heading to college which will mean several years of dorm rooms. What constitutes modest clothing when in the room (particularly when going to bed, etc.)? Obviously having 2 beds between 3 students creates slightly different circumstances, but speaking of the general.


Don’t walk around naked.

Wear sweats, gym shorts or a housecoat.


Assuming you’re in gender specific spaces, use common sense. Don’t walk around naked, but if you need to change clothes or something, it’s fine. The whole purpose of having gender specific spaces is so you can undress without exposing yourself to the opposite sex.


ALWAYS have on shorts and a T-shirt at the minimum (of course with underclothes on). PLEASE also wear swim shoes or flip flops when you shower in communal showers. Don’t go bare footed in those showers you can get some UGLY fungus.


Are you in single sex rooms? In which case I’d just avoid full frontal nudity.


Of course single-sex dorms, I’m Catholic, on Catholic retreats, and I refuse to go to a university that doesn’t make the Newman Society list.


Then what are you worrying about? When I’m in a woman only space I know I can comfortably change my clothes.


Are you talking about being modest in front of other men? You’re a guy, right?

Or, is this an SSA related question? Which is fine if it is. That would be a legitimate concern.


Yes to all of the above, I am a guy, and it is in front of men, and I do have SSA, though, I have found that getting to know guys and being in “normal” situations around them can be rather healing.


Well, I suppose just covering up like other posters have already suggested, and being modest in general. That’s about all I’ve got to offer. Maybe someone else can give better advice.


A large part of what I was referring to was with regard to what to wear while sleeping, in the cabin, I have noticed many who go to sleep without a shirt (and possibly just wearing underwear, I usually try not to pay that much attention for risk of sin).
Edit: come to think about it, they often spend a while hanging out before going GB to bed where they have already gotten ready for bed, and a while after waking up before they are fully ready for the day without their shirts. Partially wondering if I ever end up leading a retreat I would hate to be failing to stop them if/when I should.


hmmm. If it were me, I think I would request a single dorm. But if you can’t, I would think it would be best to be honest with your roomates from Day 1.

Good luck, God Bless & God Speed!


Don’t overthink it. If you’d feel more comfortable wearing a shirt to sleep, wear one.

If you were ever to lead a retreat, you’d get proper training and guidance on how to do it, and you’d be told the rules you’d need to implement. If some are sleeping shirtless, there’s no reason to assume they’re contravening the rules.


It will only be weird if you make it weird. Like, if you act all uncomfortable and duck around corners to change your shirt, or sprint under the covers as soon as you’re ready for bed, it’s going to create a weird vibe. Just act natural. Obviously don’t parade around nude, but you don’t need to act super self conscious either.

Sleep in whatever you normally sleep in.


Am I understanding correctly that you are homosexual and are concerned about sharing intimate sleeping areas with other males, due to your attraction to them? If so, I can see how this may present an issue for you. At the college in my city, I know that a student can request a single dorm room, if this is an issue. They also have co-ed dorms and you could room with a female who is also homosexual. I realize this may seem progressive, but the point is that many colleges are becoming more sensitive to these types of issues, and they are willing to work with the students in trying to find a solution for them so they will be comfortable in their living situation. It is a good thing.

With regards to running retreats, etc., I would have a conversation with whoever is sponsoring the event and see what arrangements could be made. Many people understand this situation can be a challenge, and they are empathetic and kind to those who are living it.

Good for you for asking the questions and wanting to do things the “right” way.


I’m a man who insists on using private stalls when changing at pools etc. I hate seeing other naked men and I have no interest in stripping in front of men (or women). For me, undressing is a private matter regardless of sex. But that’s probably just a personal hang up.


Most hetereosexual men aren’t “interested” in it. It’s just something you do. It’s not like they get a thrill out of it.


I know. But it’s unnecessary. Also, with homosexuality and bisexuality and pansexuality etc, it seems somewhat arbitrary to lump all the men together and all the women together. Private stalls please.


Eh. Just doesn’t faze me. To each his own. I’ve showered in many gyms/dorms/army barracks and just based on the law of large numbers, probably showered next to some guys who were gay or bi or whatever. No one ever did anything weird and I never worried about it.

When you have a large number of people and limited space, private stalls may not be possible.


In my quite strict Catholic schools, including college, girls’ gym facilities had privacy booths and the guys had conventional locker rooms and gang showers. The cultural norm was that guys were less, and needed less, modesty. Awkward initially in high school, but just the way it was. And we didn’t give it a second thought.

Now at the health club guys my age shower like we did in school, and 30-something and even 40-something guys either skip showering or shower in their underwear, which I think is really strange.

I understand that in an SSA situation other factors are at play.

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