Last month I swam laps at a public health club in my underwear. I forgot my bathing suit and was damned if I was going to spend an hour walking home and back to get it. As I approached the pool, the horrified stares from two older women in the whirlpool made my humiliation feel as though I had accidentally taken a double dose of my daily “skin on fire” niacin. But as a litigator, I’ve learned to watch my case circle the drain and not flinch. And so I shot the women a look that said, “You perverts, haven’t you ever seen a man in a Fruit of the Loom bathing suit?”

With each lap, I expected a pool skimmer to hit me on the head before security dragged me out of the pool. But it never happened. And so instead of making a beeline to the locker room when I was done swimming, I was emboldened. I smiled at the same ladies as I joined them in the whirlpool. By this time, their shock had subsided and their expectations recalibrated. They didn’t raise an eyebrow as they shared a hot bath with a stranger in his underwear.

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