I don’t think it was “communal” the way you mean, but at the Christian summer camp in Arkansas, there was a girls’ bathroom with stalls that you could see right into, as if every single shower curtain were too short to stretch across the doorways. Everybody was exposed.
It was horrifying. I was younger than a lot of the other girls, and I tried my best to not look surprised when I saw leg-shaving, pubic hair, that kind of thing. The truth was, I was humiliated by everyone’s nudity and—as I am now!—prudishly modest, and quick to blush [the squarest among us are concealing compulsive and crude thoughts, you see].
And because I could not bear the thought of the other girls seeing my naked form, that summer I never once took off my bathing suit, not once. Every morning I’d strip out of my clothes, but only down to my bathing suit, and I’d soap up my arms and legs and bathing suit and rinse off the lather, and then hop right back into my clothing again. It is probably unhealthy to wear a bathing suit nonstop for weeks on end, but oh, well.
- D: Anything to wash?
- Me: Nnnnnnnngh.
- D: No?
- Me: My... heart.
- D: What? What's wrong?
- Me: Kidding.
- D: Oh, good. 'Cause we don't have a Delicate Cycle.
- Me: *falling backward, clutching chest*