Sunscreen And Men: The Rules

June 6, 2011 — 7 Comments


Trevor and I went surfing at the weekend. Well, you would, wouldn’t you, on an island in the middle of the Pacific … ?

Today my back is red despite the application (in haste, might I add) of sunscreen before hitting the waves. I blame Trevor. He blames England and the lack of sun preparing my virgin skin for the might of the Hawaiian rays. Mind you, his malt-coloured epidermis is a shade pink today too.

This has brought about that age old concern amongst men. Under what circumstances and observing which rules is OK for a man to apply sunscreen to the body of another man?

If ever there was a need for a rule book, it is now. And in that great spirit of the Founding Fathers and declare a draft Constitution to govern the application of sunscreen between men.

  1. No eye contact
  2. Communication, if absolutely necessary, must be kept to such topics as the condition of the surf or sports involving violence
    1. Singing, humming, whistling or sounds of another nature to relieve stress are definitely frowned upon. Especially songs by Judy Garland …
  3. No ‘Budgy Smugglers’

  4. No tanning oil, ever. Sunscreen only.
  5. The application of sunscreen must be restricted to that area of the back between the shoulders and small of the back that a man cannot reach with his own hands.
    1. Self-application should always come first and utilise whatever means a man may have to hand, including spray-on sunscreen and loofahs.
  6. The person receiving the application should keep a strong, upright back at all times. No bending.
  7. The person applying the sunscreen should apply in a good measure but not too much so that excessive ‘rubbing-in’ is needed.
  8. A man should never treat this as a massage.
  9. A man may never comment on the condition of the skin of the man that he is applying sunscreen too.
  10. At no times is the comment, “That’s not how my wife does it” ever allowed.
  11. A man may not ask another man to apply sunscreen. Simply picking up the bottle and a small nod towards your friend will suffice.
    1. When doubt over the nature of a ‘sunscreen nod’ is expressed sentances with a maximum of 5 words are permitted to avoid confusion.

In keeping with the spirit of democracy this list may be added to or clarified upon by consensus majority, most especially when the original document is found to be too vague or ambiguous to govern this matter effectively.

What has been missed out? What laws must we add to this most important of Rule Books?

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Jonathan Sherwin

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Jonathan likes to write on the church, philosophy, culture and the mix of all three. A graduate of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, Jonathan lives and works in Oxford. You can find him on Google.
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  • Graham

    Put the sunscreen on a loofah- then one can put it on one’s own back

    • http://www.jonathansherwin.net Jonathan Sherwin

      Self-application, always preferable.

  • Ali Lamb

    One word of warning rubbing of men by other men can cause stress. People often hum, whistle or sing at times of stress. Try to avoid anything that Judy Garland may have recorded.

    • http://www.jonathansherwin.net Jonathan Sherwin

      That is definitely further grounds for an amendment …

  • http://www.jonathansherwin.net Jonathan Sherwin

    Amendments have been made to clauses 2, 5 & 11.

  • http://www.jonathansherwin.net Jonathan Sherwin

    Amendments have been made to clauses 2, 5 & 11.

  • Mic

    Firstly – The applicator must use only one hand, ever! The other hand should be placed on ones hip, not holding the sun screen, not holding a towel but on the hip. This subtle move will help to demonstrate ‘I am performing this task with the lowest level of commitment that is possible’
    Secondly – the recipient should not retain the sun screen bottle during its application, as this would imply a work in progress nature to the task which is unacceptable and add further duress to the applicator and onlookers.
    Thirdly – hip holding on the part of the recipient should be avoided at all costs. whats preferable is the recipient be laden with various beach paraphernalia, of which the sun cream bottle is NOT to be included, see previous point…
    Fourthly – the recipient is to make no sudden movements, or for that matter engage in any activity such as continuing to dress or undress or otherwise prepare for the beach. He should retain the look of a rabbit in the headlights, a rabbit carrying a beach towel, a surfboard and an esky.
    Fifthly – dialogue should be kept to a minimum to reduce the risk of creating sentences with a perceived double meaning such as “does it feel like it’s getting hotter” or “you up for a beer later?” Clearly such phrases usher in a bewildering array of difficulties for both parties.
    And sixthly – remember it’s perfectly acceptable to pour the sun cream onto the beach and then roll in it. (My preferred method)

    -mic