In the just-launched 'shirtlessrunning' group at Yahoo! Groups, moderated by Tommy, he writes:
"I (run shirtless) mainly for the freedom it gives me. It feels great to run with the sun, wind, and elements on my bare torso. It also gives me a bit of a sexual charge too which helps me to run a bit better. I didn't start running until a couple of years ago, so I'm relatively new to shirtless runnning. There are a lot of guys who run this way in southern California."
This invoking of a 'shirtless charge' set me thinking. It's probably not the same for each shirtless runner, newbie or veteran. A fellow shirtless runner once spoke of intoxicatingly 'feeling the girls' eyes on me'. Yet I'm not sure that it is necessarily absent even when one is pounding along by oneself (perhaps we imagine eyes on ourselves).
One guess is that the 'shirtless charge' is at heart a primal celebration of feeling 'unshackled' - literally, as we rid ourselves at least partially of constricting attire. In doing so, we dare the world to feast on our revealed bodies. I don't really know much about what constitutes 'exhibitionism' but this could be some domesticated variant. Speaking personally, I certainly feel what has been described as a 'sensuous buzz'. It is undoubtfully part of the pleasurable package that comes with running bare-chested. It appears that jogbraed runners feel something similar: See From The Net: The naked run and the reference there to 'feeling sexy'. I'm more aware of myself, of the 'sun, wind and elements' as Tommy puts it, and of a casting-away of encumbrances. When I'm stripped to the waist and trotting along, I feel more in touch with my true self.
If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, but find it intriguing, perhaps it's time you gave shirtless running a try!
May 2015: First up, though I still try to put up blog content whenever I can, it has been easier to more regularly visit the the Twitterverse. Follow me at @barethomas10 and let's keep the shirtless running flag flying. Of course, the blog still attracts very interesting comments, and good discussion. Keep it up.
Second, in the years since this venture launched, and as shirtless running among women has gone increasingly mainstream, the term "jogbra" has clearly declined in use. I will thus prefer "sportsbra" henceforth - as has already been the case on Twitter, and in recent posts here.
I continue to welcome guest posts (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org) on any related topic, including from those who would discourage stripping to the waist. I am myself of course a fervent convert to the joys of running bare. But let all voices be heard!