Steve points out a lawsuit involving a New York gym where Teh Ghey was apparently overwhelming, and I have to say, I’m not all that surprised.
I used to go to a Gold’s Gym. It was right across the street from my old office, it was open 24 hours, and it was cheap as hell to join. What wasn’t to like? There was a Bally’s nearby, but Bally’s, my college roommate used to say, isn’t for getting in shape. It’s for showing off after you’re already in shape. Their commercials scared the hell out of me. Hot, toned everybody. I hadn’t touched a treadmill in two years when I started looking for a gym. No way I was subjecting my pasty out of shape self to all those beautiful people.
So, the Gold’s. About a hundred pumped up and puffed up weightlifting guys, me, and five or so other girls, none of whom looked like Bodybuilder Barbie. No classes, no clubs, no “outings,” nothing. It was perfect. I didn’t want a social life, I wanted free weights and an ab machine and a bike. I had a stressful job, I tend to be kind of cranky and antisocial anyway, and the last thing I wanted at the end of the day was to have to make small talk with a bunch of people just to use the stair climber.
But I did notice something. Yes, everybody’s mostly naked and sweating, but shouldn’t I have been able to ask for a spot without somebody interpreting it as “not only will you spot me, but will you write your phone number down so I can call you later and we’ll go have protein shakes together and then lots and lots of HAWT SEX!!1!” I wear a wedding ring. Not a huge rock, I’ll grant you, but it’s not invisible, either. I’m also not built like Pam Anderson or anything. I’m a fairly average looking girl. After a while, the looks I’d get, both horrified and welcoming, if I so much as asked if the guy was done on the biceps curl thing started to worry me.
Maybe it’s that I’m lucky in having guy friends who are like my brothers and always have been, maybe it’s that I’m lucky in a pretty happy marriage and don’t want to troll the gym for outside entertainment. It just struck me as odd that the gym guys’ default setting seemed to be: Finished at the pull-up bar? Why yes, my little chickadee, mind if stay here and stare at you while you grunt and strain so charmingly? Squick.
Are gyms such a hookup spot that by simply being there, you’re presumed to be looking for it? And can somebody print up shirts or something that say, “I’m just here for the yoga?”