Thursday, May 03, 2007

Locker rooms, showers, saunas, and such

Today after I worked out at my gym, I was chatting with one of my coworkers. He's not a bad looking guy and after we finished chatting he headed to the locker room. It's not the first time I've been given a natural opportunity to follow a good looking guy into a locker room, but lately I've avoided taking that opportunity. I hang back and stretch out instead. Or do just a couple more sets. And I'm proud of myself for it.

Sometimes this isn't a hard thing to do, but once last week it took quite a bit of willpower. The guy that time in particular was someone I'm really attracted to, and I've seen him there many times. We both finished working out at the same time and I thought I might as well go to the locker room. But I realized that I felt an urgency to do it that wasn't tied to me wanting to get clean. I did another couple sets.

This is on my mind mainly because I've seen so many stories about saunas and showers over my time blogging. Gentlefriend's was the most recent, but certainly isn't unique. I've heard repeated stories (both published and private) of guys in saunas masturbating while they watch each other. I initially thought this must just be seedy gyms with a rampantly gay population, but apparently it's not. I even read an article about a lawsuit by some janitors who were sick of seeing gay sex all the time at a popular New York health club chain.

It's enough to make me rethink the health benefits of working out. :-) Here I am a doctor, spending half my waking hours bickering with patients about how they need to exercise more and take care of their bodies, and yet I'm inclined to think it would be better for me to die young and fat than to put myself into a tempting situation like that.

I may not be strong enough to resist if the right temptation presents itself, so I've got to be vigilant in making sure that I don't let my subconscious cruise my horny self into a situation where I'm bound to be in loads of trouble. Luckily, my gaydar is not so good. Even more lucky, med school and residency have aged me a bit. Thank goodness for being old and ugly.

So. I guess I'll wait until the locker room is clear before getting my things. And saunas are over-rated anyway. :-)


My Best Is All I Have said...

And then there was this one time at band camp...

Scot said...

What I find odd that every straight guy and his brother has seen wild gay action in the gym, but not me. I once had a trainer and he had some of the most the odd stories from each week (the gym we used was in a very conservative and closeted area and there was a lot of odd drama there for the gym being the meeting place for the 'straight' gay men). But all I’ve ever encountered are couples interacting slightly inappropriately.

Maybe I'm not handsome enough ;-).

Mr. Fob said...

I'm baffled by the things I read about that apparently happen in locker rooms. Yes, of course I notice guys, but it would never occur to me to do something about it in such a public venue. Not where people can watch me. Yuck.

Mr. Fob said...

Scot, I'm a straight guy's brother who goes to the gym fairly regularly, and I haven't ever seen anything of the sort.

Beck said...

That's why I don't go to the gym... and for the fact that I'm too embarrassed and self conscious about what I look like and how I don't know what I'm doing there... :)

Original Mohomie said...

Love it. I've been thinking about posting something similar.

I've forced myself to overcome my former anxiety about locker rooms. But I still occasionally have an urge to use the locker room at ...opportune times (not to DO anything, but to glimpse). Yet when I realize that I'm more interested in catching a glimpse than in simply using the locker room, even if it's when I would normally be using it, I'll most often either purposely put off going in or go in, grab my stuff, and go home to shower.

Interesting someone else beat me to writing about that exact thing. Thanks! :-)

Incidentally, I STILL don't understand how some guys seem to run into that stuff in saunas or even get hit on regularly. Am I just THAT oblivious? Do I exude an aura of "Don't even bother"? Naw, probably just unprepared for the temptation. ;-)

My Best Is All I Have said...

By the way, I quit going into the locker room at the gym. I just couldn't handle it. Especially the nasty, gross, old, hairy, super-fat, disgusting guys who sit and blow dry their entire bodies right out in the middle of the room where everyone is forced to see them. Bleh! Haven't they heard of towels!?!?! Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I like looking at *all* of them.

Anonymous said...

I've seen enough in the locker rooms to know that even though a small portion of guys that are ever in there are gay, the ones that are sure do "stick-out". (No real pun intended- it just came out that way.) You know which guys seem to be taking their time, glancing around, and pretending to feel comfortable in the "naked" enviornment.

The true straight guys are in and out of there with just doing the basics. There's no other real reason for them to be in the locker room otherwise. Anyone else who spends extra time around the showers, saunas, steam-rooms, lockers, etc. are there because they like to be. -Perhaps hoping to see or do something.

We've all looked, maybe even "gawked" a bit- but those who are loitering in the locker rooms are asking for something. Those who have spent the time know what I'm talking about. Those of you who didn't notice so much before, now you will.

Be careful, 'cause now that you know what to look for, you will find it. That could be a bad thing, you know.

gentlefriend said...

As one who helped stimulate the locker room talk, I feel that I should respond in defense of the gym. I have found it to be great place to get addicted to endorphins and it is great to feel strong and healthy and to burn out the stress of the day and to clear my brain. The collective energy in the gym motivates me to work harder than I would at home. I have read a number of books while on the cardio machines and overall have met some very interesting people and may have helped them with my support and friendship. I believe that just a smile and positive recognition from me may enlighten a dark day for someone. I grumble to myself all the way to the gym about how tired I am and I glow all the way home about how good I feel. The feeling of strength in my body helps my self-confidence and thus helps me to fight negative voices that want me to beat up on myself. I am more tempted to escape into lust and lustful acts when I am down. I know that what works for me doesn't work for everyone.

The only dark side of the gym for me is what I expressed in my blog. Having served in the military I got somewhat used to showering in front of a bunch of guys. I only feel uncomfortable when someone stares at me and/or makes sexual gestures. My discomfort is heightened by the fact that I sometimes am aroused and this is obvious to the other person and others in the shower room. The particular gym I enrolled in had shower curtains. The closest gym where we now live has individual stalls but no curtains. I have checked out other gyms in the area and they don't even have stalls. I have requested curtainsto no avail.

I have thought of not showering, but the warm shower is my immediate reward for working out hard and I enjoy briefly visiting with friends I have developed in the locker room. Hey, I am paying for this! I am not going to let the occasional "jerk" (jerker?)drive me out. What am I doing, then? I prefer the showers at the end, next to the wall because of privacy. But so do the jerks. So I shower in other stalls where we can be seen by others. This avoids some. If I see what's happening out of the corner of my eye I turn my back, keep my eyes to the wall, quickly cleanse and get out. I always wear a towel outside the shower, but if I am aroused it is still obvious. Those who try to get me visually involved, after a few trys and no cooperation usually don't try again.

These guys irritate me, but I feel sorry for anyone who has such a shallow social life. When we are dressed I sometimes visit with him to let him know I don't reject him even though I am not into that kind of stuff. Some have opened up and shared concerns about work and family.

Please don't get me wrong. The vast majority of those in the gym are not like this. I usually don't encounter problems in the showers.

Anonymous said...

advice i heard from someone on a diet--don't carry small change or bills; vending machines are easier to avoid that way. there are a lot of ways to get exercise without going to a gym--like ditching the car and commuting by bus/car