Sports: The Gay Gym
I know what you’re thinking: Why would a self-respecting alterna-queer gay hipster be caught dead in the gay gym? You might be wondering how I even feel comfortable in the locker room, or whether I skip it all together and just walk home in my sweaty gym clothes. Or perhaps you imagine me wearing really bulky sweatshirts to cover my scrawny body so I don’t get to intimidated by all the muscle jocks.
Well, my friends, the short answer is: None of the above. I was always picked last in gym class. I was never naked in the high school locker room. And I couldn’t hit a baseball to save my life. But somehow I feel perfectly comfortable at the gay gym.
I think I attribute this odd comfort to a variety of things. But the main reason is this.
Gyms are always very sexualized environments. There’s the locker room and the showers. Then the hot guys lifting weights, stretching, bending, making fuck-faces in the mirrors… Really, what gay guy can resist? No wonder gays like going to gyms.
But unlike the at the “straight gyms” where any sexual interest must be hidden, where any flirtation must be covert, any glances must be furtive… Unlike the straight gyms, at the gay gym if you want to look a guy you think is hot, you just look at him. If you want to talk to someone and maybe ask him out on a date, you can walk right up to him and start flirting. And if you want to look at dicks in the shower, chances are the owners of those dicks are looking right back at yours.
How liberating! Where else in this country can you find an environment filled with gay men who are collected at that space without the express purpose of getting wasted and hooking up? If you think about it, the gays have two spaces all to themselves: gay bars and gay gyms. Only in those two locations can you find such high concentrations of queers. And unlike at the bars, the gays are at the gyms for a purpose other than sex.
Sure, there are lots of muscle guys at the gay gym, but I see all different types of guys there, too. From super super skinny guys to guys who are so muscular they can’t lift their arms over their heads. From jocks to queens, geeks to pretty boys. It’s refreshing to see them all when they’re not dressed to impress, sweating and quite possibly in pain. Or even humbled by a weight too heavy or a yoga posture too gravity-defying.
Could I be intimidated surrounded by all these hot guys? Well, as I just said, they’re all not that hot. And chances are, even the hot ones have low self esteems. But sure, I could be intimidated, but I’m not. Instead, I’m putting myself out there, into one of DC’s few true gay social spaces, and I’m getting a pretty good workout while I’m at it.
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