The Do’s And Don’ts Of The Gay Gym

Dear Gym Lovers,

Did you know there is such thing as a “Gay Gym”? I did. A Gay Gym is like a regular gym except everyone is more attractive, there is a disproportionately male clientele, and there is 57% more body dysmorphia than at your traditional Straight Gym. Gay Gyms are normally located in homosexual neighborhoods in major cities. Two great examples include David Barton Gym in Chelsea in New York and Equinox on Sunset in Los Angeles. These gyms aren’t officially Gay, but the majority of the members are (some just don’t know it yet because I haven’t told them). Thus, they become a special world where Gays frolic and laugh whilst working on their CrazyGay bodies and avoiding eye contact.

Everyone has their pet peeves about what happens at the gym. Things that bother them, things that charm them, things that thrill and delight them. Below are a list of my Dos and Donts for the modern Gay Gym.

1. Do act modestly and keep yourself covered in the locker room.


A while ago, I was working out at a Straight-Themed gym in Santa Monica and I noticed something. All the straight guys were running around naked in the locker room, without a care in the world. In straight gyms, dudes can get away with waddling around naked in the locker room because no one cares. It’s totally different in Gay Gyms. In Gay Gyms everyone keeps himself covered, shamefully changing from towel to undies as fast as possible to avoid any unwanted ogling.

2. Don’t run around like a streaker, naked in the locker room. It wont end well.


The only people who walk around naked like it’s perfectly normal are super old dudes and really slutty ones. So unless you’re a super old dude, it’s best to be modest in the locker room. Otherwise, the weird Peeper standing next to you is going to think you’re hitting on him. And then you’ll have to explain to him why you’re not interested. And after you’ve explained it to him I will come over to you and say “Sir, you’re not wearing any pants!”

3. Do act with utmost dignity in the steam room.


In the steam room, most normal topics of conversation are off-limits. No talking about sex, parties, or money. Acceptable topics of conversation are limited to what you want to eat for dinner and what you ate for dinner yesterday. If necessary, you may also talk about what you ate for lunch, but even that could lead you down an inappropriate path. Anything that can be viewed as even remotely sexual could make you sound like a perv. And then everyone will get uncomfortable and leave the steam room. And then they’ll report you. And then you’ll be kicked out of the gym. And then you wont be able to work out. And then your life expectancy will drop. And then you’ll die.

4. Do not blow your nose into your towel in the steam room.

I know, the steam room releases some congestion that otherwise would not be released. But when you release your snot into your towel whilst sitting right next to me, it makes me want to release my barf all over your face. Just act like a normal person and wait to blow your nose until you’re in the shower. And do so in shame and isolation, thinking about how disgusting you are the whole time. That is the American way.

5. Do be friendly and courteous to your fellow gym members.


Go ahead! Wave to your friend Adam! High five his husband Steve! It’s fun to be social at the gym.

6. Don’t accidentally lock eyes with the town Peeper.


Are you ever staring off into space, wondering if Lark Voorhies and Tiffany Amber Thiessen ever hang out anymore, when all the sudden you realize that as you are gazing off into space you are staring at a scary man who is staring right back at you, salivating and biting his lip? This is to be avoided at all costs. As a gay man at the gym, you should never make eye contact with anyone. The best way to avoid eye contact is to awkwardly dart your gaze around the room, never settling on one area  as to avoid dreaded eye contact with an unwanted Peeper. Sure, this will make you look like a crazy person. But would you rather be a crazy person or be obligated to talk to the Peeper?

7. Do feel free to shave your face in the gym’s sink area.


Shaving your face is a normal and healthy part of living in a society that forces you to undergo strange and bizarre beauty regimens in order to conform to conventional conceptions of beauty and hygiene. Go ahead, it’s fun!

8. Don’t shave your back, chest, or nether-region in the gym’s sink area.


Like watching Twilight: New Moon, shaving your chest and/or back is something you should do at home. In private. While crying. In shame. No one wants to watch you shave your chest in the gym mirror. There’s something awkward and too personal about it that makes me feel funny inside. Like the same funny as when I see parents feeding their newborn babies hamburgers from McDonald’s. Also, I just learned that most men don’t like their guys to have shaved chests anyway. I read it in an amazing academic survey done by intellectual powerhouse ManHunt, so it must be true.

9. Do say hello to your  friend when you see her next to the elliptical.


Hay gurl. How are you? Luv ur top!

10. Don’t get into a conversation about how your father never loved you with the person sitting next to you on the abs machine.


Are you ever, like, working out totally normally, thinking about how sweaty your face is when your friend comes over and starts talking to you about his breakup. And then he starts crying. And then you start crying. And then everyone starts crying and it’s like Oh-My-God? Well this is why you should never talk about deep things at the gym. The gym is an inherently superficial space. Conversation should be confined to cute guys, the mall, Anjelica Houston, and neon tank tops.

11. Do blow dry your hair until it is fluffy and perfectly coiffed like this guy:


or this guy:


Fine. Using the hairdryer at the gym can help you get the perfect hair you’ve always wanted. Maybe. Actually, your hair will probably never look as cool as this guy’s. He has the best hair on Earth. I want to die and come back as his hair, just so that my life means something, so I have a positive impact on the world.

12. Do not use the blow dryer to dry your entire body, that is what towels are for.


I used to get incensed when I’d see guys blow drying themselves at the gym. “USE A TOWEL!” I’d scream at them in my head. There is something inherently sketchy and creepy about using a blow dryer as a towel. Firstly, its a waste of energy and bad for the environment. Second, there’s something kind of sexual and creepy about blowing air all over your body whilst rubbing yourself and looking in a mirror, pursing your lips. That being said, in recent years I have become sweatier and sweatier, and I have been known to blow dry myself to cool off from time to time. If you see me doing this, don’t say anything. Judge me quietly, and then tell your friends about how weird and gross I am.

13. Do wear appropriate workout attire that makes you and everyone else around you comfortable, happy, and thinking of physical wellness.


Normal workout attired includes tank tops, workout shorts, and tennis shoes.

14. Do not wear clothing that is inappropriately distracting, such as blue jeans, turtleneck sweaters, or nipple-exposing tank tops.


Any nipple-exposing tank top is a no-no. For some reason, in our culture we are not used to looking at nipples. Seeing them at the gym can be jarring and disorienting, leaving one incapable of working out. Other clothing items to avoid are jeans, high heels, and anything by Armani Exchange (side note: how did Giorgio ever let his name be used on such grossness?).

15. Do use your phone to make sure your dinner date knows what time you’re meeting.


Using your phone for totally necessary reasons is perfectly acceptable at the gym.

16. Don’t use your phone to have an hour-long conversation at full volume about how fun your weekend was and how much you liked that crazy party on Saturday.

Drew Barrymore in Wes Craven's "Scream"

The great thing about modern cell phones is that you don’t have to scream into them in order for the person on the other end of the line to hear you. You can speak at a normal tone about your private matters, venereal diseases, and hatred of your mother. And no one else has to hear. Everyone wins!

17. Do maintain your face with as many surgeries as you wish.


I don’t judge people who get plastic surgery. It’s your body, do what you want with it. Just kidding. I totally judge everyone who gets plastic surgery. Sure, many of them look fine. But lately I’ve been getting annoyed at the amount of duckfaces I see at the gym. A nip here? A tuck there? Who cares! But when everyone starts looking like cats and farmyard animals because their faces are pulled and pumped so much, I start to feel like I’ve been transported to an alien planet. Plastic surgery looks especially terrifying on older men, whose eye jobs can sometimes make them look like a cat head sewn onto a man’s body. Speaking of eye job, look at Lil’ Kim. She used to be a beautiful black woman. And now she’s an Asian grandma. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an Asian grandma. But now Lil’ Kim looks old and scary, when she could have continued to look 25 for the next 50 years. She is black, after all, and black people age better than everyone else. Chew on that, whitey!

18. Do not come to the gym immediately after said surgeries, no one wants to see that.


The other day I was on the treadmill and a lady with a nosejob bandage got on to the one next to me. I know it’s irrational, but for some reason I spent the whole workout worrying that her bandage was going to explode off and blood was going to squirt everywhere, all over my face. And then her old nose would grow back immediately. And she would run out of the gym crying. And it would be all my fault because I let her work out next to me. And it would haunt me for the rest of my life. Don’t let your plastic surgery haunt me for the rest of my life. Stay at home.

19. Do use the mirror to monitor your workout form.


Sometimes, the mirror is necessary to figure out if you’re doing the exercise right. For people who lack any physical coordination whatsoever (me), a mirror is a helpful tool to make sure you’re not doing jumping jacks when you think you’re doing push ups (if I had a dollar for every time I did that!).

20. Don’t use the mirror to monitor you awesome abs.


If an ab flexes under a shirt and no one is there to see it, does it actually exist?


I know you are worried that your abs might have packed up in left in the six minutes since you last looked at them, but trust me, they’re still there. There is no need to constantly lift up your shirt to make sure they still exist. If you get worried that your abs are gone, come over and ask me and I’ll reassure you, they’re still there. I know this because I have ab muscles, but I’ve never seen them because they are covered with my belly. But every once in a while, I feel them moving, so I know they’re in there. Take solace in that. Your abs will always be there for you. There is no need to constantly stare at them. They can survive without your constant love and affection.

If you must ogle your abs, just wait until you get home, then you can spend all night looking at them in the mirror. It will be totally fun. Maybe you can invite someone over to look at your abs and compliment them. And then you can have sex. With your abs. Alone. In the mirror. By yourself.

So that is what I have noticed in my travels to the Gay Gym. What about you?


40 thoughts on “The Do’s And Don’ts Of The Gay Gym

    1. Echo the sentiments. This post made me chortle, more than once. Yes, chortle. We all need more chortling in our lives. Thank you Orlando, for another hilarious post!

  1. Ok, I’ve got to get rid of whatever causes this blog to end up in my email box in the morning. This is the kind of thing that 20 year old twinks think about and not grown intelligent men. You really need to get a life and start contributing something to the world beside this adolescent crap and tips on how to make an interior look like a mid-century masterpiece without ever leaving Ikea.

    1. What’s funny is that you still took the time to comment, despite the fact that you tried ever so hard to belittle his post as beneath your eleveated sense of appropriate content. Perhaps some self-reflection on what constitutes a 20-year old’s response should be factored into your next antagonistic, snarky remark.

    2. Calling someones writing adolescent crap kind of makes you sound like a crappy adolescent. You don’t seem to be acting grown, or intelligent. Let this funny, possibly 20 year old (how would you know?) guy express himself and keep your immature comments to your self. Grow up and be nice to other people. They will be nice back to you, and then maybe you’ll be happier.

  2. Michael Smith, I am a grown intelligent man with a PhD in literature. I think this blog is funny and lighthearted. There’s intelligence in humor. Orlando, I wish I had spent more time with you in college.

  3. Quite true! I actually go to Equinox on Sunset in West Hollywood! Yep, folks avoid eye-contact, and they do say hello, hug, and/or kiss someone they know. No one is fully naked in the locker room, the older, less attractive guys usu are more naked. LOL

  4. ‘No one is fully naked in the locker room, the older, less attractive guys usu are more naked. ‘

    Perhaps because older men are more comfortable with themselves and spend less time/no time wondering what everyone else in the locker room is thinking about.

    Just sayin’.

    1. It’s a universal thing/scene, not at in gay gym. Take a look at any nude beach! LOL.

      I go to Equinox in Manhattan Beach too once in a while. Half of guys are naked in the locker room, well, yeah, all of them are the unattractive ones.

      1. How odd that the outside world doesn’t automatically conform itself to your interior judgments about others.

      2. BTW, just heard confirmation from a gal friend, it’s the same in women’s locker room! LOL

  5. Oh, I think the real gay gyms in LA are 24 Fitness on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood and Gold’s Gym in Hollywood. Equinox is not quite as.

    I do see a couple of older guys w/ obviously pulled face in my gym… Little scary… And half of the women there wear full makeup while working out… Funny…

    And there are celebrities around. Last Sunday the sighting was Jesse Meltcalfe. Joe Manganiello comes in once a while. Quite eye pleasing. 🙂 Never once see them in the locker room! Hmmm… Neil Patrick Harris, Adrien Brody show up too.

  6. I work out at a “gay gym” in Manhattan. The straight guys wear towels when taking off their underwear. They’re never seen naked. Ever. And no sex in the steam room? Really? Have you BEEN to Dolly Bottom?

  7. The gross old men at my gym SHAVE WHILE NAKED! It’s truly terrifying. And worse, the basins are near the locker room door, so as soon as you walk in… BAM! Old man saggy bits in your face! (They could at least buy me a drink first).

    1. Dear Orlando, you are sooooo funny. You have a wonderfully wry tone and I really enjoy reading your blog. I hope that you pay no heed to the ‘haters’. Surely there must be some deficit in a person’s life that they take the time to anonymously criticise someone? Keep up the hilarious work. Love, Kathryn

  8. Hmm. Maybe I’m one of the old, ugly, naked guys. But I simply can’t be bothered to put my underwear on while I am still wearing my towel. I think that is nothing if not completely hilarious. I have seen people fall over wrestling with their towel and clothes so as not to ever espose there bits for two seconds. Half comical/half sad.

  9. This is what’s wrong with gay culture – gay men who can’t stand to see other men’s nipples. Seriously? You’re gay and you can’t cope with that? Then don’t go to a gay gym. Go to a straight gym and watch women’s boobs flopping up and down. Good riddance to you.

    1. Hear hear. This article is cute but clearly written by someone with way too many body image and nudity issues going on. The gym is for working out, not modelling a dinner suit and if glimpsing half naked sweaty bodies everywhere gives people a cheap thrill then it’ll keep them coming back and staying fit so everybody wins. Its a nipple, not a used nappy.

  10. hahaha! I love this! I’m so glad I live in chicago and not westho…I’d be considered obese there and a troll ha!

  11. I loved this post- so so funny, I was snickering inappropriately at my desk hoping none of my coworkers noticed.

  12. I’m guessing this has to be an American site with this much fretting over public nudity. Who cares about being naked in the changing room? Let it all hang out, noone cares and if someone enjoys looking good luck to them. Do you complain if someone looks at your new t shirt or hairstyle? So why should you care if someone enjoys looking at your arse or your cock. We’ve all got one of each. Noones going to try sticking something in you without asking or breakout into spontaneous masturbation just got they caught sight if your nutsack. Gay men suffer far less anxiety over dick size than straight men precisely because they see one another’s more often so openness about nudity is a healthy thing. And if you get so distracted by a visible nipple or two that you can’t work out anymore then you may be more obsessed with nipples than is healthy and seeing them more often would probably help desensitise you to this troubling effect. Personally I hate having a dripping wet sweaty shirt clinging to me in the gym so the less material in a vest the better. The Greeks didn’t dress in prada jumpsuits when they exercised and they did alright with it. They were more relaxed about sex and nudity in general if the accounts hold true so a little more nudity and nip slip in the gym is probably healthier than wearing rank and sweat soaked layers of totally unnecessary tailored gym gear all over you.

  13. I laughed at this so much. My gym in London, Soho Gyms, is very much a gay gym. People do avoid eye contact and there are just so many fit guys there and they all know it. There is one guy I’m desperate to talk to and I know he has been eyeing me up. Just don’t have the balls to go up and talk to him in case I have got it completely wrong!

  14. I don’t understand the no nudity thing. It’s a locker room! Why are guy afraid to be seen naked? Of course, I grew up and went to school and showered down the hall in a big open room. Being naked was never thought of as a “bad” thing. Then…..the guys who do the towel dance. That’s too much! Really? You’ll hop around like a fool and look like an idiot at the same time, but you keep that towel around your waist. You guys probably pioneered showering in your underwear too. That is another habit that should be flat out banned! Honestly, if you are that insecure about nudity, just don’t go in a locker room in the first place and do us all a favor in the process. There will be more room for those of us who aren’t traumatized.

  15. Why would anyone go to a gay gym in America, no fun, no relaxation, no style what on earth is the point. Come to Great Britain, guys have no hang ups– they strip off , change into the latest kit, work hard in the gym, compare progress with m8s, chill out in the sauna, get showered and dressed then leave– thats str8 and gay gyms and the use of these is going through the roof for just those reasons.

  16. I love being naked and think it’s really hot when everyone is naked in the locker room. Tell the sleazy guys they can look but do not touch.

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