The Gym: Homoerotic, Homophobic and Just Slightly Fucked Up
In this increasingly obese world we live in – one out of three American men are fat – those of us who faithfully hit the gym, straight or gay, are like members of some not-so-secret cult who, in varying degrees, care about something that apparently much of the rest of society doesn’t or only pays lip service to. While socialization certainly is part of “going to the gym” for some, (and for others the only reason), those of us who are dead serious about getting in shape or staying in shape suffer in silent ecstasy. But in observing others doing the same, we feel part of an unspoken camaraderie.
I used to belong to a totally gay gym in Lauderdale’s gay ghetto, Wilton Manors, but going to a gay gym I soon found didn’t improve my chances in the sack. Now I go to Crunch, practically walking distance from my house and only ten bucks a month, no contract. Gayer in the late morning with all those waiters and bartenders and male escorts buffing up, the place is mixed almost any time of the day, but neither sexual orientation has a monopoly on eye candy, exhibitionism, homophobia and assholes.
As for the eye candy, what’s there to say? You can OD on it. Especially those under 25 guys relishing in their new found masculinity. I’m really not into young men but the other day I saw two near naked specimens in the locker room whom I think I would have paid for. No, they weren’t steroid high body builders, but there wasn’t an ounce of fat or flab on their sculpted bodies. It was like they were models for Michelangelo.
Which brings me to the homo-eroticism and homophobia. Rampant and thick as dried up cum on a rag or sweat on a crunch board. Straight guys are afraid to look at another guy for fear the guy will think he’s queer and coming on to him, and gay guys don’t look so they don’t have to deal with rejection, or make some poor slob think he’s being wooed. (After all, they can use Scruff to look at the guy once they ID he’s the one two machines away.) It’s as if everyone has blinders on. So in the end, we sport that vacant, “I don’t give a fuck” stoic stare when, in reality, what we want to do is grab the guy by the balls, shove him down on that crunch board, and fuck the shit out of him right there in broad daylight.
Plus, everyone is trying to out-butch one another with that same gym jock trot, whether they’re six foot two and built like a brick shit house or five foot two and Woody Allen’s younger brother. You know the trot I mean, slow and easy with the hips, butt out, shoulders up (after all, you worked on ’em, so show ’em off) and those muscular, veiny arms just hanging there. Oh, with that stoic, vacant look to make it complete. Or that optional pulling up of the T-shirt to casually show off those killer abs.
Now we’ve got the guys (and gals) who are dead serious about their work-out. I believe you’ve got to beat yourself up, challenge yourself by going a notch higher every time you go. And then we’ve got those who just go through the motions to project some pseudo-athletic image.
Top on my list in the gym asshole category are the smartphone addicts. Guys used to grab their crotches to give a butch tug to their itchy uncut cocks – now it’s to stroke their perpetually stiff penile substitutes. Fine, it’s a free country, unless they’re on a machine you want and they’re just sitting there, gabbing away to their clubbing partner, girlfriend, mother, or playing hooky from the office and talking to some sucker who may actually be interested in that overpriced home they’ve been trying to unload for the past six months. All gyms should make it a rule: if you gotta make a call, do it off the gym floor. Planet Fitness, that I used while up at my country home for the summer in PA, does.
Smartphone-itis was the cause of an altercation that happened recently at my gym. A gay guy was chatting away a storm for some twenty minutes when a gay gal with bigger muscles than him and waiting to use the machine he was on finally went up to him and told him to “get the fuck off!” He called her a dyke, she called him a fag and the next thing you know she had a forty pound plate she was ready to drop on his head when cooler minds prevailed.
Lesson Learned: Never get on the wrong side of a lesbian.
And I do love how these young jocks spend ten minutes fucking around with their I-phones or I-pods while sitting (legs lasciviously spread – fucks!) on a machine, and two minutes doing a rep. I didn’t know you could burn calories and build muscle just using your fingers otherwise I’d jerk-off ten times a day and fuck the gym!
A close second to the techno boys are the chitchatters, those two guys who linger around a machine you’ve been wanting to get on for the past half hour, one on it but not doing anything, the other leaning against it in a sexy kind of pose. And, God help you, if one’s trying to make the other. One time I clocked a conversation that went on for twenty minutes.
BTW, even innocently bullshitting with a work-out buddy while you’re waiting for him to finish his reps on the machine before you take your turn is a waste of good gym time. The experts say keep those downtimes to a minimum; the best way to really max your work-out is by flipping back and forth from one machine, let’s say for biceps, to one for triceps, without much of a break.
Then there’s the asshole with a bod all the hours in the gym aren’t going to make a difference to who just has to get on the machine you’re on. He lurks there on the edge of your peripheral vision but enough to make sure you see him. There’s a least a dozen unoccupied devices of self-torture he can use, but, no, he has to get on yours. Sometimes he’ll even quip, “Gonna be long?” to which I usually reply, “Sorry buddy. It’s gonna be a while.” Or I kill myself and do an extra rep just to piss him off more.
The “I impressed you, didn’t I?” guys do 30 pounds and two reps, then reset the machine to 150 to delude or intimidate the next guy up.
The body builders – their muscle hard won or the result of a generous diet of steroids – always seem to stick together like members of some mutual admiration society. Or could it be they’re afraid some four foot ten lesbian toughie like the one I just spoke about might beat them up if they wandered the gym solo?
The ones I love the best are the “Must Be Seen” boys, who mill around the gym looking busy to maximize their exposure, but leave a half hour or 45 minutes later not having done much at all.
All this sweat and sacrifice and money and time, plus assholes, just to snare a man. We can fool ourselves all we want into thinking it’s because we want to stay healthy but, deep down, we know we want to feel hot and confident and ready. I’m beginning to wonder if just whipping out my credit card once a month for the deep massage therapist of my choice listed in the back of one of the gay rags wouldn’t make more sense. One thing for sure. It would take the guilt trip out of pigging out on a half gallon of pistachio ice cream or leftover Halloween candy.