In this day and age, I am sure a lot of guys(like myself) have a gym membership and will hit the gym at least 2-3 times a week (0r more) for a workout. The gym is a great social environment to meet and make friends, and workout buddies – although I do see people at the gym, plugged on his ear phone and pulling a ‘leave-me-alone-I-don’t-give-a-F-about-you” attitude, but that is not the subject of this article today.
What I do want to discuss about is the place everyone retreats to after a satisfying and rewarding workout – the locker room. Nothing can ruin the feeling of accomplishment than seeing other members(behaving like pigs) using the locker room like a pig sty – as if they are contesting to see how foul they could be in public. These guys need to understand that the locker room is a shared public space and they are sharing with strangers who don’t need to see or smell their nasty habits. I recently witnessed a few grose behaviors, and after hearing similar experiences from friends, have decided to pull back the curtain on these nasty locker room manners occurring in most gym locker room.
I have a list of 10 basic locker room etiquette that every grown man should take note of when the gym shorts come off and the showers start to flow.
1) Respect personal space
Unless the place is packed like sardine, there’s no reason you should be removing your undies on top of another guy. Take a few steps back and give everybody his space. Remember, everybody feels vulnerable and on edge when they’re half or full naked (unless you are an exhibitionists, or nudists or porn stars) around strangers. And you don’t want some guy rubbing his sweaty body against you when you have just gotten out of the shower. So if your locker is in a packed corner, be patient and wait for your turn. If the guy is hogging the space, let him know politely that he is in your way.
2) Don’t be naked for too long( if you have to):
After a hard sweaty workout, getting naked and hitting the shower is unavoidable. You can first use the towel to wrap yourself before removing your undies. However, if you feel that is not necessary, then get naked, swiftly hit the shower immediately and make sure your towel is nearby. Just don’t prance around in your birthday suit chatting up with other guys or posing and admiring yourself in the mirror – unless you look like an Abercrombie model – and generally, it is usually the middle age ‘uncles’ who like to walk around bare naked in the locker room, flashing their sagging ass (an really unpleasant and off-putting sight if you ask me). If you’re just changing from work wear into your gym clothes, try to change in stages; have everything ready and change one article of clothing at a time.
Now for those straight stubborn heads who wants to argue that ‘most guys are casual about nudity in the locker room because they don’t notice and are not self-conscious’ or ‘that’s how they do it in the army’, then perhaps this piece of news make wake up the ignorant rube in you. Listen carefully: Gay men love to gym and the conservative estimate of 3-5% gay population does not hold in the gym. Based on my observation, during peak hours at my gym, the gym could easily be 35-45% gay (that is counting only the men in the gym). So unless you are deliberating seeking for attention, you may need to know that you are sharing lock rooms with guys who are much more sensitive about male nudity then you are. And if you have an issue with that, don’t join the gym!
3) Keep your eyes to yourself
For the same reason above, nothing makes a guy more uncomfortable than having some other guy leering at him, and his private area. So very important etiquette here is to keep your eyes to yourself and, if possible at eye level. Don’t let your eye roam up and down the guy next to you, and don’t compare each others tool. It’s very simple – respect the other guy’s privacy. Failure to comply with this rule could possibly leave you with a split lip. Don’t say you have not been warned.
4) Don’t dilly-dally in the locker room.
I have noticed that some guys like to dawdle in the locker room, taking up space, chatting loudly, talking on your cell phone blocking people’s locker, and some, making their protein shake and eating in the locker room. As you may experienced yourself, during the evening, the locker room is usually crammed with sweaty guys trying to get in and get out on their way home from a long day at work. So literally, get in and get out(no pun intended). There are no legitimate reasons why you should be hanging around the locker room.
5) Dry off after shower
Ever seen someone walking out of the shower all wet and slopping water across the locker room, leaving a trail of water on the floor and the benches. Not only are puddles of water likely to cause some cracked skulls, they also provide breeding grounds for fungi and other unwanted biohazards. So do everyone a favour, dry yourself in the cubicle before stepping out of the shower.
Alright, above are 5 very fundamental etiquette to observe in any gym locker room. That’s not all, I have another 5 points in Part 2 of this article as I go into details on usage of locker room facilities and equipments, stay tuned…