Whether you’re a hard-bodied gym rat or a timid first-timer, there are some unspoken rules you need to know about how to conduct yourself in a locker room. While many gyms may have some rules posted (towel up, no spray-on scents or deoderants, etc.) these laws only cover the basics, leaving the intricacies and awkward situations for you to figure out on your own.
Nudity is an unavoidable part of any locker room experience, both yours and others’. When confronted with the horrors of a grandmother’s knee-length breast, or with a very attractive set of ass cheeks the rules should remain the same. Looking is natural—staring, ogling, anything like that is not. While some people are likely showing off their hard work with their naked bodies, most people are trying to just get dressed after a shower. Follow the golden rule and try only to take sidelong glances when they’re not paying too much attention.
Shower etiquette varies depending on the setup your particular gym has. If you’re fortunate enough to burn your calories at a place with private shower stalls—congratulations. If, like me, you go somewhere a little less ritzy and have to face the communal shower, the peek-only rule holds the same. I mean, yeah it might be tempting to watch the guy next to you as the hot water washes the suds off his chiseled, rock-hard body—or is that just me?—but, gentlemen, think about what that sight can do to your own anatomy. No one wants to pop a boner in the communal shower. And even as a gay man I say that no one should have to see a boner in the communal shower, either.
Initiating a conversation in a locker room can be awkward at best. It’s even worse when you’re naked. Or when only one of the participants is naked. After a recent episode in my locker room where I was trying to dress out and was confronted by a nude conversationalist, I decided that locker room chit chat is not for me. If you have a regular gym buddy, by all means talk to him or her if you share your locker room experience. Otherwise, I would assume the disrobed person to your left is completely uninterested in opening up a discussion. There are, of course, exceptions. Locker room cruising, for example, makes it completely ok to talk to a perfect, naked stranger—provided you’re sure he’s willing. Just have the courtesy to take your hookup to a more private spot.
Chances are there will be gay people in your locker room at some point. Rest assured—we look, but we don’t touch. We’re there for the same reason you breeders are: to get laid in better shape. We go for the elliptical machine, the weights, the lap pool and the cardio, not for the buffet of cocks and asses—after all, that’s what the Internet’s for.