Not quite locker room diaries, because except for that one time*, I have steered clear of the men’s locker room at my new gym.
Last night, I was at the gym (I know, AGAIN! I am a gym monkey!) and was, once again, in the free weights room. I love the little weight machines – they are so easy AND most of them have illustrations of what I’m supposed to do. The free weights are harder – even the ones that are slightly machine like the decline bench press thingie (technical term). There are no drawings! How do I know if I’m doing it right?
ANYWAYS – the story. As I’m decline bench pressing away, feeling kind of bad ass, because I’m using big plates (30 lbs on each side, which equals 60, for the mathically challenged), I start to overhear this group of guys talking. There are three of them, and they are exactly the way I stereotype gym rats. Tall, stocky, muscular arms, but on the soft side in the middle. They are all wearing those tank tops that look like the arms have been ripped & stretched out & super long baggy shorts. The smallest one made some offhand comment – maybe a song lyric – that sounded like he was hitting on the other two guys. Guy M(eathead) said, “pretty soon, if you keep making those kind of comments, we are actually going to start believing that you are gay.”
Guy A(mbigious sexuality): Ha ha ha. You guys know I’m just kidding! I’m so straight! Like an arrow! Or a line!**
Guy M: Whatever, gay person.
Guy N(umbskull): Hey, remember that one time that Tonya that you were gay?
Guy A: yeah – that was funny (just typed runny – weird typo). And then, to prove to her I wasn’t, *graphic sex account*
Guys M&N: ha ha ha. That was awesome.
Guy A: and then, my ex-gf broke up with me & said it was because I was gay. Guess I showed her, if you know what I mean. Snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.
Guys M&N: yeah, you sure did! ha ha ha
And then, I was done declining & pressing. Later, I was back in the room to push down a straight bar. I had my straight bar, and there was the pulley – way up high. I couldn’t reach it. Did any of the macho men (who had now moved on to the time they were extras in a movie & got to throw beer cans at homeless people) come help me? No, I had to pull over a bench to reach the pulley. By the time I had gotten half way through my pulling down (waaaay easier than pulling up, btw), they were back on “incidences of mistaken gay identity.”
It was so weird. I went home & asked the architect if this is normal macho guy conversation. I mean, I’ve never sat around with a bunch of straight guys & heard them talk about how extremely straight they are. And actually, I’ve seldom hung out with gay men & had them talk about how extremely gay they are. I mean, things come up in conversation that indicate a preference one way or another, but I thought maybe guys only break out that topic when there are no ladies about. (shut up, I totally count as a lady. assholes.)
Also, as a man-preferring woman, I have never sat around with my other hetero girl friends and had long discussions about how much we prefer the men. Or all those times people thought we were lesbians, but we WEREN”T.
I kind of wanted to go tell Guys A, M & N that it was okay to be gay, and that there was no reason to hide it behind sexist remarks & misogynistic behavior (a la Larry in Buffy), but I didn’t, because I couldn’t handle the wave of protests that were sure to follow, and I’m no Xander looking for a werewolf.
SO – anyways – am I wrong? Do straight men have these conversations all the time? Is this normal gym testosterone-fueled behavior? Help a girl out.
I did have a great workout last night, though. 45 minutes of weights + 3 mile run (with negative splits, thank you very much) on the dreadmill. I feel pretty good today!
*it was an accident; there were no naked men in there, and with the exception of one person, no one saw it happen. which may mean there was no reason to share it with anyone.
**dialog mostly made up, because I didn’t have a tape recorder, and so am being forced to recreate the gist of it. Also for dramatic effect.