Nothing lengthens a gym workout more than another hot guy hitting the weights. Each look inspires an extra biceps workout. I shifted from chest to back to stay close.
I’m not alone. Most of my gay friends who exercise frequently express this sentiment, and many of them have at least one crush at the gym. You know, that person you memorialized your gym routine and tried to imitate within your own schedule. You find yourself wondering where the hell they were when they lost at 8:00 AM on Tuesday!
They usually only exercise in the evenings on Mondays and Wednesdays…
This is until a new (and therefore better) handsome stranger appears.
Enter one (or two) pandemics later, and people around the world have experienced tragedy – and cruelty – like never before. With restrictions lifted, gyms reopening, and mask mandates dropped, we’ve all been quick to get ours ready hot summer vax. No wonder bidet company Tushy has launched a herd immunity countdown on CanIEatAssYet.com. Liberal and conservative publications alike have approved of the global blue ball crisis, such as New York PostNYC Singles Are Ready for Casual Sex for the Summer Article. Yes, this is Rupert Murdoch’s terrible newspaper.
I was also experiencing a messy breakup with my boyfriend, who I lived with – another negative side effect of countless couples due to Covid. We agreed to stay away from apps until we came out (his requested suggestion), so I found myself training just like never before. The energy of muscular men sweating, squatting and peeking at each other found a welcome escape from the grueling dryness of my apartment—or should I say, my ex-boyfriend’s place, as he liked to remind me.
But the isolation of the lockdown made me wow my encounters at the gym. It was not like before I was having oral sex in the shower or in the locker room. I never got a guy’s number, mostly because I was waiting for them to say hi first. But the idea that it could happen at any moment kept me hooked. There is nothing as relentless as a gay man’s fantasy and hope. Not unlike why so many of us find ourselves scrolling to infinity Grindr. what minute nowyou’ll think two hours later at 1 a.m.
But gym swings are different because the mutual attraction is all in our heads. It is impossible to get confirmation of a response (or lack thereof). It could be reciprocal fiery lust or wishful thinking; I never got cojones to find out. I mean, imagine using Grindr with an audience! It’s what makes modern gym jogging the best and worst thing ever; Internet culture has made hitting someone personally not worth the risks of rejection, at least for most people. Not to mention the cock-blocking devices that are AirPods.
Plus, when was the last time someone offered you a drink at a bar or approached you on the street? I often came across the infamous message online from a guy I saw in person, and he let me know that he saw me too. helpless. When it’s done offline, it’s usually through an introduction via mutual contact or when both of you randomly find yourself in the bar backed by liquid courage.
However, I still found the sensation of cruising in the gym exhilarating. I enjoy the idea that someone a few feet away might be craving me as much as I am for them. After all, it’s a nice change of pace from the instant gratification of repetition that’s gay fusion culture. When the rule is to ask “up, down, or verse” before someone’s name, it’s no wonder why the eternal excitement of cruising the gym sounds so appealing.
The other people out there might be preventing anyone from taking the first step. Ever. But despite the fantasy that may never happen, your body will at least be summer ready.