I hear women complain a lot about gym creepers. Guys are always ogling them, hitting on them, trying to correct their form to cop a feel... there are a zillion memes on the subject. And, yeah, some of them are funny.
I think it's a little overblown. And by "a little," I mean this shit is totally exaggerated. The last straw came yesterday, when a chick went on a tirade about how all men are pigs in the gym and this is why we need to stay in the ladies workout room. I took one look at her and thought, no fucking way anyone is creeping that mess.
Want to know the truth?
I have NEVER been hit on at the gym. Not once, not ever. (I know, right? WTF is that about?) I wear short shorts. I bend over in those short shorts. And I have never had a dude come up to me with a line. Honestly, guys don't even look at me. Or, if they do, they are complete gentlemen about it, so I don't notice.
Maybe I smell bad?
Maybe it's my resting bitch face?
Maybe I just go to a normal gym full of normal people?
I don't know. But, the fact remains, I have been going to my gym for over a year. I've talked to dudes, I've worked out with dudes, I've asked for the occasional spot, and no one has ever asked me out or "accidentally" touched my butt. I've never looked up after a set of squats to see a bunch of dudes jerking off behind me. No man has ever put an uninvited hand on me in a suggestive manner. It just doesn't happen. Am I the only girl in the gym who doesn't get creeped on? I don't think so. I'm definitely not the hottest piece in there, but I'm not ugly. I've seen far less attractive women complain (like yesterday.)
So what is happening, here?
I think some of the problem is misinterpreting gym behavior. It is normal to zone the f*ck out between sets and stare at some fixed point in the mirror. A guy may be in a completely different dimension, thinking, "one more set... I can do this..." but the chick behind him at that fixed point in the mirror might be thinking, "omg, this dude is, like, so totally staring at me!" So, ladies - if a guy is staring with intense, psycho-killer fixation, he's most likely looking past you. Unless he actually is a psycho-killer, you're just a random form in the room. His mind is on getting that weight back up in a minute. That's all.
Second, and let's just get this out there, if you are only wearing a sports bra and hot pants, you're going to catch some looks. Hell, I'LL look at you. It's human nature that if someone busts off their clothes, we all look. Half naked people attract attention, it's only biology. I'm not saying it's wrong to dress skimpy in the gym, dudes be flashing their nips in stringers all day, but no one can help but sneak a look or three if you are 90% skin, so relax. Chances are, after a few glances, you'll fade into the background as most people go back about their business. Take the side-eyes as a compliment and get your work done.
Third, don't misinterpret small talk. Just because a guy talks to you or asks you a question, doesn't mean he's trying to bang you. I talk to guys all the time in the gym. They're great. They're strong. They're helpful. They know where all the stuff is. Don't misinterpret a friendly "Can I work in?" for "Can I work in...to your vagina?" Honestly, I've probably struck up more small talk than them. Hey, can I get a quick spot? What's a good alternative for this or that exercise? Do you have a puff of chalk I could use? Guys probably think I'm hitting on them.
I'm sure there are a few creeps and randos and pervs. They do exist; that's life. Just let them know you're there to work and put your headphones back on.
I don't want women to think that walking into the weight room is akin to a lamb walking into the wolves' den. This is one of the myths that keep the women in the "ladies room" and away from the good stuff, like barbells and squat racks.
Maybe that's why chicks who venture into the weight room perpetuate these exaggerations? They don't want to compete with an influx of confident women for equipment and dumbbells. So, please, come out of that crappy ladies' room and get in there with the boys. It's okay, you won't get swarmed on like World War Z. You might even make some friends.
Just trying to cut down that Gymtimidation, one bit at a time. Let me know if you have a gymtimidation (aka something you feel intimidated by in the gym) in the comments.