J is for...Jockstrap
As a gay man, the gym is an interesting place. Your experience is directly related to the following equation:
Vibe of gym + Personal hotness level x Popularity - length of time since arm day (or leg day, depending)
How you score in each of these categories means you may find the gym a haven of glorious treasures—or an unfeeling tundra where ego goes to die. It’s a tricky place, unless your Adonis-like abs are readily available for guest appearances at every t-shirt lifting sweat swipe.
Alas, I am not that gay.
That being said, I’m not unfortunate… I’m just not peacocking my non-existent abs all over the place. And maybe because of that, I’ve begun finding the extreme displays of masculinity...comical. I mean, c’mon, Tyler...we all know you’re a dirty little bottom who takes dick like a hungry Hoover—dropping the weights after your set and grunting excessively to prove you’re masculine is...unnecessary. So, when my friend The Politician suggested I join him in wearing spandex wrestling singlets to the gym, I took him up on it. I used it as an opportunity to make a statement. I was going to wear those singlets, throw on a pink holographic hat, and spray my gay-stank all over that gym—toxic masculinity be damned.
And so I did. The Politician and I strut our stuff all over the place, fagging up every square inch of the gym. Leg day always ends in a photo shoot and every day in a singlet turns into an instagramable vignette. Of course we garner loads of attention, but I’ve embraced the stares—both positive and negative—and always look forward to the freedom this brand of extra provides.
And trust me, the stares are aplenty—affirming and condemning. After awhile, I stopped noticing them. They’ve become an accessory adorning my flamboyance...like a broach. And like any good accessory, they’ve seamlessly fused with my look.
We’d been going on like this for a few months until one particularly strenuous arm workout. I could feel the heat from a nearby glare. I tried to ignore it, thinking to myself—what a delightful accessory you have complimenting your look today, Cole. But he wouldn’t stop. I could feel his look linger longer than the others. I wasn’t sure what this meant. Was it good? Bad? I looked back, catching his eye. I choked on my breath. This man was...heaven. It’s like that 70’s board game Dream Date, but instead it was 2019 and he was Dream Daddy. His muscles puffed and curved in all the right places. His body hair peeked from beneath his shirt, seductively searching for freedom. And his salt and pepper beard. Holy fuck, that salt and pepper beard. There was something about it that dilated me just by being in its prescience. It was...otherworldly. Unfortunately, I gained no clues as to what might be running through his head as he looked at me. The underbelly of his steely stare was impenetrable. Was he into it? Over it? Put off by the shear fabulosity of it all? Unclear. I finished my final set and looked back, hoping this impeccable specimen of a man was still there, but he’d moved on. Presumably, to ogle someone else—one can’t be too sure.
I looked for him as I moved to different machines around the floor, to no avail… My potential husband and/or president of my haters club had disappeared. I figured it was for the best. I hadn’t given myself the weeks it sometimes requires to work up the courage to speak to a potential admirer, and I’d had too long a week to interact with any dissenting opinions of my ensemble. So, I took myself to the bathhouse-like showers and readied for a dinner with friends--assuming I’d see him soon enough, even if it was just to admire from afar.
And my opportunity came sooner than I thought. It was only a few days later--at the gym on a quiet, slow Sunday. We were both working legs. Which, because of the way the gym is set up, put us in close proximity on the sparsely populated basement level. I spotted him the minute I rounded the corner from the stairs. He was laying on the leg press in all his daddy glory. His arms were rippling as he braced himself using the sides of the machine. The closer I got, the harder he strained--he was clearly on his final rep of the set--but never once did he falter. The sweat beaded at his brow and as he pressed through the final extension, one sweet, beautiful drop of sweat ran down the side of his face, seeking refuge in the glorious blanket of beard coating the bottom half of his face. He racked the weights just as my scan of his body came to a rest. Our eyes met. My breath caught. Everything was moving in slow motion--and at that moment I realized, I had a gym crush. It was him. In a split second I envisioned our ideal interaction. He’d look up--dewy. He’d lock eyes with me as his vision came back into focus from his strenuous set. His eyebrows would lift. He’d take me in with one long, ferocious inhale of desire. He’d smile. His lips parting just so—slowly, in a cocky half-grin. He’d look surprised, delighted at his discovery of me. He’d say hello, extending his hand to shake mine. And in that moment I’d realize he was no longer my gym crush, but my gym husband. We were going to be so happy together.
Reality: Our eyes met and his expression remained unchanged.
Perfect. This was going well.
I sauntered off to the squat bar across the room where our lack of interaction stung for about five minutes. Then I started to smell a very distinctive body odor. I’d been smelling this pungent assault to my senses at the gym for weeks and it was driving me nuts. It’s all the rage now for men not to wear deodorant, getting ripe and smelly so they can bury their faces in each others’ scent. Look--no judgement if that’s what you’re into, but like...can you save that for sexy time? I don’t need you getting all pitted out at the gym. Can you please save my gag reflex as I desperately try to get my body right and tight?!
As I took slow, deep breaths—trying not to vomit—I realized...my gym husband was the culprit. This was the asshole polluting every air molecule in the gym! Clearly I’d dodged a bullet there—or so I thought... As I stood from my final squat, praying I’d be able to keep my pre-workout down—cursing gym bae all along the way—I saw a scraggly, smelly looking man emerge from the neighboring weight rack. He passed me and the wretched stench raped every square inch of my nose so aggressively, I was afeared I would never smell again. Ugh. I was wrong. The smell hadn’t come from my dreamboat—the bridge troll was the source.
Curses! It was possible Gym Bae was still perfect.
I launched back into my squats, trying to use the energy required to distract me from Gym Husband’s glistening perfection across the room. And it worked. I was able to get through my sets with relative success. I’d found my focus and it was being channeled in productive ways--so much so that I didn’t notice him make his way across the room, landing directly to my right.
“Mumble mumble mumble.”
I couldn’t understand what he said. My earphones were in. Damn you, Beyonce!
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Oh, I was just telling The Politician that he needed to watch out for you--that you were coming for his look.”
And then he looked me up and down…
And then I melted.
I stuttered something I can’t recall as my face melted onto the floor.
“Oh, yeah...the spandex is great…”
“Yeah it is...it looks great on you.”
Dying. He was officially flooding my basement and I was drowning in it.
“What underwear do you wear with those?”
“Ummm...nothing. I...don’t wear anything under them.”
“Nice. I could never do that. I love a jockstrap. In fact, I always wear a jockstrap to the gym.”
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where our story ends. Because, at that moment he exposed his naked ass--which was perfectly cupped by the elastic from his jock. And I died. I ceased to exist. I am no longer a creature of this earth. I am mere skin and bones--my soul has left my body and ascended into heaven because never again will I be met with a moment more perfect, more beautiful than this. Gym Bae exposed himself to me on the gym floor.