Should I Join a Gay Gym?

If you’re a fitness-craving gay man living in a metropolitan area, then you’ve probably pondered this question: Should I join a gay gym?

It’s no secret that some gyms are gayer than others. As I write this article, I’m visiting downtown Toronto – and I could tell you exactly which gyms are known for being gay. The Extreme Fitness at Yonge and Dundas, for example, or the Goodlife at Bloor and Park. Yonge Street Fitness is pretty gay, too. In fact, while working out an especially gay (and now closed) gym, one of the members actually started kissing me in the middle of my ab workout.

On one hand, joining a gay gym can foster a sense of community. It’s always a nice change to not be in the minority – or outnumbered by straight people. Despite the unsolicited sexual advances, it feels safer. And it’s fun to see your friends while working out.

On the other hand, gay gyms come with their fair share of distractions. For one, they tend to be very cruisey. There will be no shortage of eye contact or staring, and you’ll need to ask yourself if you’re at the gym to workout – or to find a man. Or perhaps both. Whatever your motivation, be honest with yourself about it. If you really are joining a gym purely to workout, the distractions can be difficult.

Personally, I enjoy visiting gay gyms when I’m traveling. But, as a general rule, I don’t screw where I lift; it’s much easier to find a good man than it is to find a good gym. If you do hook up or get into a relationship with a gym buddy, know that you’ll continue to see him again and again when you workout. Depending on the experience, that could be a great thing. Or it could be horrible, awkward and uncomfortable.

I don’t think there’s an easy answer to the question, but I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Do you prefer working out at a gay gym? Why or why not?

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Comments

  1. I go the the gym for myself and not anyone else and don’t give a bother about anyone else who is there whether they are gay or straight. I focus on what needs to done in the gym.

  2. To be honest, I think I wouldn’t want to know whether the gym I go to is Gay or not, I know I look terrible puffing and panting on the treadmill and going to a gay gym would definitely be uncomfortable in case they see you again on the scene

  3. No to mention, I usually go to the gym first thing in the morning – and trying to pick out a cute gym outfit and doing my hair is the last thing on my mind. Getting especially cute for the gym at 6:30 AM doesn’t appeal to me ๐Ÿ˜›

    • I go to Extreme Fitness on Richmond. I also work out early at 6:00 a.m. (I saw you there last week). The gym is very quiet in the morning. I focus on my workout not my social calendar. Yes, I chat with some of the regulars between sets – but my stopwatch keeps me from getting sidetracked with long chats.

      Gay or straight – eye candy is nice to admire and provided the occasional inspiration.

      I don’t need a ‘gay gym’ but I do need to feel welcome and comfortable and I need the gym to provide the equipment I need to reach my goals.

      Perhaps most importantly, I need my gym to be accessible. It needs to be open when I want to work out and it needs to be ‘on my path’. My gym is between work and home, I work out 5 days a week. It would be no good to me if I joined one of the gyms more frequented by gay men they’re the opposite direction.

      I’ve been at my gym for 3 1/2 years and I have no plans of moving … until I change jobs.

  4. I agree with Victor. I go to my gym because of the staff, the equipment and the facility. It is nice always to see someone you know but you can make gym buddies wherever regardless of their sexual orientation.

  5. I live in NYC and used to go to David Barton, the well known gay gym in the city, at Chelsea. The good: Eye candy, cruisy steam room/sauna and actually great classes. The bad: Gay gym doesn’t mean friendly, most hot guys are clicky or simply full of themselves, it’s like a typical Chelsea or HK bar everyone is in an elitist club. If you want to do your own thing and have the eye candy it’s the right for you, if you’re looking to socialize not that much.

    • That’s New York. Gay or straight.

    • If you are lucky enough to have close access to a well appointed (talking equipment and facilities) gay gym I say go there. When I visit a city where this is possible I always take advantage. Unfortunately not an option where I live.

  6. Well if anyone really wants to work out the kind of gym doesn’t matter. That you are sensible to strong handsome gay guys seems like a particular problem.

  7. Oh, really? Easier to find a good man. Well, please DO share your great wisdom with me; I’ve been looking for a boyfriend for 21 years. Maybe if you’re just looking for a flighty, ephemeral superficial ‘relationship’, sure, you’re young and pretty, so yeah, I suppose it is. But not for everybody, in fact not for most of us.

    So DO tell me, where can I find that good man? Cause I’m tellin ya I’ve looked everywhere and still nada. So help me out here, wouldja?

    • It’s actually pretty easy: stop being such a drama queen, be happy with yourself, smile everyday as you do your life and be sociable and friendly. Get in touch with gay associations (not just gay cruising places, of course), so you can meet gay people more easily. Besides, don’t look for a charming prince, that just doesn’t exist.

    • jeffreyleland says:

      I don’t know you or your situation. So please don’t take offense or think I am reading you in any way. This is simply from one man who has looked for love in the wrong places, to another who is still looking.

      What exactly are you expecting in a man? Sometimes the qualifications we set in our mind simply are not attainable by another human being. Making it next to impossible for us to ever actually find someone. Some are doing it on purpose to avoid the heart ache of an eventual break-up. Others at one time had that one true love that was lost. A love that they could never replace but try to anyway. Holding every partner up to that lost love in comparison, essentially disqualifying themselves from ever feeling that love again.

      Open yourself up to more people. Allow your friends to introduce you to other friends. Go to the get together that you really don’t want to go to. Prince charming is never gonna come and find you. The odds that you will bump into him increase if you put yourself closer to him ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Just sayin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Michael Machin says:

    I didn’t even know there was a such thing and now that I do know I am kind of appalled. I understand being a part of a community but with gay people, it is almost like they have to turn EVERYTHING into sex.

    • jeffreyleland says:

      Not too stereotypical lol Does it happen? Sure it applies to some of the gay population but not 100%. Heterosexual’s deal with the same “cruising” situations at “straight” gyms. There will always be over sexed individuals to contend with. Enjoy the attention & kindly decline the advance. Consider it an affirmation that you are making positive, forward strides in the development of your physique.

      “Grow From Love”

  9. Id go to one if there was one around me. Itd be cool to make more gay friends who lift weights.

  10. We gays can be a critical and condescending bunch. I don’t need to be judged while I’m trying to improve. I’ll stick with my regular gym.

  11. I don’t think we have any “gay gyms” over here… (The Netherlands)… None that I know of at least. But I probably wouldn’t want to go anywhere else than my current gym anyways. I know them, they know me, I know who to turn to for help and it’s pretty close by. The only downside is that it is one of the more expensive ones in the area.

  12. Given the dynamics of gay enclaves, it doesn’t matter where you meet the people you date, you’ll likely see them at the gym anyway. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the gym you’re in.

  13. I go to one because I like supporting gay businesses and businesses that support gays. And while most of the people and trainers that work out there are the same that I see at the bars/clubs, It doesn’t feel cruisy at all; but I workout with a trainer so that might keep people away.

  14. Yes, I agree! In Denver I worked out at a predominantly gay gym and for the most part loved it. Occasionally I had to escape and work out at other gyms.

    Now living in STL all I want is to be able to go to a gay gym. I feel as though I can’t twirl and dance around like I used to.

    Also, to the I don’t want to be judged at the gay gym comments…Straight men stare and judge just as much!

  15. I don’t go to the gym to cruise so it wouldn’t matter to me whether the gym is gay or not. Frankly i would most likely steer clear of a gay gym just because of the “meat market” mentality.

  16. A gay gym sounds like a 1980s bathhouse. Count me out.

  17. Motivation is critical to start going to a gym and to go regularly. I started going to a gay gym, and I am sure that the greater sense of belonging that I had there helped make it a habit that I have carried though my life.

  18. I’ve never been to a gay gym, but I know that I like it when people check me out at the gym. Even if they aren’t, I like to pretend that they are because it gives me the little extra push to try just a bit more weight to show off! I think that at the gay gym it would be easier to feel like that constant spot light is on me pushing me to train harder! (safely ofcourse!)

  19. Thumbs up for gay gyms. I like the cruisey pick ups… I don’t work out at a gay gym because I’m not downtown Toronto, but when I get the chance I like to go. Good eye candy, and can almost always get some post-workout stress relief when its needed.

  20. When I am in London I go to a gay gym, it’s not real cruisey and everybody is friendly. When I am home I go to my gym of 20 years, it’s great and I have lots of friends there, it makes for a comfortable atmosphere to work out in, and it is not a gay gym.

  21. Is there a list of gay gyms in Toronto? I love to know since I am currently looking for a place to workout at. My previous gym membership expired.

  22. the gayest gym i ever went to was in a medium-sized mid-west, red state city with no real gay scene to speak of. the gym was it. it was one of those cookie-cutter national chain gyms, but as soon as i walked in my cruise radar went off the register! it was like a time-capsule of a pre-stonewall ymca and made david barton and the muscle system seem like curves! incredibly hot boys! everyone was dl — most had wedding rings. the steam-room was ‘lively’. i was on a business trip and i certainly hadn’t planned on hooking up. however i met some really hot dudes and extended my stay through the weekend so we could have a party in my hotel room saturday night. probably the best group sex i’ve ever had!

  23. I don’t know if I could survive both the eye candy and working out at the same time. My sex drive is overpowered enough as it, it needs no further encouragement from anyone else thankyouverymuch! On the other hand, getting a makeout session might make me want to work out more.

    • my experience has been that the eye candy at ‘straight’ gyms is significantly better than at ‘gay’ ones. when i’m visiting my mother in suburban nj, the closest gym seems to be the one preferred by all the 20-something wall st. types, not to mention the high school teams. def. the high point of any trip to see the family!

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Trackbacks

  1. […] join our gyms, our fitness clubs, maybe some athletic groups, we are doing something about it…well except, […]

  2. […] of which gym you choose, I do have one piece of advice. As I’ve said before, it’s much easier to find a good hookup than a good gym; don’t screw where you lift. […]

  3. […] of which gym you choose, I do have one piece of advice. As I’ve said before, it’s much easier to find a good hookup than a good gym; don’t screw where you lift. […]