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5.09.2005

Sex at the Gym . . .

Some call it lewd. Some call it cardio.


Although I will not purchase Rupert Murdoch's New York Daily Post, I will certainly read it if it's left on the subway or at my breakfast diner. Today, I stumbled upon an article buried in the back of the Post about the city's crackdown on sex at the gym -- specifically gay sex at David Barton's gym in Chelsea. A $25,000 lawsuit has been slapped against Barton for claims that, "Gay sex is rampant in the locker room and that the club's staff has been unable to stop the steamy hijinks."

Gay men having sex at the gym, although not in my immediate reality, has always been a fact of life in my general consciousness -- like Paris Hilton. I have heard stories from different friends about their own gym exploits, but obviously never witnessed it. Even Little Miss Carrie Bradshaw joked about it in an episode of Sex and the City answering a query regarding why gay men have such great bodies, "If straight men had the chance to have sex at the gym, they'd be working out all the time, too."

Carlos Sosa, 34, the man seeking the civil suit for emotional distress stated, "The gym misrepresented what they are all about. They represented themselves as a serious place where you actually work out — but it became a saucy steam room that reminds me of the ancient Roman baths." However, it appears clear to Miss Hag. that the clues pointing to the possibility of shower sex are clearly represented:

1.) The gym is in Chelsea.
2.) It is housed in a building which used to be the Village People song subject, the Y.M.C.A.
3.) There are six inches of space left open, floor to ceiling, between each shower stall. Sosa claims that he was first alerted to the randy gym behavior when a gym employee called out to two men taking advantage of this partition between the stalls. Sosa stated, "These guys were doing something to each other," he said. "You could see it in silhouette."
4.) According to Mr. Sosa, "They needed a security guard to monitor the showers, the locker room and the steam room. If that's not peculiar, I don't know what is."
5.) The floors of the gym are made from Italian shoe leather.
6.) The motto of David Barton Gym is, "Look Better Naked."

To my knowledge, it is not necessarily a free-for-all orgy in Chelsea's health clubs. From what I know, it is mostly jerking off in the shower while watching each other. Harmless, clean fun if both parties are willing. I asked my boyfriend, my source of all knowledge on straight men, if this is something that would bother him. He said he wouldn't really care if someone checked him out in the locker room, but that he would prefer not to be someone's live shower porno.

"Wouldn't it bother you if some girl started rubbing herself while watching you shower?"

"Um. No."

I am certainly not advocating inappropriate behavior at the gym or anywhere else. What I know of this trend of gym cruising is that it is consensual and mutually satisfying. What bothers me about this frivolous lawsuit is that Mr. Carlos Sosa is using society's latent homophobia to rattle a wasp's nest of inconclusive judgments on the gay community. It broadens a stereotype of behavior to justify why homosexuality would be viewed as immoral.

It does not appear to me that David Barton gym misrepresents what goes on there. And certainly, if Mr. Sosa's eyes were opened to behavior that he is morally opposed to, he has the right to exercise one thing -- better judgment in choosing a gym.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 2:37 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 2:37 PM   |