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WIBU…to ask MNers that go to the gym whether..?

(59 Posts)
Redskyatnight01 Fri 27-Nov-15 09:31:53

You ever feel uncomfortable or like you are being watched/ leered at by the men?

I joined the gym a couple of months ago and force myself to go 3 x a week but I am beginning to really hate it.

I am a pretty paranoid and self-conscious person anyway really which doesn’t help but the whole time I’m in there I feel like men are gawping, I promise this isn’t an ‘I’m up my own arse and think everyone fancies me’ post, but I do feel them staring and I then get paranoid that I look like a total pleb on the cross trainer or something.

I thought to myself the other day ‘You’re just being paranoid, don’t be ridiculous’ but then last night a man passed me to leave and as he did, literally stopped, looked me up and down and then winked at me and walked out. WTAF?! It’s a gym, not a nightclub, AIBU to think I should be able to exercise and use the gym I’m paying for without being subjected to leery perving?! If I wasn’t self-conscious before then I bloody am now!

It’s just making me feel really uncomfortable and self-conscious and it’s getting harder to force myself to go.

I can’t be the only self-conscious female gym goer surely? Do you just block it out and get on with it?

thunderbird69 Fri 27-Nov-15 09:40:34

No, not experienced anything like that personally. Not even seen men leering at the young lovelies in the gym

Do you look like someone famous?!

formerbabe Fri 27-Nov-15 09:42:27

I go to the gym several times a week. I've never been leered at or winked at. Even ten years ago when I was in my early twenties, slim and gorgeous!

WorraLiberty Fri 27-Nov-15 09:45:30

Perhaps you should change gyms.

That might help you work out whether it's down to your paranoia and self consciousness or not?

It could possibly be a bit of both.

Seeyounearertime Fri 27-Nov-15 09:45:51

I am a pretty paranoid and self-conscious

This is likely why you feel stared at. smile
Maybe you could join a women's only gym or see if they have a women's only session?

I'm no expert but I'd imagine most guys that go to a gym dont pay the monthly fee to leer at women as they exercise, they could just watch a Jillian Michaels DVD. grin
I suppose their could always be one or two that do tho.

Brighit Fri 27-Nov-15 09:54:19

That last guy was a bit creepy but on the whole maybe you're a bit self-conscious.

Yes people do look but it's objective rather than perving and I think most of the time they're just staring into space without realising they're looking at someone. Sometimes I do look at people but generally I'm watching their form and trying to pick up tips or wondering what they do to get their physique. I try not to make it obvious I'm sneaking glances though wink

If you're not comfortable maybe try another gym or a different time?

Redskyatnight01 Fri 27-Nov-15 10:42:26

Ideally I guess I'd join a female only gym but I get a discount with this one through work so it seems silly to pay through the nose somewhere else.

Maybe I just need to accept people aren't gawping, just going about their business and occasionally eyes will meet etc, I dunno, I can't put my finger on it.

No I don't look like someone famous but I guess speaking objectively I'm in my 20's, size 8, blonde and don't look like I've been hit with the ugly stick so maybe the occasional glance by men (especially the older ones that tend to frequent this particular gym) is to be expected?

God, I'm aware the above makes me sound like a right twonk, I'm just being pragmatic though I guess. I think if I could go with a friend I'd feel better (now I sound about 12!)

WorraLiberty Fri 27-Nov-15 10:49:54

Yes, occasionally eyes will meet but the fact they're meeting in the gym rather than the supermarket, is probably adding to your paranoia?

It's easier said than done, but you'll probably need to learn to go about your own business and block out the thoughts.

If they were whistling/commenting etc, that would of course be different.

TheWatchersCouncil Fri 27-Nov-15 10:51:06

I have been stared at and then approached by blokes twice:

First time, I was pregnant and he wanted to tell me how great I looked and how he thought it was so brilliant that I was still coming to the gym.

Second time, I thought I was being properly stared at. Turned out he was impressed with something I was doing on a piece of equipment and wanted me to show him how to use it properly.

You might get the odd twit, but generally people just don't care. Any preening blokes are more likely to be eyeing each other up to see how they compare. And, as my experience showed me, staring can be perfectly innocuous.

hibbleddible Fri 27-Nov-15 12:02:22

I felt similar when I used to go to the gym.

Now if I did join a gym again I would far rather join a female only one, but sadly there arent any nearby.

I also find it quite distracting that men would constantly drop weights on the ground.

talkinnpeace Fri 27-Nov-15 13:30:59

Practice your withering stare
and then remember that lots of the guys have taken their contacts out for weight lifting so cannot see much anyway grin
the others are probably gawping each other wink

raranah Fri 27-Nov-15 13:32:49

I have to exercise solo as guys find me too districting. I do it naked as its gross to sweat into clothing, sawna thread.

talkinnpeace Fri 27-Nov-15 13:38:01

raranah You must be bored after those students walked out on you at Brunel hmm

ElasticPants Fri 27-Nov-15 13:41:38

My gym is in a country club, so most of the male members are quite old and well behaved.

I have noticed women staring at other women in the weights room though. It's more a bicep and glute envy look though.

That said I do tend to plug in my headphones and get in the zone. I didn't notice a fire drill once, someone had to tap me on my shoulder and I nearly fell off the spin bike in shock.

rookiemere Fri 27-Nov-15 13:43:12

Hi I'm 45 and size 14 so I don't get any looks at all, in fact I am invisible in the gym, which is one of the advantages of my great age grin.

Couple of things, firstly it just might be the gym that you're at, or the times that you're exercising at. My friend and I went swimming one Sunday evening only to be surrounded by young blokes and ladies in bikinis - clearly Sunday night swimming was different from what we were used to.

You could try experimenting going at different times - mornings might be better as people are usually too tired to focus on anything other than their workout.

Or how about classes - they are usually 90% female so you'd find it a more supportive environment.

Or try another gym which would have a different vibe.

If you're feeling brave you could try outstaring them or aching an eyebrow and saying "Can I help you with something?".

It must be annoying for you when you want to exercise in peace.

AngelsWithFilthySouls Fri 27-Nov-15 13:48:29

I go to 2 different gyms (same company) about 3 times a week and have never had anyone stare at me. It's likely that you're feeling self conscious as people are all too focussed on their own thing to be standing about staring at strangers.

whatdoIget Fri 27-Nov-15 13:48:54

If your appearance is as you describe, then unfortunately you probably are being leered at and eyes up by some men. All you can do I suppose is not make eye contact with anyone and just concentrate on what you're doing. It's shit that you can't just get on with exercising without drawing unwelcome attention. I was reflecting on this the other day while I was running (outside, not at a gym) and I was passed by several whit vans and got no attention whatsoever. The benefits of being invisible and middle-aged! I have no doubt that if I was blonde, 20s, size 8 etc, I would get cat called often while running, and it's be very very annoying and unwelcome.

LizardBreath Fri 27-Nov-15 13:54:17

Dependant on what work out you're doing, I quite often wear a cap, it means you don't have quite as much odd eye contact with people.

MackerelOfFact Fri 27-Nov-15 14:00:30

I've never felt like that and never notice what anyone else is doing either.

Anyone that's doing any kind of vaguely taxing workout isn't going to be looking around judging or perving over anyone else. They're probably all just thinking 'fuck this hurts, when can I stop, keep breathing, don't die.' (Or maybe that's just me).

Also, anyone who goes to a gym regularly is used to seeing people and all their lumps and bumps clad in lycra. Nobody really looks nice in it.

Twinkie1 Fri 27-Nov-15 14:02:20

I go most days and have never had this. Weird!!

megletthesecond Fri 27-Nov-15 14:05:43

No, never. Not pre or after kids.

Onsera3 Fri 27-Nov-15 14:10:46

Yes. When I lived abroad (in another Western country) the larger branches of my gym chain would have a smaller women only gym inside. I always stuck to that.

I hate the unsolicited advice from men in mixed gyms. I also don't like chatting when working out. Particularly if I'm wearing headphones!

Redskyatnight01 Fri 27-Nov-15 14:23:44

Well, the guy who leered and winked the other day got a serious death stare in response! I am also just quite haughty by nature with men so I definitely am not giving off 'available, please leer and wink at me' vibes.

I was on one of those leg press thingy's the other day (where you squeeze the weights in with your thighs) I'd literally just sat my arse down in the seat when a man came and stood at the water cooler (which is beside it) and just stood there, for ages, just watching me use this machine. I think it was quite obvious I was getting embarrassed and uncomfortable with him there, in the end I just stopped dead and looked at him icily and he grinned inanely at me and said 'Well done, I hate that machine, it kills me' then just sort of loitered around me so I said 'Yes it is a bit of a killer isn't it, better get on.' and turned away from him again and luckily he then sloped off.

I know I sound like a right anti social bitch but I don't really want to talk when i'm at the gym, I don't mind friendly hello/ smiles to people but anything more than that and 1) I don't have the breath whilst I'm trying to work out to talk and 2) I just don't have the time.

There's nothing I can do I guess, a big part of it is probably paranoia I appreciate, but sometimes I don't think I am being paranoid and it just pisses me off as I just want to use the gym that I'm paying for each month without feeling self-conscious.

rookiemere Fri 27-Nov-15 14:31:20

How about a set of big headphones.

You don't even have to have music on if you don't want to, but gives the message to others to go away. I have mine on when at the gym as I don't really want to talk or chat to anyone as I'm generally pretty time boxed when there.

You don't sound anti-social at all. Deeply unfair that because you happen to be an attractive young woman you're supposed to engage with any random bloke who comes your way.

firstdirect Fri 27-Nov-15 14:34:30

Your gym doesn't sound very nice tbh. I'm old and plain though (50) so doubt anyone would give me a second look.

I do look at other gym members occasionally, weirdly the woman not the men. The blokes are all just grunting and chucking weights around and eyeing each other up like those lions on David Attenborough. I'm fascinated by really toned, fit women as would love to be like them - I think I hope that I will become them by osmosis if I am sharing the same space!

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