How to flirt at the gym. Flirting at the gym – is it possible? Should you try it? And if so how? With most public indoor spaces still closed and an unfortunate blast of icy weather, finding flirtation-friendly venues is trickier than ever for those looking to meet new people and build rapport. The re-opening of the gym post-lockdown provides an opportunity to try this out as an experiment. Gym flirtation. Does it work? I’m also reviewing the gym as though it’s a sex party event (which clearly it isn’t) because there is nothing else to review at the moment!
Is the gym a good place to try flirting?
There are not many great places to meet new people at the moment. We can try to talk to strangers in the park (advice on how to do that right will be coming soon. Advice on how to do it wrong is covered in How to Harass Women in the Park: 101.
We could book ourselves a table at a bar or restaurant and look around, but we will be advised to stay seated and not mix by the staff (for obvious reasons- pandemic people!). We can try the tricky art of ‘street pick up’ outdoors or in crowded shops, complete with facemasks and 2 metre distancing rules. Or we can go somewhere to do sports which are now restarting. The gym isn’t the only option. Rock climbing (beloved by nearly all kinksters, for some reason- maybe it’s the rope and harnesses?) is a possibility, as are a few others. But today we will look at how to flirt at the gym, run pick up strategies and otherwise make new connections.
The gym would, on the surface, appear to have many things going for it that would make it a great and easy place to practise a little pickup, get back in the swing of things and regain our rusted social and flirtation skills.
Why the gym is great for pickup
- you can go alone and not look awkward
- it’s a low pressure social situation, as there is an alternative activity to engage in
- the layout is perfect- you can easily move around between equipment clusters to mingle and approach to a 2 metre distance with ease
- you appear to already share a hobby with everyone there, which means you have something you can talk about
- there are mirrors everywhere, which mean you can see who is checking you out, check others out on the sly and see how you are looking at all times
- there is the opportunity to really show off- the equipment and expected clothing means that you can stretch, flex and rub your own inner thighs in a way you wouldn’t get away with elsewhere
Why the gym sucks for pickup
- everyone has in earphones! This makes it almost impossible to be heard if you try to make a friendly comment to someone in order to check for indicators of interest
- there seems to be an unspoken rule that attempting pickup at the gym, or even speaking to anyone, is a massive faux pas. People look at you like you are crazy when you try, even if it’s casual and friendly rather than flirtatious. It is probably almost as strange as trying to flirt on the underground.
- it’s not considered a designated pickup space. Whereas going to a bar or similar, people are in the frame of mind to mix and flirt, at the gym they seem caught off-guard by it. They aren’t expecting it, and aren’t in the right headspace to be receptive.
The Giant Gym Flirting Experiment – learning how to flirt at the gym
Finding out how to flirt at the gym? Being an intrepid social explorer, I set out to discover what trying to flirt at the gym would really be like, and see if I could glean some tips and strategies for my lovely lockdown libertines to blossom back into the spring of sexuality.
I signed up to a gym group in London which allowed multiple locations, and set out exploring a few. I tried one in East London, one in West London, one in South West London and one in Central South London.
The Gym Flirtation Experiment – how to flirt at the gym, my one week study:
Day 1- West London, Monday
I went to a reasonably (but not massively) affluent area of West London to start out with my experiment and see if I could figure out how to flirt at the gym. It has been a long lockdown and the idea of speaking to anyone at all and trying to start a conversation is quite anxiety inducing. Yet the best way to get over that is to practise constantly, until it’s easy, so I need to build back my flirting muscle. That’s what I’m really here to work, sod the abs.
I made quite a show of wandering around looking a little lost so that someone might offer to guide me around and allow me the opportunity to ask random strangers questions. Finding a stair machine to warm up, afterwards I saw an opportunity to speak to someone- I couldn’t see the spray and tissue station, and the woman next to me had some. I gestured towards it to ask her where she got it, but between wearing my mask and her in headphones, she misunderstood and thought I was trying to start a fight with her by saying she wasn’t doing it properly. My disarming crooked smile doesn’t work so well under a mask, and I didn’t realise until the end of the session that they were no longer required during exercising. My mission on finding out how to flirt at the gym was going to need a lot more work. Body language and facial expression is a big part of flirting, and masks do make it more tricky. You can read some tips on how to flirt in a face mask here.
I passed a really big guy on the stairs, and said ‘Gosh, I can’t believe how tough it is coming back to the gym after so long!’ He glanced at me like I was a crackhead trying to stop him in the street and walked on. Clearly, this is not how to flirt at the gym, then.
Now, this sounds like a pretty disastrous start. I did, however, start practicing some moves. Choosing machines that gave a nice motion to watch (the cross trainer makes for a great bouncy Bay Watch slow-motion run if you wiggle your bottom) or a flattering body line (not the neck-cords on end ab cruncher) kept my mind occupied. I over-fingered the empty tissue dispenser as though it were an aroused vulva. Flourished the tissue and spray like I was making an advertisement for it. I polished down the equipment with sanitiser like Snow White turned Stepford wife, and suggestively rubbed it up and down any equipment handle that even vaguely resembled a penis. I certainly got some men watching me, but they didn’t approach. Figuring out how to flirt at the gym is clearly about more than getting visual attention.
Half an hour down, I decided to take it easy for my first session back and call it a day.
Wearing bright colours to signal a mate has long been seen in birds and other parts of the animal kingdom.
Wearing tight clothing is commonly used to signal for a mate in Homo sapiens.
Day 2- West London, Wednesday
Having sought some tips from my old pick up mentor, I went in bright colours and sans face mask for my second attempt (I’m vaccinated anyway) at finding out how to flirt at the gym. I focussed on trying to make and hold eye contact with people, but they always looked away once I looked at them. Trying my beaming smile as I exercised, which could legitimately just be believed to be a shared moment of endorphin induced euphoria, wasn’t very productive either. I fluffed around with the weight and seat settings more than normal, in the hopes that someone might see it as an opportunity to approach and help out a newbie.
No such luck. Although having someone come over and mansplain how to exercise to you when you know your workout regime and #bodygoals would indeed be pretty annoying, I was clearly playing up my helplessness to give them an excuse. Figuring out how to flirt at the gym, one seemingly cannot rely on outdated stereotypes of helpless females being aided by men.
I noticed a lot of women there were in full makeup, taking selfies, and doing some very showy workouts on the machines. One tiny blonde was doing some sort of leg lift ballet move on the stair climber. When someone is making an effort to do big movements and take up space, it is usually an indicator that they would appreciate attention. She didn’t look at me however, so perhaps I’m not her type, though maybe these women have some lessons to teach me about how to flirt at the gym.
Day 3 -East London, Thursday
Arrived after work. Was so busy there was a one-in, one-out system at the door, and 20 people queuing outside. Mission abandoned.
Day 4- West London, Friday
Friday was a little quieter than the other days had been, so perhaps folks were making the most of pubs and restaurants reopening with loved ones. There seemed to be quite a lot of very hot people there however (and on this occasion, that meant a lot of tattooed, brunette bearded slightly hipster-ish and clearly very fit men, who could easily have all been brothers). Certainly, plenty of motivation for me to master the nuances of how to flirt at the gym.
It was late afternoon, so perhaps they weren’t dateless but just squeezing in a session before other plans. One of the staff was a very beautiful, masked, dark haired lady, probably in her early 20’s with the most beautiful flower tattoo sleeves I’ve ever seen. I could have easily approached her to talk as a staff member, but I feel like that’s cheating.
Approaching staff, whether at the bar or gym, is a very lazy and cowardly way to practise pick up. You know they are paid to be there, almost certainly not going to be a productive lead for frolics, and you are doing it simply because they are obliged to be polite to you. It’s far better to risk it with people ‘in the wild’ and be rejected 10 times than waste an hour or an evening having a one-sided flirtation with someone who isn’t interested, but is stuck there and trying not to offend you. In any case, it wouldn’t have helped me try strategies for how to flirt at the gym.
Day 5 – Sunday, East London
Got into the formerly very busy gym, found the lockers were different to the other venues and that my gym locker padlock wouldn’t secure it. I took my stuff with me and got 10 minutes into it before I was told I had to leave, as I couldn’t have by bag on the gym floor. Not much chance to practise my tricks for how to flirt at the gym. Bummer. I’m still counting it as a workout though.
Day 6- Monday, South West London
I recruited my old pick up mentor to give me some pointers and objective feedback for an early morning gym session. Was I overdoing it with my porn star-esque grunting, panting and posing? It could be a legitimate reason why people would stare but not approach.
The gym was very busy, especially in certain areas. There was a very athletic man doing some sort of gym somersaults on a piece of equipment, and I considered trying to praise him on it but he stopped and did something else before I finished my warm up on the cross trainer. There was another guy who did a full hands-down-the-pants genital rearrangement in the middle of the gym. I decided to give him a a miss.
My old pick up tutor had a quick chat with me and asked me what my regime was. I clearly have no regime. He sent me a load of links to get one, and I rapidly realised that trying to talk about gym stuff to gym people was going to out me as a charlatan who wasn’t actually there for the exercise.
The heavy free-weights area was rammed with muscle-men, but the weight machines in another section were much quieter. It felt a little intimidating to go into the heavy-weights sea of testosterone and male sweat, especially as I’m clearly not a weight lifter. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to pick any of the weight up, let alone the men. I went to the quieter section, where the gym bunnies were a little less burly and seemed possibly an easier target, in that I wouldn’t rapidly be outed as a complete fraud for being there.
My old mentor started pinging me phone challenges.
- Your task, should you choose to accept, is to ask 5 people for tips on a specific exercise or body part.
I had a scout around for some suitable people. There seemed to be 2 camps: The semi-pro weightlifters, who would undoubtedly find it ridiculous that a scrawny little thing like me would want bicep building tips at a level where they were so clearly advanced, and the ‘I’ve got 2 stone of lockdown weight to lose people,’ who would probably think I was making fun of them if I asked.
Everyone had in earphones. I couldn’t find a good target to try to interact with for this.
2. Give a compliment about the body part you want to work on.
I considered briefly the repercussions of going up to a woman and saying ‘nice ass,’, and decided not to. Trying to go a little broader, I tried to find someone with a nice body part that they would likely accept a compliment on, that wasn’t overtly sexual and creepy. I struggled.
I wasn’t ready to be so forward with complete strangers, and wanted some easier openers. Maybe that’s the environment, or maybe it’s just me being out of practice.
In the end, we regrouped to debrief over coffee.
Here were the questions from the debriefing, in my lesson on how to flirt at the gym:
Did him apparently coming over to speak to me work for or against?
I was of the opinion that to be apparently approached by a male stranger and receptively chat to them might encourage other men who saw this to talk to me, but he pointed out that they might speculate we were a couple and that this would deter them, and possibly lesbians.
is it creepy to start conversations at the gym?
Given that there is a tannoy message repeating, saying to be respectful, do people feel that no talking or communication with others at all is allowed or wanted? It certainly seemed that way. And yet smiling, casually talking and being friendly is 100% LESS creepy than staring at someone silently. As soon as you talk, show you are happy, relaxed, with open body language, a smile and some casual chit chat, you diffuse the creepy vibe. Of course, it is necessary to look for cues and feedback.
Does the person reciprocate with a smile and eye contact? Do they move closer or further away? Do their gestures indicate flirtation or discomfort? You need to read them all the time, and be very sensitive to issues like personal space (even without Covid), backing them into a corner (literally) and in a venue like this, keep it very relaxed, low key and friendly rather than aggressively sexual. Being pleasant, friendly and outgoing is a great skill that makes people happy. It can be a gateway to future conversations of flirtations, but it doesn’t have to be.
Once you’ve spoken to someone once, it’s much easier the next time. And you are bound to see them again at they gym. Gym-goers are creatures of habit, tend to go often, and usually at the same days and times. It’s an easy set-up to run into the same people over and over and build rapport with them slowly.
Is it necessary to actually know anything about the gym and fitness, and be sincere in the body-sculpting hobby to be successful with pickup there?
My initial beliefs were that it wouldn’t be. Men are not that picky, and women who like women often enjoy our softness and curvy bits. My mentor, however, pointed out that my, shall we say intellectual/artist physique, was not going to win me any favours among those who take body sculpting seriously. It also left me without convincing banter to have discussions, and basically ‘outed’ me as an outsider to the gym bunny tribe. I’d need to do a little homework and take things more seriously to crack into their coven convincingly.
Is it worth trying pickup and flirting at the gym? Can you learn how to flirt at the gym successfully?
While what my mentor said may be true of ‘peacetime’ gym pickup, at the moment I suspect there are a lot of people going for the same reason I am. There’s little else to do, it’s hard to meet people. A lot of folks want to relaunch into the post-lockdown dating scene after breakups (24 hours a day stuck with someone for a year will destroy most relationships) without feeling they look like a sack of potatoes.
The banter and the flirting muscle has withered in almost all but the most natural extroverts, and we have to work harder than ever to make people believe we are showing a genuine interest in them (low self esteem in your target accounts for 50% of all apparent brush-offs).
There were clearly people there looking. And clearly people who wanted to be seen. The tricky part is bridging that gap. Take your headphones out and say hello, folks. That’s my top tip.
Taking it to the next level with gym flirting
My mentor, talented pick up tutor though he is, did have hesitations about trying pick-up at the gym. It’s discouraged. He told me women don’t like it usually when you try. Yet we gave it a shot.
Clearly, what we need is to find a beautiful, confident woman, who pretty much lives in the gym. It’s her comfort zone, her native habitat, if you will. A place where she she is boss, knows her stuff, and has no imposter syndrome or hesitations, unlike your nerdy swinger guide here. Let’s get her advice on how to practise pick up and flirting at the gym.
Top tips for gym pick up from Sadistic Coach:
These are simple, genius, and well worth a listen.
Is it worth going to the gym to work your flirtation muscles? What are the chances of success flirting at the gym? And how does the gym rate as an adult venue? Here, I apply the standard event review criteria that unicornhunting.blog applies to all sex parties and kink event reviews, so you can decide for yourself:
Are GUESTS ARE APPROACHABLE?
😒People were difficult to approach. Most had in headphones, which made it difficult to start a conversation.
😁YES. THOUGH THERE IS NO SELECTION PROCEDURE, THERE WERE A MIX OF AGES, BODY TYPES, NATIONALITIES AND ETHNICITIES visible. some venues had more conventionally attractive people than others.
😐 THough there was certainly equipment that allowed a level of masochism and self punishment, active impact play or dominance was not observed and would probably be frowned upon.
😐 I DID NOT SEE ANY PEOPLE THERE WHO I COULD IDENTIFY AS TRANS, but the venue has no gender pricing or notable policy online that i could find. the changing rooms are open plan and would lack privacy, should this be important to you.
BODY SHAPE INCLUSIVE?
😁 THERE WERE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES, ALL LOOKING AMAZING. although there were plenty of hard-core weightlifting men and tiny ballerina-type women, there were clearly also people at every venue who had felt the effects of lockdown, or were firmly plus size.
😁 the gym is for adults, but there is no specified age range and there were people at all venues from their late teens until well into retirement. the average age for most was probably about 25-35.
😁 though most people appeared to be working out alone, a few came in as couples.
😁 There were a lot of good looking single women at all venues. although it is not certain that they were single, many were in revealing attire, wearing full makeup, taking selfies and doing some very showy workouts, so it might be inferred that they would enjoy being noticed.
😁 there were a lot of men who had come in alone. they may not all actually be single, but there were quite a few who were checking women out in the mirrors, doing very showy workouts and it could be inferred that they would enjoy some attention.
AFFORDABLE AND VALUE FOR MONEY?
😁 I signed up for £12.50 for the first month with no joining fee, which was a half price offer. this allows me to attend up to 5 of their venues, and in theory you could attend all day every day for no extra cost, which makes for a great value event.
😁There is a keypad entry system so it is not accessible to the general public, however literally anyone caN JOIN. THERE ARE LOCKERS TO PUT AWAY ANY VALUABLES AND STAFF ON THE GYM FLOOR KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS. THERE ARE REGULAR TANNOY NOTICES SAYING NOT TO BE A CREEP (THE ACTUAL WORDS WERE MORE TO THE EFFECT OF REMINDING PEOPLE TO BE RESPECTFUL)
😁 uSUALLY, THERE WAS PLENTY OF SPACE AND EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE. THERE WAS, OBVIOUSLY, NO DESIGNATED PLAY SPACE FOR SEX, AND SUCH AN occurance WOULD BE FROWNED UPON.
😒 DEFINITELY NOT. THOUGH YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO FIND SOMEONE TO SWING WITH THERE, OR ATTEND THE GYM WITH SWINGER FRIENDS, IT IS NOT DESIGNED AS A SEXUAL VENUE. IF YOU WANTED TO TRY YOUR LUCK, SAME-SEX FROLICS IN ONE OF THE SHOWER CUBICLES MIGHT BE YOUR BEST BET.
😁 IN TERMS OF GYM EQUIPMENT, YES. THERE ARE LOCKERS, SHOWERS, CHANGING ROOMS, TOILETS, DRINKS MACHINES AND PLENTY OF WEIGHT MACHINES, FREE WEIGHTS AND FLOOR MATS, PLUS CARDIO MACHINES. IN TERMS OF PLAY SPACE FOR SEX OR A DUNGEON? DEFINITELY NOT.
ROCK UP LAST MINUTE WITH A FRIEND?
😁 YES! IT IS EASY TO SIGN UP STRAIGHT AWAY ONLINE, OR IF YOU HAVE THE PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP YOU CAN BOOK THEM A FREE SESSION TO COME WITH YOU A FEW TIMES A MONTH. YOU DON’T NEED TO RESERVE A SPACE, YOU CAN GO WHENEVER YOU FEEL LIKE IT, AS LONG AS THE VENUE IS OPEN.
EASY TO GET A MEMBERSHIP?
😁 YOU JUST SIGN UP AND PAY ONLINE. ITS VERY EASY TO GET A MEMBERSHIP AND THERE ARE NO APPARENT CRITERIA FOR EXCLUSION.
😁 aS THERE ARE Multiple venues all over the place you should be able to easily choose one near your home or work. they are usually within 10 minutes of a tube station. there did not appear to be any designated parking facilities in the london branches i tried, i am not sure if there is parking for ones outside of london
😐 The venues mostly had a set of stairs to enter the changing rooms and/or the main gym area. the keycode lock system would not be wheelchair friendly, however as a public business they would have a legal requirement to make their premises accessible. if you require special access arrangements it would be a good idea to contact your chosen venue directly to find out about their provision. some of the machines may be difficult to use with restricted mobility
Do you have any top tips for flirting and pick up at the gym? What works for you? Or what is a really bad strategy you’ve had tried on you? Do you feel confident enough to approach a hot stranger at the gym? Is a safe space synonymous with a silent space? Please share your stories in the comments below.