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Locker Room Etiquette - the clothed, the ones that hide and the ones that let it all hang out!


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As I'm 4 weeks into my workout program and 7 pounds lighter, I've been spending 5-6 mornings a week at my local gym.  The last time I really did the whole gym thing was in college, and we had very private areas to get dressed and showered in.  At my current gym though, it's basically one large locker room area, the shower areas, bathrooms, and then the mirrors/hairdryers/hairspray areas. 

I'm one of those that has a life outside the gym, and since I've done 45 minutes of weights and 30 minutes of cardio, I really need to do a quick shower and get out of the place!  What I've noticed is that there are women, usually in the 40-55 demographic that literally spend upwards of 2 hours in the locker rooms.... and 9 times out of ten they are there for those 2 hours completely nude. 

I'm not a prude.  I don't hide in the stalls to undress or anything.  I simply shower, grab my towel, head to my locker drop my towel for maybe 20 seconds!!, get dressed in a tank and jeans, head to the hairdryers in this outfit, get makeup on, go back to my locker put on my blouse and leave! 

Why do women think it's perfectly ok to be hanging out all nude (it's fine for them, but personally I don't think 99 percent of the ladies want to see them!) why putting on lotion and makeup in the common areas?  Would it be too much inconvenience to put on bras/undies or a towel?  Why do people put their feet up on the counters and shave their toes?  Lotion up like its a sex scene from a movie? 

Anyway, I'm not ashamed of nudity, but I personally don't want to see it in a locker room's makeup area.  I'm perfectly fine if someone is naked for a moment while they get dressed, but I think it's bizarre when it's so excessive and ladies are watching tv in the lounge nude and in the room for hours (they're there when I check-in and still naked 1hr+ later when I'm in the shower!).

I once saw one of these naked ladies outside the gym when I was at the Mall, and I told my friend it was the Naked Lady and she agreed, and said her gym was the same way.  I know people here will say it's all my problem and I need to get over it, but it's a pet peeve of mine. 

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Original Post by betsydiet2008:

Why do women think it's perfectly ok to be hanging out all nude because its a locker room (it's fine for them, but personally I don't think 99 percent of the ladies want to see them! if you don't want to see it, don't look)

 

 

I dunno.. maybe they feel at home and do that at home?

I wouldnt hang out like that at the gym, but when im at home i usualy do that too.... I never find a towel gets me dry enough, so I tend to air dry for a while.

I tend to understand where bestdiet2008 is coming from. I could care less if people are nude in the locker room, but I don't quite get these women that make a social hour out of hanging out nude in there. I'll see the same women day in and day out in there nude before and after my workout just hanging out chit chatting. As a matter of fact, I've never even seen some of them working out. Maybe they use the pool or something, who knows. It doesn't bother me, I just don't quite get it though. Why not have social hour at Starbucks or something rather than a steaming hot locker room?

Why do women think it's perfectly ok to be hanging out all nude because its a locker room (it's fine for them, but personally I don't think 99 percent of the ladies want to see them! if you don't want to see it, don't look)

In response to your post regarding my post:

Believe me I try, but you're talking about a hairdrying/makeup space with counter-tops and mirrors every which way, that when I LOOK at my reflection in the mirror to do my makeup I am overwhelmed by naked bodies all around in the mirrors.... I don't look, I usually have my head down and go to my locker, but that means bumping into a naked person! Anyway, yes, it's a locker room, and as I said I'm not modest (I don't put my bra on while my towel is still on!!), but I find that I'm in the realm of being normal, having etiquette, etc.

It's like these woman can't wait to get nude and walk around. I can even say there's a few of them that don't even workout, but just go in for a steam and massage, then walk around nude for an hour.

I have no problem when they're naked say getting out of a shower and getting dressed or even in the steam room. It's the Makeup Area that really gets me outraged. It's the only place to do your hair and makeup, so I don't have a choice (where am I supposed to go, the toilet stall with a compact mirror?). The makeup area is where these ladies will place one foot/leg high on the counter-top exposing their privates, while applying lotion, plucking a pubic hair, etc. While I have to stand 10 inches away at the next counter-top area blowdrying my hair. Our gym is set up with about 12 stations in this makeup area, 6 on each side with the plugs and curling irons, so if there are 11 people taking them up, you have no choice but to go to the one remaining station. It's not like I can find a NON naked person and say can I borrow your space so I don't have to stand next to Matilda who's got the Jergens out all over her hips.

I just wish the nudies would understand that they are not the only ones in the room & sometimes what they're doing affects others and they should try to be more considerate. Just like anything else in the world....an analogy would be if you are out to dinner at Chili's for family night with a 6 year old and 3 year old and were seated next to a bunch of people celebrating something and they were cussing and hollering, I'd think if they saw a family being sat next to them, they'd clean up the language a bit to be considerate (obviously some wouldn't, but it's just an example).

I don't think I'm alone in this pet peeve of mine, and am curious why gyms don't consider building more private spaces for their guests in the locker rooms. Many golf clubs and swim clubs have private stalls where you literally have a toilet, shower, sink all in one small room and they'll have about 15 of them. You grab your bag/clothing from your locker and simply go inside and do your thing. It cuts down on the people lingering for hours in the locker room.

I know some will say that they enjoy their locker room time to see their friends (albeit nude friends!), but it's just not the place. You overhear gossip from many people, or people trying to put on airs and talk about this fabulous vacation they're doing or their kid got into Harvard, etc. Again, I can't really escape it, unless I go to the toilet area to change. I have no problem with conversations that are gym specific ("did you enjoy the yoga class this morning?"), but let's be honest, that most of these private workout centers are where the ladies tend to treat it like a henhouse with the gossip.

Maybe it's my area, as I've been to clubs with my friends and it's the same there too. But I think anywhere from Orange County California to Chicago, IL that there are many locker rooms with similar aggravated gym clients like myself.

Thanks for letting me vent about it.... Packing my gym bag for my morning's workout, hopefully it won't be a nudie day, as it's not too warm out.

Original Post by la_fadeaway:

 Why not have social hour at Starbucks or something rather than a steaming hot locker room?

Have you hung out naked at Starbucks lately? Talk about uptight! I thought people were laid back in Seattle, but you ask for a latte ONCE with your foot up on the counter, putting lotion on and shaving your toes, *minding your own business*, and all of a sudden you're "banned for life."

I'm totally moving to Europe.

lol@corduroy!

I'm a hider, I change in the toilet stall.  I prefer shower stalls with curtains.  I haven't joined a fitness club in years, but I also do that at the city pool.  I don't get the nudie show either.  Here it's elderly women, not middle-aged. 

LOL - I completely agree with you betsydiet2008!  I'm all for personal freedoms but it all became too much for me when I was greeted by my naked boss at the local gym as she waved frantically from the other side of the locker room and ran over to say good morning and proceeded to carry on drying "bits" of herself that I never wanted to see.  It was not something I needed to see before breakfast!! My housemate had the perfect solution though...she doesn't put her contacts on until she gets out of the locker room.  Our boss was just one giant flesh coloured shape to her!

That said, the one positive I have taken from seeing all the naked bodies at the gym, are that pretty much nobody is perfect!  Everyone has wobbly bits, cellulite or stretch marks (or all of the above!) and knowing that I am totally normal in this respect (rather than seeing those airbrushed pictures in magazines) has done wonders for my self confidence!


I had a similar problem. I just changed gyms because of the morning senior swim class that would sit, fully clothed, for hours watching everyone else dress. They would chat about their kids,grandkids, their diet, diabetes, whatever. And when that got too boring, (they were there for a good three hours five days a week) they would critique everyone in the locker room. It usually would start with comments about clothes, then move on to weight. After I heard them commenting on a large scar I have on my abdomen, I complained to the management. The manager's response was that they were harmless little old ladies, and I should relax.  I'm no prude, but I really take offense to someone spending hours watching others dress. If the "harmless little old ladies" were men, it would never have been tolerated.

After several months of complaints from a number of members, the management supposedly asked them to move their conversations out of the locker room. I still didn't see any improvement, so I found a new gym.

I find the variety of opinions on this topic interesting.  I tend to take the view of the OP; I don't want to see naked women for extensive periods of time either.  I also am not a prude, shower and change in the locker room without really worrying who may be looking, etc.  However, I think what the OP is objecting to is the lack of respect for others more than the overt display of bare flesh.  It's not the nudity per se, it's the flagrant disrespect for the shared space that's irritating.  The make-up area is not the place to "pluck your pubic hair" for God's sake.  Growing up in your house, did you go into the main hallway of your house to do something like this, or did you do it behind closed doors?  Honestly. 

That said, I think Americans as a whole (myself included) are much more hung up on nudity than any other culture.  I am reminded of a trip I took a few years ago to Jamaica, where I was the guest yoga instructor at a resort.  There were people there from all over the world, but mostly from Germany, Austria and Italy where, apparently, it's no big deal to sunbathe naked, walk on the beach naked, swim naked, etc.  Most folks kept their bottoms on, but nearly all the women were topless.  As I was teaching my classes on the beach, it became obvious to me that this was the norm rather than the exception.  I did get used to it, but I never felt totally comfortable with it.  It wasn't judgment of those who were doing it, it was my own sense of discomfort that was so, well, discomforting!  Especially the elderly couple who would take a nude swim at the same time every afternoon -- they were both at least 80.  Not a pretty picture at all, but neither one of them cared the slightest.  Needless to say, we wouldn't see that on the beaches in the US (at least not on the East Coast -- can't speak for the West).

So -- a request to all who may be indulging in the hanging out naked in the locker room?  It's fine to do your thing -- shower, lotion, whatever.  But when it comes time to do the hair and makeup, please do it covered in at least a bra and panties out of respect for everyone else.  Thanks!

I dunno, I wouldn't mind of some naked women wanted to hang out in my locker room ;)

I've been to quite a few gyms and have never seen this behavior. I'm not questioning the report, I'm just surprised I haven't seen it when I've been in a lot of different gyms. Most were a YMCA or university gym; does that matter?

I think it would be perfectly within your rights to say to anyone shaving in the makeup room, "Could you do that somewhere more appropriate?" Also the same for anyone plucking hairs from places they DON'T need a wall mirror.

If a lot of the women are middle-aged to older, their sight may not be perfect and so they don't see as much as you might. This would be especially true for the elderly women. Since they don't see as much, they don't perceive it as a problem. But talking about others who frequent the locker room--bad form! They can talk all they want about their own friends/family, but other gym members should really be off limits.

Totally different question: Have you ever wondered what the men's locker room looks like? I'm convinced that it is covered with wet towels thrown on the floor! Sorry, guys, but I've never known a guy who did NOT do this!! :) Only a few of my female roommates have.

Original Post by paularuck:

I find the variety of opinions on this topic interesting. I tend to take the view of the OP; I don't want to see naked women for extensive periods of time either. I also am not a prude, shower and change in the locker room without really worrying who may be looking, etc. However, I think what the OP is objecting to is the lack of respect for others more than the overt display of bare flesh. It's not the nudity per se, it's the flagrant disrespect for the shared space that's irritating. The make-up area is not the place to "pluck your pubic hair" for God's sake. Growing up in your house, did you go into the main hallway of your house to do something like this, or did you do it behind closed doors? Honestly

Thanks and yes, you totally see what I'm talking about. Like you said, if you grew up in a household that didn't even have males in it, I doubt "Mom" was putting on Body Lotion in nude, in the kitchen. I doubt "lil sis" was waxing her privates while talking on the living room phone. I doubt "big sis" was shaving her legs in the kitchen sink while Grandma came to visit for coffee.

I too, don't really care about the nudity when it's necessary as in the example of going into the showers and steam room. It's just the ladies who are letting it all hang out to air dry or just show you their stuff!

Also, I find it interesting that the women with the more in shape bodies, and have nothing to hide, are usually the ones who are more modest.

Finally, you know I have no problem with topless people at the beach when traveling. It's puzzling to me that I find that perfectly fine, but the locker room irritates me. Maybe because the topless girls at the beach aren't invading my space and I have a choice to move my chair, but in the locker room it's such a confined space and women are usually elbow to elbow.

At the gym today and here's what I saw on this visit to the ladies locker room:Ms. Nude Lady (about 55-60) was there as usual. She was going on and on with her other naked friend about where to go out for dinner with their husbands this weekend. Ms. Nude Lady #2 (about 40 yrs old) at the main entrance to lockers area basically taking up space with her gym bag, 4 towels, bending down and exposing all her womanhood, and seriously creating a backup of 4-5 women who were just trying to get into the lockerroom, and when I tried to go around her maze of bags, towels and other stuff to the BACK of the room, I nearly tripped over on another nudie. Why do the nudies take up the lockers that are nearest to the front entrance, while we others go to the very far corners? Again, it's like they want to be seen in all their nakedness. I never see these ladies in the quiet back section of the locker room where there are sofas, chairs and well it's just a nicer spot. No, these girls are at the main hallway entrance so everyone must go by them and see them! Seriously. They are practically visible when the door is open to the gym that's how Out There they are.....

Thought I was going to get slammed for my locker room vent, but I'm glad I'm not one of the minority! LOL

I actually agree with the OP here and find it funny, I used to go to the gym in the morning or afternoon and since going at night I see a lot of people my age so that hardly happens! I really don't get why it's the older women age group as opposed to the younger ones...I guess we're "prudes", though I change in front of friends or whatever all the time I usually keep underwear on at least, and when I'm at the gym I used to be a hider haha but now I just kind of let it drop, change, and then am out.

When I used to go to the gym when I was younger and there was a sauna, and saw people sitting NAKED in the sauna. Being a young teenager I was pretty judgemental and traumatized by the over-nakedness.

But yeah I agree, no one really wants to see someone bending over the sink painting their toes naked or whatever, lol. (waiting for the males to come prove me wrong on this one)

 

#15  
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I go in the stall simply because I want personal space.  I want to hang my stuff up on the hook & have a moment to cool off.  Some time I just stand in the stall do a little nekkid yoga/stretching.  Besides it would look funny to someone who didn't understand what I was doing. 

Well most  all of the guys I know and talked to about it would rather eat lead than wear a speedo...because they associate it with being "gay" or they don't like that their junk hangs out. Or they feel like a female since it is so tight. It makes sense for a swimmer to wear it however.

And I know it's harsh but most females I know don't mind guys in speedos...as long as they can pull it off, like Michael Phelps for example :) but the majority of us don't want to see someone 60 with a gut hanging over wearing one.

But then again I don't bother going swimming so I really could care less what you guys wear.

Now see, I'd be the one that walked in one day with a sign that said "Get in, get out.  Socialize in the hall" and tape it to the mirror.  It probably wouldn't stay up there long, but some folks might get the hint.

Original Post by mrneville:

My own little beef however is the current style of men's swimsuits. Being in my 40s I grew up when swimsuits were a lot smaller. Growing up I was in a swimclub so I only wore speedos and continue to wear what I think is proper swimming wear when doing laps. I've tried the big balloon pants and I can't stand them. They drag so much water with them it's like a ship dragging an anchour and when you get out of the water you're dripping for the next 1/2 hour and getting cold because you're not drying off. I actually didn't know the briefs were an issue with people until I heard a co-worker complaining about having seen some guy in a swim brief and how absolutely horrible it was for her. And she was in a swim club!! What's up with that? Seriously, I wear it because its appropriate for swimming. What is the issue that some women (and men) have with the swimsuits I grew up in?

Mr. Neville

Unfortunately, Mr Neville -- many men choose to continue wearing the brief type swim suit long after their body has grown out of it.  I'm a swimmer (still compete) and a coach - coached Master's swimming for a while -- and the worst sight is when a man is walking around in a swim suit, but you can't see the front.  Dunlap's disease.  Where the belly dun lapped over the belt (or in this case the suit).  Although you have to respect the fact that he is still working out and some of them compete at an amazing level

There is nothing I appreciate more than seeing an appropriately built man (doesn't have to be built like Phelps, just not 7-9 months pregnant belly), wear a speedo brief -- but some guys need to move on to a Jammer (longer legs, still tight to the body), where we can tell he is actually wearing a suit...

Coach

 

Original Post by mkculs:

I've been to quite a few gyms and have never seen this behavior. I'm not questioning the report, I'm just surprised I haven't seen it when I've been in a lot of different gyms. Most were a YMCA or university gym; does that matter?

 I've been to a few gyms as well and I find what the OP has mentioned in most places too.  I'm a hider so I'm a bit uncomfortable; I go in and get out.  I am aware that is a "my problem" thing though.

I've also been to the Y but not for myself.  I've been there for my daughter's swim classes...to help her change and whatnot.  I have only seen the lounge around naked type once.  Maybe the Y doesn't have it as much because there are more kids around??  That's my thought on it. 

On a similar note...the Y and nakedness...because it seems that moms are the ones that take the kids to these classes more often than not...what did bother me was when moms bring in their sons into the women's locker area, have him in his buff and not seek some sort of privacy.  Yup, that was a conversation I did not want to have with my daughter in a women's locker room.  Not only because of his nakedness and body parts but explaining that no, it really isn't OK [for her] to bare all in front of the opposite sex.

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