This Is Why I Jerk Off at the Gym (Slightly NSFW)

Oct 14, 2013 at 6am

It’s a Tuesday. I’m finishing my workout at my neighborhood gym. I walk into the locker room, throw my clothes off, and head to the showers. The water is warm. I’m feeling like a real go-getter. The endorphins, the steam – it’s relaxing. Veeery relaxing. I take a handful of the shower gel that the gym supplies in buckets and start lathering up. I’m making sure things are clean down there. Really, really clean. (Not really, readers – I’m jerking off. Duh.)

So I’m a showerbater; I admit it. I like putting on a show, and for the most part, the other people at my gym seem OK with it too. The couple of guys showering around me look as though they like seeing a show. I’m not just showing off; I like the idea of sexuality at the gym. It’s like these showers are a site of fraternal bonding. We are all here together, working on ourselves, motivating one another – and wow, this is feeling really good. I grab some more soap, bite my lip, and... 

It’s not as hard as you might think – I mean, to hide your boner when you’re stark naked. You do a kind of thing where you press it up against yourself and hide it behind your forearm. Ok, now keep moving—washing, and stuff. For anyone to get a good look, either you or the looker has to hold still. Somebody has to lock eyes with your dick to really see it. The reason I bring this up is because practically the minute I “finish up,” the shower door swings open and a young guy that the gym has recently hired, the masturbation monitor, is staring at me.  

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Openly jerking off with your friends and neighbors in the shower is probably unique to gay gyms, but everyone showerbates. Guys will tell you they do it because it’s easy – hey, no mess! But the truth? The shower is safe. God doesn’t look at you here; he’s no pervert. And if you didn’t grow up with God watching you masturbate, you probably got into the habit because your mom didn’t see you there – except under some very extreme circumstances. Personally, I’m into postworkout showerbation because it’s a convenient, sexy, healthful way to take care of all my needs in just one stop.

Gyms have always been an important space for gay men. Gyms and bathhouses: this is where we’ve had erotic encounters for most of modern history. If you’re a young gay man, what do you even do but fantasize about the guys you see showering after P.E. or sports?

My gym happens to be one of the gayest in the world – it’s in the Castro, for God’s sake. There’s no bacchanalia, nothing wild, though. Sure, we have a bit of jerking off in the shower.  Maybe you find yourself helping out a buddy or sucking dick. Friendly stuff. But now they’ve hired a masturbation monitor and closed the steam room. It feels as though with every new glass high-rise that goes up along Upper Market, the eyes of the straight world penetrate deeper into the most sanctimonious hallows of the Castro.

I asked the dude at the front desk why they closed the steam room, and he told me health codes and gym patrons complaining. Do I think the health code is wrong? No. Does it stop me from jacking off in the shower? No. So where do I fall? Hire a sterilizer, not a masturbation monitor, fuckers.

As far as the gym patrons complaining? Either the straight infiltration is already worse than I thought, or my brothers are traitors (cool gay marriage, bro.)

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Not losing a second, I wrap a towel around myself and try to hide my red, semi-erect penis from the masturbation monitor. I walk out into the locker area still a bit wet. Did he see me? Did my forearm trick work? I wonder. Then, I remember: the truth is written on the wall, right where I was standing. I’m talking about my jizz. It’s on the wall where I left it. Definitely against the health code.

I get dressed, wondering what exactly is going to happen when I walk out of the locker room. The monitor walks past me and gives me a look out of the corner of his eyes as I pull up my tighty-whities. I feel a subtle terror.

I walk past the front desk, imagining what they are going to do to me. Will they pin a picture of me behind the desk? Put up a sign that reads “This public masturbator is not welcome!”? Get out a pair of scissors and cut the fob off my key ring right in front of everybody? That would be some pretty heavy-handed symbolism, dudes.

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In the end, though, they do nothing. I walk home, looking up at the new condos. Folsom is now a bust. Scott Wiener says you can’t show your wiener. I decide that no matter how many laws they enact, steam rooms they close, masturbation monitors they hire, or straight (and apparently gay) dudes I creep out – I’m going to jerk off at my gym.

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This story is part of our week-long package of anonymous stories. Learn more about it here.

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