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Cruising affirms our power to attract, to accept and to reject attention from others. It can allow us to feel sexually charged and alive.
It allows us to experience a risk of possible rejection.
We’re sexual beings after all, and men are often particularly easily aroused by visual stimulation. Exposure and exhibitionism Gyms provide an ideally rich and fertile space for the build-up of sexual energy – we naturally become increasingly aware of our own bodiliness while also being visually bombarded with images of other bodies.
Socialisation plays a role Our gender-based socialisation also plays a role in this scenario: 1. Mirrors, posturing and posing, straining muscles, working bodies, subtle elements of exposure and blatant exhibitionism in the showers conflate with our endorphins to create a ritualised worship of narcissistic bodiliness.
), but that didn’t go down too well and I was sent off to explore the topic further.
Men are sexual beings Before we look at gay men specifically, let’s consider all men: I bet that a straight man sweating in the gym sauna with a semi-naked woman sitting beside him would also experience a few carnal thoughts.
Ask the Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert or the Transgender Advisor How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?
Speech implies a loss of anonymity and negates the concept of “body as object”.Imagine a straight bar, pub, shebeen or indeed a gym and know that cruising behaviour (aka flirting in Straightville) is definitely taking place. The straight guys have been socialised to get into the girls’ knickers as soon as possible, while the girls have been socialised to try (or at least to appear to be trying) to keep men out of their knickers for as long as possible. Remove the girls’ energy from the scenario, place two horny men together without the restraints of the girls’ socialisation and suddenly: boom-chaka-boom, we have two parties who have both been programmed to get to home base A. And for many men, whether gay or straight, this translates into a complex worship of masculinity.Gym - a macho environment The intense interface between straight and gay men in gyms is an interesting phenomenon.In such situations we desire the beefy body and the attached gonads, not the “person”.And, before the editor wonders where I’m going with this, there are similar protocols around communication and personal space being played out in gyms.