Sunday, 14 July 2013

10 steps to a happy co-ed gym. 14.07.13.

Guys, I agree: it’s absolutely disgusting.  Not content with ludicrous liberties such as voting, driving cars and earning their own money, now women are taking over your gym.  And I’m not talking about the sort of gym where you plonk yourself on a treadmill and jog slowly whilst watching MTV, or roll about on an inflatable ball and say you’re working on your core.  I’m talking about proper sweat-and-blood gyms, where you fight against large lumps of iron or each other.  Women are bloody everywhere!  You can’t get away from us!  Fear not, however.  Here are 10 simple points that will make the invasion far less awkward:

1      Women do not have X-ray vision.  Those of you with a partner may be of the impression that women can read minds.  I shan’t lie to you – we can, and we do it all the time[1].  However, none of us has yet managed x-ray vision.  We can’t see through walls.  Unfortunately, if those walls present openings, commonly referred to as “doors”, we can see through them.  Merely walking into the changing rooms does not render you invisible unless you physically shut the door behind you.  If you stand right in front of the open door and start stripping, well, do us a favour and at least wear your best undies, hey.

2      Women have their own toilet.  It is normally marked by a “ladies” sign or a little symbol resembling a person wearing a skirt – a skirt, take note, not a kilt.  That means it’s for people of the female persuasion only.  Whilst we might be willing to share our home toilet with the man or men in our lives, we don’t want your sweaty, hairy bum on our communal seat.  It’s icky and you probably carry the cooties.  And if you leave the seat up…  God help you.

3      Women have boobies.  You might have had a chance to notice them before - they grow right out of our chests?  Actually attached to us?  We can’t take them off and, much as they have a level of plasticity, they aren’t precisely the same as stress toys.  We kinda have to work AROUND them.  For instance, when lifting kettlebells in the rack position – well, our racks are already in the rack position, so the bells have to go elsewhere.  Also, boobies have to be handled with a degree of consideration.  Any activity which involves dropping full weight on your chest HURTS.  You want us to do that, you should consider matching it with something where you have to land full weight on your scrotum, to make it fair.  And as for anything involving a lot of bouncing…  It’s not good, ok?

4      Women do not have testicles.  When it comes to smacks in the groins, we have absolutely no fellow-feelings.  Any man holding focus pads either side of the family jewels without wearing a box better have had all the children he wants.

5      Women are aware that you have testicles.  You do not need to remind us of that fact.  We don’t actually find them that impressive.  If you are wearing a box and you need to adjust it, do feel free to turn away.  If you can’t be bothered, we will probably just tut in our own heads.  However, please refrain from talking to us whilst rearranging yourself.

6      Women do not sweat.  We glow.  We radiate.  At our worst, we may occasionally perspire.  You, on the other hand, sweat like a pig.  You might think that we find sweating men sexy and manly, what with the Coca Cola ads and suchlike things, but that is incorrect.  And as for leftover sweat all over equipment…  Erm, no.  Do feel free to clean up after yourself.

7      A large number of women actually go to the gym to train.  When we want to pick up random blokes, we can just walk into a club and whistle[2].  If you think about it logically, we’re not that likely to engage in an activity that causes us to look like we’re extras from the French Revolution for the purpose of live-trapping mates.  And if you think that we’re there specifically to look at you, because you’re so fit and hot…  Bless you.  Now go away.  Far, far away.

8      Double entendres and sexual comments are inappropriate.  You are in mixed company!  For instance, whilst we might be engaging in an activity that includes an amount of physical contact that may be deemed inappropriate outside the dojo, we must not mention it nor joke about it.  Hence, statements such as “your goal must be to get someone between your legs”[3] CANNOT be the cause of sniggering.  Well, we can snigger all we like[4], but you can’t.  If you make a statement along the lines of “look at the … on that”, we will hear about it and we will make you pay for it for evermore.  And as for staring at women grappling, you’re only allowed to if there’s mud or jelly involved.

9      Women in this country do not carry rabies.  Unfortunately this does not mean that we do not go through phases when we froth at the mouth and are unjustifiably homicidal.  You must not, ever, under any circumstances refer to it.  I could explain all about it, but then I’d have to kill you.  All you can do is learn to identify the symptoms and endure the consequences.  If you say something highly controversial or offensive, such as “Hi”, and we rip your head off and spit down the hole, just look upon it as one of the wonders of nature.  There is nothing you can say.  There is nothing you can do.  Duck and cover.

10   Women are your training equals.  If we did not want to play with the big boys, we’d not go to a big boys' gym.  We are not that easily breakable.  We want to train realistically.  Don’t be patronising or condescending.  However,

10b Women are fragile little petals.  By and large, we’re not as strong or as big as you.  We have squishy bits.  You need to show a bit of consideration, without contravening Point 10.  Yes, it’s practically impossible.  Yes, the goalposts get moved all the time and with no prior warning.  Sorry about that.

[1] Yes, it’s a miracle you’re still alive. 
[2] I refer you to Point 3.  We have the power.
[3] Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  As well as most late night bars, snigger snigger snigger.
[4] And occasionally hum “Sit on my face, and tell me that you love me” for good measure.

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