Author Topic: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?  (Read 7270 times)

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jmarvellous

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Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« on: November 14, 2012, 11:57:57 AM »
My boyfriend and I generally work out together, adjusting to fit our needs but usually sticking close by each other. Last night we were doing curls and other standing exercises with barbells, standing facing each other about 2 feet from a row of elliptical machines. We were minding our own business, counting off reps.

In the middle of the first set, guy on elliptical pipes up, "This is not fair. I'm trying to keep a steady heart rate!"
We don't respond.
"I can't keep this with such a pretty girl working it in front of me like this!"
BF looks at him with a bit of a smile.
"Seriously, if she keeps flexing like that, I'm going to have to stop. She's a real good looking girl."
BF says, "Come on, dude."
We're between sets, talking about unrelated things and ignoring the guy, who keeps muttering about how hot I am.
I say, "Come on, quit it" and back away by a few inches so I'm not in his line of direct sight. We start up again, and guy says, "You both have great form, but SHE is something else. Guys my age don't usually get to see girls like her. This is a great show."
Ignoring and lifting continue, while he keeps making remarks, telling BF how pretty/hot/sexy "she" is; he gets pretty weird, saying things like that I remind him of his oldest daughter.

At no point does he address me directly, and at no point does BF give him any feedback except that first incredulous smile and remark. It's a pretty tight space without a lot of room to readjust.

So, later, I told BF that I felt like a man who clearly had so little respect for women needed to be told as much by a man, and he said, "Yeah, I should have said something, huh?" I told him it was fine because I didn't feel immediately threatened, just objectified by a creep, but that neither of us should be so quiet next time.

What would you have done? What would you expect your partner to do if someone was directing remarks about you to them?

(Lest I sound like this happens all the time-- it doesn't. Yesterday was just my unlucky day.)

DottyG

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 12:00:00 PM »
Yes, the guy crossed the line.  And yes, I'd be pretty angry at my BF for not telling him so.


TurtleDove

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 12:01:48 PM »
Ugh.  Generally I would say to ignore that kind of thing, but since this was a "captive" situation I think asking the gym personnel to say something would make sense.  I'm sorry that happened to you - it's nice to receive compliments but not when the motivation is sketchy at best and when there is clearly no reciprocity of interest. 

Ah - I may have missed the question.  I would alert gym personnel to handle the guy and I think your BF was fine ignoring under the circumstances you described.  There is no need to perhaps get into an altercation with the guy and your BF did ask him to stop.  It wasn't clear to me what you did during this?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 12:04:32 PM by TurtleDove »

WillyNilly

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 12:05:02 PM »
I think that is actually a matter for the gym management to handle.  You were being sexually harassed in the gym.  It should not be up to your boyfriend to have to defend you, the gym should be a safe and comfortable place for you - full stop.  Boyfriend or alone.  I think you should have asked him to stop commenting on your body once and after that just walked over to someone who works there and told them the situation and let them handle it.  The next woman he does this too might not have a boyfriend to defend her - he might do this to two women or a single woman, or whatever.  Its not ok.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 12:06:58 PM »
First of all, ewwwwwww.

DH and I also work out together.  I've done better with my weight loss than DH has so I'm looking the best I have in a long time.  However, if some creepazoid started talking at me (he wasn't talking to you, OP, just at you) he would have gone right up to said jerk and said "Look, either you stop ogling my wife and making slimy comments or I will stuff one of these barbells where the sun don't shine".

Your BF should have said something.  Guys like this don't listen when a woman says it.  He wasn't a gym "flirt"; he was the gym slimeball.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 12:08:43 PM »
First of all, ewwwwwww.

DH and I also work out together.  I've done better with my weight loss than DH has so I'm looking the best I have in a long time.  However, if some creepazoid started talking at me (he wasn't talking to you, OP, just at you) he would have gone right up to said jerk and said "Look, either you stop ogling my wife and making slimy comments or I will stuff one of these barbells where the sun don't shine".

Your BF should have said something.  Guys like this don't listen when a woman says it.  He wasn't a gym "flirt"; he was the gym slimeball.

Well put.  The guy is a scuzzbag.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 12:10:29 PM »
I would have told him (politely) to stick a sock in it. When he kept it up, I would've gone to the gym managers.

MrTango

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 12:14:16 PM »
His first comment crossed the line.

After his second comment, I would have gone to the management and asked them to deal with it.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 12:15:47 PM »
I think the first step should be to tell him clearly and directly that his attention and comments are unwanted, and that he needs to stop. Direct eye contact and a firm voice, "Your comments about my appearance are unwelcome. You need to stop now." Then, if he continues, definitely speak to gym employees. (If it were me, I'd talk to at least one of the gym employees now to give them a heads up that he is a problem, because chances are you are not his only target for this behavior.)

Twik

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 12:26:24 PM »
His first comment crossed the line.

After his second comment, I would have gone to the management and asked them to deal with it.

Absolutely.

THis is not a case of "did he edge over the line?". He sailed past it in his first remark, and left the line so far behind in the rest of his behaviour that you'd need the Hubble Telescope to see it. You just do *not* comment on other people's appearance (good or bad) in such a way.

Unfortunately, this man probably believes that telling a girl that she's "hot" and "putting on a show for him" is actually a compliment, and likely to make her think that he is hot, testosterone-loaded stuff. BF should not have said anything to him, since this creep would find it confirming his belief that he's "winning" this stud contest - he should have quickly gotten the gym management over and had the creep ejected.

And this is not "fine" just because the OP didn't feel he was likely to jump her on the spot. This is what you find when you look up "sexual harassment" for a definition. And the bit about his daughter was seriously disturbing.
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Allyson

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 12:29:11 PM »
Yes, he definitely crossed the line! Why are people expecting that the boyfriend has more responsibility than she does to get him to stop, though? It sounds like they both said one thing to him, but didn't follow up. We talk a lot about how women have trouble speaking up, and trouble with conflict--some guys can have that problem too. And really, I'd rather a guy inclined to back off than one inclined to jump in and start threatening the guy. Sure, it would've been ideal for both of them to be able to tell him to back off firmly in a way he would listen to, but *lots* of people lack those skills.

sourwolf

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 12:32:02 PM »
Yes, the guy crossed the line.  And yes, I'd be pretty angry at my BF for not telling him so.
No offense, but this is pretty sexist.  The OP should have spoken up since she was the one being harassed, and if that didn't work she should have gone to management.  While it is is great to have a SO support you, it's important to be able to take action against these sorts of things on your own.

DottyG

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 12:32:32 PM »
Allyson, you have a good point.  The OP could have said something as well.  But something needed to be said to him sooner rather than later.

I'm not saying a threatening statement; I'm saying a "Knock it off.  You're not funny, and I do not appreciate these comments" type of statement.

Then, I'd go to management.  I would make my own statement first, though, and then go to them.

DottyG

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 12:32:55 PM »
Sourwolf, I was posting at the same time you were.  But I've already corrected my statement.


sourwolf

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 12:36:07 PM »
Sourwolf, I was posting at the same time you were.  But I've already corrected my statement.

Great.  It's important to be proactive about these sorts of things.