General Question

girlofscience's avatar

Would it be inappropriate to specifically request a gay male trainer at a gym?

Asked by girlofscience (7475 points ) December 4th, 2008

I would feel most comfortable with a gay male as my trainer. I assume it’s typical for gyms to ask if the client would prefer a male or female trainer, but would it be inappropriate to request a specific sexual orientation? I’m assuming it is. So, what is the best way to obtain a gay male trainer (other than luck) at a gym with many trainers?

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33 Answers

dalepetrie's avatar

I’d take a tour of the facility, ask to meet some of the trainers, and find one that you think you’d be comfortable working with (if in your mind the gayest looking guy working there is the one who makes the cut, so be it), ask for the particular person. I wouldn’t ask for “attributes” wrapped in generalities.

richardhenry's avatar

@dalepetrie: That’s what I did*. Don’t ask for a specific gender; just ask to meet some people and then say who you’d most like to train you.

*before I decided that going to the gym bored me more than I could ever imagine

dynamicduo's avatar

Yes, it would be inappropriate to vocalize your intentions explicitly, as there is just as much a chance to find a gay male trainer who doesn’t work well with your style than there is to find a good one. Legally the place may simply not respond to your request as they would be discriminating based on sexuality if they did and that leaves the door open to litigation. But dalepetrie’s approach is perfectly legit, tactful, and a great plan. In general, one can use stealth and observation in many places to find information before making decisions.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Personally, I would not feel comfortable asking for a trainer of a specific life-style. How would management even know if they had gay trainers? It’s not an application question. It would be kind of cool though to have a sort of trainer menu board: “I’ll have the gay vegan with the Fu Manchu and the tight black shorts”.

Umm, by the way, what’s so special about a gay trainer?

shilolo's avatar

@Sueanne. I’m guessing she doesn’t want a straight male trainer in order to avoid possible sexual tension. Why a woman trainer wouldn’t work is up to girlofscience to explain.

Darwin's avatar

Personally I have found that it works best to simply get to know the trainers until you find one you like. Their sexuality shouldn’t even enter into your training – its not like they are going to be a private masseur or anything. In fact, I suspect the club doesn’t know who is gay or care as long as they come to work on time, do their work, and make the clients satisfied with their work outs.

Besides, if you start with a trainer and don’t mesh well with him or her you can always switch trainers. It would be politic to come up with a reason so the club doesn’t eye the trainer askance and so you can still comfortably say “hi” when you pass the trainer in the gym.

And finally, there is more than one level of “gayness.” Do you mean you want someone male but effeminate because you like their style?

Why do want a gay trainer anyway? Do you worry someone might make a pass at you so you want to know he won’t be interested (if so, just say no, and if they insist tell the club and change trainers)? Do you worry that your boyfriend will get jealous (then try a female trainer)?

girlofscience's avatar

@Sueanne_Tremendous: Not sure what you’d consider “special,” but the reason I’d want a gay trainer is because:
1) I’d want a guy rather than a girl because I tend to get along better with and feel more comfortable around men than women.
2) I feel like straight men that are personal trainers would be way more likely to be douches.

= gay male personal trainer preference.

Nothing to do with sexual tension, really. Hope that makes sense.

judochop's avatar

wow, gof- I don’t know how it is where you live but I can tell you this…. In Portland Oregon the gay men at my gym (for the most part) are the douches. It’s not high school. A trainer, straight or gay should be professional and if they are not, let the gym know. It really is just a matter of customer service.

girlofscience's avatar

I’m not concerned with someone not being professional; I just would simply prefer a gay male! Ain’t a girl allowed to have a preference without a completely justified explanation?

I got my answer from dalepetrie—that was a good idea. I only wanted to know how to request my preference, not be criticized for whether I had a valid preference.

dalepetrie's avatar

Glad I could help!

Darwin's avatar

I may be out of the loop but what is meant by “straight men that are personal trainers would be way more likely to be douches.”

I have worked with five trainers, four male, one female. All were fine and professional except for one guy who was seriously ADD but who didn’t take his meds. Hence he tended to miss appointments. When he was there he was fine.

girlofscience's avatar

@Darwin: I don’t know, I just feel like straight men who are so into their looks/body/fitness are more likely the type of be the arrogant idiots who think they can get all the girls and use stupid pick-up lines. (NOT saying they would be acting like that toward me; I just don’t really like guys with that personality in general, whether it is directed toward me or not).

I never had any question about anyone being professional; I just don’t think I would mesh as well, personality-wise, with a straight man who was a personal trainer as I would with a gay man who was a personal trainer.

I have already gotten the answer to my question; can everyone please stop making me justify this random preference of mine? I’m sure all of you have completely rational, valid explanations for all of your preferences…

Mizuki's avatar

How would the trainer dude pass your “gay” test? Will you sniff him down? Turn on the battery powered “gay-dar”? How about the “Ambiguiously Gay Duo”, from SNL Will he be gay enough? How gay is gay enough? Is there such a thing as too gay?—what then? My point is to find a good trainer, without respect to gayness, unless you wish for a female gay-trainer—that makes perfect sense.

girlofscience's avatar

@Mizuki: And Stephen Colbert doesn’t see color.

Darwin's avatar

To be honest, I would recommend you select a trainer who doesn’t have muscles on his muscles and who doesn’t seem to spend most of his time looking at himself in the mirror, whether he is gay or straight (or female). And in my experience, guys with that attitude don’t last long as trainers anyway because they aren’t doing the job they were hired to do.

And quite frankly, of the 5 trainers I have worked with, I am pretty sure one was probably straight because he got married while I knew him and the one I have now is probably straight because he has a girl friend and likes to flirt with non-clients when he isn’t working. However, of the remaining three I have no idea as to their orientation.

And finally, you don’t have to come back and answer every response, you know. You can stop whenever you feel you have gotten the answer you want.

Trustinglife's avatar

GoS, I want to encourage you also to remember that no one is “making you justify this random preference.” Some asked, but stating the reasons for anything opens up the discussion of the reasons. My suggestion would be to share what’s behind your preferences only if you’re open to having them be discussed.

Otherwise, the alternative is to say something like, “Dale had a great answer, and I’d really rather not explain myself and my reasons.” Oh wait – that’s a reason, too, and would probably be discussed. How about: “I got my answer – thanks everyone!” Hard to poke at that one.

Mr_M's avatar

You can’t and wouldn’t DARE ask for a white trainer. Likewise gay.

girlofscience's avatar

@Trustinglife: Great ideas; thanks.

Knotmyday's avatar

It would be no more inappropriate than specifically requesting a eunuch.

Noon's avatar

I don’t think in this situation it would be wrong for you to state your preference, but you should be open to what ever they happen to have available. I mean, you can’t say he has to be gay or else.

As for the people who think this is at all on the same lines as asking for a white trainer , you are way off the point. A trainer will be touching your body, and seeing you in possibly reveling clothing. Not to mention the awkward positions they may put you in. You have the right to make sure you are comfortable in that kind of situation, and someone’s sexuality (and not lifestyle, going to the gym is a lifestyle, being gay just is) has a direct relation to that. Your trainer being black or white however doesn’t.

Mr_M's avatar

Sorry but YOU’RE very wrong. If you have (ex.) racist misgivings about black men with white women, the same certainly DOES apply. If you have racist misgivings about black men and the caliber of their work, the same certainly DOES apply.

Noon's avatar

Ok, sure. But then your racists. But if you are yourself a minority (woman, not a minority, but for sure second class to males in this society) and would prefer another minority (gay male) I think there is less harm in that.

Is there a bit of sexism involved. Of course. Is there a bit of heterophobia involved? sure. But I personally think when you are in the minority you are allowed a certain amount of counter oppression. This of course sounds much worse than it actually is. But you can’t expect a community that has been oppressed in what ever way to just silently accept equality. As long as there is oppression, those who are oppressed will seek out the opportunity to oppress. Is it wrong? Sure. Is it natural? Most definitely. Can some oppression be less harmful than others? Sure, and this is one of the cases.

(I apologize, but I think this post may completely derailed the conversation, if it does, I’ll start another thread sorry)

trogdor_87's avatar

You know most personal trainers are very professional and aren’t looking to “hit on you”...they are just doing their job. So the sexual preference can come off as a little offensive. Just follow everybody else’s advice and check out the place first and then make your dissension after seeing what is available to you at the gym.

maybe_KB's avatar

Ask.
What’s the harm? None-Exactly.
You ever heard of the term ‘No harm-no foul’
If you don’t have any ill-will
Than fo-get-about-it.

Best wishes to all :)

Mr_M's avatar

Can the reverse be true? Can one ask for a gay trainer if they, themselves, are gay and want to turn it into a sexual experience? Or a man asking for the cute blonde girl trainer for the same reason? Or a cougar asking for a stud? Nobody has to know the REAL reason. One could make up a million other “good” reasons.

girlofscience's avatar

@Mr_M: Ok. Apparently I’m totally stupid about this.

I thought a cougar was a hot mom, and a stud was a butchy lesbian.

Obviously my definitions are incorrect because a hot mom would not typically want a butchy lesbian.

What do those terms actually mean?

dalepetrie's avatar

I think “butchy lesbian” might be a re-appropriation of the term stud. Stud historically has meant hot, sexy, and/or virile young male. As for cougar, it’s not a “hot” mom, a hot mom is a MILF (Mom I’d Like to Fuck), a “cougar” is an older woman who finds, shall we say, “comfort” in the company of younger men. As for “butchy lesbian”, I’ve always called them “bull-dykes”.

judochop's avatar

what was the question?

Mr_M's avatar

As I understand the terms, “cougar” was an older woman sexually interested in young men; “stud” was as dalepetrie said, i.e., a hot, sexy and/or virile young male.

Mizuki's avatar

Can I suggest a lesbian Dr to give my husband a physical exam? Wait, that may really turn him on…nevermind

dalepetrie's avatar

Mizuki – your husband getting turned on…probably not a big concern. The lesbians you see in movies rarely look anything like the lesbians you see in real life! I know there are exceptions to prove any rule, but seriously…watch a couple episodes of the L Word then go to your local Pride parade…talk about false advertising!

Mizuki's avatar

careful dale, someone surely would be offended! but the point is well taken.

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, that’s why I acknowledge there are exceptions.

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