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Men’s Locker Room Etiquette

As a triathlete, I spend a fair amount of time at the gym and in men’s locker rooms. I have witnessed many strange breaches of gym etiquette in these locker rooms. It has become obvious to me that most men do not understand locker room etiquette. This article hits the major men’s locker room etiquette points.

Disclaimer: For some reason (as you can see from the very opinionated comments below), many people find this article offensive. My intent is not to be offensive, but merely to point out some useful tips for how to behave in the locker room. Also, perhaps I’ve just been naïve, but I had no idea that men’s locker rooms are a common area where guys “cruise” other guys or look for potential partners. I certainly don’t do this. I’m simply there to workout and cleanup afterwards.

Typical Men's Locker Room Shower
Typical Men’s Locker Room Shower

Locker Room Shower Etiquette

Most men’s locker rooms typically have a large open area with a number of shower heads. This is more of a communal type shower, contrary to women’s locker rooms with personal showers. Here are the main pointers for showers in men’s locker rooms:

  • Do not pee in the shower. This is just plain gross. Pee is for a urinal, not the shower. If your pee smells funny, read about causes of smelly pee.
  • If there are a number of open shower heads, do not take the one right next to someone else. Take the one furthest away. The shower is to clean yourself, not socialize.
  • Do not socialize in the gym shower. I don’t want to talk to another dude naked and neither should you.
  • Do not look at another guy’s private parts in a shower. Only look in the eyes, if you happen to make contact. Also, if you happen to be across from someone in the shower, try to avoid facing the same direction – if the person across from you is facing you, turn the other way and wash the other side of you.

Blow Dryer

  • The blow dryer is for the hair on your head, not your pubes. I once saw a guy use the blow dryer to dry his pubic hair. He was actually holding a leg up and everything. This is disgusting. Don’t ever do this!
  • Blow drying your hair is old school anyway….just dry your hair with your towel and add some wax or gel to it. The blow dried feathered look went out with the 80s.

Your Personal Items

  • Do not leave personal items lying all over the place. No one wants to see your sweaty gym clothes, jock strap, towels, body wash, etc., all over the locker room benches and floor. Keep your stuff in a tidy, small area.

Walking Around

  • Do not walk around the locker room nude. If you must walk somewhere, there should be a reason and you should wear a towel (at a minimum) or put on your underwear and, preferably, pants.
  • Walk with a purpose in the locker room…don’t just stroll around naked, especially next to guys sitting on the benches putting shoes on, etc. This is rude. Last thing a guy trying to get psyched up for his workout and putting on his shoes needs to see is another guy’s schlong at eye level.

Gym Mirror

  • Looking in the mirror is fine, but do not stand in front of the mirror naked. I once saw a guy stand in front of the mirror nude, while fixing his hair. At least put your pants on before fixing your hair in front of the mirror!

Gym Scale

  • Don’t weigh yourself after your workout or after sitting around in the sauna. This is stupid. Weigh yourself at home in the AM, when you get up.
  • Especially, don’t weigh yourself while you’re naked. No one wants to see this. At least wear a towel or put your underwear on.

 

Do not sit close to another dude and never take your shorts off!
Do not sit close to another dude and never take your shorts off!

Hot Tub Etiquette

Some of the gyms I’ve been to have hot tubs in the men’s locker room.

  • If there is already a guy in the hot tub and you must sit in the hot tub, sit as far away as possible.
  • Always sit in the hot tub with swim shorts on and leave them on. I once had a guy sit in the hot tub fairly close to me and then he took off his swim shorts and sat them on the side of the hot tub. And, no, this was not a gay gym. Don’t ever do this!

Sauna / Steam Room

  • If you must enter the sauna / steam room without clothes on, wrap yourself in a towel and do not unwrap it.
  • Do not remove your towel or ever sit naked in the sauna or steam room.
  • Do not constantly enter the steam room and leave the steam or sauna room when you get too hot. Stay or go!

TV

  • Do not hang out in the locker room and watch the mounted TVs. You’re there to work out, not watch TV with half-dressed guys.
  • Do not postpone getting dressed for something on the TV. No one wants to see a naked dude watching the cooking channel.

Conversations

  • If you must have a conversation in the locker room, wait until both people have at least underwear on. It’s awkward to discuss something with a naked dude, plus the conversation may postpone him putting on clothes.
  • If you do speak with someone and they are naked, do not let your eyes wander from the other person’s eyes. I once had a guy speak to me and stare at my tallywacker the entire time. He actually invited me to a Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family. I declined, of course. I was creeped out!

Locker Room Benches / Seats

  • Do not ever sit on a bench or seat naked. Always sit on a towel. I have witnessed guys sitting on benches totally naked. This is gross
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