You strike up a conversation with an attractive man at the gym. Your heart soars! Then a woman joins him, and the two hug. Your heart drops. He tells you she’s his bestie. Your heart soars! Then you notice his cargo shorts. Your heart drops. But when you follow each other on Instagram, you see the jockstrap selfie he just snapped in the locker room. Your heart soars! Scrolling down, you also see the photos of him and his boyfriend. Your heart drops. Then he tells you they’re looking for a third…
So goes the emotional roller coaster that is the gym gay crush, and anyone who has caught feelings at their local Equinox can probably relate.
Ken Howard, LCSW, CST, the founder and executive director of GayTherapyLA, devoted a blog post to gay gym crushes in 2021. He wrote, in part:
I’m starting to think we all have gym crushes. They can take many forms: the guy we “always” see at the gym, whose physique we admire and he provides “entertainment,” “eye candy,” inspiration, and maybe a bit of wistfulness that he is unattainable to mere mortals like ourselves. Maybe we’ve observed something about him that makes him feel unattainable to us, like he runs with a “better crowd,” or you’ve seen him be buddy-buddy with some A-list attitude queen, and you just know if he’s friends with that bitch, he wouldn’t give us the time of day. Maybe we’ve seen him there with a woman who is apparently his girlfriend. In our minds, we spin that story: maybe she drags her hot boyfriend to the “gay gym” so that he can get his ego stroked (if nothing else) by the gay guys gawking at him, which gives him swagger when he’s with her. The scenarios—both real and heavily embellished by imagination—are numerous.
As Howard wrote, it’s important to keep your gym fantasies in perspective—and to remember that real-life connection is very much possible. “Sometimes, our gym crushes actually do become guys we are dating, if we just give them (and ourselves) a chance to meet them and get to know them as humans and not just objects,” he wrote.
After all, remember that once-straight gym bro who started lusting after his “mad thick” workout buddy—and then got a date with him?
But you don’t have to take our word for it! Check out two dozen tweets about gay gym crushes below.
“he must be straight” -me @ me re: my definitely gay gym crush who’s not into me
— Robbie Couch (@robbie_couch) September 9, 2022
Hot gay in the gym doing 300kg on the leg press better be practicing to crush my skull with his thighs or else!!!
— Alex (@acsx94) January 19, 2023
Turns out my gym crush is gay, has a boyfriend, asked me if I was tryna be the 3rd pic.twitter.com/t9fRDKakxs
— ???? ? (@gaslightpapi) September 30, 2022
I'd convinced myself that my gym crush was gay due to him having a very slightly camp walk, but just saw him not at all discreetly checking out some girls in the gym and I am devastated ?
— JakeArcher92 (@JakeArcher92) January 23, 2023
this morning my straight gym crush slightly but actively touched my shoulder in a way that could have been gay platonic affection and i have been thinking about it for six hours
— Terron Moore (@Terr) June 7, 2018
Successfully flirted with gym crush at CrossFit and acquired Instagram in between sets… we’re playing to win this cuffing season girls and gays! pic.twitter.com/zBXZyvUoNV
— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) October 9, 2020
Related: Crunch Fitness asks patrons to have sex “anywhere” but the men’s locker room
i feel very confident at this point my gym crush is a gay guy but basically this stops here because i refuse to talk to anyone at the gym
— sweethearted peter ? (@nicefriend420) July 7, 2022
A mixed morning at the gym today, folks.
Gym crush 1 turns out to have a major case of gay voice. ?
BUT gym crush 2 was with a girl. Whom he KISSED.? pic.twitter.com/3k0TX8JCMb
— Ewan ??????? (@EwanESC) February 19, 2018
Turns out my gym crush is gay, a top, and is my neighbor. I guess that’s my cue ?
— WK Castillo, RMT, MD (@doctorcastillo_) January 30, 2020
I’m gonna need the men at my gym to dress gayer if they’re gay and straighter if they’re straight so I know who I can reasonably crush on
— Brandon (@Peripatetic_B) January 5, 2023
Found previous gym crush on the apps, finally confirming he’s queer. The gay gods have smiled on me. pic.twitter.com/cqCdVqcm95
— Adam James (@adamj_griff) September 5, 2021
Related: Why cruising at the gym is the worst and best thing ever
Studio had everything: dolls, gay DJs, puppies, Olympic medalists, niche internet celebrities, your current gym crush, last week’s gym crush, girls who just got back from the pride parade, seasoned fries…
— oomf magazine (@oomfmagazine) June 27, 2022
My (gay) gym crush grew a full beard and got 10x hotter how am I supposed to focus?
— sam (@samoIogy) December 18, 2022
Just found out my gym crush is gay. If y’all don’t see me for a minute just know I’m getting gains pic.twitter.com/qEs6auPczI
— j stone (@olderthanstone) December 16, 2020
I was at a Gay-B-Q yesterday with my gym crush. Our first interaction. We talked for an hour. Everyone was watching. Rooting for me. He was laughing and smiling. It was magical.
He left without saying goodbye.
And has yet to follow me back on Insta.
— Richie Rich. (@KitschRich) June 21, 2021
Omg my gym crush gave me a bro head nod! I attempted to give one back but I think it looked more like a gay seizure.
— Kory DeSoto (@Korsoto) January 14, 2019
A gays prayer:
Dear (insert pop stars name)
Please help my gym crush to notice me tomorrow
Please help me stay at full power until my next haircut
And mostly, please help me never be the main character on Gay Twitter ™?
— Cameron Baird (@cbaird778) December 20, 2022
I kinda forgot where I was while I was benching solo today and the bar hit the hook weird at the same time my very gay gym girl crush was walking by and she looked me in my eyes and was like “you got it? ?” and I just said yeah ? and my coochie hasn’t stopped tingling since
— extra s p o o k y ? (@extraspicyxo) June 25, 2021
gym gays when their gym crush is looking at them pic.twitter.com/EHOgeIYjxX
— patty’s critically acclaimed era (@pattydelux) December 15, 2019
My gym crush (whose sexuality I didn’t know) showed up at the gay bar last night.
With his boyfriend.
The lord giveth and the lord yeeteth away.
— Alpha Kenny Body (@MicahTheModest) June 23, 2019
When you check grindr at the gym and get the nerve to message a gym crush who’s apparently gay, and he leaves you on read, so then you awkwardly avoid his presence and all eye contact at the gym until the end of time ? pic.twitter.com/cxCFTZ3hEg
— Dante (@dprincipe3) September 24, 2020
wasn’t sure if latinx gym crush was gay but he’s wearing a selena tank so there’s my confirmation
— hi (@FRANKIETWT) May 5, 2022
Thought my bearded AirPod-wearing gym crush might be gay until I saw his Hollister shirt. ??
— Jason Stephenson (@teacherman82) May 11, 2019
Couldn’t tell if my gym crush was gay or straight until today, when he came in to work out wearing board shorts. Please respect my privacy at this time.
— six letters, three vowels (@JoshuaMcJohnson) May 6, 2021
If you want to bust through all the distracting muscle-clutter at the gym, simply wear a tshirt that says “GAY” once or twice a week. There will be people who obviously avoid you and people who pay obvious attention to you. The 2nd set are the appropriate category of pursuit.
Might work or you get the crap beat out of you
Hmmm. Good point. Would only be effective if your pronouns are masochist / slave / cutting board.
Most of us go to the gym to get fit and workout and not to sit around chit chatting or pick up guys. Being polite and friendly can get you attitude and if you’re not the other persons type, they can be some of the nastiest and rudest people, who needs this, Really why pay through the nose for a gym membership( average annual membership-$1100 ) only to use the place to pick up guys when they’re much cheaper venues? Anyway, most of the gay gyms here in San Francisco at least are full of men with stuck up attitudes who think their shit don’t stink and give you attitude if you’re not their current type or whatever that means. Many are poorly run with snarky employees and often sub par equipment and facilities and when you mention this to the management, you’re given attitude or some BS this is your community gym and gay owned blah, blah, blah.