Poll: Is the Gym Off-Limits as a Pick-Up Spot?

photo via Flickr

Recently, Johnny, one of our most loyal commenters, posted the following in response to our Blog Snog partner’s article “Guys of Reddit share the cheesy pickup lines that actually kind of work“:

The lesson behind those corny pickup lines is that women like an outgoing guy. It’s not the lines that worked for them. It’s the fact that they had the balls to express their attraction in a cheesy-but-harmless way.

The only “line” I ever really used is one of the oldest in the book. When girls walked by as I worked out the gym, I’d do the old, “98! 99! 100!”

It worked great. They’d crack a big grin and roll their eyes and then be receptive to conversation.

Disgusted sneer and walk away = she hates you and your line.

Rolls eyes to the ceiling and smiles = green light!

Which got us thinking: Are there some places that should be pick-up-free zones? The kind of places where you are bound to run into a hook-up again after things might have gone south? Is the gym a place where you just want to escape into your own endorphin-fueled workout without worrying about being hit on? Or, as a public space, is it fair game?




  1. ^ I don’t mean that it’s always inappropriate to pick up in a private, members-only setting. Just that there is much greater potential for blow back. People feel more entitled to get what they want when they’re paying good money, and sometimes what they want is to be left alone. You could get thrown out of a private place if you bother people.

    Same with schools, businesses, all those other examples. Personally it’s not a problem for me. When I was single, I had a low-impact, inoffensive way of trying to pick up women. The consequences only come into play if you’re an irritating jerk (which is very common for pickup artists), or if she’s a hyper-sensitive psycho (which is really quite uncommon).

  2. People should be allowed to work out in peace at the gym. That said, it could be a place to meet people. I try to get to the gym three times a week. Generally, I see the same people there week after week. If I change a day, some of the people may be different, but they will be there on those days. Conversations can start organically without cheesy pick-up lines (not for me, I don’t want to bother with anyone when I’m there).

    I do disagree with one aspect of Johnny’s comment that “The gym isn’t even really a public space, is it? It’s a private facility that people pay to use.” The same could be said about many schools, businesses, etc. If you go to a private college or university, you are at a private facility that people pay to use. Is it inappropriate to try and pick up a classmate? What about the person you see in a coffee shop

  3. Ha ha… I chose the no-pickup-in-the-gym option. The gym isn’t even really a public space, is it? It’s a private facility that people pay to use. I just used to have a pretty good eye for who’s open to advances and who’s closed. Plus, I’m not a buff gym guy. I think my little line was all the cuter coming from a wimp.

    Plus, there are certain logistics to the delivery. I’m stationary, pinned under weights, and she’s walking past. There’s no pursuit or intrusion on my part. I make my little wise crack. She smiles, or not. If she smiled, maybe she’ll smile again later. Then I’d say hi.

    Also, some women are more distractible than others. Some are dead serious about their workout – they’re drenched in sweat with fire in their eyes. Never mind them, they’re busy. Others are pedaling those dumb comfy stationary recumbent bikes at a leisurely pace while they sip a soda and read a magazine. My suspicion is that they’re really just there to get out of the house and into a more social environment, and that includes the possibility of meeting people.

    So that’s my defense of my hard-to-defend practice of flirting with girls in the gym.

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