Notes on the Gym: The Preening Male

Yeah, I go to the gym.  About twice a week, give or take a bit.  And sometimes I'm just too busy for a stretch or two.  It's good to exercise. The gym can be a strange place.  I'm not one to particularly stand out.  A bit of cardio, some resistance training and back to some cardio.  Repeat.  It's nothing fancy, but it works.  Being that I keep squarely to myself, I have the opportunity to observe the other patrons.  I am pleased to report that there are patterns to the personage that frequent my particular gym.  As evidence, consider the preening male.

The preening male (or P.M. for the sake of simplicity) is strictly a gym phenomenon.  Never younger than sixteen (gym age restrictions), never older than twenty.  You can spot the preening male by his habit of pointlessly examining his features in the large and numerous mirrors that be-wall the establishment.  Look how he stares at himself, so close that it is hard to believe that he can actually focus on his features.  He never occurs alone, preferring to roam in packs with other P.M.s.  Together they aide eachother, spotting their various sets of multitudinous reps.  Pausing to speak coarsely of life, women and academia.  Often returning to preen in the mirrors, seemingly as if trying to will the coming of increased skeletal muscle by staring.

If you find yourself near a pack of preening males, might I suggest quiet awareness.  Look but do not stare.  The insecurity of P.M.'s leads often to paranoid delusions that all other males in the gym are, in fact, squarely queer.  The latent homo-eroticism of neurotically admiring oneself in gym mirrors is apparently lost on them.

And while you cautiously enjoy the show, always keep this short film squarely in your mind (certainly NSFW).