Locker Room Etiquette

Some have no shame in the locker room and the rest of us are subjected to locker room etiquette that is less than desirable.

Locker Room EtiquetteJust thinking about a locker room conjures up images of middle school gym class for many. The ridicule, the snapping of towels, pretty versus practical undergarments, and the idea of undressing in front of strangers still sends chills down many an adult spine. Others, however, have no shame in the locker room or gym and the rest of us are subjected to some locker room etiquette that is less than desirable.

Here are a few tips to make your locker room experience a bit more pleasant for those around you:

Cologne and Perfumes
You are at the gym and have geared up to get some exercise. You are breathing hard, sweat is burning your eyes, your heart-rate is at its ultimate peak for a great work out and your lungs are taking in air as fast as they can. Then someone walks past you wearing too much cologne or perfume! You switch your breathing pattern, you concentrate on breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose and have started to lose focus on your work out! Thank you Mr. or Ms. “Too Much Cologne Wearer“, you have just ruined the workout for anyone who comes within a 15 foot radius of you! Sure, you may have come straight from work, but if you smell that strong of classic flowers, a woody musk or another elegant but earthy scent after an eight hour workday, you may be applying too much in the first place.

Body Odor
Human sweat is more stinky than most in the animal kingdom, and lets face it, some folks smell worse than others. It could be what you ate the day before or because you skipped your morning shower knowing you were going straight to the gym. No matter what the reason, you are killing the rest of us with your body odor. Keep your body clean. Take a quick shower, using soap or body wash, being mindful to focus on the areas of the body that emit the most offensive odors such as the feet, armpits and rear-end, and use deodorant. Your natural scent may not be offensive to you… but image the above scenerio. Other gym members switched their breathing the moment you walked past… in through the mouth and out through the nose. Only this time, they can now taste the odors you are emitting and people are gagging, snorting and coughing all over the gym. If you see other members around you with these symptoms, please make certain that YOU are not the cause.

It is always a good idea to wear bathing sandals when using a public shower facility, yes, even in the shower.

Showers at the gym or swimming pool are for a quick cleansing. Ladies, this is not the place to shave your legs and armpits and put a ten-minute deep conditioner in your hair! Other women are waiting to get in and out of the shower and go off to their other scheduled activities and you have been in the stall for thirty minutes!

Men, take your shower and get-out, you don’t need to shave your beard and adjust your tie in the shower stall. Adjust your tie elsewhere and give someone else the opportunity to grab a quick shower. If you must shave your face at the gym, at least wrap a towel around your waist so your junk isn’t dangling on the sink or countertop. Finally, if the automatic handryers mounted on the wall are above waist level they are not meant for drying parts of your body that are located below your waist.

Don’t miss! Flush! Wash your hands!

Trash Cans vs. Dirty Towels
Many gyms have a place to discard the dirty gym towels and a separate place to discard your trash. How can anyone confuse the two? If you see only white, cotton towels in the giant basket that says, “Towels Only,” then why would you even consider throwing your empty water bottle on top of the towels?

If you have gas, and we all get it from time to time, then this may not be the day for you to sit in the front row of a cycling class or next to the fan!

I know there are plenty of cultural differences, but for the sake of argument, I am talking about being naked in an American gym locker room. Men and women both change clothes in their respective locker rooms; this is normal and to be expected. Just leave enough personal space between you and the next person so your not bumping butts and of course, don’t stare!

The human body is a beautiful thing, however the gym locker room is NOT the place to showcase your assets! Your wife may love seeing you strut your finely toned body around the house with all of your manhood exposed, but I can honestly tell you Gentlemen, my husband does not enjoy the show you are giving in the locker room at all! It is fine to change your boxers or briefs, but unless you are a porn star, put them on in a timely fashion. You don’t want to be the one guy that everyone talks about! You may not be as fit as you think you are and all of that nakedness, especially when combined with being a “close talker” (a person who invades your personal space by standing unusually close to you to strike up a conversation) is well, awkward to say the least.

Respect the personal space of those around you and for Pete’s sake Man, put on your skivvies, this is NOT the place to self-evaluate your naked squats in front of a mirror!

Wash your hands and wipe down the exercise equipment that you use. We all sweat at the gym, afterall, isn’t that why we are there in the first place? If you have a cold or a fever that is contagious you should consider working out at home. When we work out our pores are open letting the water, toxins and sweat escape, but since our pores are open, we are also more receptive to receiving whatever it is you are passing around. Simply using the antibacterial sprays and the cloths provided by the gym to wipe down the equipment will put a huge dent in spreading germs.

Personal Items
If you bring it with you, please take it with you or throw it away. This includes undergarments, feminine hygiene products, athletic supporters and hair! Leaving this stuff where you left it is just gross!


  1. Anonymous

    I know you’re dying for a comment on this story so I will not disappoint you. Since most Americans (North, Latin and South) are of (free and physically liberated) European descent, at what time in this country’s history and by what influence did it become so puritan prude that nipples on a mannequin become an issue, while the question should be: why do they put nipples on mannequins in the first place?

  2. Pingback: All-Nudist » Nudist to Mom: It’s NOT the Naked Truth

  3. Jim Haines

    I personally do not have a problem with nudity in the locker room.  I keep my mind on my business and make sure I don’t invade anyone’s personal space.  My mind set is: Get In, Get Clean, Get Out.  If I mind my own business, I won’t notice if other guys are walking around the locker room naked.  For those who do notice, shame on you for looking.

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