Finishing his last set of lateral raises, my alter ego studies the reflection in the mirror. The body in which he lives is no longer round and fluffy, but hardened around the edges with some softness left in the middle. He is built like a brick wall with fresh mortar, and the sweat-shaded shirt harnesses swollen shoulder, arm, and chest muscles. Judging by the weight and overall wetness of his t-shirt, it is safe to say that today’s workout was a success, and the urge to flirt is burning wildly under the freshly worked out muscles. All bets are off at a smaller gym, because eyes have no choice but to wander, and I’m one to give a show if I catch you looking. My shorts are already pretty short – because I hate basketball shorts – my shirts grow tighter in all the right places as the weeks pass, and I make sure my form is on point. This voyeuristic trait really only comes to life when I’m in the gym, and I like to think it makes me dig deeper in achieving a better workout. Whether you like it or not, you will gain inspiration from watching another participant, or you’ll unconsciously lust after them; wanting their body for yourself. Snapping out of my temporary trance, I put away the dumbbells, wipe off the bench, and make my way toward the locker room. “Oh, I’m sorry!” I bump shoulders with another lifter, and the urge is reawakened. “Get the hell out of here” I think to myself, doing everything I can to will away the thirst of my alter ego’s sweet and sour thoughts. If this internal battle weren’t already enough, running smack into my office crush – making chest to chest contact – on my way into the locker room was the icing on this mess of a cake. “Hey man! Looks like you got a good workout in today, eh?” Why is he so nice? He’s always so nice. Get me the hell out of here.
It’s one o’clock in the afternoon, and I’m breaking my no-coffee-after-noon rule. “Hey, man! You doing alright?” My office crush (OC) enters the break room, and the zombie-like state I’m in quickly morphs into blazing excitement. “I’m doing well, how about you?” His resemblance to an old ex of mine is truly uncanny. He’s on the shorter side with dark hair, warm eyes, and a charm that’s irresistible. While I don’t crave him sexually, his energy warrants the presence of subtle flirtation; this is fun when you work a regular 9-to-5, monolithic job.
There’s something about me that screams “tell me all of your business” to people – a superpower of sorts – and OC has fallen victim to this influence. Our exchanges are usually filled with talk of my husband, his girlfriend – yes, he’s straight, of course – or him asking me where I get my sweaters. Using my powers for good, I take the opportunity to give into the moment; giving him the most neutral, hetero-tailored advice I could provide without losing eye contact. Using my eyes as a tool to convey everything you shouldn’t say to someone at work – regarding their overall attractiveness, and other innocent, not work-appropriate thoughts – I listen, engage, and enjoy the view.
At the end of what felt like a split second, he smiles and heads back to his desk. I chuckle and do the same. I fully encourage the conditioning of whatever superpower you hold, and challenge you to perfect it to your highest ability. People are drawn to me, and I’ve always been aware of my flirting ability, so I use it to keep my skills fresh and spicy for my relationship, but I can also use my gifts to help people… minus the flirtation… or could that also help someone? I won’t test that theory.
When one is single, working out and staying in shape is important for the wrong reasons. Most will say that it’s for their health and wellness, and mask the fact that they’re sweating it out to better their chances of hooking up come time to play the field. I recognize that there are people who take their health and fitness seriously, but during the partying years?.. Let’s be real, everyone has ass on the mind. If not for health and wellness, does the reason for exercise change when you land that special someone?
Something happens when you become one with another; at least it did for me. Before S, I was a heavier guy, and legitimately began working out and dieting to add years to my life. Now that I’m married, I find myself working harder than I had before on my health and overall fitness. My reason for working out, in addition to general health, is to maintain my attractiveness for my husband. I get off knowing that I look good, and even more so when I know it’s for him and our relationship. Hey now, I work out for me too! I love working out in the morning, and gain so much energy going into my day. I even workout on weekends to keep my energy on the up and up.
I’ve come a long way from refusing to run in gym class back in high school, to doing cardio, yoga, and strength training five to six times a week. S has gone through his own fitness transformation as well, but doesn’t possess the cocky confidence that I do. Even when I was a bigger guy – pushing three hundred pounds – I could work with what I had and still pursued guys without hesitation. I love when I catch guys eyeing my husband, and how he doesn’t even notice. What I love more is when other, thirsty, guys realize what they have to get through before they can get to S.
I find it entertaining that even after you’ve entered a serious relationship, you still have to maintain what you had once worked so hard to obtain, to keep your prize. By no means am I saying that you need to be in shape to keep a partner. We share numerous cheat days and battle the scale together now – after falling off our low carb wagon here and there – and gain great pleasure when we notice changes in each other physically. Earlier I said that working out, as a single partier type, was done for the wrong reasons. When it comes down to it, maybe working out (then) for the approval and validation of others is just practice… We say we do it for ourselves, to make ourselves feel better, but eventually all that nonsense, worry, and stress turns into the very elixir that provides us the power to keep a comfortable grip on what we’ve achieved.
The shower area of the gym is steamy, warm, and a most welcome feeling with the chill of winter’s approach outside. I towel off in the shower stall so I don’t track a pool of water into my private changing area, before I notice the tanned, dusty-haired, blonde that had been making eyes at me across cardio equipment. He’s an attractive guy – beefy, with body hair in all right places, and an ass that looks like it could feed a small family – but I tend to lean more towards dark-haired men, and let’s not forget that I’m off the market. Our shower and changing rooms were right next to each other, and there are only three showers so the space between the two is small. Removing his towel so only his front was covered, he offers carnal grin. “Good morning” he says, still holding the towel with only a couple fingers just under his navel; revealing a wet torso and thighs. “Good morning. Did you have a good workout?” I know exactly what he’s up to, so I slip into my changing room and calmly close the half door. Making sure the door doesn’t slam, I leave him alone and exposed in the small area between shower and changing room. I begin to dry off as he answers my question, and the small talk continues the entirety of my getting dressed. Fully dressed I make my way out of the changing stall. “See you tomorrow” he flirts with another grin. “Later! Have a good day.” My inner Beyonce tends to surface after all of my workouts – various songs of hers play in my head (complete with choreography) when I notice changes in my body as I’ve already lost 100 lbs – making me feel strong, awake, and confident going into the work day. The influence of Scorpio season and the fact that I had just been cruised at the gym had my inner Queen Bey slaying the stage; dropping it like it was hot all the way to the car. It wasn’t even 7AM yet! I can’t wait to tell S what happened.