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#335469 - 07/07/10 03:34 AM confronted a gym pervert
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado
Earlier this evening I was at the gym with a friend, he left me behind in the shower area to go use the restroom.

It took maybe a minute for me to turn around and see some guy make it a point to show me what he was doing to himself. Instead of it triggering me to flashbacks this time and making me immediately collapse, I got MAD. I told the guy very clearly and adult like...

"NO! Don't do that!!!

He tried to act like he didn't do anything and didn't know what I was talking about(yes, with his little thing pointing in the breeze). I then told him...

"Admit what you were doing is wrong!"

He then admitted it. I continued...

"You have two choices: I report you or I beat the $#@! out of you! I am not here for your viewing enjoyment" then repeated... "Do you understand me!"

He then apologized and left saying sorry sorry sorry in a shameful hurry. I kind of collapsed as soon as he was out of sight, my friend came saying he heard my voice and asked what messed with me. I told him what happened, he would have done or said some other things to that guy himself but he had to stay with me. I recognize now that this particular guy was not threatening to me... kind of rare, he was older but so out of shape, overweight and ugly all over. No business looking at anybody and expecting a good response. I had just finish a fairly intense workout, I guess the Marine part of me kicked in for a minute.

It's a public place, it is not a place for perverts to look for other perverts. It's not a place for someone to gawk at my body or others. It's disturbing to me why even someone like that would target someone like me? He saw with the words I said and knew that I could physically cause him a world of pain but he took the chance and targeted me. Why? Even if I was gay or something I would be so far out of his league, I don't even like thinking like that but it makes no sense to me. What makes me recognizable to perverts to have them do that kind of thing and think there would be no harm?

I felt filthy and had to wash it all off over and over.

_________________________
Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then there's me the imaginary number

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#335491 - 07/07/10 09:32 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: usmc97]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
U:
Obviously, you did nothing to bring this on.
Quote:
I felt filthy and had to wash it all off over and over.


Interesting that you had this reaction. How different it is now that you are a physically fit, strong adult, not a helpless child who had something bad done to him.


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#335494 - 07/07/10 10:01 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
"What makes me recognizable to perverts to have them do that kind of thing and think there would be no harm?"

Perverts sometimes just take the chance not unlike how we normal folk just plunge in to ask someone out etc. Of course we don't yank it in front of a woman or man we feel attraction to. I think he was just living in his head and didn't think it through and let his fantasies take control of him.

Good for you that you reacted that way I hope after the poison feeling of the adrenaline goes away you feel proud of yourself.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#335502 - 07/07/10 11:02 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: kidneythis]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2465
Loc: UK
I started swimming last week, i only went twice, i was going to go every day. When i used to go swimming when i was younger, sure, you'd get men who would just strip off for the showers, but i didn't remember it quite like this.

When i went there last week every man there would take all his clothes off to shower- i think that is more normal in the USA but even when i was in school, in our schools in the UK, the kids would never strip off, everybody was more modest.

And it was strange, afterwards you would see the same men wearing their suits walking out of the swimming pool and i would just be thinking, "Is this strange that just a second ago i saw this guy completely naked in the shower?" The showers were just a line of showers, no partitions or anything.

It is strange, isn't it? i mean, take the swimming and the showers out of the equation and these guys wouldn't be showing themselves to me like that- surely that would seem inappropriate.

I think also because i still feel much younger than those guys that it just doesn't feel right for them to be donig that infront of me.

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#335504 - 07/07/10 11:36 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: king tut]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1960
UMC,

Someone crossed a boundary of yours (in a bad way) and you stood up for yourself. Good job, plain and simple.

Eric


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#335513 - 07/07/10 02:24 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: ericc]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11027
Loc: Denver, CO
Way to go, Kevin. You shut him down right then and there. Maybe he will learn.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#335523 - 07/07/10 04:45 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: FormerTexan]
Riley Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
Good job standing up for yourself in the heat of the moment. To me it sounds like your instant reaction is the reaction of a man not affected by sexual abuse.


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#335532 - 07/07/10 06:10 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: Riley]
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado
This kind of thing has happened before, usually making me immediately freak out and ball up on the floor or something. This time I got to react before things set in and debilitated me. This guy was just not physically threatening to me, I felt irritated and just really disgusted by him. The fear came as he left, luckily my friend was there to help with the aftermath.

I don't need this repeated theme of being used... I don't want men to be attracted to me or do these perverted things around me. What part of me do they mistake for an invitation for that kind of crap?

I really try to go to the gym on base where it's safer, this stuff hasn't happened and most likely would never happen there. I just wish I could hold my own all the time but I can't.

_________________________
Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then there's me the imaginary number

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#335536 - 07/07/10 07:32 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: usmc97]
Barkabus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
The exact same thing happened to me at the gym showers on base many years ago. This was way before I came out of denial about the CSA. I froze. On the outside I just pretended it wasn't going on. On the inside I was FREAKED OUT. No words were ever spoken. He just stared at me while M'ing until, well, you know, he finished.

Mike

_________________________
My Story

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#335606 - 07/08/10 12:10 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: Barkabus]
OKIE MIKE Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 979
Loc: HULBERT OK
I am glad that you told this POS off

_________________________
MICHAEL

"I HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET"

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is"

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#335670 - 07/09/10 11:02 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: OKIE MIKE]
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I once had something similar happen to me but this guy got much further. It triggered me so badly that all I could do was put my clothes on and run out of the fitness center. I drove for miles afraid the guy was following me although I knew he wasn't. I wasn't strong enough to say anything so I wrote an anonymous letter to the fitness center describing the situation and what took place. I also gave them suggestions to help make the shower area safer (like taking a door down that allowed all kinds of things to go on). Much to my surprise, when I went back there a day or so later, many of my suggestions had been done.

I'm so glad you stood up for yourself. That took a lot courage and guts!

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#335684 - 07/09/10 04:03 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: MrDon]
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado
Well this has happened a number of times and I don't get how I could be targeted by one of them. I wish I could look more intimidating so that they wouldn't even try. Do I not look straight enough for them to be able to question taking that chance? What is it about me that they see as an invitation? What tells them I wouldn't beat the crap out of them?

Most times I have made it to a toilet stall before things took me over but their have been times where I have collapsed on the spot. This time was just different.

I don't have much of a way around showering at the gym, it's the only way I am able to shower most of the time. Kind of backwards from most guys. At home alone is just about a guaranteed mess of things.

_________________________
Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then there's me the imaginary number

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#335699 - 07/09/10 09:19 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: usmc97]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
I am not sure who "them" are. In this context I gather you mean the men who have done this in front of you.
I don't think you have been targeted but it is possible if these men communicate among themselves. I expect you mean it happens in the same gym.

As for looking straight or not this is a falcious idea. You cannot discern someone's sexuality by their appearance especially naked in the shower.

Why would they question taking a chance? I'm not sure I understand that remark. One makes a pass when one feels attracted. Men especially, often do not think for a second what the object of that attraction is thinking or feeling they just act and see what happens. I'm no lothario but I have made passes and a bit of aggressiveness and confidence goes along way. I expect this works with gay people as well we are all human.
EDIT the next paragraph is added after first post;
I don't know if what he did counts as a pass I was using that analogy in my earlier post because I didn't think it out. I am editing right now and I realize this isn't anything I would expect gay men to do if they felt attracted. WHen I've been passed at they always talked and flirted never anything creepy like this guy. When I said I wasn't interested they accepted it and that was the end of it.

That said in my opinion, the guy you described sounded like he was pretty pathetic. I don't know if he is a perve or a closet case or just a lame gay man. I am pretty sure that his masturbating in front of you had very little to do with you just as most of your reaction has little to do with him.
I think a lot of your reaction is based on your history, you have been triggered by someone not involved in your abuse to reexperience the feelings of being victimized. You are feeling intense things and your mind is confused as it was when you were abused. I think the only relationship between these things and the event is that the event triggered them.

You handled the situation well. The lingering feelings and confused thoughts are from being triggered. That is what I see in your posts.
I am not an expert just a brother tyrying to help you resolve this confusion. You handled it well, now you have to learn how to accept that you handled it well, and to let go of the triggered stuff which is something I know nothing about.
I think you may as I do need to figure out how to separate the event and how you handled it from the triggered feelings and confusion.

I imagine that someone who hadn't been abused would handle it by relizing they had done all they could, know it wasn't about them, and just move on eventually forgetting it.

BTW that little process where i imagine what a healthy person might do is a big part of how I function.



Edited by kidneythis (07/09/10 09:25 PM)
_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#335739 - 07/10/10 09:46 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: OKIE MIKE]
J1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 137
Loc: Missouri
USMC:
Interesting story as it likely portrays a common situation, for we that train and go to gyms etc. I am gay and pretty masculine, and train in different places. My gayness is not my main energy, nor do i hide it. In any gym or pool or locker room, my experience has been that I am focused on my routine, and afterwards I am spent, tired and just want a shower…feeling sexual is not in my thinking.

In a zen sort of way…maybe you being there at that moment, to address that person, on that issue,was meant to be. It was not your mission or intent to have that situation or discussion with a stranger, but you did, and in the big picture, maybe that saves a younger guy, from this jerk.

At 6'4, 241, and spiritually/physically strong, when I train with my buds or even go out with another guy for dinner, some people I am sure, speculate if me and my buds are gay or whatever…Most of the time they are not, but we simply do not care what others think. We operate with high integrity, discretion and compassion in our daily lives.


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#335743 - 07/10/10 10:50 AM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: J1]
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado
What is confusing is why does any man have any attraction to me and what makes it okay for them to use me in any way for their arousal? A guy doing what this guy did is not making a "pass", if some random guy came up and said I was cute it would still not be a "pass". It is a violation and completely inappropriate. What possesses them to assume their is any chance I'd be a pervert like them? What I am hearing is that I am suppose to tolerate and not take it personal, "guys are guys" kind of thing and that is wrong. Guys are not that way, I don't believe that for gay or straight men, people like this are simply perverts. Public places like the gym are not a domain where anything like this is okay.

Perverts be they gay, straight, married, whatever, don't have to expose their deviated minds and expect for people like me to have to compensate. They are in the family of perps: those who victimize people to gratify their selfish urges and are unable to restrain themselves from inappropriate actions of indecent behaviors.

It's not just a trigger, someone without my history or current state of being could very well hit a guy for less, maybe do worse. The Marine in me would have physically hurt him to leave him a reminder and would have marched him to the front desk to get his membership revoked. I would have also made sure that everyone present in the area would hear the circumstances that lead to my personally ejecting him from the lockerroom.

I am not a big guy but I am fit and have a lot of training (though in my current state I am unable to use any of the martial arts or combat skills). This guy could have been married for all I know, a pervert is a pervert. Gay men that I have met seem to be like you j1, I like to believe you're the majority... the friends that I have had who were gay were more so protective of me just like the rest of my friends. I just thought I needed to throw that in, its not a gay/straight issue.

_________________________
Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then there's me the imaginary number

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#335750 - 07/10/10 12:40 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: usmc97]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
You haver no control over what others think and feel.
Someone telling you that you are cute and attractive is not a violation of any kind.
If someone is fantasizing about you, you'd never know it unless they told you so I'm not sure what the question about what makes it OK for them to do so means.
I did say he wasn't making a pass and that his behavior wasn't normal.
I don't know that anyone assumed "you'd be a pervert like them" I can't explain for you why this guy did what he did. Only he could, and I doubt that.
As for tolerating I'm not sure where you got that, I only suggested that you have handled the matter as best you could and done all you could, and your continued upset is the stuff he triggered.
"It's not just a trigger, someone without my history or current state of being could very well hit a guy for less, maybe do worse."
This may also be a new trauma and the upset may be due to this new trauma as well as the triggered feelings and confusion.

His behavior was innappropriate and you reacted properly, for most that is the end of this story, they get on with life.
I think you may need to followup on the idea of reporting him if only for yourself. Knowing you have done something positive might help to relieve some of the stress of this situation. It can't be easy to have these thoughts popping up and undermining your normal process.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#335755 - 07/10/10 02:29 PM Re: confronted a gym pervert [Re: kidneythis]
J1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 137
Loc: Missouri
Yes, rude actions, inappropriate staring or comments are hopefully part of a small part of the general population. Some gyms and YMCA's seem to attract single men that use that space as a voyeuristic fantasy. Many repressed men, leading a straight life, with families and kids, dance with their closeted selves in the worst places. Guys cruising parks, gyms, restrooms, are a subculture it seems. Most out gay men i know can find suitable attention in bars or online. My observation has been that closeted and or repressed men, trend to such places as they are afraid to be in a gay bar or live in the honest world.

It is a complex issue and I am actually pee shy at rest stops and certain public bathrooms, based on an early childhood encounter with a perv. On one hand I prefer the person lurking in a gym or other place, pick up on my vibe, that they are wrong. At another stage, they sometimes are stubborn or illogical and they may not even have a notion that it is inappropriate. On some occaisions I discreetly mention to a staff member or regular in the gym, that, so and so in the blue tee shirt, or whatever, is a jerk and if they get other complaints, they usually boot him out.

Certain sounds, smells and places trigger me at times. I try to zoom past it and move on.It is a constant challenge and , just like being on a nice walk in the big city, sometimes people with bad intentions present themselves. Even a few times , when I have crossed paths with some small groups of street punks or nutbags, I use verbal judo at first and then looking them in the eyes and sending my very serious energy to them, diffuses most situations. But I operate on three levels of alertness when I am away from home.


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