Wait...was I just hit on?

This is kind of an embarassing question, but I guess if you can’t ask embarassing questions on the SDMB, you can’t ask them anywhere…

Yesterday I went to the gym, and after working out I was exhausted and decided to sit in the steam room for a few minutes. I sit in there sometimes; I was self-conscious about it at first, but typically there’s either no one in there, or just a couple old guys, and it really doesn’t seem like such a big deal. I never talk to anyone in there, a) because I don’t know anyone at that gym, and b) because it always strikes me as kind of an awkward time to talk to someone, sitting there in just a towel – it’s kind of like talking to someone at the urinals. But yesterday a guy a couple years older than me came in, sat near me, and started talking to me. Just general conversational stuff, and he was friendly, so I talked back for a bit. Turns out he was a Spanish teacher, and as I’m trying to learn Spanish, I tried to speak a bit with him en espanol for practice. Anyways, after a while I started to get the impression that maybe the guy was hitting on me a little bit: a) he complimented my physique, which was strange and unexpected because it does not deserve complimenting, b) he asked me where I live and whether I live with my family, c) he offered to give me some pointers on working out and suggested we get together some time for him to show me, d) he gave me his card so I could get it touch with him, e) he asked me which days I come to the gym, so that we might get together.

That might not sound like much, but it was a lot of pointed information to come out of 5-10 minutes of chit-chat. All of it was said very smoothly and conversationally, but still – does this seem like a normal degree of forwardness to expect from someone you’ve just met? And in a steam room no less?? Does it sound like he was trying to come on to me, or is that just me being paranoid? I don’t have the best gaydar, so I can’t say I got a very strong vibe from him one way or another, but at any rate he didn’t strike me as being obviously, flamingly gay. And even if there wasn’t a sexual undertone, does it seem at all weird? Or am I just being a cold, distant, loner type who gets suspicious when anyone’s friendly to me?

Note that I honestly don’t care if the guy is gay, but I do not want to lead him on, because I have absolutely no interest. Also, it occurred to me that maybe that is more common of gym culture/locker room talk than I’m aware of; I dunno. Any help?

Yup, he was hitting on you. Let him down easy, Tiger :slight_smile:

Not being a guy or gay, I don’t have much experience in this, either.

However, when you look at the questions/comments from him, and their particular order, it’s pretty clear to me that yes, he was definitely hitting on you.

:frowning: Damn, that’s what I was afraid of. Now I’m going to have to play the avoidance game till he gets the hint. (Because you KNOW I can’t just go up to the guy and say “I’m not sure if you’re gay or not, but I’m not interested.”) Luckily I went to the gym a couple hours later than I usually do last night, so assuming he always goes at that time it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid him. I was also vague and noncommittal about meeting up with him, so maybe he already got the hint.

…wait… he had his business card… in the steam room?

Why not? That seems like the easiest approach, really. Much simpler to execute than running around hiding from him. If he’s a decent bloke, he’ll share a laugh with you about the misunderstanding, and you can go on and perhaps become real friends.


No. I got up and said goodbye, that I was going to go to the showers, and he said that it was about time for him to hit the showers too. Luckily, he didn’t keep talking to me in the showers, because that really would have been too awkward (it’s a small gym that just has a group shower room instead of stalls). Then I went to my locker and his locker was coincidentally just a couple down from mine (again, it’s a pretty small gym), and that’s where he started talking to me again and gave me his card.

Maybe so, though I’m bad in awkward situations like that, and it could backfire on the off chance that he’s straight and was just trying to be friendly. I guess I’ll play it by ear; like I mentioned, I usually go to the gym at an earlier hour anyways, so I might not run into him again. And if I do…well, like I said, I’ll play it by ear.

If he’s straight, he’ll get the joke as well and no harm will be done and you can go on and be friends anyway.

Seriously, don’t play hide-and-seek with this guy. It will cause you more anxiety in the long run than just getting things straight (no pun intended) from the outset. Letting him know you are not gay is a win-win for all concerned.


a) you avoid him and he doesn’t get the hint. Talk about awkward.
b) you avoid him and he gets the hint. You’ve caused innecessary pain and missed a chance to work in your Spanish.
c) you talk to him and he’s ok. You’ve made a new friend and can practice your Spanish.
d) you talk to him and he’s not ok; either because he can’t take no for an answer or because he wasn’t hitting on you, is terribly terribly straight and terribly terribly narrow and terribly terribly offended. You won’t be missing much.
Valor y al toro, chaval :smiley: Or, another version that translates better: ¡A por ellos, que son pocos y cobardes! (up an’ at them, they few and wimpy! - to be said in the face of insurmountable odds, sales-time at retail and other scary situations)

Must… not… formulate… mental…image…

My advice - next time you are talking to him casually mention a girlfriend, or comment on the hot female trainer or aerobics instructor. That should give him the hint that you are not gay, while not being rude.

“Dude, are you hitting on me?”
“Sorry, you’re not my type, I like chicks”

“Dude, are you hitting on me?”
“Wow, am I bad at reading signals!”

Either way, being direct and honest is going to be your best plan, if he’s gay you’’ be doing him a favour by letting him know the score, if he’s not, he could probably use the hint that his way of making friends can come off as a little full-on.

If you do it nicely, no one needs to get hurt.

Yeah, you were hit on, is my guess…however, there might be a cultural difference involved. He’s a Spanish teacher…is he an immigrant? If so, perhaps the culture he is from is one that would be more likely to be easily informal in such a setting. Thoughts, Hispanics?

I vote for not confronting him unless he becomes persistently friendly or intrusive. If you are wrong and he is straight, he is likely to be offended. If he is gay, he may pretend to be straight anyway to avoid losing face and because he may feel that you might complain about him to management if he admitted it.

Is the business card about him as a Spanish teacher?

Or does he also have a sideline business as a trainer?

Because it sounds like you were either getting hit on, or getting sold on his training services.

The above bolded part was my thought too. All but one of the questions you mentioned are (the compliment, offer to give you pointers, card for contact and when do you go to the gym) seem like a group of questions to me. If he works out a good deal, it sounds like he was trying to encourage you (the compliment) and followed it up with offering to give you training advice. (the rest)

As far as the where you live part etc, that just strikes me as normal chit-chat. To a lot of us chit-chat in a steam room is a no no, but there are a lot of people that don’t see it that way.

Summery, perhaps you were being hit on and perhaps not. But if he can help you with spanish and give good training advice why does it really matter? Can’t you still learn from him either way?

The only times a perfect stranger has been that friendly and asked those kind of personal questions (the usual steam room conversation, if any, is, “Nice weather we’re having” or “How 'bout them O’s?”) the guy was either gay or wanted to sign me up to sell Amway.

I think it’s weird, regardless of whether he’s gay.

Imagine you were on the other side of this conversation and you were talking to a female. How would things turn out if you were hitting on this female and she said, “Are you hitting on me? Because if you are, I’m not interested.” Would that make things more awkward, or less? Remember you’ll keep running into her at the gym.

I would avoid the direct approach, unless it were someone that you know you would never see again.

I would simply throw away the business card and forget it. If he approaches you again about working out with him, just say you have a busy schedule and you go to the gym as a break from structuring your time around other people. He’ll get the hint, you allow him to save face, and that will be that. If he continues to press, then I would go the direct route.

The family question might have been to see if you mentioned a wife or not. I think if I were you, I’d go with the suggestion of mentioning a girlfriend next time you talk to him to make it clear you’re not gay. There’s no reason to bring it up directly. That would just be rude and awkward.

Count me in as another who doesn’t see why you have to avoid him. If you don’t like casual encounters at the gym anyway, just talk minimally when he comes over and answer in one-word answers. He’ll get the hint. If you don’t mind his company, be gym friends until he actually comes out and says something. Then you can just say, “I’m flattered, but no thanks.” If he presses you then you can say you’re not gay or have a wife or whatever, but that will also tell you about something…in my book, saying “no thanks” once should be enough to get people to back off. (And mostly it is).
On the other hand, you may be turning down a valuable friendship and a chance to practice your Spanish. As others have said.

Yes, he said he’s from Colombia. It occurred to me, too, that maybe his forwardness was just a cultural difference – that Colombians feel no different about talking to someone sitting naked next to them than they do about talking to a stranger on the bus. I mean, I know Americans famously have hang-ups about nudity compared to a lot of other countries. Also, it occurred to me that maybe a partial explanation for some of his questions (in particular where I live, if I live with my family, etc.) were because he asked those questions in Spanish and was looking for fairly simple questions to ask that I would understand.

Spanish teacher. Actually, Spanish college professor.