100 lb. Club - Is this appropriate or not?

View Full Version : Is this appropriate or not?

02-17-2012, 01:50 PM
Ok my partner says this isn't appropriate at all, but she could be jealous, I don't know...and I wasn't sure where to post this but since I come in here a lot I thought this space would be ok?

Ok, so I have a new trainer the last month, it's a girl. She's pretty buff and works me pretty hard.

Well this is what happened. The other day she told me to warm up on the treadmill so I did. As I'm running someone comes up behind me and slaps my butt!!! I was SHOCKED

I look over and it's my trainer and she's laughing saying "haha, did I scare you? Did you think it was some gross guy?"

Ok she knows I'm gay. I don't know if she is.

But here's my thing, I wasn't really offended, I was just shocked, she was joking around I didn't feel uncomfortable but then I told my GF and she's totally thinks it wasn't right.

But I don't know, I'm so unaware at times, I swear. If she was guy I would be offended, does it make a difference if she's a girl or not, if she knows I'm gay or not? Or.....gosh I don't know, was it inappropriate? I'm feeling kind of awkward now, cause now I don't know if she was joking, or what????

02-17-2012, 01:54 PM
See, I dont know. I think if this were me and another girl smacked my butt, it would only depend on who it was. Like if a family memeber did it (we somtimes yell "GOOD GAME!" and smack eachothers butts, my cousin and I, lol) I would be okay. Random passerby on the street? No. LOL.

How close are you and your trainer? If you're close, and you dont feel deep down its a problem, I would vote 'let it go'.. does it bother your lady because your trainer is a lady too and YOUR lady is a little jealous? lol. I don't know how to phrase that. kwim, though?

I think it's fine if you feel its fine. :)

02-17-2012, 01:56 PM
I don't think it matters if it was a guy or girl..does she know your in a relationship? if so then it deff. was wrong of her to do that! and if she doesn't..its still wrong. I think your girlfriend has the right to be upset. I would, if a in shape trainer even touched my man in any way like that i'd have some words haha..but I am old fashion in a lot of ways but still...would you like it for someone to slap your girlfriends ***??

02-17-2012, 01:58 PM
Thanks Kateleestar! I have no CLUE! That's my problem! When she did it I was like OMG, what the???? Just shocked, but she was joking around so I brushed it off. See I'm worried now cause what if she DOES like me, I feel weird....cause I don't like her like that. And we aren't that close, just working out buddies type of relationship. I mean we talk small talk like how our weekend was etc...so that's how she knows I have GF cause my weekends are with her cause we don't live together....

I guess do straight girls joke around like that? I have lots of straight girlfriends but we are super close and so if they did that not a big deal, but my trainer? And what if she likes me? That didn't occur to me until my GF mentioned it...now I feel weird.

02-17-2012, 02:00 PM
PrincessAmy I would definitely be ticked off if some chick slapped my GF's butt....if it was one of her hockey team mates no biggie....but some girl at the gym YEAH! I'd be mad too....

02-17-2012, 02:00 PM
If any of my good friends, male or female, did that I wouldn't give it a second thought, but my partner might!

I think it depends on how close you and your trainer are. Don't worry about it - if it goes beyond this, you'll gauge the situation at that point.


02-17-2012, 02:02 PM
To me, gender/preference/relationship isn't even an issue here...I'd just be freaked out by it. Seems unprofessional too.

Of course I have personal space issues, so maybe it's just me?

02-17-2012, 02:42 PM
I think it's a boundaries thing, and I'd be pissed regardless of whether my orientation included the gender of the person who smacked me. It's not like your trainer is your partner, you know?

02-17-2012, 02:44 PM
I second Seven's assessment.

It's one thing for a trainer to put their hands on you in a professional manner to guide, spot, help stretch, etc. Even the rump could be appropriate in context. But just coming up and which the cheek a good ol' whack seems weird. My family wouldn't do that (excluding my DH :) ) and no, I really don't like to be touched by people (again, excluding my DH) so I may be coming from a different place.

If it happens again, or anything of the sort, you can just say "I understand you're joking but it just makes me a little uncomfortable and would feel better if you didn't do X".

02-17-2012, 02:49 PM
Yeah, I have personal space issues as well...so unless it were a close friend or my husband, I would have an issue. I would also find it pretty unprofessional. Just my opinion though.

02-17-2012, 02:49 PM
If she were your dentist would it be ok? No. If she were your mechanic would it be ok? No.

I don't think it is ok for a professional to be slapping client butt. It makes no difference if she's a man or a woman. It's just not professional, respectful behavior. Then add this...

The other day she told me to warm up on the treadmill so I did. As I'm running someone comes up behind me and slaps my butt!!! I was SHOCKED. I look over and it's my trainer and she's laughing saying "haha, did I scare you? Did you think it was some gross guy?"

She's trying to scare you while you are on a machine? So you fall and get injured?

And she knows it's not right to slap butts... she asked if you thought it was some gross guy taking liberties didn't she? So why is it ok for her to take the same liberties? Ok, so she wasn't some gross guy. But she's being a gross gal/trainer!

I don't know that I'd want to keep her training me behaving like that. Much less date her. I'd be seriously offended.

If she was guy I would be offended, does it make a difference if she's a girl or not, if she knows I'm gay or not? Or.....gosh I don't know, was it inappropriate? I'm feeling kind of awkward now, cause now I don't know if she was joking, or what????

Look, you feel uncomfortable. Therefore it was not appropriate. Gender and orientation makes no difference. Period.

It doesn't matter if her intent was jokey. If I come over to you and slap your bottom... does my saying "But I was just joking!" make it ok to do? It's still wrong. You body is not there for my amusement or entertainment.

Uninvited, unwanted touching is def not what you expect from a professional.

And the whole "team thing?" I think that's weird. She's not your teammate anyway -- she's someone you pay to train you.

A kind word, a thumbs up -- sure. Slapping butt? I think that's getting fresh and crossing a line.


02-17-2012, 02:52 PM
I think it's not about being gay or straight, but about the relationship you have with that person; let's face if, strictly speaking it's not okay to slap someone on the butt, you could actually be charged with sexual harrassment (regardless of your orientation) for that. :) Still, I smack my friends on the butt if they are on the stairs in front of me and their butts are right there for the smacking, but only because I know it's okay and we have a relationship that allows us to go a bit beyond the formal rules about touching and personal space.

If you were offended, it's not okay, if you were not offended, it's okay. It's all in the feelings of the one being smacked, IMHO. :)

02-17-2012, 02:52 PM
Friends? No biggie. I could care less if one of them smacks my ***. Trainer? I'd feel weird.

02-17-2012, 03:00 PM
I wouldn't care. If the personal trainer is really friendly and awesome, then she might just be comfortable with you (like your friends would). If you weren't offended by it then its no problem. Slapping bums is like the standard team/gym locker room stereotyping lol. Yes, it is not alright if someone is offended by it, but it just seems like your trainer is just relaxed around you. I wouldn't worry about it. I'd just tell my partner to view it as one of the teammates doing it, since essentially you and your trainer are working as a team to get to your goals!

I don't work well with overly "professional" people. I am extremely friendly and like to be comfortable, so if my personal trainer and I have a great flow together and she doesn't feel the need to act like she's dealing with her manager, then even better. I'd love training with her far more that way!

02-17-2012, 03:06 PM
Honestly, if it didn't really make you feel uncomfortable I don't think it was a big deal. But it depends on your trainer/client relationship...maybe she just thinks you guys are alot closer then you are. My female friends and I do s**t like that all the time without a second thought. I don't think sexual orientation had anything to do with it. But if you are uncomfortable now that your really thinking about it, maybe just bring it up casually...and see how she responds and everything(awkward ik) :P

02-17-2012, 03:18 PM
I don't see anything inherently wrong with it, probably not only because of my education and experience, but because I was raised in a somewhat "kissy-touchy" family (even though oddly enough, I'm one of the more reserved in the family when it comes to spontaneous hugs, rough-housing, etc).

I have a bachelor's degree and masters degree in psychology and in my jobs had a lot of training in cultural differences when it comes to things like personal space and physical contact. I've also always had an interest in cultural, subcultural, ethnocentric, and regional differences in etiquette and taboos.

As a result, I try to be very aware of people's "comfort level" because not everyone likes being touched. And on the other hand, some people won't trust someone who is too stand-offish by their own cultural definitions (we learned a lot about that when I was in law-enforcement. Because in some cultures, when a person is trying to be respectful or apologetic, they get closer and closer to the other person, yet to most (in the USA) it's a violation of personal space and often is perceived as a threat).

In some cultures, it's not uncommon to kiss even strangers in greeting, even men kissing other men, even strangers on the lips as a greeting. Even in the USA, there are regional, social, ethnocentric, and individual differences, so "normal" and "appropriate" are relative terms.

Propriety and etiquette are in the eye of the beholder, and because there can be so many different perspectives, even within a majority culture, I think it makes more sense to assume the best, BUT communicate your own preferences. If someone does something you are incomfortable with, or you would like them to change, communicate it - ideally without blame or accusation. If the person doesn't respect YOUR preferences, and doesn't try to accomodate you, you may have to get more assertive about it, but you don't have to start out assuming the person's intent is disrespectful.

02-17-2012, 04:21 PM
Im on the fence with this. While I think that it's wrong and an invasion of personal space, there are some situations and circumstances (as others have described) when it is acceptable.

I personally would have felt uncomfortable and I'm FAR from being a prude/square (if this is even the right word to use). I guess it all depends on how you felt about it. It didn't bother you, then ok. It bothered your GF, then it probably shouldnt happen again. I can relate to your GF, I would be PISSED if a woman at the gym did that to my man lol.

02-17-2012, 04:23 PM
I wouldn't worry about it unless it continues to happen/starts to bother you as I've seen lots of trainers/sports people do this.


02-17-2012, 04:30 PM
Girl, guy, straight, gay it doesn't matter it is inappropriate and unprofessional.

02-17-2012, 06:15 PM
Hey IM,
:o So not professional at all!!!! Me thinks she spanked a girl & she liked it! :o If you are uncomfortable I would drop her as your trainer. She is suppose to train you & I highly doubt "@ss slap 101" was part of her training! :nono:

02-18-2012, 01:32 AM
I have to agree that it was not professional, but I doubt that she meant anything by it. It was probably an impulse thing. If it happens again, I'd have to address it.


02-18-2012, 01:55 PM
Totally inappropriate and unprofessional. Doesn't matter if you are gay or she is gay. You are paying her to deliver a service. That makes you her customer/client. Professionals do not put their hands on customers and do not behave in this manner.

I go to a gym where there are a lot of trainers and I have never seen any of them slap their clients on the butt.

02-18-2012, 02:15 PM
If you and the trainer are friends outside of the gym, it may be okay. But if your relationship is strictly client and trainer, it was out of bounds in my opinion. I honestly wouldn't be comfortable if someone did that to me and if someone did that to my husband I'd be really ticked. I can understand your girlfriend's perspective on this one.

02-18-2012, 05:23 PM
i'm going to chime in and say "inappropriate for a professional but okay between good friends" too. you are not paying your trainer to be your friend, or to joke like that with you. i would say it's doubly inappropriate because she knows you are in a relationship and that crosses some lines, considering you aren't at that level of friendship with your trainer.

i hope you get things sorted out. and i'll keep my fingers crossed that it was a one shot deal and she won't put you in that situation again.

02-18-2012, 08:15 PM
Thanks everyone, some really great advice. I'm such a knob with my emotions that I don't know exactly how I feel until afterwards. At the time I was simply in shock, like what the heck??? Then after sitting with it for a bit, I got uncomfortable, and I still am.

I think I'm going to see if she doe anything else and will have to address it right away cause this is suppose to be just a trainer/trainee relationship. We have nothing else outside of the gym.

02-18-2012, 11:44 PM
Girl, guy, straight, gay it doesn't matter it is inappropriate and unprofessional.

I agree wholeheartedly with this!

02-21-2012, 12:55 PM
I totally agree with apostrophe. Also I think by playing up on gender stereotypes ("you thought it was a gross guy, right?") she was trying to minimize your reaction. If you were going to buy a TV and the salesman were to slap you on the arse, I don't think he'd get that sale! Ugh. I hate how we're trained to give people the benefit of the doubt even when something makes us uncomfortable. You're justified in feeling so! I would definitely say something if it happens again.

I understand people's boundaries are different but it would never occur to me to act like that with someone who is paying me for any service anymore than it would occur to me to go over and smack a coworker. Oy.

02-28-2012, 10:26 AM
i think just confront it and if anything use your gf as your scapegoat in a way. but if its bothering you i think you should definetly say something. :hug::)

Arctic Mama
02-28-2012, 01:32 PM
That likely wouldn't bother me, to be honest it just depends on the context of the relationship. If it were a trainer who was a close friend, sure. If it were strictly a professional relationship, with no personal element, it would be much more awkward. But again, I'm pretty slow to declare sexual harassment or anything else - I think it takes a lot of humor and personality out of human interaction and adds in an often unnecessary element of caution, for fear of litigation. When it comes to body parts, I know my friends and I are quite liberal - there is a lot of butt slapping, boob poking, and general horsing around. But there are also boundaries of professionalism that should be observed unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, in a business contract. That would be where I'd see this going wrong.

If you're not bothered, I wouldn't stress about it, but if you wish to comply with your partner's wishes on this I'd jut clarify the boundaries of the relationship with the trainer the next time you see her, and request that she keep her hands to herself unless she is correcting your form.