Fredericton — Gym enthusiast Aaron Dorken of Fredericton claims that the only item in his workout wardrobe that makes him feel comfortable is his “stringer” tank top, which is a tiny, flimsy piece of fabric that barely covers his torso at all.
“I tried wearing a T-shirt and shorts like everyone else, but all that excess material on the T-shirt chafed my delicate skin and nips,” he said with a completely straight face. “And I tried regular tank tops, but I tend to overheat and even those have too much cloth. And I just don’t like them. The stringer is the only thing that just feels right, you know?”
A few weeks ago, staff member Erica Pronk politely and discreetly asked Dorken to consider switching the stringer for a more appropriate garment.
“I simply told him the truth — that because those tank tops are cut so small, he was leaving sweat all over the bench,” she said. “He also got the tiny straps caught in a weight machine once and we had to cut him free. Another time he got a bad rash from all his exposed skin and it spread to all the other gym-goers, and we had to shut the place down for safety.
“I don’t know why he thinks he’s so special that he should be an exception to the rule. But of course he had to raise a big stink over it,” she sighed. “Literally and figuratively.
“Naturally CBC got wind of it and started a petition to force us to apologize and to revoke our ‘sexist dress code against buff men.’ So now we’ve had to let every guy wear their dumb non-shirts and it’s absolute mayhem in here. It looks like a friggin’ rehearsal for a Chippendales show at all times!”
Jessica Hollis, who works out at the same gym, said she’s noticed Dorken wearing the stringer on more than one occasion.
“So the sides of the thing are cut open all the way down to his hips — in what way is that ‘comfortable’? The straps are like spaghetti, and they go down to basically his belly button. I shouldn’t have to look at a guy’s gross hairy nipples for an hour just so he can feel ‘comfortable.’ Gimme a break.
“It’s distracting, yes, I’ll admit it. Not because I’m checking him out but because, well, it looks so ridiculous that it’s impossible not to glance at the guy if he’s anywhere in my vicinity. It’s not a goddamn beach.”
Another gym-goer, Tara Davidson, wonders why men at her fitness establishment can’t just dress appropriately for the given situation.
“Like…do they wear swim trunks to a funeral? Do they show up to the office in underwear? Why is the gym the place where they get to be half naked and then blame you for looking?”
Dorken said that if women at the gym find him distracting, that’s their problem.
“I’m so sick of the female gaze. I’m not some sexual object for you to ogle,” he stated, while flexing his pecs individually and admiring them. “It’s my business what I wear. Don’t look at me if you don’t like it. I’m just comfortable like this — it’s not about showing off my body or getting attention.”
He then proceeded to strut over to the mirror and flex his abs and biceps while taking selfies for Instagram.