Why you should reign in your PDA at Edinburgh’s Pleasance gym

Even the vaults aren’t safe from this pandemic

In general, this doesn’t seem like a preference that needs to be stated. Still, as the gym’s memberships have become popular, the Pleasance appears to have become a foreplay hotspot. When I say that watching a bunch of sweaty randos get it on in the weights room is not a valued part of my gym routine, I think I speak for almost all members of the Edinburgh population.

It is unclear what aspect of the testosterone-fuelled and body-odour-scented gym atmosphere pushes this fraction of the population to display their affection publicly but it clearly has some kind of effect. While I’m certainly on board with everyone finding and enjoying relationships, even sharing hobbies with your partner, I take a few key issues with this PDA pandemic.

Gym Crushes

Firstly, you are ruining the joy of gym crushes. Do I love the stolen glances and occasional nods? Yes! Absolutely. Do I want to see a horrid example of what it could become? Entire rest times filled with eye contact and forehead kisses, desperately unsubtle checking of your partner’s surroundings for members of their preferred sex, and a (recently seen and hated) joy found in matching gym outfits? No. This sounds more like a nightmare edit of WWW (What are you Wearing Wednesdays).

The only sexy things in the gym should be fun, unobtainable gym crushes, and the new Eric Liddell refurbishment (I mean, come on, Netflix!?) and that’s it.

Afflicted friend groups

Secondly, I feel awful for any friends who share or even happen to witness your gym session. We all know the bizarre phenomenon of not wanting to look but finding it hard to resist, and while this may be hilarious after copious amounts of tequila on a hive-til-five type night, it is perhaps something to be left on sport social dance floors.

To encourage you to spare this consequence, consider the disgust and jokes at your expense shared in group chats made up of those poor witnesses. You might think “ha, those don’t exist” but I promise you, yes, yes they do.

Is it really ‘natural’?

Our attitudes to PDA tend to be determined by what we experienced seeing growing up, so we have our lovely parents to thank to adding further fuel to this practice. PDA is often claimed to be motivated by a will to turn heads (think of it like a particularly skinny muscle vest or scrunched pair of leggings).

There is also a physiological side to it, with these shared acts contributing to our levels of oxytocin that, in turn, can make you feel more secure in your relationship. Maybe “Brad” on Hinge has some sense in relating every single prompt to his search for a girl to join his daily “gym sesh”. Maybe we all, like Brad, need a little security amidst midterm madness and in the Edinburgh climate.

So, by all means, be sneaky, have fun, and bring your partner to the gym to enjoy some shared pheromones. However, we want to see your PDA about as much as we wanted the closure of Teviot. Go on your phone in set breaks like a normal person, scan Matchmaking Monday in vain for your name or description, and please, if this is a lifestyle you choose, don’t block the machines or exits, as we ordinary, social-conventions-abiding citizens need access to our workouts as well as a potential escape xx

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