Home Q&A Wednesday Q&A Wednesday: Can I Sleep with My Trainer?

Q&A Wednesday: Can I Sleep with My Trainer?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Q: Erika you have to help me figure this out. My trainer is HOT. Like, five alarm fire hot and I can feel the heat when he trains me kind of hot and he’s charming, too. I think he likes me, and I want to go for it, but I keep hearing the phrase “you don’t s*** where you sleep” and thinking this is a bad idea.

ANNNNNNNNND since you’re my sister in my head and you used to train people (or do you still?) I thought you’d be able to help me understand this. Can I get it in with my trainer? Is this a bad idea?

Oh, this is going to be a quick one.

No, it’s not wrong for you to want to bone your trainer.

But—as a trainer, let me tell you something, and let me make it clear to you: not only would your trainer be unethical if he engaged you in this way, he’s also lowkey predatory and probably really gross.

Here’s what people have to understand about the trainer-client dynamic: you’re essentially being bossed around by someone who also likely has a traditionally attractive figure. They would be Oscar the Grouch in the face—sorry, Sprout’s watching Sesame Street in the background—but that body is ‘on point’ and they’re bossing you around. For some people, that has a sort of 50 Shades of Fitness kind of thing going on.

Trainers know this, but the ethical thing is to not exploit it by letting it get so far that our clients think breaking that wall is appropriate. Some of us have flirty styles of dialogue, some of us are more like military boot camp leaders, some of us are more like elementary school teachers. You often choose your trainer based on what appeals most to you and what has the best chance of being motivating and encouraging. It should also come as no surprise that what’s motivating is also what’s arousing, attractive, and potentially exciting.

Not only that, but you also know full well your trainer likely has a roster of clients they’re working with and, let’s face it: feeling like you’re the chosen one that this hot piece of work has decided to date—and, I’m using the term loosely—over everyone else is often another kind of draw.

But.

Trainers know that the power dynamic at play between trainers and trainees is arousing for some folks, and they’re excited by it. People frequently, ahem, show signs of arousal during training sessions—as someone who has unfortunately and embarrassingly been on both sides of the equation—and trainers are used to this. The professional knows how to tastefully and tactfully rebuff advances. The amateur turns it down in a clunky fashion. The predator sleeps with their clients.

(My particularly embarrassing situation was that I had gym membership advisor introduce me to the trainer she thought would be a perfect fit—it was one of those weird situations where the well-meaning white lady pairs the rare black client with the only black trainer… but the black trainer was so fine that I forgot to respond when he stuck his hand out and introduced himself… the advisor giggled and said “So, I suspect this will be a good arrangement?” and I whispered, in a really perverted manner, “Absolutely.” I’d never actually seen a black man blush like that before that day. It made working with him really fun.)

And that’s what I’m getting to—a trainer who sleeps with clients is likely a trainer that uses the gym as a hunting ground, manipulating clients into believing they’re “the chosen one,” screws them and potentially juggles them—and the unnecessary drama—in a way that unnecessarily impacts their lives and their ability to train you well. It’s one thing for a trainer to use the charm and muscles to attract clients—it’s another thing entirely to be sleeping with the people who pay you money for other services.

I’ve heard—and witnessed!—stories of trainers who’ve had clients-slash-boo-friends roll up during training sessions alleging they’re screwing the client they were training in that session, both in situations where the trainer in question is and is not screwing that client. Stories of heartbreak, frustration, confusion… all because a trainer failed to acknowledge that you don’t shit where you eat.

So, here’s the deal. Is it wrong to want to bone your trainer? No. It’s completely normal. Training is about bodies, closeness, touching, often with someone who you might find to be wildly attractive. It’s an intimate thing, which is why it’s so important to have that chemistry. But, if you find a trainer who is a good fit, don’t ruin it with unprofessional activity. Allow me to be crass for a moment: I’m all in support of safe, sane, and protected casual sex and it seems you are too, so remind yourself: you can get dick (or whatever you’re into) from anywhere. Your trainer has to erect (heh) boundaries, and so do you.

Work out with your trainer, use that energy to power you into working harder and longer, take a hot—or cold, as it were—shower, sit in the sauna with some deep breaths, and then come out and appreciate the experience. Then fire up your B.O.B. or call up your boopiece and get it in. Because as you put it, we don’t s*** where we sleep.

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