While it might be an unimaginable thing to encounter a nude patron at your local gym, it\u2019s not unexpected. However, where is the limit? Nailantei Norari @Artnorari Just last week, a spa in Los Angeles went viral for allowing a transgender woman to expose her genitalia in the women dressing area. Another patron is seen in the video complaining about the \u2018indecent\u2019 exposure and calling the offender a man. The incident resulted in protests in LA, and left everyone wondering about nudity in the gym regardless of gender. While Kenya may not have integrated bathrooms, gym and spa etiquette is an issue here as well. The question of whether to strut naked around the gym or not is something many gym goers cannot reach a consensus on. Historically, gym\u00ad\u00ad \u2014 short form for gymnasium \u2014was introduced to the world by the Greeks in the 18th century. Literally translating to school of naked exercise in Greek, the gym was a men-only space where they practised different sports such as javelin, discus, running and wrestling with the aim of getting the aesthetic appeal of bodies popularised by art, or for learning purposes as most philosophers frequented the gymnasium where they would have long discussions about life and its multitude of subjects. Most time, they would either be topless or barely clothed. So much has changed since then. People no longer workout naked. They work out fully clothed or if one has abs, semi-naked. People have to see the workout gains, they argue. To compound issues further, bath areas have been introduced as a necessary add-on in gym facilities to allow patrons shower after their workout and go around their day seamlessly, without having to drop back home. Steam rooms and saunas have also been added as gyms try to cater to holistic wellness. But with these add-on facilities comes a whole list of etiquette issues. Should someone go into the sauna naked? Should they talk while in there? Steamy rules \u201cBefore we even talk about saunas and steam rooms, let\u2019s talk about just the gym itself. People do not rack their weights. They use them and leave them on the floor as if they have personally employed workers to clean after them. This is not golf. You do not have a caddie. Clean your weights then put them back on the rack. Secondly, those annoying social media people taking two hours at the squat machine while we wait for our turn, either come during off peak hours when there are fewer people working out, or just turn off the video and work out. If you also want to take a video of group classes, please asks if the people in the class are comfortable with it. We might be hiding from the mafia or from our families who demand black tax and then you post us burning money and calories at the gym, something only African families can define as affluence,\u201d Jane Njambi (not her real name), says. She adds that people should only get into the sauna or steam room after showering, since there is an insane amount of sweating that goes on in the aforementioned rooms. She advises people to carry a towel to sit on to avoid grossing out surfaces by placing their bare bums on them. On the question of nudity, she proposes it only for age-restricted health clubs. If the place has an age restriction, for instance a 25 and above changing room, then by all means go naked, she says. If the place is just a potpourri of ages, keep your towel on. Traumatizing a 16-year-old with overgrown pubes and big womanly or manly tummies is no one\u2019s idea of having a fun time, she believes. African and nakedness Dr Francis Paul Kerre, a don at Kenyatta university and leading sociologist concurs with this. He shares how traditionally, only people in the same age-group would be allowed to see each other naked. This would happen during river baths and during initiation ceremonies, where all the men or women in the same group would perform rituals, such as singing and mud baths, fully naked. \u201cWhile most African cultures and traditions have been eroded, it should stand to reason that a young woman should not see a woman of her mother\u2019s age naked. Age groups should largely still define nudity and when and where it happens,\u201d he argues. Ken Munyua, a psychologist agrees with this. He says that while people have different comfort zones and pet peeves, rules are generally put in place to provide a baseline that guides human behavior. This means that while one may be comfortable walking around nude in the gym, they should also consider the comfort of others in the room. This means that their right to stay naked, stops where the next person\u2019s begins. \u201cWe all just need to be more intuitive. See how your behavior in the gym or any other part of life affects others and adjust accordingly. Do not make others uncomfortable. In the same way, if someone makes you uncomfortable, enforce your boundaries by pointing it out. People tend to listen and do as you ask if you are firm and polite about it,\u201d he says in conclusion.