Sex talk
Speaking of Dressing Sexy

Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

Dressing to impress is one thing; dressing to seduce can be quite another. Throughout history, fashion and lust have gone together, dick-in-glove. So what's sexy to wear?

As with any hot-or-not question, that's a matter of opinion. Says one longtime observer of the queer scene, "What's regarded as sexy clothing changes over time. It's mostly a matter of fashion, though there are also specific fetishes that have little to do with what's in this month's glossy men's magazines."

For many years, form-fitting attire was de rigueur for the gay hunk. From 1950s queens in slinky nylon "lounge suits" through 1970s clones in poured-on Levis, it was often easy to pick out who was gay by noting whose butt was closely caressed by clothing. Tight pants showed off baskets, and Speedos-style swimsuits revealed much, much more than they concealed.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the clothing store. "If you've got it, flaunt it" was supplanted – at least among many young guys – by street-influenced baggy fashions that made the tent-sized zoot suits of old look like leotards. Says our fashion maven, "For the longest while, straight men's fashions were influenced by what gays found sexy. Now het boys are returning the favor, giving us body-concealing hip-hop fashions that provide a single site of sexiness – the midriff, with its exposed underwear and glimpse of belly. The size, or even location, of a boy's basket may be a mystery, but at least the outfit says, 'I'm young,' which turns some guys on."

And then there's fetishized clothing. Stereotypically masculine attire – from business suits to military gear – often conveys power. Sartorial strength-signifiers catch a bottomboy's attention...and make his dick hard. On the other hand, dominant tops may be turned on by clothes that bespeak vulnerability, from jeans with a ripped-up ass to flouncy, femmy garb. And a full-fledged fetishist into, say, over-the-calf dress socks will feel fulfilled by nothing less.

Clearly, "sexy-looking" is in the eye of the beholder, and you can't dress to tempt everyone. So keep in mind your target audience. Wearing leather shorts and a dog collar is going to attract some men, while putting on preppy gear will snare others – so decide if you'd rather be disciplined or sucked.

Most of all, keep an eye on the raw material – you. Clothing can emphasize good points and hide a multitude of faults. Be realistic about what you've got, and what you want to spotlight. Shorts will show off those well-built legs of yours. And why hide those biceps that demand so much gym time? But remember that one man's "flaw" is another man's turn-on. A gym bunny may be aghast if his togs betray a bit of belly, while a proud bear is only too happy in low-slung trousers that flaunt his waistline – and both have their fans.

Don't go off the dress-up deep end. You might want to think twice before making a sartorial spectacle of yourself. "There's nothing more off-putting to me," says one guy, "than a man who dresses like he's trying too hard. You know, the one in 'Look at me, I'm such a stud' drag." Other observers, though, might find such assertiveness strong and sexy. There is, thank goodness, no accounting for taste.

Hunting for attire that makes men want to see you naked? Maybe it all comes down to "dress for yourself." If you think you look sexy – no, if you know you're looking good – then other guys will believe that, too. Whether soccer shorts or Armani suits, flannel shirts or leather harnesses, gay apparel can be dick-delighting to don and lust-producing to look at. So put it on...and get off.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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