Sex talk
Speaking of Showing Off

Simon Sheppard,

"If you've got it," says an old advertisement, "flaunt it." And that's still not bad advice.

There are exhibitionists, of course, those jolly perverts who get off on exposing themselves in whole or private part, and often in places they shouldn't. But "showing off" is a lot more varied than flashing at the grocery store. No matter who you are, no matter what you look like, someone somewhere is going to be turned on by the way you look, so why not let a bit of assertive self-presentation help things along?

"A lot of guys are shy, or afraid to seem immodest," says one horny observer of the gay scene, "but many others are unafraid to put themselves out there, and to show, in one way or another, what they've got. And man, I love to see it."

Gym rats and the naturally gorgeous may be most likely to flaunt their fabulousness, but even the less perfect among us might find it fun to shed our self-consciousness. "I used to be so uptight that I wouldn't wear shorts out on the street," says a formerly shy guy. "But then I kind of forced myself to wear shorts a lot, and that gave me the confidence to wear more revealing things, till now I can happily strut around naked on a nude beach."

Showing off can be as simple as stripping to the waist on a hot day, or as elaborate as donning backless chaps and a studded codpiece to cruise a sex club. It's not just a matter of trying to get attention; it's about showcasing your best assets. "Not to boast," says Formerly Shy, "but I'm pretty well-hung, and I just love to wear really tight bicycle shorts. Having my basket front and center makes me feel really sexy, and I love it when I catch guys checking it out."

So put your best foot – or crotch – forward, even if you're not stereotypically stunning. "Best assets" is a matter of subjective judgment, after all, and booty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everybody is into the perfect-six-pack look of Calvin Klein underwear models; that guy in the open-back chaps may have a big, hairy ass, but there are plenty of men into big, hairy asses.

And attitude counts. "One of the things that makes a guy sexy," opines a man-fan, "is his self-presentation. Somebody who's classically gorgeous but seems withdrawn and distant is a lot less hot to me than a more ordinary man who radiates sexual confidence. If a man knows how to sell what he's got, he's at least halfway there."

This may require a bit of self-assessment: figuring out what your own strong points are and how to highlight them. Tight T-shirts are not only great for guys with to-die-for pecs, but for proudly beer-bellied bears, and for skinny boys selling slenderness, too.

Following fashion? If young guys are dressing in baggy, low-slung pants and you've got long, shapely legs, maybe you should swim against the tide of trendiness and don tight jeans. It's long been a cliche that beach-going gays will wear clingy Speedos even when they're distinctly out of fashion, so why hide a bulging basket or a fuckable butt under acres of baggy surfer jams?

Why not, in fact, be shameless as possible within the bounds of semi-good taste, subtlety be damned? "I recall," says that horny observer, "being out on the street, cruising this guy in tight-fitting jeans who had his thumbs tucked in his pockets, his extended hands forming a 'hey-look-at-this' frame around his big basket. I couldn't take my eyes off him, but then, only a blind man could help but notice his featured attraction. Within seconds I was hard, and within an hour, we were in bed."

And that's show-off biz.

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

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