the gay guy’s guide to swimwear

You can tell a lot about a man by what he wears when he goes swimming. Whether its board shorts, surf shorts, American flag shorts, squarecut trunks, or a bikini, a man’s choice of bathing suit says a lot about his personality and his fashion sense.

As with everything, in the gay world there are certain standards of fashion and acceptability for bathing suits.

  1. Your bathing suit should never cover your knees
  2. Your bathing suit should fit you well
  3. Your bathing suit should not look cheap

Other than that there is some freedom for expression within type of swimwear, pattern, cut, etc. In addition, if you plan on swimming a lot this summer, or going to the beach, or hanging out by a pool, you need to make sure you get a decent amount of bathing suits. Wearing the same three ones all summer is not really acceptable, and yes, people will notice.

If your current stock of bathing suits consists of long board shorts that go past your knees, do yourself a favor and throw them out. If you like looser fitting bathing suits then go out and buy some surf shorts (they go to right above the knee and are made out of a thinner fabric than the traditional swimsuit). Or if you want to go the more fashionable route, buy a few pairs of short swim suits. These can be purchased at stores like Forever21, H&M, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Bonobos, Gap, etc. These range from right above the near to upper thigh and can be found in a variety of colors and patterns. These are the best option for gay guys in the summer, since they aren’t tight spandex things, but are more fashionable than ugly, long board shorts.

Solid short bathing suits can be paired with busier shirts or tank tops. Striped or floral ones are best paired with solid or neutral shorts. It is best to get a mix of solid and patterns shorts, and make sure to have a decent variety in the color palette of your swimwear. Bathing suits are also a great opportunity to wear some great summer colors and bold shades.

The other major style of bathing suit worn by gay men are the tight, skimpy varieties that include square cut trunks, bikinis, jammers, slings and thongs. These are for guys that are confident and willing to show off their bodies (as well as enhance their private regions). A lot of people don’t feel comfortable with their “bathing suit bodies” to wear these minimalist trunks or bikinis, but that is perfectly ok. The tighter kinds of bathing suits can be a lot of fun, however, and can also be very sexy. Brands like AndrewChristian, Aussiebum, and Rufskin all have large selections in these skimpier styles.

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No matter what kind of bathing suit you wear it is very important to have a variety, make it match your outfit, make sure it’s a quality product, and make sure you are comfortable in it. So before you head to the beach or the pool this summer, swing by the mall and grab a few new pairs, just make sure they’re fashionable and fit your personality, whether that is a shorter pair of shorts or a tight pair of trunks.

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Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Queer Voices. He allows his often tongue-in-cheek style to entertain and inform his readers on a variety of topics from fashion and daily life to critical issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community.