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I used to be a bit of a gay prude.

Growing up, I wasn’t particularly confident about my body and wasn’t particularly confident about who I was — I hadn’t really got my head around my identity, my sense of self, or what it meant to be a gay man. I was quick to disapprovingly judge the exhibitionist, gym-toned guys who would eagerly take their tops off in any situation — slut-shaming comes from a place of envy and insecurity.

As you get a bit older, you realise that your insecurities are fairly baseless. Even if you’re not measuring up to the unattainable body images of the underwear models and porn stars that we follow on Instagram, as long as you’ve got some confidence and a sense of fun then people will find you attractive and want to spend time with you. That’s my theory anyway.

But no matter how confident and self-assured you’re feeling, your first gay underwear party can be a bit daunting.

I’m not claiming to be the world’s foremost gay underwear party expert, but I’ve been to a few.

My favourite underwear party memories are from my days of competing in gay water polo tournaments. One of the highlights of any gay water polo tournament was always the underwear party. These parties generally involved a bit of a guerrilla-style approach — everyone was put on notice which night the underwear party was going to be held, the venue was selected (usually a gay bar) but the venue wasn’t informed about what was planned. Everyone turned up — black plastic bags and sticky labels were handed out, and then everyone stripped off their clothes and bundled them into the plastic bags (the sticky labels are so that you can mark which bag contains your clothes). We tended to find that other patrons and even the bar staff would happily join in the spirit of the event, and a good night was had by all.

Totally spontaneous underwear parties aren’t generally a smart-move — you want a little bit of notice to ensure that you’re wearing some decent underwear and that you’ve got your man-scaping at a level that you’re comfortable with. But underwear parties that are too official and well-organised can feel a bit forced and lacking the adrenaline that comes from doing something a bit edgy.

But why would you want to have an underwear party? What actually happens at a gay underwear party?

Underwear parties aren’t always about having sex with the other guys that are there, but there is an undeniable sexual energy when you have a room full of guys drinking and dancing in their underwear. Strangely though, after the initial amusement of stripping down while out in public, you seem to quickly forget that everyone is almost naked — it turns into just a fun, strangely liberating night out with your mates.

For what they’re worth, here are a couple of gay underwear party lessons that I’ve learnt over the years:

  • Don’t wear underwear that you’re embarrassed about. You need to feel confident — inevitably guys will be judging you on your choice of underwear. This is the occasion when you want to bring your underwear A-game.
  • If you want to wear a jock-strap, or a g-string, or a j-string, or something a bit sexy and suggestive, then go for it. If it makes you feel good then this is the party to show off the cool stuff that you’ve got in your wardrobe. Equally though, if you just want to go for a sensible pair of briefs that you know you can dance comfortably in without any wardrobe malfunctions, then that’s cool too. Try and avoid boxer shorts – you’ll feel weird and out-of-place.

  • Don’t be surprised when guys rub up against you. It’s not necessarily a sexual thing, but if you don’t like people invading your personal space, or being a bit familiar with you, then this might not be the party for you. When you’re on a crowded dance floor and everyone is jumping around in their underwear, don’t be surprised if some guys get a bit handsy — take it as a compliment.
  • What if you get a bit excited and start to get an erection? Who cares. If you weren’t getting a bit excited at this kind of party then you should probably question your sexuality. Don’t be embarrassed by your body. It depends a bit on the type of party that you’re at as to whether guys are going to be busting out boners on the dance-floor, but ultimately you get to set the boundaries on where the night takes you.
cherry grove underwear party

Cherry Grove underwear party | Source: Logo TV’s Tumblr

My final piece of advice is to embrace this unique experience. If you ever get a chance to go to a gay underwear party, don’t judge, don’t hesitate, just strip off and start dancing.

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Arts & Culture

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Here’s some up-coming events that have caught our eye:

Music, Theatre, and Art

River Stage Festival

  • An awesome free festival across the summer weekends in London.
  • This is the closing weekend and it’s the National Theatre taking over the stage.
  • Check out our guide to what’s on.

Naked Boys Reading

CHRISTEENE

Fat Blokes — London

The Ginger Snapped — UK Tour

  • RPDR Alumni Jinx Monsoon is bringing her latest show The Ginger Snapped to the UK.
  • Dates run from November 2018 — April 2019 — check the website for locations and booking details.

A Southern Gay Fairytale

  • Ty Autry shares his experiences of gay conversion therapy.
  • 13–16 September 2018 , New York City
  • Read our interview

Travel and Parties

Inndulge — Palm Springs

European Gay Wine Weekend

La Demence Cruise

La Demence — Brussels

Hard On

Circuit Barcelona

Naked Camp

Pig Week

Jamie HP — London

Things to watch

Miles

Mario

Happy Prince

Things to read

The Orca Cross

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The Chemsex Trilogy

Can I Call You Uncle?

He’s Mine Now, Cuck!

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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