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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.

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.

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.

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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Who is going to be at Hard On in London?

The pigs are ready for action.

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We’re only days away from the next Hard On event in London – Saturday 19 January is when the men will be hitting Bloc South in Vauxhall, and they’ll be hitting it hard.

One of the many things we enjoy about an event like Hard On, is getting involved in the build-up – figuring out who is going to be there, feeling the energy and excitement building.

At Saturday’s event, the music will be provided by Brent Nicholls and the entertainment that has been booked is Aymeric DeVille and Marco Napoli.

If you’ve been to Hard On, you’ll appreciate that the shows are always fairly interactive, and Aymeric has apparently requested a load challenge. So, that should get the party going.

Marco Napoli has helpfully confirmed that his load is probably going to be among the first that Aymeric takes on the night.

We’re particularly excited that Marco is going to be bringing some company to London for the event – his boyfriend Joel Someone will be there, for support.

Who else is going to be having some fun? Here’s who we’ve spotted so far:

Just repeating this because it’s important. Aymeric Deville – load-challenge.

See you there!

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