What happens when a straight guy steps outside his swimwear comfort zone? This post below. Our newest writer Gabe tells about how he put on a speedo for the first time on vacation. Enjoy the post!

‘Old habits die hard.’  The same can be said of attitudes or personal beliefs.  Anything that jeopardizes the safe comfort of our small thought bubble universe is usually eradicated quickly.  It’s just human nature.  After all, no one wants to accept that their deep-held personal beliefs may be wrong.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about… our story is about Speedos!!!

Actually, my introduction is highly relevant to that style of skimpy spandex swimwear.  If you’re unsure about why that is then I offer this challenge: put on a Speedo, go to your nearest public beach or pool, and loiter in the sun.  Count the number of awkward moments you experience in an hour.

The truth is that, despite centuries of human progress and enlightenment, we are still unable to shake our profound feelings of shame toward our own bodies.  This is especially true here in the U.S. where we have John Ashcroft and Super Bowl wardrobe malfunctions to remind us that unclothed human bodies are morally wrong.

It is a perverse dichotomy.  We love seeing skin.  It is all over our magazine covers, television ads, movies, etc.  And yet, we have somehow all silently agreed amongst ourselves to make our disgust known anytime we see it in public.  Recall the scene from the movie Meet the Parents in which Ben Stiller is left no alternative but to don a Speedo in front of the entire family and how the group taunted him.  The knee-jerk ‘eeewwww’ reaction is so embedded in our culture as to be second nature.  It is a learned behavior and it is doing us no favors.

A few years ago my girlfriend (now fiancé) and I made a trip to a resort on the island of St. Lucia.  We were staying at a place that catered mostly to couples (lots of newlyweds).  Our visit happened to coincide with that of a large group of 30 and 40 something couples from the Netherlands.  They were a fun group. Good lord could they drink!

The afternoon of our second day there, we were lying on the sand at the beach behind our bungalow.  It was only then I became aware that I was the only man wearing board shorts.  My male European counterparts were all wearing speedos.  It was actually me, in my family‑friendly swimwear, who was getting the odd looks from people.  Or at least I certainly felt that way.  Go figure.  By the third day I had decided enough was enough.  After some encouragement from my GF (and after downing a brightly colored fruity umbrella drink) I strode to the resort shop, bought a pair of black speedos, and “hammocked up.”

It’s important to note here that I swam competitively for many years and was accustomed to wearing a speedo during workouts at a pool.  But I had never simply worn one while relaxing on a beach.  Nor did I possess the kind of rippled physique that might grant me an exemption from mockery.  No, I was stumbling head-on into Greg Focker territory.

But truthfully I felt no stigma or shame.  I was lucky enough to find myself in a situation where the social pressure element (the fear of being taunted) was totally eliminated.  My girlfriend was not critical at all as she seemed only to encourage me.  Once that critical element was removed the only pressure remaining was internal.

And this brings me to perhaps the most important point.  A straight man wearing a Speedo may experience thoughts of self-doubt which are as inhibiting as any external social pressure.  We are afraid that if we wear a Speedo (and heaven forbid we enjoy it) that it somehow makes us gay.  As if Tim Gunn himself descended from the heavens, waived a bejeweled wand, and made a cloud of pink smoke go “poof” on top of our lives.  Your next stop is an appearance on Oprah where the topic is straight men who ruined the lives of their unsuspecting female partners.

This is not how it works.  Honest.  My experience did not turn me gay.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  Ignoring the urge to cover up made the personal time with my girlfriend way more adventurous and flirty than it had ever been before.  Lacking a better term I refer to it as the ‘Tarzan Effect.’  I felt less schlubby.  I actually liked my own body for once, even if I was carrying a keg instead six pack abs.  It was this sudden inrush of confidence that made the rest of our stay incredible.

This experience was important to have because it marked a change in my attitude.  It was the last time I really worried about what other people thought of me.  This letting go has had many positive effects in other parts of my life.  The speedo itself is really just a secondary part of the bigger change in thinking that I’m trying to sell here.  And that is: be unafraid.  Find what it is that makes you feel confident or happy.  See how it affects your relationships, intimate or otherwise.  Experiment.  This body you have is the only one you get.  Why not enjoy it?

I don’t expect this sense of adventure or experimentation will be everyone’s cup of tea.  I’m sure that there really are people who, absent any social pressure, still really prefer to cover up.  And that’s fine too.  The only thing I would urge upon those people is to withhold judgement of others who are more adventurous than you.  They’re not trying to gross you out.  And if it does gross you out, just look away.

If you’re still afraid that a speedo will turn you gay just remember that it’s simply an article of clothing.  The inherent traits that you possess are much stronger and are unlikely to change by virtue of a wardrobe choice.  If I’m wrong and it does change you then look on the bright side… you’ll get to meet Oprah.

So for the guys reading who are still on the fence, I dare you… “hammock up”



  1. would you have donned the speedo at an american beach? or have you worn it since this experience?

  2. Frank Ogwaro Jr. Reply

    Hi I’m Frank, great article! First I would like to say thank you for writing this article it really resonated with me! As a gay man I know what its like to grow up and want different things for yourself then what society & culture says is “what we should do or what we should wear.” I am 21 years old as of this posting and have been wearing speedos ever since I was 16 years old and never went back to shorts. There are several reasons why I like them, well for one they are practical for swimming & dry fast. I don’t like shorts because of the excess fabric, that is just unnecessary. I don’t care what anyone thinks and for the most part when I wear a speedo to any beach here in SoCal no one cares or is paying attention to what I’m wearing, and if they did I would still wear them proudly. Every once and a while you get those teenagers that might snicker or say something but it does not phase me. I still think we have a long way to go before speedos become mainstream I mean guys still wear two or three layers under their boardshorts which I don’t get. Swimwear should not define peoples sexuality if wearing a speedo makes you feel sexy and good about your body then it doesn’t make you gay or straight. If this hang up is eliminated among straight men then more guys would wear them. On the flip side I know a few gay guys who only wear them in private because they don’t want to stand out and be the only ones on the beach or by the pool in a speedo. I fully understand that not all guys feel comfortable wearing a speedo like you mentioned and thats okay however, I hope its not because of fear or because of what people might think. I don’t think we should ever compromise who we truly are. First we have to accept and love our bodies then we can be free from what we think people think of us because in the end they probably don’t care that you want to wear a speedo.


    I am following my passion with men’s swimwear & underwear and will soon launch a website that will offer personalized men’s swimwear & underwear shopping experience based on my professional and personal recommendations. If you want to get in touch I am @frankjath on twitter and my email is frankjath@gmail.com. Thanks again for a great post and keep up the great work guys!!! 😀

  3. I have worn speedos for many years at American beaches. In the beginning, I was very self conscious about how people would react when I slipped off my shorts to reveal my speedo. Now, I don’t really give it a second thought. I know there will always be those people out there that do not approve of what I’m wearing, but I’m way beyond that now. This is my life and I like to be happy. Wearing speedos is one of those things that make me happy. In this day and age, you have to take advantage of those little things in life. Don’t let other dictate what you should wear. Go for it, you only live once!

  4. I’m a straight guy and I wear brief style suits exclusively; if my clothing choices were based on “social pressures”, I would undoubtedly dress differently here in rural North Georgia… Oddly enough, most of the criticism is from obese women in bikinis…

    • Speedo Lover Reply

      Watching a man, straight or gay, wearing a speed is hot. Why? Having the courage to wear one, especially a straight man, exudes an enormous amount of confidence. And that confidence in itself is sexy. I don’t see what the big deal is really. Women can wear revealing bikinis which I think it’s fabulous. I am an adult and understand human anatomy. However, men have such a problem wearing anything that show off or exhibit their male anatomy. It’s like we don’t already know what’s down there. Get over it. Our bodies are hot. Embrace your body. Self-acceptance, confidence. That’s what it’s all about.

  5. I have traditionally been a board short type guy. After moving into a home with a pool, I decided to try a Speedo. They are fantastic. I feel great in a Speedo. Although I just wear it at home around the pool I would wear it at the beach. I like to take it off on the pool. It slides on and off so easy

    • A couple Summers back I went to the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Virginia dude here). Girls in bikinis and guys in long shorts were everywhere. I wondered something: Was I the only guy wearing narrow-sides swim briefs on under his swim shorts (my shorts were shorter, mid-thigh length)? And would I be the only man to strip down to minimal briefs? Dang it, who cares, right?

      30 minutes or so after I offed the shorts, I realized that most the other dudes nearby had waited to follow someone else’s lead (probably encouraged by their girlfriends/wives). So there went the theory (fear?) that Speedo and other brief style trunks aren’t popular in the States. Guess most guys are hesitant to be the first. Never thought I’d be a trend setter. So wear what you want, bros!

  6. I cannot understand how puerile Americans are concerning speedos!!
    Look at the question of men in speedos. After all they are not the most revealing swimwear that is available for men.
    Go to any beach, pool or swimming location and you will see women in bikinis with their bits hanging out , wobbling around and generally in your face. Even women who should not be seen in anything less than a circus tent Wear them .UGH
    .Look at any “ red carpet “ event and what do you see.? Women in so called dresses with the neckline cut down to the navel and splits up to the” crack”
    Get real.
    A man wears speedos and it’s shock horror , cover your eyes, the cows will stop giving milk, children will be scarred for life and spinsters will have the vapours.
    What double standards are at work here? Men have gonads, genitals ( I could use other terms), we don’t have the Ken doll crotch.
    Get over yourselves!! Try wearing speedos and you’ll never go back to those gender neutering things you call board shorts. They are enough to drown you when they get wet.
    As we say in Australia “ grow some balls and be a man”.
    By the way I’m a straight man and all my mates wear speedos, which are an Australian invention!!

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