Men in swim briefs or ‘swim briefs’ are far from a unique concept, especially in the gay community. Fit men, showing off their bodies, packages, and confidence are likely to be in most gay Instagram feeds. I have always dreamed of being one of these men.
You see, there is something so effortless and intoxicating about a man in a swim brief. The summertime flirtatiousness that women have often enjoyed, paired with a visible display of masculinity was hard to deny. Of course, my love all things underwear did help! The idea that a man could wear lycra briefs out and about in the sun all day and be considered accept… well, sign me up! Just one problem, I’m sporting more of a keg than a six-pack.
I never looked like any of the guys I saw who wore swim briefs. I had purchased one here and there over there years and wore them under swim trunks, or secretly slipped into a quiet hot tub at a hotel pool when no one was around. However, the thought of wearing them confidently, in public, was out of the questions.
Dealing with my insecurities, and going through a challenge of support and struggling with body image, I can see now how this could have only ever been a fantasy. Well, recently – I had the ability to tackle my fears and insecurities at the most amazing and safe place… Provincetown Bear Week. With the comfort and support of the bear community, I knew I had my chance to accomplish a long-time dream finally… a swim brief tan line!
With several options packed, I made my way to the spirited enclave at the tip of Cape Cod. Aboard a ferry full of men of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors – the week felt hopeful and exciting. For those who have never been, Provincetown (or PTown as it is commonly known) is quaint New England community which thrives on summer and sea breezes. Isolated with its remote geography, the LGBT community and locals alike have found refuge here as a place to be themselves. Added to this, one-week fo the summer is designated as bear week. Still coming to terms with ‘labels’ – as I don’t find many suitable, I do know the bear community to be more open and body positive.
Happy to be in this most unique and positive vibe, I felt the strength to finally be the swim brief man I have always wanted to be. The first day, I had plans to go to the Provincetown Inn during the day to hang out at the pool. This is commonly known as “bear soup” – which I soon learned was a very fitting term. As the shallow end of the pool was wall to wall full of thick men drinking drinks and having a gay old time.
I arrived on my bike, in short shorts and a witty tank top. Under my shorts, I wore a cute Andrew Christian swim brief, complete with anchors in red and blue. Walked through the see of lounge chairs, I found a spot and was in awe of all the attractive men in their skimpy swimwear. I almost felt out of place in shorts. If I ever needed a push – this was it. The shorts came off, and my swim brief clad booty was exposed, my thick thighs on display for all to see. My insecurities still on high alert, but I soon received my first smile and then a compliment on my swim brief, and before I knew it… I forgot why I had been insecure. A few cocktails later, I was enjoying the cool temperatures of the pool and the comfort of my swimsuit.
I could not have been happier at how I felt. I soon was wearing swim briefs without the shorts as though it was nothing. I always had found the swim brief and shoes look to be flirty and fun, and I was so excited to wear it myself. By the time the week was out, I had worn 6 or 7 swim briefs without repeating, and even purchased a new one from a shop in town. While I love shopping online, the thrill of going into a store and pick out a cute swim brief off the rack, and slip it on in the dressing room and then take it home was exhilarating! (It was a Jack Adams brand by the way and super cute and comfortable)
As well, by the week’s end, I finally had a swim brief tan line — the proof and sign of bravery that I laid out in my swim brief in the sun. No longer were my thighs pale and sad – they glowed with bronze like the rest of me, and my bum was proudly pale under the protection of the lycra.
Since PTown, I’ve found many opportunities to go out sporting my swim brief – from other bear pool parties as well as gay pools in my area. I have never felt so liberated and proud of myself. I am trying to avoid the word confidence because I still don’t equate my efforts to being confident. However, I feel I am proud of being myself, and that is cause for celebration.
So, to all of my undies lovers who are too nervous about wearing the swimwear you wish you could, take it from a long time fearful big guy… be yourself, and all that will be seen is that. I am who I am, and that is what matters.
I hope you all go out and take advantage of the end of the season sales and get yourselves swim briefs for the rest of summer or your winter getaway! Or just an afternoon in your back yard! Be the brave person you are. I was – and so glad for it!Cheers to summer and tanned thig