Yes, She is Judging You this Summer. Right now, as you sit on the beach with four empty beer cans, a ‘90s-style puka shell necklace dangling over a suspiciously hairless chest, and wearing those creepy mirrored sunglasses, you may not be aware that you are committing many, many beach faux pas. So take my advice: You needn’t primp pre-beach, but there are a few things that all women notice — from those mesh shorts you’re trying to pass off as swim trunks to what you’re hauling in that beach cooler — and are simple to address.
Atrocious Tan Lines
In short, use sunscreen. If you’re three hours in and five beers deep sporting burn-victim tan lines, you’re basically telling me that you’re wasted and don’t take pride in your personal hygiene. And you’re likely in a great deal of pain. Save face, and your body, and slather on sunscreen properly. (Or grow a pair and ask your friend to do it for you.) For women, a sunburn is a red flag that you haven’t graduated from the Garth Brooks’ anthems of yesteryear, and that we should steer clear of you.
Some women like a hairy man. Most don’t. You may have watched ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ and thought “I have to be newborn-smooth,” but that notion is false. A simple trim with an electric razor does the job. You’re going for neat, not baby seal. Avoid waxing at all costs. While laser treatments are a solid, and far less painful option, unless you’re something of human man-beast, there’s nothing that a simple summer trim cant fix. We’re talking everything from taming those bushy pits to a quick chest shave, as long as you leave a little something to grab on to. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. A little hair definitely doesn’t hurt.
While we’re on the topic of hair, know that spending one iota of time styling, coiffing and perfecting a “do,” is highly discouraged. Going to the beach should be a less-is-more event, but if you are concerned about how your tresses are going to behave, spritzing on a little texture-creating sea-salt spray should do the trick (btw, here’s how to get the perfect summer hair cut in the first place). If your hair is on the dry side, smooth on a dime-sized amount of conditioner before the spray. Low fuss, and guaranteed good hair.
Drink wisely. If you’re drunkenly shouting at me from yards away, I’m not gonna reply. Ditto if you’re blasting music (any kind, and even if I like it)—it’s just lame and makes you reek attention-addict. And know that, in general, the kind of beer you drink says a lot about what kind of person you are — and this gives off a signal to women. For example, a can of Corona or PBR says “I don’t give a shit; this beer is cold and cheap and I’m hot sitting on this beach.” It’s easy and carefree, which is exactly the kind of persona you should be radiating when you’re beachside. Then there’s the higher-end beers, your Blue Moons, Dogfish Heads. Also solid beach-appropriate options. Women respect a craft beer obsession. But anything more niche than that, and we wonder why you’re not spending your day at a beer garden. Unequivocally, wine coolers are lame. As is mixing, shaking, or stirring any mixed cocktail and/or beverage you’d stick an umbrella in. It reads needy and high maintenance, which nobody’s interested in. As for the old whisky in a sunscreen bottle thing — are you 22 and trying to sneak booze into a Dead and Co. concert?
When it comes to trunks, it’s the length that matters most. The general rule of thumb is finding shorts that hit you three to four inches above the knee. Don’t be afraid to play it fast and loose with the color and the print — just as long as you can keep your skivvies intact during all beach-faring shenanigans. If you’re feeling body conscious, opt for a navy blue or black swim trunk to draw the eye away from your, um, trouble areas.
Do you think we’re not going to notice your six-pack? And no, we’re not talking about your beer. We’re definitely eying those chiseled abs at that “V thing” gets us every time . Which brings us to the next point about muscles: If you’ve been hitting the gym hard this year in preparation for operation beach bod, than more power to you. But sitting on the beach, flexing, is in every way, shape, and form is a huge turn off. And just so you know, women scan your body in the following order: your belly (sorry, it’s the first thing that we see); your butt; your face; your arms (too big and you’re a narcissist); your calves; your crotch; and your back. But of course, in the same way it catches your initial attention for women, we notice your eyes first. So be sure to raise those shades every once and a while.
Are you a Ray-bans man or an aviator kind of guy? Tortoiseshell or plain-black frames? All of these are good choices. However, the neon-green freebies your co-worker gave you from an EDM concert last summer are not. Think about what you want your shades to say about you. (No, really. Think about it.) Whatever you decide, never use your sunglasses to creepily check out girls. It’s gross. And pervy. And painfully obvious. If you’re going to do it anyway, you’d be wise to check the opacity of your eyewear first.
Here’s the truth: There’s something sexy as hell about a man with tattoos. From David Beckham’s extensive collection of inked-up allegories to Adam Levine’s well-decorated physique, women love a man with good ink — and there’s no better place to eye it than the beach. However, if your tattoos don’t exactly bend it like Beckham, I’ll probably be turned off. For instance, maybe life got crazy, and in a desperate attempt to salvage your relationship with your soon to be ex-girlfriend, you convinced yourself that etching her name onto your forearm was a romantic gesture. Or perhaps in an effort to celebrate the sanctity of brotherhood during Pledge Week, you and your bros tied one off and you got Tweety tatted on your ankle. Whatever the case, I do believe in the old, and pertinent adage “your body, your choice.” But on the beach, when you’re revealed in the most public of ways, it’s basically an open invitation for women to critique you. You should cover bad ink up to the best of your ability (maybe even employ some heavy-coverage makeup or cream from your local drug store — or consider permanent removal). Conversely, a good tattoo, and one that’s deeply meaningful to you, is not only sexy as hell, but something to wear with pride.
How you treat your feet is just as important as what you choose to put on them. You want to keep toes, heels and bunions in check, because nothing will make us run faster than the disturbing site of overgrown toenails or gnarly foot fungus. For footwear, anything in the flip-flop, thong, or sandal category would seem most practical, however, with so many options to choose from, footwear faux pas are far and wide. Always a no-go on the beach or otherwise: the socks-and-sandals combo. Likewise, sneakers, loafers, aqua socks, smoking slippers and anything with laces should automatically be barred. Now, for every rule, there is an exception, and in this case it’s boat shoes. Also known as topsiders, these classics are an excellent overall summer shoe. Wear them, and I’ll be impressed enough to message a photo to my work wives.
Your Activity of Choice
If you’re swimming laps, awesome. If you’re surfing, even better. And we’re all for beach games — hell, the more balls, the better. So bust out the football, whiffle ball, or volleyball and have at it. Asking me if I’m game for a little friendly competition? Now that’ll be the sexiest thing I’ll hear all day.