Rio Gay Guide


picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Rio is a tropical, and mostly casual city
Packing right for Rio

If you are coming in the summer - and summer may happen in any season - think cotton. You need fibers that breathe, not synthetics. Sorry, Parisians, but black is not the right color for Rio. You need light colors to survive the summer.

In addition to your regular T-shirts and jeans, bring on those bermuda shorts or surfer's trunks.

Unless you want to wash or buy here, bring extra socks, underwear... or rather don't. It will be an excuse to shop around the boutiques of Ipanema or Leblon.

You need sunscreen, and if you have a favorite it makes sense to bring along a few bottles with you. Talk to your dermatologist about what kind of SPF you need.

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Things that you should buy here, so maybe you shouldn't bother bringing include: Bikinis and Speedos - Rio beach fashion is the world trend setter. You need a Carioca tan line. Flip-flops. Local shops sell for a few reais your basic Havaianas, and there are flip-flop boutiques where you can customize yours.

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
A wild and wooly subject: Body Hair
Brazilian Waxing

Everybody has heard about Brazilian Bikini Waxing. Well, this is Brazil. If you are a girl or boy get a wax at any of the many salons everywhere. Local girls wax or remove with laser their armpit hair, and everything outside the tan line. Men can do the same, or follow Tom Ford's concept of using a shaving machine with the comb set to 1 all over the body. It works for most people.

If you are a bear and proud of it, at least please clip your armpit hair - it may collect white spots of your roll-on or spray deodorant. Fine if you are clothed, but it would make you look funny/strange at the beach. And if your hair grows long around your nipples, do something about it. Either braid it, or trim it down, please. You are going to take your top off at the beach!

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
We shouldn't go there, but...
Are you sure you smell fresh?

OK, so you come from a very cold country. If you shower all the time, and scrub your skin hard, it will peel and get red and itchy. But this is back home. Rio is a damp, tropical city.

Typical Cariocas shower as soon as they wake up, and once again at night, before they go out or tuck in. You should follow the lead - especially if you plan on meeting someone.

If you cannot brush your teeth every five minutes bring along some sugar-free gum just in case. Smokers: wash your hands, too! Somebody may want to get close. And fresh, I mean, first impressions go a long way.

picking out the right clothes - Cartoon by Ziraldo
Keep hydrated with a fresh-squeezed juice

Or stop to drink a bottle of your favorite water, soda, that's all fine with us. But don't drag along a half-gallon bottle with you. It gets warm, and everybody looking at you will think about how pointless it is. In other words, it makes you look funny-strange, so quit it already!

Skin Care in Rio

Start with SPF 60, and work your way down - if your dermathologist tells it is OK. Anything less than FPS 15 is useless. You know the correct times to sunbathe. Beach umbrellas provide a partial protection. Do not stay under the sun with a T-shirt or tank top on - you will get funny tan lines. Consider a cap, and wear sunglasses.

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