X-Rayed Sex: “Hook-Up Pic Tutorial”

By LeNair Xavier

Thotyssey presents a column by LeNair Xavier, a writer/poet who has worked in many levels of the sex industry, and has a lot to say about the social politics of sex, porn and sexual etiquette.

Since this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of my being out and sexually active, I am by no means a stranger to knowing of the existence of hook-up sites and apps. Nor am I a stranger to having hook-ups born from them. With that being the case, I have seen many profiles with mistakes, not only by what was said, but also by what was shown via photos. Sometimes the photos were so bad that I paid no attention to what was said in their profile because something in the photos (or lack thereof) made me immediately lose interest.

Such as:


It would be nice, but a face pic does not necessarily have to be your primary pic. However, it should already be on your profile, even if it is locked pic. And if it is locked, then make sure you unlock it when you either introduce yourself or respond with interest to someone’s introduction to you.

Now, on apps like Grindr, you might want to have your face pic locked at first, but don’t have a membership that allows you to have a locked album. That is when you give a face pic upon introduction. If you make them have to ask for one, then to them you should have as a former co-worker of mine used to say, “one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.”

Many guys that send me a DM after seeing me on the SCUM Party’s Telegram need to follow that tip. And a number of members have made this complaint within the group chat. So I know it is not just me.

Also, a lack of a face pic shows low self-esteem. Such low self-esteem that you are priding your chance to get a hit solely by stroking a guy’s ego. That is the worst thing you could do. Because all that usually results in is a pity fuck from the stereotypical gay male narcissist.

Plus, his response to you had him most likely not intending to meet ever. And if you do meet, he used you like you were a sex toy and not a human being.

What’s wrong with that you ask? It’s because deep down many of us would not mind if that hook-up at least came with a subconscious possibility of becoming an upgrade to dating, and then a long-term relationship. Him using you as just a hole or a pole makes it clear that inner desire has an even lesser chance of being fulfilled.


One of the most immediate turn-offs in a profile pic on a hook-up site/app is a pic of a guy with a crazy face. One of the most common is a guy with his tongue hanging out. It’s an even worse move when it is his only face pic. With the amount of substance abuse tolerated in the gay male community, too many will see nothing wrong with this, or any other crazy face. For a guy being high is when most such poses happen. Due to that reason, such a look is not one to be proud of at all.

Well, he could have the most eloquently written profile making him sound like he should be not just my man for a night, but for life. But once he posts such a photo, I’m not even reading the profile. Because that photo, especially as a sole face pic, shows an ugliness and/or emptiness of the soul lurks begin those well-written words.


Smiling for a photo is an automatic for me. It should be for everyone. For a smile indicates a joyous spirit. Whether or not the person actually has one is a different story. After all, it is just a photograph, not the actual person. But at least some presence of a joyous spirit is indicated.

Back in my porn days, when I would pose for photos at the event, Will Clark’s Porno Bingo, I would always put on a smile. Be the photo by myself or with patrons. However, when posing with other porn performers, the event photographer told me to not smile. He pointed out that pornstars don’t really smile for photos. Then I realized that he wasn’t lying. At event pics, porn performers don’t really smile. They smile more for photos now than they did back in the 1st decade of the 2000’s, but even now, in a group it is not a normal pose for them. Seeing that is one thing that inspired my poem “Pornstar’s Cry.” Because that lack of a smile, which is meant to give an appearance of “sexy and brooding” actually allowed for less of a mask to hide the sadness that can be seen in many porn performers’’’ eyes.

What does this have to do with your pics for a hook-up site? It is because I see a lot of guys posting pics on these sites and apps with no smile on their face. And I believe that since the gay male community is repeatedly told to imitate porn and its stars, the “sexy brooding” façade is what they are trying to achieve. However, many fail miserably.

For all I end up seeing in their face is not them being just alone, but lonely. And loneliness is sadness from being alone. And on a hook-up app or website, that is a sign of desperation. Making oneself a target for manipulation from various forms of predators on these platforms. Like grifters, pimps, real and fake inhumane producers, and other scam artists.

So put on a smile, even if you’re sad and lonely as all hell. In short, at least with your photos, live by the age-old saying: Fake it until you make it.

I get guys hitting me up with these tactics all the time. So much that I rarely respond to being messaged. Hence the need for this article. So if you get hit up by guys doing these things, when you can, send them a link to this article to let them know why them not being appealing to you is no one’s fault but their own.

For it still remains true…First impressions mean a lot.

LeNair Xavier can be found frequently at the Cock, and at various other exhibitionist-friendly venues. He can be followed on FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram. He guest blogs occasionally for Kiroo.com.

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