He returns your cruising smile, so you start a brief conversation. Now it's time to make a move: you have to let him know that you have erotic intentions, or he'll write you off as a passing acquaintance. But you can't be too blatant. What do you do?
You touch his chest.
Specifically the top of the pectoralis major, that flat area above the nipple, over his heart.
The chest is not an intimate zone, like the face or the crotch, so if you made a mistake and he's not interested, he will not be offended.
But it is not a "friendly" zone, like the hand or the shoulder. The only reason to touch it is to let him know that you find him physically attractive, that you want a date or a hookup.
When you're talking to a pair or a group, it clarifies which one you're interested in.
There are occasional circumstances where the first touch is somewhere else.
If you managed to arrange a first date without a touch, you'll probably begin the intimacy by putting your arm around him rather than touching his chest.
At sex parties and bathhouses, guys sometimes sit aroused, waiting, so you can drop to your knees immediately and go down on them. But still, a chest-touch is recommended, just to make sure he's up for it.
More after the break.
Can you feel chest hair?
Of course, it works better if they lift their shirts, so you can see as well as touch.
Even after you move on to the more advanced kissing and fondling, the chest has an undeniable appeal.
Gay men have similar coming-of-age stories. Remember the first time you lay your hand flat against a cute boy's chest?
Or the first time you saw a guy with his shirt off in unexpected circumstances?
The G-rated version of this article is on Tales of West Hollywood.