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Upgrades for Your Next Hot Gay Pool Party

If someone doesn’t invite me to a pool party soon, I’m going to scream!!!! In the meantime, I’m enjoying occasional at-home pool parties in my inflatable kiddie pool. But nothing beats a good gay pool party with friends. I live in Florida, so I’m basically a pool party expert despite no longer having direct pool access. And while you don’t have to go full luxe to have a great pool party, there are some little touches that can upgrade your summer fun day to the next level of gay pool party revelry. Here are some things to snag for your next hot gay pool party — whether you’re hosting or just want to show up as the most prepared and sexy guest.


Supergoop Glowscreen ($38)

Supergoop Glowscreen

This is hands down the best tinted sunscreen out there. It’s like wearing highlighter and sunscreen all at once! It comes in four different shades. Or if you want to skip the tinting, you can just go with regular Supergoop. ELF also makes a much cheaper glowscreen dupe, but it doesn’t feel or look as good as Supergoop I’m sorry to report!


Linen Cotton Towel ($30)

Supergoop Glowscreen

I’m always showing up to the beach or pool with a minimum of three towels. Different towels provide different services! A really nice soft, thin cotton Turkish towel feels amazing and is usually good for sitting on. You’ll want something a little more plush for actually drying off, but a luxe towel to use as a blanket or wrap or in poolside photoshoots is key.


Aerie Pool-to-Party Linen Cover-Up Shirt ($30)

a green and white striped shirt

I mean, it’s right there in the name! The ultimate pool-to-party shirt! It comes in seven colors and is offered in sizes XXS to XXL. Throw in the matching shorts for a full set.


Free People Aviator Sunglasses ($25)

two pairs of aviator sunglasses

I am simply obsessed with these 70s-style aviator sunglasses, which come in eight different colorways.


Bose Waterproof Speaker ($149)

a Bose SoundLink waterproof speaker

I love my $15 shitty portable speaker on my kiddie pool days, but it’s far from the quality of speaker my fussiest audiophile gay friends require. Bose and JBL both make high quality waterproof speakers that’ll have the gay pool party feeling like the club.


KoolTunes Playmate ($150)

KoolTunes by Igloo

Okay but to truly take your pool tunes to the next level, the retro KoolTunes Playmate is where it’s at. I want to get my hands on one of these so badly. A cooler AND a boombox? The pinnacle of innovation.


Teva Flatforms ($70)

Teva Flatforms in blue

Is it a gay pool party without at least one person in Tevas?


Funboy Floating Cabana Bar ($80)

a floating bar

You don’t even need to get out of the pool to go to the bar!


Kin Euphorics ($15)

Kin Euphorics

Pool parties should have nonalcoholic options that aren’t just plain seltzer, and Kin Euphorics are some of the best no-ABV canned drinks I’ve sampled recently. They’re funky enough to be celebratory. The Recess zero proof watermelon mojitos are also good.


Seashell Pool Float ($60)

a woman in a seashell pool float

Oversized pool floats provide peak pool party photoshoot opportunities.


I’m Hot Fan ($12)

I'm hot fan

You’re hot! Here’s a fan!


Visor ($9)

a woman in a visor

Is it just me or does this visor look like the lesbian flag?


I hope there’s a gay pool party somewhere in your future!

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 844 articles for us.

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