There's something hot about someone from somewhere else.

Many of us fetishize boys from abroad. Our dicks rise at the sound of a French accent. Brazilian men are sex gods. Aussies are so butch. Young Chinese guys are the cutest. Black Africans are magnificent, Spaniards hot-blooded. And so forth.

Sure, some of these attractions stem from the usual stereotypes. We all know that not every Italian is a smoldering, sensual stud, nor every Yankee brash and eager to fuck, but there's something in the primitive part of our brains that thinks in terms of tribes. It's not just a matter of race but also culture. White Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Germans may look terrifically similar, but, justifiably or not, their nationalities carry distinctly different sexual auras. Quick quiz: Which of the three is more likely to be a stern leatherman, standing over you with a hard cock and a steely gaze? See?

Some of that is just silliness; national stereotypes are, of course, gross oversimplifications. Just the fact that a guy is from Elsewhere may lend him a certain assumed sophistication that might not bear up in fact. Not all Parisians are suavely accomplished lovers; "gauche" is, after all, a French word. But a guy's background can indeed matter. A man from Berlin or Amsterdam - where gay is good, sexual adventure is everywhere, and backroom bars abound - might well be more skilled in the sack than someone from a rural, homophobic spot that offers fewer opportunities to hone one's sexual expertise.

Many guys fetishize a particular nationality. Ian, a cute all-American, is a sucker for Englishmen. Why's that? "I'm queer for the accent," he says. "It goes back to a British fifth-grade teacher with a marvelous voice, down through 1980s English rock groups and BBC television imports. I grew up in the Southwest, and that accent was so Not Oklahoma." And pale Nick, whose parents are from Eastern Europe, claims, "Brazilian men are the best-looking in the world."

Being _too_ different doesn't always lend enchantment, though. Hisuke, a gay Japanese man now living in America, says, "Japanese who eroticize people from abroad often prefer men who have Western features but who are dark, like Middle Easterners or Latinos. Ricky Martin's very big in Japan."

Besides the allure of the "stranger" among us, there's also the experience of being the horny tourist abroad. Freed from the constraining routine of everyday life, many a traveler has let at least his imagination run wild. In a recent survey of travelers to Peru, hardly a sex-junket hot spot, one in eight foreign visitors had found a new sex partner while in the country - sometimes sex workers or other travelers, but more than two-thirds of them non-professional local residents. Interestingly, Americans fucked more frequently than European travelers, and bisexual men were most likely to have screwed around.

Like so many other types of sexual objectification, lusting after guys from Somewhere Else can be stupid and dehumanizing or sweet and eye-opening. Or maybe a little bit of both. The free-and-easy nature of a lot of gay sex can lead to all sorts of pleasant cross-cultural experiences; playing host to a humpy tourist from another land can have result in a fling that's broadening, fun, and torridly temporary. We can enjoy the differences for what they are, while deeper similarities of dicks and desires remind us that, to quote some Disneyland dolls, it's a small world after all. In a planet filled with suspicion and doubt, maybe a firm foreign policy of Dicks Across the Sea could strike a genuine blow for international understanding. So get those those passports - and penises - out.