Once in a while, he does put on a shirt—to please his folks at the dinner table. But the voice and bod behind the video-propelled hit Rico Suave
would rather "be true to myself. I look square in a shirt." No sense hiding those slate-slab pecs, especially since getting them was such a labor of love. "I had late puberty," says Gerardo, who moved from his native Ecuador to southern California when he was about 11. "I started lifting weights in the 11th grade when I started wrestling. I got big arms, and the girls liked that." But it ain't the meat, it's the motion. "I got girls' attention by showing off by myself at dances. It was like a scene from Saturday Night Fever
. They'd make a circle around me [and watch]." Nowadays, having parked his surname (Mejia), the flippant phenom is busy sweating out a living. Not that he frets the sweat. "I don't put any lotions on, man. I just don't care about that stuff. I might sound like a pig, but I just don't put that stuff on." Apparently the girls are not complaining. In fact, Gerardo says he has found a way to double his pleasure. "Safe sex works out your abs," he reports cryptically. "I don't work out on my abs, but I have safe sex, and that takes care of it." And you thought Stairmaster was the latest workout breakthrough.