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20 Things You Didn’t Know About Men Underwear
If you’ve lived on this planet long enough, you know this one law to be true: things are rarely as simple as they appear. That person who cut you off in traffic doesn’t exist just to make your life harder. They could just be late to pick up their kid from school because their boss made them stay late. Your girlfriend doesn’t question where you were last night because she likes making your life difficult. She genuinely worries about why you aren’t communicating with her. The point is, everything has a history and today we’re going to dive into the interesting and colorful history of one of the staples of the modern day wardrobe: underwear.
1. The First Underwear Form
At this point in our lives, the idea of not having underwear is just so foreign to us, that it’s hard to believe that men didn’t always wear polka-dot boxers and form fitting briefs. But actually, the first form of underwear was probably the Loincloth. According to this Wikipedia article, scientists were able to find evidence suggesting that leather loincloths go back as far as 7,000 years
2. The Revolution
Obviously, something changed between loincloths and what we have today. As we mentioned before in this article, the first brief was created by Coopers Inc. with a focus on comfort and utility, much like most underwear companies of today. This company was years ahead of its time, which lead to the company doing so well that they basically changed the way people look at underwear. While people weren’t exactly losing their minds over their new found comfort, you certainly couldn’t deny that briefs were here to stay.
3. When it rains…
The term ‘going commando’ is pretty standard vernacular these days; a reference to wearing pants without underwear. While woman actually tend to have an aesthetic reason for doing this (to avoid visible panty lines), the original purpose of this was purely out of necessity.
‘Going commando’ quite obviously originated from military tactics; becoming necessary whenever severe weather took over. See, if the underwear got wet (which it definitely will; they don’t let you bring umbrellas into the army), they might cause irritation and chafing. By avoiding the wet underwear all together, you too can avoid some of the issues that come with it (irritation of the skin and a general sense of discomfort being the most common manifestations of this).
I’m sure some of our readers have noticed how some of the younger men (or older boys, depending on who you ask) today have started letting their pants purposefully sag below their waists. While this alone is a sign of someone that does not take themselves seriously, it also has some interesting history to it.
Apparently, the style originated in prisons all over the US, as a way for male prostitutes to solicit themselves to other potential sexual partners in the prison. Yup. That’s right. Those tough, overly macho boys that sag their pants are actually soliciting themselves for gay sex. Funny how life works sometimes, isn’t it?
5. Interesting Scientific Observations
According to an independent study, 41% of men prefer wearing Briefs, with Boxer Briefs coming in second at 27%. Also worth noting is that, for some reason, married men change underwear twice as often as single men do. The theory there is actually a simple one. The idea here being that most single men get as much life out of their underwear as they can before throwing it into the wash. In contrast, married men have a support system in their significant other, so they can worry a bit less about running out of undies.
6. The Thong heard ‘Round the World
1939 was a great time for New York City. The World Fair was being hosted there that year and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia had everything taken care of. Except for one small detail: nudity. NYC had a sizable amount of nude dancers, and LaGuardia just was not going to stand for it. So, out of this necessity came the invention of the thong. The beauty of the thong is how it’s the perfect compromise, especially in 1939. While the dancers still needed to be able to show their assets (get it?), the mayor could sleep soundly knowing that none of the visitors this year would see any more vagina than they wanted.
7. Happy New Year!
According to legend, the color of underwear you wear on New Year’s Eve could influence how your whole year goes! Those who want a year’s worth of luck in romantic affairs should wear pink. For good health, wear blue. Interestingly enough, some cultures go above and beyond that. Brazilians will often wear new underwear on New Year’s Eve.
8. The King did not mess around...
The people of ancient Egypt were obviously way ahead of their time. They built enormous pyramids and had complex spiritual rituals. Yet, even with all of these things, they never forgot to take their blessings into the afterlife. Archeologists found 145 cotton loincloths in King Tut’s tomb. That just goes to show: even after being buried with the finest jewels and treasures, King Tut still didn’t expect any laundry in the afterlife.
With the creation of briefs and boxer shorts, underwear saw the beginning of its renaissance, a strong focus on comfort, complete with elastic waistbands. However, once WWII started, the material for underwear started to dwindle. Eventually, the Jockey brand ran an ad called “Marines come first”. The idea here was that the men on the front line needed a pinch of comfort (and utility) much more than the average person did.
10. Safety first!
According to most practicing doctors, it is recommended that men change their underwear every day to prevent urinary tract infections. The interesting question here is: who was the sanitary genius that thought to ask that question.
11. Breaking Records
A young man in New York named Jack Singer was able to use underwear to make himself immortal (sort of). See, Jack was able to wear 215 pairs of underwear, breaking the record for most pairs of underwear.
12. Settling in for the winter
The life of an early American settler was rough, to put it lightly. So, to make life a little easier for themselves, many settlers would choose to have themselves sewn into their underwear for the winter. Why is this so important, you ask? Easy. They couldn’t take any sort of bath until spring. Yeah. Just let that sink in for a while.
13. The Final Frontier
Now for something so crazy that it must be true: apparently Russia is experimenting with bacteria that would eat through worn underwear on space flights. Even in space, there are consequences for having underwear. The key here being how to dispose of them properly and put them to better use.
14. Show me the Money!
Believe it or not, the international underwear business is valued at more than $30 million dollars, with briefs making up 33% of it. This in itself is not that surprising. After all, underwear is one of the only non-negotiable things we have in our wardrobe, right next to socks.
15. Tax dollars hard at work
Touching once again on the ‘sagging’ issue, Algi T. Howell proposed a $50 fine for sagging to the point of showing underwear to the House of Delegates…The bill was shot down. Sadly, just because we don’t want them to express themselves in such a bizarre way doesn’t mean we can stop them. After all, that’s the double-edged sword of living in a tolerant country.
16. No more, please.
Zimbabwe took a look at its social situation and decided that it would be best to ban second-hand underwear. The immediate question after that is: “Wait, what?” Why on earth would they ever reject anything? Well, Zimbabwe is actually thinking this through. The purpose of this ban is in the hopes that it will address health concerns and also help the country’s domestic textile industry.
17. A True Scotsman
It’s always interesting to dig into a societies’ past and see how they used to operate. Traditional use of a kilt by a Scotsman called for wearing no underwear under the kilt. Obviously, today things are a bit more flexible, although tradition is still respected by certain people and organizations.
18. The Happiest place on Earth…
Before I say this one, I need you to understand that I would never falsify information just to get a reaction out of you. So, here it is: Disney World made their costumed employees wear communal underwear…until 2001. Yup. You can google that if you don’t believe me. They didn’t think that people sharing the same underwear was in any way strange or unnecessary.
19. Barely a Dent.
According to some independent studies, a man will spend about $2000 their entire life on underwear. To put that in perspective, women will spend, on average, $31,000. This is supported by two basic observations. First, men’s underwear is just generally cheaper. And second, men buy less of it. Sure, we might have a few nice looking pairs of underwear (shameless plug for some great deals on this site here), but we don’t often go overboard in that department.
20. Will Briefs actually lower your sperm count?
Now, we get to one of our biggest points of the evening (or morning, depending on when you’re reading this). There’s often been a rumor, floating around, accusing briefs of influencing sperm count negatively. So, do they drop your sperm count? The answer is…not really. While wearing excessively tight underwear can over heat your Testes, chances are that with the right briefs, that won’t be an issue.
And there you have it, 20 facts you didn’t know about underwear. Hope you enjoyed the learning experience. Don’t forget to check out the shop at dudeundies.com and find something you like.