Advice column by Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC.
Tim White, PhD, LPC, NCC offers advice on family planning and parenting, LGBT issues, disability issues, education and work issues, relationships, ethics and "unusual" social issues. Send questions to Tim for future columns through his website.
I want to share some of the feedback from the column a couple of weeks back; at least the highlights, because there was a lot! It involves wearing the underwear of the opposite sex, in response to an original letter from a man who prefers to wear panties, among other things, but his underwear preference seemed to resonate with various readers. Mostly they were other males with the same preference, but we have one letter representing the flip side; a woman in briefs! So, forget London and forget France, this week’s theme is underpants! I am exposing you to a flashing glance at this once-taboo practice from the actual people experiencing it.
After reading your article today I felt compelled to share my story. I've got 40 years on the young fellow who had his first experience wearing his girlfriend's panties. I discovered women's underwear as a young boy and always wondered why "theirs" is so much more comfortable than "ours". Only when I became much older, I finally figured it out, I think. Women's clothing in general, and their underwear specifically, are designed primarily to be sensual first and foremost and then functional. Men's clothing is simply designed to be functional, period. I grew up wearing heavy, thick cotton jockey shorts that were miserable on warm/hot days, and chafed my inner thighs. Later I started secretly wearing my Mom's panties and bingo, I've been hooked to the sheer comfort ever since. Why can't men's underwear be more sensual? Probably because some guys would walk around semi-hard all day and our culture couldn't deal with it. Wearing women's hi-cuts or full briefs is a relief to wearing muslin-like shorts for men. No one needs to know, and my girlfriend isn't "threatened" by it (we go panty shopping together and have fun). There's a website called He Wears Panties, and a line of underwear for men on another site called "Manties". I encourage all men to give women's underwear a try, you'll be shocked at the difference after a full day's wear! p.s. "Boy Short" panties don't work (you'll figure it out). My favorites are Hanes Hi-Cut Micro-Fiber Nylon panties, and the Cadillac of panties, Vanity Fair.
I want the young man writing to you about wearing panties to please calm down and enjoy life just as he pleases. I’m a straight man, 52, who has worn panties most of my life, since I was in junior high school. My wife is still not freaked out by it after 30 years together, but doesn’t let me borrow hers because I stretch them out. We have completely different brand loyalties anyway. I’ve tried the silk boxers, and even men’s underwear that look sort of like panties in a catalog, but for some reason the fabric is so cheap and too thick! Who told these designers that men want to sweat more than we already do? Panties are the next best thing to commando, and I recommend them for all men. If Westerners weren’t so uptight and rigid about gender roles and expressions, I believe most men would be in panties for the rest of their lives.
I want to thank you for last week’s letter about the man who likes to wear panties. I’m a boxer boy myself, 17, but I recently caught my 12 year old brother ordering panties online and hiding them in his room. I really don’t understand the thing about women’s underwear, since he isn’t turned on by them or gay or interested in other women’s clothes, but I can grasp that a kid having to hide his underwear like some dirty, bad thing he had done is probably not a healthy way to grow up.
Reading your column helped me bring this up again and have a conversation with him. He’s too scared to wear panties on any day that he has gym or may have to change away from home, but he’s going to be able to wear them on other days and at night. With a little compromise, he’ll be able to be comfortable and be himself. So, my brother and I thank you for addressing a silly matter for just what it is.
I’m 26 and I’ve had a long-term habit of dressing in the underwear of the opposite sex, but I’m a woman! To be specific, a lesbian who lives up North, where temperatures drop below zero and anyone wearing a skirt, as I prefer to do most often, can catch a continuous draft cold enough to form icicles in her crotch. I know about cotton-padded panties, but they bunch up and gather so much I feel like a granny walking around. At a young age, I discovered that men’s tighty-whities or boxer briefs, on the other hand, are just thick enough for warmth and my wife and I have always enjoyed the handy opening in the front. We both wear them, but neither of us dress or act butch at all. Like the letter writer says, it is a matter of comfort and nothing else. We would like to speak up for other women out there who prefer men’s underwear!
Thank you all for being so supportive to each other and sharing resources. If we can lighten up about something as personal and harmless as underwear, perhaps we can relax those gender norms that are so rigid and oppressive. Men and women are more alike than different, after all. We are all human and we ought to be able to share something that is 100% exclusive to our species; underwear.
Editor’s Note: The opinions offered in this blog are the author's alone. Tim White, and any experts he may consult and/or quote in responses to letters, will never provide medical or psychological advice, diagnoses, treatment, or counseling of any kind. General advice, opinions, and suggestions may be offered with no obligation on the part of readers to accept or act upon the content published within this column. Anyone in immediate crisis and/or mental/physical distress should call 911 or related resources of assistance.
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