Somehow I have come to a point in my life where I own no comfortable underpants. Every time I reach for a fresh pair—i.e., every morning—I think, Ugh, you again.
I suspect this accounts for my negative outlook and frequent bouts of irritability.
I wear boxer briefs, which is typical of me. I never could commit.
I started off in tighty-whities when I was a little kid, but switched to big, blousy cotton boxer shorts around the onset of puberty. Talk about uncomfortable. Boxers feel like you’ve stuffed a full-length, prairie-style sister-wife dress under your pants.
I don’t remember why I asked my parents if I could change over to boxers in sixth grade or so. Maybe I decided briefs were too skimpy or too babyish to wear in the locker room after gym class. Maybe I decided it was time to put away childish things and begin swaddling my loins in 3 yards of fabric like a man.
Eventually I decided to split the difference and go with boxer briefs. They’re basically just shorter, tighter boxers. All of the ones I currently have in rotation either don’t fit well—pinching here, wadding up there—or are made of fabric that completely slams the door on any chance of a well-ventilated nether region.
That’s the case with my hands-down least favorite pair of underpants, a Calvin Klein creation made out of a stretchy, skin-stifling synthetic material in black.
The fabric isn’t the worst part, though. The worst part is the thick, elasticized hem of each little abridged pants leg (I guess that’s two worst parts, but you know what I mean.) Presumably, these constricting hems are designed to ensure that the underpants will cling to your thighs, remaining in place under your clothes rather than drifting around as traditional boxers do.
It feels to me, however, as though I am sporting two leg tourniquets under my clothes and I worry about my feet turning blue.
It’s possible I should have gone up a size when I bought the underpants. Or hey, let’s be kind to me and suggest they shrank in the dryer.
In any case, I hate these boxer briefs. The clean-laundry situation has to be pretty dire around here before I’ll even consider squeezing into them.
I’m inclined to blame online shopping for the unsatisfactory state of my current underpants collection, but that’s probably not fair. It’s not like I used to try underwear on before purchase to test for comfort back when I did my clothes shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers.
Speaking of which, I do kind of miss the men’s underwear section of department stores on account of the sexiness of the promotional images and the photos on the packaging. Walking past those rows of erotically charged pics showing off one nearly identical, chiseled, headless torso after another was like scrolling through an analog Grindr.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say those abs- and bulge-showcasing displays were one of the underwear industry’s great gifts to we gay folk. Not the underwear industry’s greatest gift to we gay folk, though. That would have to be the jockstrap, an item of almost ludicrous sexiness that can convince even a gym class–fearing nebbish like me that sports can’t be entirely useless, for look what wonders they have wrought.