What’s the Brief? – Men’s Underwear

Frazer Lough
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Underwear is something we all wear day in day out, well most of us. From briefs to boxers and trunks to the more recent jock, the range of what we wear under our trousers is constantly expanding. Are our attitudes to men’s underwear beginning to change with this? In recent months my attitude to underwear has been completely altered.  This is partly down to buying my own underwear and seeing more men in theirs.

I must confess that until last year my mum chose most of my underpants. Every birthday and Christmas I would be given a new pack of underwear, just your bog standard pair of boxers from either Next or Topman. However, I decided that at the age of 18 it was finally time to start buying my own.

When I went to buy my own boxers for the first time I really didn’t know what I should be looking for. What factors were important aside from good old fashioned comfort? Through social networking sites and brands such as aussieBum, it struck me that there was a sexual power bound up in underwear.

It is understandable that no one wants to take a guy home and have him reveal an old, dirty and baggy pair of boxers. Underwear is just like normal clothing, we take pride in the shoes and shirts we wear, so why shouldn’t we when it comes to our briefs? Gone are the days when novelty underpants were funny. So what is the brief when it comes to buying our briefs?

Underwear can be an incredibly sexual thing. A hot guy in a tight pair of briefs can be enough to get anyone going. In reality few of us look like the men that model Andrew Christian jocks. Is it the underwear we think is sexy is it just the man? It seems that brands like this could be changing our attitudes towards underpants. Women’s lingerie is often seen as a turn on, with men buying sexy underwear for their partners for that fact. I don’t think it has gotten that far with men yet.

Now this underwear situation is a complete new world to me so I needed some help from a few friends. A few suggested that it was important how their assets looked in the pants they chose. Forget it being about mum’s choice of comfort and support. I get why it might be an important factor but it was due to never really buying my own underwear that I had never considered it. I suppose it isn’t that strange, most people buy clothes that show off their good features so we might as well extend it to everything we are wearing. Even our socks?

david beckham underwear

When I realised how important underwear could be I began to feel pressured into wearing my best boxers in certain situations. There were many occasions I thought someone might see me in my pants and I found myself thinking about which pair I should wear, often fretting about them more than my other clothes. I didn’t have any underwear to be embarrassed about wearing so this was even more confusing than having to buy my own underwear.

In the end I began to realise that underwear might be about all of these things. Websites and brands like aussieBum might portray an over sexualised image of underwear, but that is mainly to actually convince us to buy them. After all, sex sells. I finally realised that the main reason we care about what boxers we wear is because underpants can make you feel confident. If you feel good in the pants you’re wearing it will make you feel good about yourself in general.

While underwear does have a sexual nature towards it, I think it is clear that the main factor is still comfort. However, it has shifted from being all about physical comfort to a mental one. Feeling good and comfortable in the underwear you choose is the most important thing so you won’t see me in a pair of Andrew Christian jocks any time soon.

About Frazer Lough

A 19 year old Linguistics student, hailing from the great city of Newcastle. Technically a Geordie, definitely Northern.