Question of the week: tighty-whities

GRIN # 68

LET’S TRY SOMETHING NEW: Toss me a question, however strange, and I’ll do my best to answer it. I’ll answer one every Friday.

And I promise I’m not making these up.

Today’s Question: Why do men’s briefs have slits on each side of a double panel? What is up with the holes?

A friend of mine confessed she and her husband were talking about this in bed one night and neither could figure it out. I refrained from pointing out that perhaps they could be doing other things in bed, but, still, I’m grateful for the question.

I’m sitting here with two pairs of men’s underwear: a pair of briefs (aka tighty-whities) and a pair of the more fashionable boxer briefs.

At first, the answer seemed obvious: For easy access, much like the opening in a pair of boxers. Case closed.

But, really, the access isn’t that easy. It’s like pulling open two layers of drapes and holding them just right to let in some sunlight.

Kramer once said briefs served as a “house” for…you know…I can’t say it. So maybe the openings are the screened porch of the house, added to give some air to the nether regions.

I asked Jerry.

“Are those my underwear?” he said, answering my question with a question.

“It’s research.”

He sighed. “It’s so they don’t have to run a seam down the middle.”

Huh. That didn’t make sense either. They could still keep the seams on the side, just sew one up and delete the extra panel.

Lord, have mercy. So far I have found a patent on a “penile envelope”–whatever that is–and websites for men’s jock straps and thongs. This is embarrassing!

I stopped Jerry on his way up the stairs. “Seriously, I can’t find anything. Maybe the holes really are for peeing.”

“No. No way. No one does that.”

“What then?”

Working together, we found plenty of reasons for the double panel: comfort and, uh, drippage control and camouflage. But why the holes?

FINALLY, I found a write-up on the CNN website. Apparently, the “overlapping Y-front fly,” offered support reminiscent of the jockstrap. That support is what got men to finally convert from breeches to briefs in 1935.

The holes allow for seams and an extra layer of fabric which adds support–much like a padded bra does for women.

So briefs are a man’s bra. Sort of.

Whew. That was tough.


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3 Responses to “Question of the week: tighty-whities”

  1. Chris Donaldson Says:

    Also, having a seam down the middle would cause serious chaffing. Imagine a bra cup with a hard seam right across the tender bits. Now go jogging in it…

  2. You and Jerry make a great team!

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