Briefs, boxers or commando? Photo: iStock
Calvin Klein once said that there was something incredibly sexy about a woman wearing her boyfriend's t-shirt and underwear. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that he wasn't talking about mine.
Of all the things that I take stock of when I'm buying clothes I have to admit to a certain level of neglect when it comes to undies. The fact I might need to invest in (several) new pairs just never seems to register in my awareness when I'm in the midst of a consumer-driven frenzy.
However, my priorities changed recently when I found myself being escorted up the fire escape to my apartment by a lovely young work experience girl from the real estate agent downstairs. Somehow, I managed to lock myself out wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts that were older than religion and had more holes than Swiss cheese. The penny dropped that updating my top drawer on a more regular basis might not be such a bad idea.
Ever since Marky Mark made a habit of dropping his dacks to show us all his Funky Bunch on stage, designers such as Calvin Klein, Armani and even locals brands such as AussieBum have turned their focus on selling the sex appeal of jocks. That's as opposed to their actual function, which is very unsexy - from providing basic support to preventing chaffing and even stopping a There's Something About Mary-style testicular mishap.
Personally, I find the idea that men's underwear can be seen as visually appealing rather amusing. Then again, I can't say that I'm all that titillated by women's underwear either because, if we're being honest, the appeal for me is not about the underwear but what's it's covering.
Are men's undies really as erotic and essential to the art of seduction as all those Photoshopped bulges on billboards would have us believe?
Not according to sexologist and sex therapist Amanda Robb, who says a bloke's jocks are not something women consider when it comes to sex appeal.
“Definitely not,” Robb says. "As much as I think women are partial to attractive underwear on men as much as men appreciate sexy lingerie on women, it's nowhere as near a focal point when it comes to sexual allure.
"The appreciation and appeal doesn't lie in the actual brand, shape or style of the underwear itself, but in the confidence, effort and thought behind wearing them in order to please a partner.”
However, there are apparently several styles that the average male should steer clear of when it comes to choosing man lingerie. “No animal print, ever,” explains Robb. “And g-strings should probably be left to strippers at a hen's night. Even then it's questionable. ”
At the end of the day, making sure that your briefs, boxers or boxer-briefs are in acceptable working condition is probably the easiest task you'll have when keeping your wardrobe well maintained. It's also a simple way to show that you take a little pride in your appearance, and are capable of taking care of yourself.
I may never achieve the sort of languid sexual suggestiveness that those male underwear models on billboards seems to have in abundance. But at least I'll be able to hold my head held a little higher the next time I'm caught with my pants down.
Have you ever been caught sans pants? What importance do you place on wearing "good" undies?