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A Flossed Cause

Is it really bad for straight men to wear thongs? If women don’t like men in thongs, why do they go see them at strip clubs? I’m not “metrosexual”; I just like wearing a thong because it doesn’t bind around my thighs, bag up, or get all stretched out at the waist. Women wear men's boxers, what's the deal?

--Average Joe

If you really want to know discomfort, bend over on a first date and let a woman see a thong peeking out the back of your Levis. She’ll be out of there faster than you can say “my boyfriend Sven.”

Life is not one big equality fest. If a man flashes a woman, she’ll probably call the police. If a woman flashes a man, he’ll probably call Tom Leykis -- the syndicated radio jock who rallies young hotties to hike their shirts for male drivers with their headlights on. There are countless nudie magazines for men, and even a nudie home, the Playboy Mansion. While there is Playgirl magazine for women, there’s no Playgirl Mansion; not even a Playgirl guest house to entertain loyal subscribers -- girls with names like Dirk, Buck, and “The Hairy Pirate.”

Women, for the most part, don’t go to strip clubs to see men in thongs, they go to strip clubs to laugh at men in thongs. Flipping the bird at convention is part of it, but sociologist Beth Montemurro, who watched women watching men strip, said women’s motivation is mostly about “having a shared experience” with their friends; you know, like yesterday’s Tupperware party -- except the headliner isn’t a lady in an apron but a ripped gay guy in a gladiator skirt.

No, women aren’t repressed, just different from men. Men have a more visually based sexuality, so they can get physically aroused from pictures alone -- or just from watching a girl wearing three bandaids and a firehat sliding down a greased pole. Most women, on the other hand, need touch, emotional connection, and bit of back-story. They get turned on looking into the eyes of a fully clothed firefighter -- and grossed out by men in tight pants or Speedos, or those who wrap their package in anything silk, satin, leopard, or thong.

Regarding your comfort complaints, keep in mind that underpants, unlike luggage, do not come with a lifetime guarantee. Toss those that have been with you since junior high. Go to a high-end department store, and ask a salesperson to point you toward full-coverage that fits. You just might do a little better than if you’re grabbing them three-to-a-pack at Rite-Aid.

Sure, there are a few girls who don’t mind or even prefer a man in a thong. Very, very few. Of the 50 or so women I polled this weekend, most said stuff like this:

Nancy: “There is one scenario where this would be okay: He's just had, at the same time, a testicular operation that requires they be strapped tight at all times AND treatment for third-degree burns on his behind, meaning, it cannot be covered in fabric. But, he’d better have some salve and gauze back there!”

Kate: “EUWWWWWWW. I can't even go there on how creepy this is. Commando, fine. Boxers, sure. Tighty-whities, if you must. Pouches, thongs, dance belts, G-strings -- not in my lifetime!”

The consensus was best summed up by my friend Leah: “Any guy who can tolerate a strand of elastic between his buttocks for long periods of time is not straight. However, he can head straight…to West Hollywood. Don't forget the chaps!”

Posted by aalkon at June 7, 2006 11:36 AM

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Wow. Just wow. I don't have a problem with thongs on guys as a lark or a gag gift. But yeah - once the laugh-factor has passed, you're just left with yuck. Leah gets the thumbs up on this one :-)

Posted by: Anne at June 7, 2006 7:32 AM

Enjoyed your column as usual...this one particularly brightened my day. Thanks for speaking for women everywhere by discouraging this poor fellow's habit of wearing g-strings. I wonder what his past track record has been? Yuck.

Posted by: Andrea at June 7, 2006 10:57 AM

While I heartily concur with the sentiment that life is not one big equalityfest, I do think that there are some men who can pull off wearing a thong. If he has the body of a Greek god and enough confidence to fill...well, the thong, and would wear it for the express purpose of taking it off, then it could be a major turn-on for some women.

While virtually all women need the emotion, touch, and back-story to truly get turned-on, some of us also like to ogle men occaisionally. We can appreciate what the fully-clothed firefighter reveals later on the stage just as much as the guys can drool over the stripper in the Catholic schoolgirl outfit. For men, arousal is definately visual. For women, it can be.

That said, good call on the recommended trip to a department store. The idea that a straight man would wear thong underwear all day and everyday is just disturbing.

Posted by: AngelicOne at June 7, 2006 1:53 PM

I dunno, my experience has been different. Years ago, I got a smiley face thong as a gag gift from one of my female friends (there was an expressed purpose). Since then it has spent the majority of the time in the back of my underwear drawer, except on occasions when I ran out of underwear on wash day. However, 3 of the last 5 girls I've dated have asked me to put it on and wear it on multiple occasions. My current girlfriend keeps trying to talk me into getting more.

I'm not sure the age demographic you're hitting with your 50 friends Amy, but I must be hitting a completely different sample. I for one would rather not wear it at all because I find it horribly uncomfortable.

Posted by: Mo at June 8, 2006 6:29 AM

I am also curious as to your girlfriend's demographics, Amy. My girlfriend likes me in sexy underwear on occasion; she even made me some stuff, years ago, that I still have. Thing is, though, it's a turn her on at night thing, not a wear during the day thing. During the day, I go commando (AFAIK, women never find this sexy); have done that for 20 years (am 44). And btw she still has all her old Playgirls, going back to the 70's when she first subscribed at 16 (always respected her for that...she has her stuff, I have mine. Cool). She only recently let her subscription lapse; internet porn is a lot ballsier, I guess (Playgirl is a little tame, last I checked).

Which brings me to my next point. As the cartoon said, on the internet, no one knows you're a dog. Women may have been reluctant to buy porno in the past, but with free online stuff, the only women indignant about it are those enraged over the numerous copyright violations. Having been to a fair number of S&M parties in the past, I can say with authority: people aren't always what they seem (have seen some tough people crawl); of course, sometimes people are exactly as they seem (have also seen some tough people get even tougher in scenes). The trick is to figure out who is what. It ain't easy.

Posted by: Malienation at June 8, 2006 9:15 PM

Women aren't interested in porn because female sexuality is not very visual. Women go for symmetry and tallness. You believe what you believe because it's your opinion; I believe what I believe because I've read the data, and I'm right now at the Human Behavior & Evolution Society conference hearing, again and again, data confirming the fact that women do not have a visual sexuality like men do. Don't operate under the misconception that your point of view is as valid as mine. Yours is your opinion, based on anecdotal evidence in your own life. My contention is based on solid, peer-reviewed data.

Men looking for girlfriends should not wear thongs because there's too great a risk of loss of opportunity because of it. Once in a relationship, if the partner doesn't hate it, fine.

And again, because a few women say they don't dislike porn is representative of nothing but a few women with atypical sexuality (or possibly, a desire to go against the status quo). There's a subset of this - slash fiction - a subject I heard Professor Catherine Salmon present on yesterday: "Erotic fictionby/for heterosexual women in which both protags are expropriated male media characters who fall in love with each other." It's a quirk, not widespread.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 9, 2006 8:47 AM

You say that "Women go for symmetry and tallness." This, while not entirely contradictory to the idea that women do not have a visually based sexuality, is conflicting. I would contend, yes, based on my own experience, that women have SOME visually based sexuality. If there was no indication, visually, then why would the topic of men wearing thongs be such a big deal?

Please do not take my questioning as a question of you advice, because I agree, I dont think a guy should wear a thong while dating, same way I don't a man/woman whose into S&M should necessarily bring a whip or leash to the movie date. I didnt know there was a rebellipon of my fellow man going on for the right to wear a thong...... or something. They don't look comfy.

Posted by: Scott at June 9, 2006 11:07 PM

It's not a PRIMARY desire, going for tallness and symmetry. Sigh. Just go to Hollywood and look at all the scary little old rich guys with beautiful young things. There's a "structural powerless theory," that women, when powerful, will go for lesser men. It's been disproven. They go for more powerful men because women's evolutionary adaptations lead them to -- and, typically, the same things women typically go for.

Men can wear whatever they want, but if they're looking for a girlfriend or tail, they should clothe theirs in something without string.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 10, 2006 4:23 AM

Well I happen to agree with most of what you've said. I think alot of it depends on the demographics involved. Where I am from, Minnesota, most all women would agree since thongs on any one are not that popular here to begin with. On both coasts where trends tend to start they are definitely more popular. Outside of demographics, the general fitness level involved also plays a big factor. Out of shape women will definitely give a thumbs down to a guy in a thong. Sure some very fit women will also give a thumbs down. Most women would love to be able to wear a thong if they had the body for it. Since most don't, they would rather rip on those that do. The fitness level of a male thong wearer definitely is a factor as well. I was very skinny in high school and would never consider one. When I started bodybuilding it was a different story. An ex gf of mine actually got me to try a thong. You can't tell me that women do not find it visually appealing to see a well toned male in a thong to some degree. From my experience, women tend to prefer a well toned body but not too muscular. It may be the curiousity factor but I've seen women's reactions. Sure the prudes will disapprove most every time. Dork shorts look ridiculous on a beach and one may as well wear pants. If you are going to the beach to get a tan you may as well go for the maximum tan.

Posted by: Tom at June 10, 2006 10:01 AM

I got into thongs first because it was a big turn-on to see it on women and I just wanted to experiment and know the feel of it. But as many women would know for themselves, first time I tried one, it just felt so good !

Strange for a man ? Yes, it is. But sometimes, we should know that it is precisely when it is strange that it turns you on the most.

But then, I really liked the feeling of it and I bought some more.

There are some really well-made thongs for men out there (Jockey, Punto Blanco, HOM). The smiley ones are really to avoid. I only choose the ones with a more masculine cut. Most of the thongs we see on the web page are ones that I dislike...too skimpy and they refer directly to the cliche that it looks awful on a man. Those are usually bought in sexshops...

What is boring is to see is how men are dependent of women's opinion on this one. You're right: there might be 0.05% of women that really like it.

We also need to say that prejudices are severe on this one. It is not masculine enough, it is gay...bla bla bla. But when you're in shape and have nice glutes, it is likely that thongs will be nice, no matter the sex.

I also like thongs because of the sexyness of them and also the boost of self-confidence that it gives.

In short, it is just underwear folks. No big deal. Most women don't like and if you really want to wear them, face this situation, just go for it, don't wait for them to give the okay.

Posted by: David at June 11, 2006 3:18 PM

"What is boring is to see is how men are dependent of women's opinion on this one."

People say something similar when I write that men generally don't like fat women. (Um...duh!) And then the papers fire me for saying so, and even when I support why that's the case with good data. The thing is, if you're a woman, and you want a man, unless you'd like to narrow the field to the chubby chasers out there, it's important to be at or near normal weight, not obese.

Of course, this is hard, since the American diet tends to be dreadful. For a better way of eating, see two books on my book links page: Diets Don't Work, and The Fat Fallacy.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 11, 2006 7:09 PM

Average Joe -- I dont know you, but i am laughing and pointing at you ha ha ha!!!!!

Posted by: Margo at June 12, 2006 3:04 PM

Totally concur about men in thongs . . .eeeeewwww!!!!! But I do wonder about women and porn. I don't think of myself as a particularly masculine gal. I likes me the menfolk (in boxer briefs, tasteful boxers, or commando as God made 'em). I wear pink sparkly undies. I like Hello Kitty. And I sure do like porn. Have a hard time "getting there" when masturbating without it. Own lots and lots of nasty, raunchy DVDs. Get really bored during the plot, fast forward to the hot action scenes. Am I really that atypical? Maybe so . . .

Posted by: Anathema at June 17, 2006 11:35 PM

It's worth pointing out that most posters here who would actually support a man wearing a thong are male (who naively believe their girlfriends like this sort of behavior)... Trust me, guys, your girlfriend is just being nice. I'm sure men I've dated think I am ok with all of their nasty little perversions and malfunctions too, but only because we girls do seriously appreciate when a man is trying, and thus we give extra credit points just for the attempt. I generally don't want to give a man a complex or hurt his delicate ego. Just don't assume because your girlfriend is ruffling your self-esteem that she is actually turned on by your behavior.

Oh, and about the thong issue... does a man have to, um, wax in order to wear something like that? I mean, if he didn't, that would be kind of nasty. But if he did, it couldn't be pleasant either. Recently I dated a man who shaved, and the stubble down there was so irritating on my skin and just the thought of him spending so much time pruning his, um, item was so disgusting... I just completely lost interest in him physically. My first thought when I saw it was just, hey, it looks like a porn star. And trust me, no matter how nice your personality, you can never come across as sensitive, upstanding supporter when your undergarments say pornstar. So I have to side with advice goddess on this one! Thanks for saving some poor girl the same trauma I recently went through!

Posted by: Amy II (not advice goddess Amy) at June 19, 2006 1:27 AM

There's only one thing that I ever have to say about men in thongs....I just don't dig a man wearing less underwear than I do.

On a woman, it may be sexy. Women have curves and are beautiful. Men are supposed to be tough...wear jeans and a real mans underwear.

If I ever caught my man in a thong...he'd be all alone in a second.

Posted by: Renee at June 30, 2006 1:12 PM

I am surprised re: the porn issue....there IS research out there (within the last year or so) that demonstrated that women DO get aroused while watching porn. What they do not always do is acknowledge it. In the studies they watched while hooked up to monitor their BP, heart rate, vag secretions, etc to obtain an objective reaction. Well, they reacted. LOL But they did not notice/admit their reactions when verbally asked....anyone for a 'Yes women react visually but we live in a culture that is decidedly still against this idea'??? (at least as far as women are concerned)

I am sorry - there are soooo many studies out there that you can find evidence for both - esp in the biology vs environment/culture debate. Both play a role and to pretend that we conclusively understand which one is dominant in every situation is ridiculous. PEOPLE react in different ways..PEOPLE - not all men this and all women that :)

Posted by: Lori at July 2, 2006 8:46 AM

I find porn arousing if I identify with the woman, but that's different than getting wet at seeing a big hard dick the way men get hard at seeing naked breasts. Big difference.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 2, 2006 9:00 AM

umm, im a guy, im full on heterosexual, and i like man thongs is there something wrong with me?
I dont know ive tried to read these internet things about what women think about a guy in a thong, ive pretty much got 50/50.so what if i wear a thong, its what i want and you shouldnt hate on that. who the hell says your gay for wearing a thong? buti guess now i should just wear boxers when i go on dates and such, and wear what i prefer at home
so there you go
do you think im gay,
i like differnt a type of underwear and it doesnt feel like i have anything up my ass

Posted by: anybody at July 5, 2006 7:25 PM

alright alright, i just got done reading those,ignerant comments, about men in thongs, whats the big deal
love him for who he is
and ladies a man isnt made from underware
its his actions..
to me most of you sound like your in your 50's
so its understandable not likeing the fashion of today for men
actully, i could give a damn about this little survey you have done, hmm lets see 50 women, that must mean the whole country huh! idiot, statistics like that dont work, youd have to ask every woman in america in order for me to belive you
it seems like the girls in cali love men in thongs
they only got me to try it
and they love it because im fit and "nice ass" is what i hear from the females
and no
their not just saying that to make me feel good
their saying it to keep me in them!

Posted by: omgonemorething at July 5, 2006 7:49 PM

"Ignerant comments." Hmmm.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 6, 2006 7:46 AM

My thoughts exactly Amy. It's hard to post a message calling everyone else "ignerant" when you're talking about "underware". Either try spell-check, or keep your comments to yourself.

Posted by: Renee at July 7, 2006 1:54 PM

As a 44y/o heterosexual male who considers himself a "non-guy" and who has always enjoyed wearing thongs and g-strings, I'd like to offer my own take on what motivated the two sexes to wear thongs & g-strings and when men and women enjoy seeing the opposite sex in them. I think it is also very important to note that to me the wearing of thongs/g-strings is sexual in nature and not for body feedom or comfort regardless of what people might say.

First, to me young women like to be seen wearing thongs because it advertises their sexual availability "to the opposite sex" (ie. young men) and want to be rated high in what to them is a never ending sublevel competition with other young women. These women do not like men in thongs because they have been conditioned to believe that thong wearing men are homosexual and hence not desirable. These are the women who go "EUWWWWWWW" if they find the man they are dating wearing one.

Second, older women who have the body confidence for wearing thongs do so because they want men to know that they still have "it". Since these women also have gotten over the myth that all thong wearing men must be gay, they enjoy seeing any man wearing a thong (provided he has the body to get away with it). My own personal experience is that women over 40 are generally very turned on by a fit man wearing a thong on the beach.

Third, young men would rather cut their own throats that go to the beach in a thong! They are homophobic and the myth that only gay men wear them makes any thought of being seen in one beyond repulsive.

Lastly, older men like to wear them (unfortunately, many who do not have the body for wearing one) because "to them" it says to young women that they are still "hot". Sadly, they do not realize that unless they are buff (and pitifully few are) they are actually repelling women whether young or old. I know that the older male thong wearers will hang me in effigy for saying this but it is the truth.

Of course, there are alot of homosexual men wearing thongs and g's because it advertises their sexuality to they own kind but that isn't what this discussion is about.

Posted by: Mykael at July 7, 2006 9:38 PM

ok, fine you got me I made a spelling error sue me.
jeez grow up, just because i spell one word wrong doesnt mean you should be like "Keep them to your self" you know i did notice that i misspelled it i was just typing a little fast because i was very unsettled on the thought of men cant wear thongs, i mean yeah to alot of women think it is probably weird and gross, but its time for change, alot of men are trying this
so instead of a closed mind to this idea how about we think outside of the box and let people feel good about their choices.
by the way,its just underware.

Posted by: anybody at July 8, 2006 10:07 PM

You don't seem to understand. I only picked on "ignerant" because it was the tip of the iceberg and it seems a waste of time to present you with data and support that men and women are hard-wired to be a certain way and aren't likely to change their perceptions anytime soon. It's basic evolutionary psychology - see David Buss' Evolution of Desire for lots of data and support behind my contentions. Just because you wish things are different or think they "should" be doesn't mean they are. "Should" thinking is utterly irrational. See Albert Ellis, "Guide To Rational Living." Both are available on my book links page. No time to entirely reeducate the unwilling to accept reality in my comments section.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 9, 2006 6:57 AM

I think the reason women are repulsed by the idea of men wearing thongs is because they are women's underwear!!! The original person who asked the advice said that women wear boxers so why shouldn't he wear a thong? What women is he referring to? The only women I know of who wear boxers as their everyday underwear are usually rather butch lesbians who prefer to dress like a male. So let's think about this for a moment. A woman who wears men's boxers on a daily basis likes to dress like a man. Generally she is lesbian. Therefore, if a man wears ladie's underwear on a daily basis, you can see why we would think of you as gay. If you are masculine, you should dress masculine. It's not just the thong we don't like on you either. When you wear the ridiculously tight shirts that only a gay man would be caught wearing, then YES we think you look gay!!

Posted by: Juli at July 12, 2006 9:59 AM

Thongs are actually very reminiscent of jockstraps. There's plenty of unisex clothing, and there are thongs that don't look girly -- the sportier looking ones. But, the fact remains, women are turned off by sexually overt displays on men.

PS It's only in the past century that wearing of jeans and other traditionally male clothes was seen as acceptable for women. Women weren't throwing off their petticoats in centuries past and wearing trousers.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 12, 2006 11:15 AM

"Women go for symmetry and tallness."

Funny, women like tall men, I like short women. Works for me!

I found women like goatees too (after growing one), although it may be a fad.

There is an earlier letter (or probably more here) where a woman is calling herself "fit" in describing how attractive she is, to that I say UGH! Muscles are masculine. I don't want a fat women, but I don't want a weigthtlifter, either.

Posted by: s at July 15, 2006 1:14 PM

What in the world does that have to do with anything in this conversation?? Women also like men with broad shoulders...still not part of the debate here...

Posted by: Renee at July 17, 2006 1:17 PM

The point is that women care less about the visuals than men do. The stuff women care about is the stuff they evolved to care about. Our Pleistocene-era psychology prevails, sometimes mismatched for our "evolutionarily novel" environment; ie, a tall man would be protective in the Pleistocene. In modern times, he could be killed by a short, skinny guy with a gun.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 17, 2006 1:59 PM

I disagree completely with Amy. Thongs are made for men. Just like women wear bras to support your breasts, men wear thongs to suppost their package. Whats the point in women wearing thongs??What have ye to support?? Answer that...if ur able. Ha ha!

And number 2, if women don't like men in thongs, and only a small percentage do what's wrong wit that. Wud u like to be married to a guy that hides his feelings?? Ferrari cars are only owned by a small percentage of people too etc....

Posted by: Alan at July 19, 2006 8:33 AM

This thread is proof positive that no matter what men do, women wil always find fault with it.

For years women in general have berated men for not caring about their appearance. Those guys who wear thongs typically do care about their appearance and try to be in shape, wear nice clothes and maybe even - shower and shave daily!

Would women prefer that we hung slovenly around the house in undershirts, boxers and black socks and didn't bother to shower and shave?

Or would they prefer us to do what I do and hit the gymm four times a week, and try to dress nice, even if that includes the occasional Calvin Klein thong discreetly hidden behind the jeans?

Posted by: Amused Fella at July 21, 2006 7:09 AM

The two commenters above are both wrong. Women are disturbed by an overt display of sexuality from men. There are thongs that look like jockstraps. If a guy is more comfortable in a thong, he might be able to get away with wearing one of those. The problem is when you get into pouchy, leopard numbers.

I would not be married at all, because I don't believe in marriage, as I earn my own money, and don't need a guy to pay for my life, so I'm in a relationship for love. If the relationship stops being fun for both of us and we stop loving each other, we'll break up. I don't make promises I can't keep, and I'm not going to pledge to love anyone forever, which is idiotic. You can't control your feelings; you can only control whether you act loving to somebody.

My boyfriend cares for his appearance by wearing clean underwear daily. That works for me.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 21, 2006 7:27 AM

With sincere respect, I don't know how someone's opinion can be "wrong" as you say. Is it "wrong" to like the color blue over pink, to like manual transmissions over automatics, to like thongs over boxers? No, its just that everyone is different and we have a right to be that way in this country. At least we did the last time I looked.

And I thought we were discussing underwear, not marriage. That whole argument and line of comment is irrelevent to this discussion. But since you've raised it, I can make a promise for life and I've been happily married to the same lovely lady for 15 years. And my parents' just celebrated their 45th anniversary. Please don't claim that marriage is idiotic; that would be truly offensive. More so in fact than any thong, (leopard or jock) could ever be.

Also, my comments are not about or in support of an "overt" sexual display. Although I commonly wear thongs (never the leopard print ones!!), I would be absolutely mortified if I ever "flashed" it. My clean shirt is always tucked in and my trousers, even on casual day, are always clean and pressed.

Like I said, I care for my appearance and physical condition. I occasionally wear thongs. But I never flash them overtly. And they are generally the ones you would view as acceptable.

I don't criticize your knickers or your right to wear the ones you like. Why are you criticising men's right to do likewise?

Posted by: Amused Guy at July 21, 2006 9:22 AM

My "opinion" is more than my opinion; it's based on data. Cross-cultural data. Unlike most advice columnists, I don't just pull my column out from the area your butt floss is situated. I read journals and attend professional conferences (of Ph.D's presenting their data).

You can promise to remain married for life. You can't promise to feel a feeling for any amount of time, because you can't control how you feel, you can only report it. It's idiotic to promise you'll love somebody forever. Marriage was a business arrangement for centuries. People started getting divorced when people married for love. Business arrangements can be made to last. Love can't be forced if it's not there.

People marry for a lot of reasons: because they never gave it much thought, because they want somebody to care for them in their old age (how offensive - I'll hire a nurse to wipe my ass), because they can't get sex regularly otherwise, and because they want to have kids and think marriage is the best way to do that (despite the divorce rate, and more that I won't get into here).

If you're married and your wife doesn't have a problem with thongs, well, then you don't have a problem. This question was from a single guy on the make. He can wear thongs if he wants - it's still a free country - but he's diminishing his chances with women if he does. I just report the facts; I don't create them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 21, 2006 8:31 PM

You said "I read journals and attend professional conferences (of Ph.D's presenting their data)"

I did not know that Ph.D's had done phd level work on men wearing thongs. (I can't think what the grant application read). I think you are trying to shore up a week argument by claiming a non-existent authority.

Have you thought that maybe, just maybe, when a man wears a swim suit his goal is not to attract Amy Alkon?

Maybe he is just wearing the swim suit so he can get a tan. A swim suit he likes to wear. Maybe he is not pandering for your approval. Maybe he is not out to pickup men, or women, or fashion reviews from some women’s glamor mag. Maybe he is just enjoying his day in the sun.

Since more than 15% of all the revenue of from underwear sold to men in the USA are from thongs, some one must be wearing them. We can assume the under 10, over 60 age groups, and probably the bible belt don’t purchase many, so to make up the average, the men in your city are probably spending around 30 % of their underwear budget on thongs.

I do think your posts show a little of your gay fobia showing through.

I have found that your statement that men are “diminishing his chances with women if he does” wear thong to be untrue.

I am a man, and my girlfriend thinks it sexy when I wear a thong. If she is happy, I am happy. While some girlfriends have shown suprise, I have not had any of them react negitivly. Maybe I just run with younger and more liberated crowed than you do.

While there are women who would run a mile if they found out I was wearing a thong, the truth of the matter is, all I can say is GOOD! I am not interested in some one so shallow they would judge me by my underwear, or even my swim wear if I was to wear one on the beach.... And I am not interested in forming relationships, or even good friendships with closed minded people.

If men were to condemn all women because they wore a pushup bra, or strapless bra, or makeup there would be few women that ever found a man. What’s with the, I cant kiss you because I have fresh lipstick on.... Was that not the point, to attract men so they would kiss you, or are you just showing off to other women? Do you think that men ‘like’ to kiss waxy lips? What ever gave you that idea? Oh, I know, advertising.

There is nothing unwholesome about a naked women, or naked man, in the natural state with out makeup. If you are one of the women who cant go out with male friends without first applying face paint, then that shows some real problems, maybe the Ph.D's you consult could help you address them.

In the mean time, instead of condemning any man who wears a thong, try talking to them. Maybe you will find out your stereotype is wrong.

Last, you stated "Life is not one big equality fest." And why not? It's because of bigoted opinions like yours. I guess you just want to be treated as a smart ass tart on the make? Or would you rather be treated with the respect and equilty that you don't extend to others. Spreading equality can make you uncomfortable at times, and it can lead you to support others who you may not sympathise with.

Posted by: JM at July 22, 2006 10:47 AM

"The stuff women care about is the stuff they evolved to care about."

So just how much evolution has come about since you first viewed a man in a thong? I did not know evolution worked that quick.

Dont bring history in, or we will have to go back to naked men wrestling in an arina for weekend entertainment.

Posted by: JM at July 22, 2006 10:53 AM

For whatever reason a man wears a thong, if he wishes to attract women and not just male homosexuals, he's making a mistake. Women, right or wrong, are likely to think he's either gay or just icky for thong-wearing.

If he's in a relationship and the woman doesn't mind, wearing a thong is no big deal. I don't find a man in a thong sexy, but I don't have a particular agenda about this - other than telling men the information they need to either risk or not risk wearing one (based on whether it's okay with them to diminish their chances with a great many women).

I use data from evolutionary psychologists on sexual display and other topics that relate. I'm not going to write a textbook for you here. David Buss has written a fine one. Read his and you'll see plenty of the data I'm talking about.

Moreover, as Donald Symons wrote, adaptations take hundreds or thousands of generations to take hold. Or, as Cosmides and Tooby wrote, "Our modern skulls house a stone-age mind." We live in "evolutionarily novel" times, meaning we have very old psychology which sometimes is mismatched with the environment we live in. In other words, we might have cars and birth control, but our genes don't know it. Our psychology is perfect for the stone age, and not so perfect for now.

Men have always been valued by women for being providers and for other aspects that showed they'd be "dads" rather than "cads." But, I have work to do. David Buss wrote a very good textbook about it. Read it.

Oops, it's very expensive. Here's one of his consumer books. It's excellent -- Evolution Of Desire. I highly recommend it.


Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 22, 2006 4:26 PM

wow, its a thong
end of story no big deal
i realy cant wait untill women understand us hetro guys that like to wear something different, and hey if its not attractive no biggy thats why we have pants and shorts
and when it comes to sex, we just take it off
wow its like magic
a pieace of clothing can stir up alot of commotion......
by the way
alot of men do like this fashion now
so it doesnt matter if you dont like change,change always happens.

Posted by: anybody at July 23, 2006 10:00 PM

The simple fact is that in our society women are the sex that displays the body in a sexual way and men are not expected to. If men take on displaying themselves sexually, then they are departing from what the majority feels is sexually normal. Thongs and g-strings are a form of sexual display and for men to wear them in public the majority of people feel that it is abnormal sexually. It is not a far leap to equate abnormal sexuality with homosexuality.

The noted author Desmond Morris in his book "Bodywatching" summed it up rather well.

Now as far as my personal opinion goes, it a man is fit and wants to flaunt it, then let him and women should enjoy the view. If a man is unfit, then women and men both deserve to be spared the visual insult.

Posted by: Mykael at July 27, 2006 10:49 PM

Women are into displays because male sexuality is largely visual. Female arousal is different, and women care about men's status, money, and power -- in a way men don't about women. Hence, the difference of point of view about sexual display.

This may surprise you, but quite a bit of research has been done since 1985, when Morris wrote that book; much of which, I've read -- and base my work on. The opinion in this column is not simply my opinion, but my opinion based on data. A number of Morris' contentions have been disproven; for example, his notions about baldness.

Regarding your contention of what a man or woman "should" enjoy -- there's no such thing in reality as "should." Either it is or it ain't. And if it's a man wearing a thong, chances are, women will be creeped out.

Regarding the comment from "anybody" above, it's not about not liking change; it's about reporting what works. And frankly, we still have stone-age psychology today. See Tooby/Cosmides reference above. I don't know how many times I need to repeat this before it cracks through some of these thick skulls!

Quite simply: I am writing based on research, not simply an opinion I pulled out of a sunless area. If you are writing based on an opinion you yanked out of a sunless area, I suggest you read the studies or at least the comments about them from me here before you post yet another post about how men "should" be able to wear what they want.

For a hetero guy on the make, it's this simple: Wanna get laid?

If yes, don't wear a thong, because many, many women are turned off by them.

If you don't care whether you do or don't get laid, wear whatever the hell you want.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 27, 2006 11:43 PM

Amy, you misinterpreted what I wrote which was that our society places the role of the displayer on the woman & not the man hence why there is a predisposition in both mainstream men and women to look unfavorably towards men wearing thongs. For them to do so is against the norms.

I agree with you entirely that the whole thong thing is viewed sexually in both sexes so one automatically assumes that if I see you strutting with your butt bared for me, you are trying to attract someone (or something too I guess ;-) I certainly think this when I see a woman in a thong and unfortunately, many men think that they are being attractive to women when they wear one.

I do not have a copy of Bodywatching to refer to but my memory of the book was that this is what it said. Am I incorrect?

Posted by: Mykael at August 1, 2006 7:17 PM

Again, it isn't "our society" but our genes that make women uncomfortable with overt male sexual display.

Kindly read David Buss instead of perpetuating the same incorrect arguments.

Don't bother quoting Bodywatching. Read a modern book which has claims based on data.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 2, 2006 1:23 AM

You say nature & I say nurture...let's call the whole thing off and agree that it is some of both!

Posted by: Mykael at August 3, 2006 7:38 AM

This is so tedious. You're wrong, and trotting out another common fallacy without giving it too much thought. Where do you think "nurture" comes from? Our behavior is directed by our genes. Our genes switch on and off according to the environment. Again, read David Buss. And I believe it's Matt Ridley who explains what's wrong with your nature/nurture contention best. It's boring to defend your "reasoning" which is merely based on your opinion, when I base the column and my comments on research. I don't pour out every bit of everything I know in every column. I only have 800 words. But, the research is behind it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 3, 2006 7:50 AM

i'm a guy that wears a thong and don't undestand why women have such a problem with it. granted not all women. it's just another form of underwear really and what about women that used to hate men in y fronts what are they wearing now y front styled panties what's going on there. no maybe it's because some mens bottoms really do look better than there's and they don't like it one bit in otherwords they are envious of us because we look better in them than them. if you've got them bottom and the bottle i'd say go for it and ignore these jealous women.

Posted by: james stevens at August 4, 2006 12:12 PM

Because women aren't comfortable with overt sexual display in men, because their sexuality isn't as visual. How many times do I need to say this. If you haven't read the data and seen the reams of research on this, try to believe me, because I have.

I know feminists have done a number on society, promoting the notion that male sexuality and female sexuality are the same. They are not. Psychological differences correspond to biological differences; for example, if a woman in the Pleistocene were easily aroused (visually) and wanted to fuck everything she saw (that was compliant) like men do, she would have been impregnated by men who weren't "investors" - but were cut-and-run cads. In an environment where there weren't exactly 7-11s everywhere, this would have meant the woman's offspring would likely not survive. Women's sexuality corresponds to the need in the Pleistocene to figure out if a guy was a "dad" not a "cad." This is a slow process. Guys who advertise overt sexuality are not showing women they are providers. It's like trying to trap a bear with a Tupperware container full of salad.

Again, if you don't know the research and haven't read the data, fine. Try to believe me because I have.

Unlike other advice columns, this one isn't based on my opinion, but on reason and data.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 4, 2006 12:23 PM

I'd like to chime in if I might. I'm a 45yo male who started wearing thongs recently. My wife of 18 years claims that she finds them very sexy on me. To me that is all that matters. While I love thongs on her, she rarely wears them. And when she does it is usually only long enough for me to tear them off.

I'm not sure that I'd want others like friends to know I wear them, none the less, ladies you don't get any straighter than I. I love women, always have and always will.

Posted by: RI at August 7, 2006 7:04 PM

Hey, all you straight dudes. Don’t worry about all this thong crap. Women who stay true and faithful accept you for who you are and don’t base their relationship on money, looks and materials, but true love. Though money is a great necessity. I admit I do like wearing thongs, but if I don’t appeal to women, then oh well. There are way more women that are open minded and accept a guy for who he is and his uniqueness. I respect women for what they do and wear, but I don’t go off online talking about it, and that is why I believe this issue should have never even started in the first place. Most women tend to break a relationship because this and that bothers them. And certain women these days don’t appreciate the fact that a man shows his true affection. Im straight, a male, and I’ve been wearing thongs for a while now but only do on certain occasions. I agree with the fact that it has to do with biological differences, genes, and that it’s a turn off on a first date, but start learning to accept people for who they are and focus more on their personality rather than what they like to wear.

Posted by: Vega at August 29, 2006 8:16 PM

"Women who stay true and faithful accept you for who you are and don’t base their relationship on money, looks and materials, but true love. "

You're rather sure of this, huh? The data says otherwise. Hate to contradict what you pulled out of your ass, but women, all women, evolved to go for men who are "providers." This doesn't mean all women are golddiggers, but you can have a money-disinterested nympho...obviously.

I've given the reasons, based in research, why women tend not to like overt displays of sexuality in men. I'm always amazed at people who just spout off their opinion, based in nothing but...their opinion...as if it means something. I find it both arrogant and stupid to do so, so I do a lot of homework.

"start learning to accept people for who they are and focus more on their personality rather than what they like to wear."

There's another silly statement. If women are often disturbed by men's overt displays of sexuality, do you really want to expect women to do what they "should" do -- or do you not want to wear thongs until you know a woman, lest you diminish your chances with some great girl? Posting "yay thongs!" messages helps nobody...well, nobody who wants to have the optimum opportunity for dates. Sigh. Yawn.

Please, think before you post.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 29, 2006 11:02 PM

I still dont see why underwear is that important to women. Most men who wear thongs do so because its comfortable. And alot of us guys are shy about it, were not trying to display ourselves. Oh yeah, do you mind if you would post some "data". the only thing ive heard you say is crap about research and data,well lets see it. And IF there isnt any data or research then its just your opinion with "I find it both arrogant and stupid to do so, so I do a lot of homework" at the end.

Not to be rude, I would just like to see your "Data".

Posted by: anybody at September 10, 2006 10:40 AM

Let me see:

1. I wear thongs some times.
2. I've been married to the same woman for over ten years, getting closer to twenty now.
3. I've never once had an affair.
4. I don't go out drinking with the boys and never did.
5. I stay at home and look after the chores and our kid.
6. I've held a pretty good job for all that time.
7. I pay the bills and don't waste my money on crap or gambling or booze and smokes.
8. I like to stay in shape. Heck, the female trainer at my gym told me the other day that I have nice legs.
9. I always remember my wife's birthday and our anniversary.
10. I even accompany her when she goes shopping.

So Amy, am I the exception to your view? Could it be that ***gasp!!*** it is possible for a man to ge a good husband and wear a thong at the same time?

I'm afraid its true!

Posted by: Amused Guy at September 12, 2006 11:43 AM

If your wife has no problem with thongs, great. Is this really so hard to understand? Because many women find thongs unappealing, IF YOU ARE A SINGLE MAN ON THE HUNT, it is probably unwise to wear a thong.

Amused guy, you sound like a pretty good husband, so maybe she forgives you for your shitty reading comprehension. Personally, it pisses me off.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 12, 2006 1:55 PM

Amy, with respect, my reading comprehension is just fine. I find that it always helps your readers to get your point if you make it clearly and concisely.

I advise you to do that in the future.

And I also avoid using foul language out of respect for the person I am talking to and readers in general.

I wouldn't want folks to think I had an attitude problem.

Posted by: Amused Guy at September 13, 2006 6:30 AM

Since the beginning, I have understood Amy's general point of view on this matter which is to say that most women don't appreciate men in thongs and that if you are single, it is not a good strategy to wear one while you are dating. This is a great piece of advice and I agree.

However, since we are discussing this incredible subject at lenght, I would like to know why thongs are so perceived as homosexual/feminine (see the column in the 1st place where it gives the floor to a friend who says that a man who can have a strand of elastic for long period cannot be straight).

Why the fact that you don't have back coverage in your undies makes you gay or effiminate ? This perception is widely spread among people, but I just want to understand why.

Posted by: David at September 13, 2006 3:32 PM

I don't give unsolicited advice. I think it's rude. I'm always a little shocked when people give it to me.

I don't have a problem with "foul" language. In fact, I read a study that it makes people pay more attention to what you're saying. Furthermore, Albert Ellis, who's pretty brilliant and pretty funny, and also one of the fathers of cognitive behavioral therapy, swears like a motherfucker. I post what he says because I'm not of the "language police" school; in fact, I enjoy a wide swath of language and use it. The idea that you come on my site and act as the language nanny is, shall we say, ill advised, at best, and rather rude, to boot.

If you want to see an example of my sensible use of the term "pet-fucking," check out the roast I just wrote for my friend Cathy Seipp:


The idea that I'd take writing advice from you -- which, it's clear to me you profer as a sort of power grab in an attempt to put me down -- is laughable. I take writing advice from people whose minds and literary judgment I respect. It's a short list, and you aren't on it. I'm sorry if you're wounded because I wrote a piece you don't like on thongs. If you think I'm a shitty writer, don't read me.

David, thankfully, gives me hope that at least a few people can still read, even if they may be emotionally attached to an opposite point of view.

And regarding your politely asked question David, it goes back to women not liking "overt sexual display" in men. Because of that, there's a general perception in society that wearing a thong means you may be gay or effeminate. Women, also have caught on to male sexuality. What males perceive as beautiful in women are the features that suggest a woman is healthy and fertile (ie, can give birth to a healthy child) -- youth, clear skin, .7 waist-to-hip ratio (hourglass figure, and on a woman of average weight).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 14, 2006 3:54 AM

Well, Amy, if those are the rules here, then okay!

Looking back to the 1950's guys commonly wore swim shorts in public that were a lot shorter than its common to see now. You see that in a lot of old movies of that day. In the 1980's, speedos were pretty common on may beaches.

But today, it seems that the long board shorts are very common. Now in practical terms, those things can be fairly uncomfortable, you get warm in them and they fill up with water when you swim in them. Shorter trunks, speedos or thongs are much more comfortable.

So, my respectful question (I really am trying to be sincere and not be a shithead :) ) is why are men so uncomfortable with wearing shorter beach shorts these days? Are they so afraid of being labelled "gay" or "effimiante" that they over-emphasize their masculinity and avoid any clothing that could give the "wrong" idea?

I recognize that many guys will never wear a thong anywhere anytime and that is okay. But why can't they feel comfortable wearing a swim short that comes to mid-thigh or a bit shorter, or even a modest speedo type suit?


Posted by: Amused Guy at September 14, 2006 6:06 AM

I agree with amused guy, why cant we feel comfortable wearing a thong or something, we should be able to have that choice regardless what women think.

Oh yeah wheres the data Amy I asked in a previous comment.

Posted by: anybody at September 14, 2006 4:24 PM

You can't access much of the data -- for example, Beth Montemurro's, mentioned above -- without access to journals. But a lot of it is described very understandably in the work of David Buss and Don Symons in books available on the consumer market.

And again, and again, and again: You can do whatever you want. I'm telling you that if you're looking for a girlfriend, it will probably diminish your chances of having success with one. For all of you who seem utterly incapable of comprehending this no matter how many times I write it: is it possible that the little gold lamé thong is cutting off the blood supply to your brains?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 14, 2006 6:34 PM

how do you women come to the conclusion that a man that wears a thong must be gay this is the biggest piece of crap i've ever heard in my life i thought women were supposed to be more intelligent than men with a statement like that i don't think men will ever have to worry of that ever happening ever. and as for thongs being only for women more nonsense have these women lost touch with there brains it's a piece of underwear for gods sake nothing else it does not have any magic powers to make men that wear them gay. what planet are you women on. certainly not where the normal people live. that are still in touch with reality.

Posted by: james stevens at September 26, 2006 5:32 PM

James, it doesn't matter how women think that (and I've explained female sexuality versus overt male display about 300 times above), it simply matters that they do. And many do. (Shall I say this a few more times? Perhaps you need to let your butt floss out a notch so more blood can make it to your brain.) I must say, while I wouldn't believe a thong is evidence of one sort of sexuality or another, a lot of the thong-wearing male commenters here present themselves as rather huffy weenies. Not a good argument for the cause of brooding masculinity in a tiny gold lamé pouch, now is it?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 26, 2006 10:27 PM

sorry to disappoint you amy but i don't wear a tiny gold pouch sorry just not my style dear. but maybe you will meet a guy that likes them yet. I can't really understand women's hostility towards men that like wearing a thong as i've said it's only underwear maybe it is time you women chilled out as it seems to me it's you women that are restricting the blood reaching your brains so cancelling out any chance of a forming a reasonable argument of why men should not wear thong underwear my girlfriend loves my bottom in a thong. oh god heresy. she's a woman that actually like a man in a thong.

Posted by: james stevens at September 27, 2006 5:31 AM

Woman here, chiming in.

Thongs on men, speedos on men, skintight leather pants on men = ick. Sorry, they just don't say hetero to me. So kill me.

If your girlfriend/wife likes you in a thong, Huzzah! Yippie! Hurray! Go frolic between the sheets with my blessings and best wishes for earthshattering orgasms.

Just don't expect to see me there. If you're playing the odds, save the thong until you know for sure she likes it. Statistically speaking, you're going to be more successful without it.

And if you show up in my boudoir wearing broken-in Levis, a buttondown shirt with the sleeves rolled partly up your manly forearms and boots, I'll be all over you like a duck on a junebug.

My, is it warm in here?

Posted by: Bey at September 27, 2006 12:29 PM

Thank you, Bev! Well put. (And they call ours the irrational sex.) Again, I think it's possible those tiny elastic numbers cut off blood flow to the brain.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 27, 2006 1:02 PM

well obviously doesn't take much to please you or bey does it. we brits have been wearing speedos for as long as i can remember as well as bikini briefs underwear not those so called underwear you americans refer to as boxers. looks like something my great grandad would wear in his day. and by no stretch of the imagination could broke in levis and a button down shirt come even close to being stylish sorry but that went out with the ark. you really should get out of america more and see what real style is europeans rock america seems to have been left behind out of touch with the rest of the world just to parochial really. still living in the backwoods as regards style or class.

Posted by: james stevens at September 27, 2006 7:47 PM

I spend quite a bit of time in Paris, thanks, and if you think western style is out, I suggest you let some of the stylish Parisian guys know that they've got to change their look.

Do post a link to a picture of you so we can admire your thong-wearing British high-fashion. Nothing like a bloated white guy in a Speedo to turn us girls on!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 28, 2006 2:49 AM

sorry to disappoint you again AMY but i'm a fit muscular built guy that comes no where near what you would refer to as bloated you would have to look at some of your fellow AMERICANS. if you want a definition of bloated they fit the bill admirably and as regards white i have an olive skinned complexion oops ! i've diaappointed you yet again never mind your knowledge of us brits is sadly lacking. and i didn't say western. I believe I said AMERICANS STYLE SO LIMITED.

Posted by: james stevens at September 28, 2006 5:32 AM

Well, how about if you don't stereotype all Americans, I won't stereotype all Brits. I've blogged about fat Americans.

And yes, you have disappointed me, because you apparently lack the ability to use punctuation. Or capital letters. And are a big friend of the run-on sentence.

Perhaps you should've spent more time in school and less time on the abs.

I not only have flat abs, I have a way with the apostrophe.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 28, 2006 7:15 AM

Wow. Where do I begin?

James, my oooo-baby preference for men in Levis and boots has everything to do with sexuality and nothing whatever to do with style.

I do have to wonder though, since you obviously believe yourself to be a person of class, how you define that term?

Is is exemplified by your tolerance for other's preference in sexually alluring attire? No, apparently not.

Perhaps it is your cultural broad-mindedness? No, that seems not to be the case either.

It seems as though your definition of classy behavior is to insult and denigrate a woman who only wished rocking orgasms for you and your thong-appreciating partner. And not just her, but her entire culture as well.

All because I am not turned on by thongs, speedos, and tight leather pants.

You, sir, are the very definition of class.

Posted by: Bey at September 28, 2006 9:10 AM

dear dear amy i said some of your fellow AMERICANS not all you really need to read it properly. and when did this blog have anything to do with punctuation. i was under the impression it was about men wearing thong underwear. is that your best attack. and bey if you think what i said is denigrating to women. you really need to concentrate more while reading the blog. all i'm saying is i don't think much of your idea of style. it does in no way denigrate women. just your choice in fashion for men. that's all nothing more nothing less chill out. retract those claws dear it's called a personal opinion. not an all out attack on women. misinterpretation

Posted by: james stevens at September 28, 2006 8:37 PM

It's not an "attack" -- it's information for men who want the best possible shot at finding a girlfriend; ie, unimpeded.

Just as you don't seem to care how your intended audience (assuming you're hetero) is likely to see your thong, you are either too illiterate or too lazy to communicate in comprehensible English.

And my idea of style...how, exactly, would you describe that -- considering you have no idea of what my idea of style is. Who, for example, is my favorite young designer?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 28, 2006 9:23 PM

oh dear we are upset today. okay let's just call it a low blow. haven't we forgotten something AMY dear PERSONAL CHOICE. as in you might not like it but others do. opinions are like bottoms dear we all have one. and as regards your favourite young designer. i'd need to be physic to know that would i not. and in closing surely women are more interested in the man rather than his underwear. or do they just have a fetish for mens under garments as this blog to say. i may not like some women's choice underwear but it wouldn't stop me from having a relationship with them. after all it's the woman i'm interested in not her underwear. some women can really be so shallow. maybe that's why there are so many women in this world lonely and still looking for someone to love and cherish them. faced with that prospect. does a person under garments really matter i'd say not on your life. see the person not the underwear. now chill out AMY dear

Posted by: james stevens at September 29, 2006 7:17 AM

"We" aren't upset at all, merely frustrated at your lack of literacy and reading comprehension. "We" don't wish to flog a dead horse with you any longer. In brief: Wear whatever you want. If you wear a thong, and you're a single guy on the make, you may hurt your chances with women, as women tend not to like overt sexual display in men. It has nothing to do with shallowness and everything to do with hard-wired evolutionary preferences I've explained over and over and over. Perhaps your time would be better spent in a continuing ed class learning to master reading and written communication in proper English. Over and out.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 29, 2006 8:31 AM

oh you do love typing SEXUAL OVERT DISPLAY. as if it was the answer. it's not women like SEXUAL OVERT DISPLAYS that's why they go to see male strippers. to see exactly what you say they don't want to see. what's called a contradiction in terms. maybe you've spent so much time worrying about your ENGLISH. you've completely lost the plot altogether. you might know what you want in a man. but sadly you really can't speak for the rest of the women out there. you haven't clue. just what you delude yourself into believing they think. i did try to help but you but you refuse to accept any of my points. maybe some day you'll learn until then it's THONGSALOT. oh and please lighten up your much to tense AMY dear ADIOS.

Posted by: james stevens at September 29, 2006 11:26 AM

Women go to see male strippers in nowhere near the proportion of men visiting female strippers. For women, it's primarily a bonding experience with friends. See the research of Beth Montemurro. Oh, wait -- I mentioned that above in the column. If only you were literate, you might not waste so much of my time.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 29, 2006 1:16 PM

for some one you consider to be illiterate. i think i can hold my own against your literary skills quite well AMY dear. you seem to believe that everything you write is right and everyone else is wrong. because blah blah blah research say it's so therefore it must be true. sorry to disillusion you AMY but the WORLD is not all BLACK & WHITE dear there are various shades of GREY. maybe you should think about that sometime. and stop believing because some RESEARCH said so it must be TRUE. sorry but it's just a few other peoples opinions. nothing else. it's no GOSPEL OF TRUTH and never will be just STATISTICS. nothing else. so it's goodbye now. and do use the old grey matter more before accepting any more of this so called RESEARCH. that you blindly follow. as some ULTIMATE TRUTH. it's not and never will be I don't care who RESEARCHED it i'm not as impressionable as you. thankfully. I do use the old GREY MATTER. and in the end that's all that really counts in this WORLD.

Posted by: james stevens at September 30, 2006 8:13 AM

ok i get the point of it now, men, let us stop bothering amy because she is only giving advice, shes not saying its wrong she is just giving advice for the everyday man that likes something new.

remember guys the website says addvicegoddess.com
not thongsarewrong.com
the fact of the matter is
if you like a women, and you would like to become close to her, then you should ease into the subject but not in the begining, first let her get to know who you are, then if shes realy not into it, then ask yourself is this worth it

remember it is only underwear

hey if im only 17 and i figured this out maybe the rest of you guys should

Posted by: anybody at October 1, 2006 7:10 PM

What kind of underwear you like isn't the point. The point is (for guys looking to get girlfriends or sex with girls) whether it will diminish your chances with women, and wearing a thong is likely to do so.

I don't rubberstamp people's choices. I put out the facts. The fact is, many women find thongs on men a turn-off. What you do with that information is your business.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 1, 2006 7:47 PM

in some cases yes. and in others no. THESE ARE THE FACTS. UNDISPUTABLE.

Posted by: james stevens at October 2, 2006 5:24 AM

James, there's nothing disputable here, so kindly take your inability to reason elsewhere.

I'll state it as simply as I can: Many women find thongs on men unappealing. If you want a girlfriend, you're taking a risk by wearing one.

Now, shoo. Please.

If you post here again, I'm going to do something unprecedented and ban you. This is typically a total free speech site. But, I'm not going to allow you to turn my site into a fucking bore -- any more than you already have -- or waste my time further.

I'm sorry you feel wounded that I can't rubberstamp your need to wear, say, a little gold pouch. But, the fact remains: MANY WOMEN FIND MEN IN THONGS UTTERLY UNAPPEALING.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 2, 2006 6:25 AM

OMG this is so lame.

Amy, you should be ashamed.

Underwear is underwear, who cares!!!

Much more important things happening in the world.

Posted by: Kurt Sims at November 2, 2006 3:17 PM

Ashamed? Um, I don't have an underwear agenda, I'm just reporting on the likely outcome for men who wear thongs.

If this isn't important to you, and you don't care, why did you take the trouble to read the column and then either scroll or read through all the way to the bottom and comment?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 2, 2006 3:58 PM

Hijacking the thread for a moment...

I keep getting a picture of Chris Farly charging up the alien space ship ramp shouting "attack!" with his butt cheeks hanging out and the top of his thong showing and start cracking up.

If I found out that Patton was wearing one, I might have to walk out of the movie.

However, if I learned that Mel Gibson, George Clooney or Harrison Ford wore them, I might go out and buy a couple.

Also, I've learned that there are certain guys who can get away with stuff and ones who can't. I'm in the latter group.

Posted by: Mark Henri at November 9, 2006 11:36 AM

I believe Amy is right in emphasizing the evolutionary genetic origins of sexual behavior. Overt sexual displays are not the best method for a man to unleash a woman's irrepressible primal urges for genetic melding. Confidence, displays of strength, a self-assured disregard for convention and other typically masculine behaviors are a sure bet. These behaviors send a coded masculine message of power directly to a woman's midbrain, largely by-passing her cerebral cortex. Worrying about what a woman thinks about wearing a thong is not masculine. From the point of view of female evolutionary psychology, worrying about what other males think is an indication of low status hence low sexual desirability. Worrying about what females think indicates even lower status.

As to the actual wearing of a thong, this act is feminine if interprted as an overt sexual display. From visualizing the careful underwear shopping experience a man would have to live through to select a thong, it certainly appears typically feminine to me.

On the other hand, wearing the thong could be perceived by a female as indicative of high male status, being a typically masculine display of confidence without regard for prevailing opinion. Mass-scale empirical examples of this principle can be found in the irresistible sexual appeal of music icons who purposely appear sexually ambiguous. The sexual ambiguity is correctly perceived by the female nervous system as a display of male power. Thus, what at first appears incomprehensible to a man - that women would be attracted to gay-looking rock stars - is easily understood.

For a male to consciously utilize this understanding of female psychology to get laid would strike me as somewhat feminine, although it is probably true that masters of the technique of calculated masculine display must get the most ass. In any case, the female is much more skilled at the art of seduction. Her raw skills are deception and manipulation. She must spend her time creating an illusion by adorning and embellishing herself because during the Pleistocene, she truly brought little to a man other than a means of passing on his genes. At least a male count count on her subservience and loyalty (or so he thought). Nowadays the value proposition is even weaker. Men are buying into the illusion in smaller and smaller numbers, with reason. Are women better off?

Posted by: Vincent Lupien at November 10, 2006 10:54 AM

I believe Amy is right in emphasizing the evolutionary genetic origins of sexual behavior. Overt sexual displays are not the best method for a man to unleash a woman's irrepressible primal urges for genetic melding. Confidence, displays of strength, a self-assured disregard for convention and other typically masculine behaviors are a sure bet. These behaviors send a coded masculine message of power directly to a woman's midbrain, largely by-passing her cerebral cortex. Worrying about what a woman thinks about wearing a thong is not masculine. From the point of view of female evolutionary psychology, worrying about what other males think is an indication of low status hence low sexual desirability. Worrying about what females think indicates even lower status.

As to the actual wearing of a thong, this act is feminine if interpreted as an overt sexual display. From visualizing the careful underwear shopping experience a man would have to live through to select a thong, it certainly appears typically feminine to me.

On the other hand, wearing the thong could be perceived by a female as indicative of high male status, being a typically masculine display of confidence without regard for prevailing opinion. Mass-scale empirical examples of this principle can be found in the irresistible sexual appeal of music icons who purposely appear sexually ambiguous. The sexual ambiguity is correctly perceived by the female nervous system as a display of male power. Thus, what at first appears incomprehensible to a man - that women would be attracted to gay-looking rock stars - is easily understood.

For a male to consciously utilize this understanding of female psychology to get laid would strike me as somewhat feminine, although it is probably true that masters of the technique of calculated masculine display must get the most ass. In any case, the female is much more skilled at the art of seduction. Her raw skills are deception and manipulation. She must spend her time creating an illusion by adorning and embellishing herself because during the Pleistocene, she truly brought little to a man other than a means of passing on his genes. At least a male could count on her subservience and loyalty (or so he thought). Nowadays the value proposition is even weaker. Men are buying into the illusion in smaller and smaller numbers, with reason. Are women better off?

Posted by: Vincent Lupien at November 10, 2006 10:57 AM

you dont understand, men who wear thongs such as I cant stop wearing them.Its just to hard,once you have first hand experinced comfort in a new way.if women dont like it then thats fine,im just stating that this opinion doesnt matter to the guys who like to wear thongs.

P.S my girlfriend loves it,I told her one day that i have a thong, and she was intristed. so she asked me to wear it to school.I did and she nearly fucked me on the spot. my G/f is bi so that must have something to do with it.

Posted by: anybody at November 13, 2006 4:09 PM

If you can't (or rather, refuse to) stop wearing them, then you shrink the number of women you'll have a chance with. If you accept that, then there's no problem, just as I accept that, by being an atheist who doesn't believe in marriage, doesn't want kids, and thinks living together is barbaric, I diminished the number of men I'd have a chance with.

Regarding your girlfriend, some women like thongs, some women don't have a problem with them. Unfortunately for you thong wearers, most women do have a problem with them. That's the facts -- deal with them as you wish, either by not wearing a thong, not wearing a thong right off the bat, or by accepting that you'll have a smaller group of potential dates available to you.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 13, 2006 5:43 PM

Very few people - male or female - really look good in a thong, but if it's worn as underwear, what's the problem? Serious swimmers - and any man who really enjoys swimming or diving - wear Speedos (or the generic equivalent) in the water. Many Americans have hangups about semi-nudity, so they prefer to wear baggy, uncomfortable and inappropriate swimwear. Women who have hangups about men in swimsuits should relax and allow their men the freedom to wear whatever they like (within reason). End of rant.

Posted by: Tom at November 14, 2006 4:44 AM

As cognitive therapy founder Albert Ellis would tell you, and Karen Horney, too, here's no such thing as what "should" be. Either it is or it ain't. See above for what is -- women tend to think badly of men in thongs.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 14, 2006 7:07 AM

I am a man who likes only women, I have gay friends and I have no problems with the way anyone chooses to dress. I read and read the entire comments section and I am amazed how thick the vast majority of male commentators are.

Amy must have said about million plus times that it doesn't matter what (some) men like to wear, what matters is that the vast majority of women don't share those men's enthusiasm for thongs. This is based on extensive studies, not on Amy inspiration of the day.

Thick skulled men, what in the world is so difficult to understand here? How can you be so impervious to logic and facts? Most women don't like us in thongs, and that's it. If my wife or girlfriend likes it, it still doesn't mean a thing. Studies reveal that most women don't.

Amy, you either attract an abnormal number of reason-challenged men, or, and this thought is really scary, many men are indeed reason-challenged. I hope it's the former.

Now, I have a quesion for you Amy. I was born and grew up in Europe, where every single men on the beach was wearing speedos. Not because they were gay or horny, but simply because that's what men wore. (Nowadays you see in Europe men wearing American style swimgear). Yet, women didn't mind it at all. Does this mean that women's disgust with thong-men is not only a gene issue, but also a cultural issue?

Posted by: Zalmoxe at November 24, 2006 10:23 AM

As a guy, (and for you guys), there's only one thing I can recommend to you so you can understand how this thong thing works - watch "A Night At The Roxbury" with Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell, and pay attention in the beach scene. That should cure you of thongness. If it doesn't, you officially have the "will of steel", and more power to you.

Posted by: No, no! Bad Thong at November 26, 2006 1:42 AM

Dear Amy,
thank you for your article, it's very informative.
As a heterosexual man, I occasionally enjoy wearing a thong. It makes me feel "racy".
I just think that to wear a thong, whether you're female or male, you have to have a nice body. Otherwise, it just looks ridiculous.
I also don't think that wearing a thong as a way to attract a woman is the right thing to do. Some women like to see a man in a thong, but only if they have a hot bod. Personally I would ask first what they think about it, get their opinion. But that's only if there's a seduction under way already and a mutual interest in each other to play. I occasionally enjoy doing a striptease for a woman I want to be with. But I always ask first if that would excite them and it's always in a fun context of playing and seduction. And women are interested by curiosity and the fact that they already find you attractive because you've established a mind connection and it's just part of foreplay. So in conclusion the only way for a man to get away with it is if he has a hot body, an endearing personality to go with it, and is already sexy in the eyes of the woman WITH his clothes ON.

Posted by: Paul at December 20, 2006 1:36 AM

I too am heterosexual, with a current girlfriend who likes my thongs, A LOT. I have been wearing them for the last 30 years and the women still go for me.

Not all the women like my thongs. Not the shallow ones looking for the 'right' husband to show off at the country club and who matches their Laura Ashly furnishings.

I wear thongs as underwear, but more commonly as swimwear. Most of the women I know approve and complement me on my thongs, or legs, or general level of fitness. I am not superman but I do run on the beach sand a few times a week. And yes I do it in a thong. Keeps the overall tan more or less intact, and is good exercise.

You would be surprised at the number of women I meet just because I have the confidence to wear a thong. Women like self confidence. Sometimes they just stop to chat, some times they ask to take my picture or to have their picture taken with me.

While I am sure there are some women who don't like men in thongs, and I sometimes get disapproving glances from the prudes, I can't remember the last time a women said anything negative about my wearing a thong, except one request from a friend not to wear one at a gathering of her relatives.

I think modern men are becoming more confident with wearing thongs and modern women are realizing that men in thongs are sexy. That is if the man's body is one that she likes to look at and touch, not one that she would prefer to only meet in the dark under the covers.

There is a large message board on the subject called the 'Thong Wearers Message Board' found at
There are thousands of posts by Men and Women on the subject. You need an ID to read the board but setting up a free account is easy.

Posted by: JM Runs at January 15, 2007 5:26 PM

Thongs are ugly no matter which sex sports them.

Posted by: Brett at January 21, 2007 8:20 AM

I find this a very interesting discussion with polarized views. My favorite is Amy who spouts about all of her well informed information created by experts. Probably those same experts who thought electro shock treatments would make the insane sane again, or the doing lobotomies on people would solve there problems. It appears that the people in this profession have had many opportunities to mislead people because they were considered experts who know what they were doing.

I travel a lot, and many times to very remote jungles throughout the world. Most native Indians wear loin clothes of some fashion. No matter how you want to spin this, it is still a form of thong. A thong is simply a mass produced version of this. Women on the other hand usually wear nothing or some form of skirt. To me this seems right since the men need support and the women do not.

Somewhere in the evolution of our cultures we moved to a need for everyone to cover up. Over our recent path the pendulum has started swinging the other way. If you look at the beaches, women are wearing much less than they used to, including thongs. Oddly, men are moving backwards, most now wear swimsuits that might as well be baggy pants. This is a trend that has started in the U.S. and is drifting to the rest of the world. Odd thing is that 64% of Americans are overweight. It appears to me, if your wearing bagging clothes, look like a slob, then your going to start acting like one.

If men would start wearing thongs at the beach, they would have to start caring more about how they look. The result would be a country that is healthier rather than overweight. Maybe the goal is that women want their men to look like slobs, that is why all of the negative comments about thongs. By the way, I’m a heterosexual male that wears thongs and I’m fit.

Posted by: Jerry at March 7, 2007 9:23 AM

Amy, you aren't the brightest girl in the world. Religion has had the greatest impact on homophobia and modern fashion faux pas, and a study of human evolution could easily support an article completely contradicting your assessment.

I think the writer "Jerry" brought up an interesting point about native cultures, because if you actually knew a bit about human history, you'd know that your typical 'alpha' males were sporting a whole lot less as they were running around to protect the cave before dragging their 'Janes' back home by their ponytails. This process was in full swing for hundreds of thousands of years, and only recently has religion proven to be a huge player on the public's collective mindset.

Seriously, this has to be the most ridiculous column/comments section I have ever read. Go out and experience the world, learn a bit about it, and stop acting like reading a book makes you some sort of fountain of advice. Hitler wrote a book too you nitwit. Anybody can publish anything, but that doesn't make them an expert. In addition, you should also take a few basic statistics courses, as I'm sure you have a decent junior college in your area. People like you scare me, thank goodness you aren't in a position of real power.

Wow!!!!!... That is all I have to say. It is crazy what nonsense one can find on the internet.

Posted by: TylerDurden at March 24, 2007 7:47 AM

Again, I'm just telling you what women think. If you choose to wear a thong despite that, that's up to you. I'm no friend to religion, if you'll read my blog, or any belief, without evidence, like the irrational belief in god.

Furthermore, men who wore loincloths in the past weren't wearing them to be sexy -- or for "overt sexual display" -- all men wore them. Women, in turn, probably let their tits hang out, and not because they were auditioning for a spot in Playboy.

Those above who don't seem to be too bright just don't have the mental capacity to understand that my reporting how women think about men who wear thongs isn't some hate statement against thong wearers. I'm just giving you the information - you do with it what you will. I have to say, though, from comments like yours, it appears your thong may be too tight and maybe cutting off blood flow to your brain.

When you knock me for going to experts -- I don't just let somebody spew...I look at solid data, which is what's behind my column, when applicable. In this case, it seems a majority of women think ill about men in thongs, and don't like men in thongs, and I can draw some pretty good guesses as to why that might be. Overt sexual display in men has never been big with women, and women do not go to strip clubs for the same reason men do -- men and women are biologically and, in turn, psychologically different. I've said all this above -- please learn to read.

Furthermore, read the column I wrote on men who are crossdressers -- supporting them -- although I can tell you that even fewer women want a guy who wears ladies' panties.


The men angrily posting against me in this entry simply aren't that smart, and/or are drive by emotion, not reason.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 24, 2007 7:56 AM