In the new Hulu series Pam & Tommy, the titular Tommy Lee doesn’t so much have house pants as he has a house thong. It’s as ubiquitous in the show — rare are the moments that Sebastian Stan’s Lee is wandering around his SoCal estate in something less revealing — as it’s seemingly dated. And yet, more than a few men in real life continue to rock the banana hammock in Lee-like fashion.
“It started with some sexy thongs that I’d wear at home mostly,” one recent male thong convert, a construction worker, tells me. “Throughout the day it would give me a focus on my dick and ass and increase the overall sexuality that I felt.” But in short order, his sexual experimentation transformed into a way of life. “I no longer felt the extra attention to my sexuality, but instead, I had a piece of fabric cupping my jewels and never could get sweaty balls stuck to my thighs again,” he explains.
Better yet, he claims, unlike other underwear that ruffles when you bend over, man thongs don’t move nearly as much: “Traditional underwear is pulled down by your pants as you bend, but thongs know where they belong and don’t budge. I’ve switched to comfortable thongs instead of just sexy ones, and I now wear them 100 percent of the time.”
The switch hasn’t been without its painful moments, however. During the initial adjustment period, his taint bore the brunt of the snug man-thong fit and caused a noticeable amount of discomfort. “In the evenings it felt great to take them off, and I couldn’t sleep with them on,” he says. But after some persistence, the rash he’d developed went away and everything (read: his balls) fell into place. “I’m just disappointed I didn’t go for it earlier,” he maintains. (Other man-thong evangelists swear that such blotchy, irritable bumps will never arise if you go with Male Power’s Pure Comfort Bong Thong, which happens to be made with rayon, aka the most comfortable fabric ever known to humankind.)
Admittedly, there’s also some mental/self-confidence hurdles to clear. Some guys aren’t sure when it’s appropriate to bust out their man thongs; meanwhile, others are worried that those around them might judge them for wearing such risque undergarments. “I’ve become comfortable with family, i.e., backpacking with siblings or jumping into our at-home pool if there aren’t guests over,” another man-thong stan tells me. “So my family I’m comfortable with, but my colleagues I’m slightly less so. If I’m in a locker room with strangers, it’s no big deal. But if I’m with a colleague, I try to avoid making it obvious that I’m wearing a thong. I wish it wasn’t so taboo.” (In fairness, if “colleagues” mean coworkers in this context, any underwear choice is likely to qualify as taboo.)
The epicenter of man thongs — outside of Pam & Tommy, of course — is the subreddit r/StraightGuysInThongs (8,000 subscribers and counting). It describes itself as, “Just a place for straight guys who love to wear thong underwear, and also women who love their men in thongs.” The be-thonged guys who gather there are men of few words. In fact, they speak primarily in headless man-thong selfies. Each photo is captioned — a sampling: “Do you like what’s under my tights?”; “New thong”; “Anyone like???”; “A few pics that I took today. Enjoy your Friday everyone!”; and “Am I sexy enough to wear this little black CK thong?” — but there’s practically no comment beyond that. They just bravely let photo after photo after photo do the talking for them.
None of them may be the drummer from Mötley Crüe, but that doesn’t make them any less of rock stars.