Friday, December 16, 2005

To Thong Or Not To Thong, That is the Question...

A headline blares from the top of the "Ask Amy" advice column in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:


"Men approve of the visible panty line"

It topped a letter written by a self-described "reasonably normal heterosexual male" who wrote:

"I'm curious how the visible panty line has come to be dreaded in the first place. Throughout history, men have had a special fondness for the sight of the female derriere...The point is that men are not turned off by a VPL. So, ladies if you prefer thongs for comfort or for your own aesthetic standards, then wear them and enjoy them, by all means. But don't let any slick advertising sell you a snow job about what men like or don't like."
Hmmm...can this POSSIBLY be true? Can men really be that different from women?

I mean, I put the introduction of the thong panty right up there with the discovery of electricity. In fact, I'm kinda surprised that the prolific Ben Franklin didn't come up with the thong himself, except that I guess VPL wasn't really an issue in the day of the petticoat.

From a strictly academic perspective, it would seem that women's butts are so varied in shape, size, projection, etc. that it is nearly impossible to design the perfect panty to fit the masses. Because, for the uninitiated (men), there is a very fine line between a comfortable non-VPL (or barely visible PL) undie and a panty that migrates into an inadvertent thong (see "wedgie.")

Which, I think we can all agree, is a very bad thing.

So, in the spirit of lazy blog-writing and holiday lingerie everywhere, I am soliciting the opinions of the five or so of you who actually read this blog.

Do men really like a VPL? Or does it depend on the size of the panty?

Is there a woman out there who does not inwardly cringe and then feel pity (or maybe secretly gloat in superiority) if you happen to gaze upon a VPL adorning a stranger's buttocks?

I hope you'll take time out of your busy holiday schedules to discuss this pressing social issue. Thank you.

6 Comments:

At December 16, 2005 1:25 PM, Blogger Merujo said...

You know, when I see a really pronounced VPL, I always feel sorry for the VPL-ee. I never worry about it for myself as a large chick wearing granny panties. No one's looking at my backside (dear god, I hope not), and I always wear long jackets or tunics that cover my rump anyway. But I think the majority of normal women cringe at VPL.

 
At December 17, 2005 12:57 PM, Blogger Spencer said...

I really have no opinion - I don't cringe at the VPL. I may in fact find it pleasing but that doesn't I have a distaste for thongs. I would hazard a guess that most men never thought there was a practical reason for a thong. It seems kind of uncomfortable to me. The porn industry kind of reinforces this belief - when have you ever seen a porn star wearing grannies?

So anyway - VPL, not a bad thing, but us men (as usual) are looking at it from a non-practical, self-gratifying perspective.

 
At December 17, 2005 3:02 PM, Blogger Cyn said...

Is the thong comfortable? Well, it's all relative. More comfortable than getting your panties in a bunch (because if they're loose enough to not cause panty lines, then they tend to migrate crack-ward anyway.)

Sorry for the unpleasant mental image.

After I wrote this blog entry, I actually spent quite a few moments wondering how men manage to get boxer shorts to fit under their pants. I don't think any woman's pants are cut generously enough to allow for (what is basically) shorts to be worn underneath. Certainly not jeans.

Seriously, most women's undergarments are so freakin' uncomfortable -- bras, pantyhose -- that the thong seems benign in comparison. I suppose it's all a step up from corsets and hoop skirts, but still...

I was about to place blame on our male-dominant society -- it's all a conspiracy to keep the women downtrodden! -- but hell, why do we woman all buy into it? Why do I care if I see somebody with their panties bisecting their buttock cheeks?

From my limited sample, it seems that men really don't care much about VPL. So, as usual, it's probably women setting impossibly high standards for each other rather than men's expectations.

Wow -- I'm officially giving this way too much thought!

BTW, not that I'm an expert on the porn industry, but I'm fairly certain there must be a subset of porno involving granny panties. Niche marketing, ya know.

 
At December 18, 2005 11:39 AM, Blogger radiocynic said...

So, um, the brilliant and beautiful author of this blog doesn't usually like the husband-guy responding... but hey, she didn't even take advantage of the fact she's living with not only a fairly damn overly-average male, but also a virtual walking compendium of opinion, especially opinions on female undergarments. And am I not, after all, a faithful one of "the five or so that actually read this blog"?

So anyway, nah, the only women's-underwear-related issue that EVER is a negative to me is the aforementioned giant grannie pants. Anything "short" of that, so to speak, the VPL thing never bothered me. Nothing wrong with the reminder of the existence of a (potentially) nice undergarment. Nor do I miss it at all when it's abandoned in favor of the fine smoothness of the thong. Honestly, in my experience, that may often be interpreted by many guys as the suggestion that there may not be any undergarment, which is also not usually a bad thing. For that matter, while the "visible butt crack" thing is quite too overt, I have no problem whatsoever with the "peekage" thing with the thongs, either.

So, as always, the comfort of the wearer should be paramount, since no amount of sexy garment can outdo a woman's "comfortable confidence", including the confidence in the appeal of one's derriere.

So in conclusion, (with the continued exception of the abberation which is grannie pants,) ain't nothing wrong with anything remotely involving the underwear of the female of the species. Glad we're fully discussing this very important global issue. Thank you and good night.

 
At December 18, 2005 11:56 AM, Blogger radiocynic said...

Okay, I thought I was done, but another thought, since this is SUCH an important issue.

Boxers for men are indeed a bit of a pain to wear with pants. To answer your question, they actually do have to be "tucked in" prior to the shirt tail tuckage process. If they weren't they'd create some seriously unappealing lines and bulges, and not the "good" kind. For me personally, the only reason for the existence of men's briefs are to wear with any jeans that have become too tight on my fat butt to leave room to tuck the boxers. Okay, that's getting too graphic, too.

And just to refine my definition of those "grannie pants" I objected to, it would be anything so big and baggy that they would have to be tucked in a la men's boxers. We generally don't want to think women are wearing men's-type underwear... unless maybe it's by itself in private, which I'm sure is an entirely other issue.

 
At December 18, 2005 12:59 PM, Blogger Cyn said...

Um, do I know you?

Seriously, darling. We'll continue this discussion in private later tonight.

But first, to clarify -- it's not that I don't want you to comment...I just thought you might not want to be publicly associated with my radical panty opinions and the like. Often I'm not even sure I want to be associated with my own blog!

 

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