General Question

Spargett's avatar

What's the point of underwear?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) December 23rd, 2007 from iPhone

With the exception of short skirts it seems so redundant. Really, think about it.

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21 Answers

sferik's avatar

You clearly don’t have a vagina.

There’s an argument to be made that underwear is redundant for men, but redundancy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think about how many times you’ve left your fly unzipped.

gailcalled's avatar

I find it a lot easier to wash 7 prs of little panties each week, or dunk in a sink while traveling, than to wrestle w. jeans, fleece pants, etc. When I “think about it,” which I do rarely, I think “drafts.” “hygiene” and the kind of female discomfort or medical issues that skanky undergarments can cause if not changed daily.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

I disagree. I am a female, and aside from when I have my period, I also find underpants completely worthless and quite uncomfortable.

joli's avatar

Have you ever tossed a freshly worn pair of men’s underwear in the wash? I have! Underwear keeps your clothing free of soil and smells from the sweaty parts. It keeps your skin fresh, absorbing the sweat, if you wear cotton undies. It also keeps tender skin from rubbing against fabric seams. If you don’t wear them I hope you’re laundering your clothing often and I imagine you might shave. I just remembered a boyfriend getting hair and skin caught in a zipper once. One more thing, a lot of people wear support underwear, one way to make a clingy dress look sexy, instead of lumpy. To each his or her own. I would regret soil stains on expensive clothing, which clothing is these days.

andrew's avatar

I think we’re all forgetting the importance of emergency skid-mark insurance.

Not to mention the obvious aesthetic contributions of a nice pair of underwear.

Spargett's avatar

One nice aspect of underwear is that it can be like wrapping on a present. Nothing beats carefully unwrapping a special gift just for you.

But leaving my fly down or soiling my pants, etc. has never been a large enough concern/issue for me to justify the blind (almost unspokenly mandatory) tradition of “double bagging” your goods in two layers of fabric.

I guess there’s a time and place for everything… some situations being more relevant than others. I find its good practice to question “norms”. You might be surprised what you discover in your examination.

kevbo's avatar

Depending on your concern for modesty, it can also smooth out faint, uh… mushroom-like outlines. It also can keep you in check during those “spontaneous” moments.

It helps to prevent drip spots.

If it fits tight enough, it can keep your equipment out in front where it belongs instead of preparing you to audition for the The Crying Game: The Musical.

Neither here nor there, but in old west times, cowboys used to wear one pair of long underwear continuously for the entire winter. They’d cut it off their bodies in the spring.

bugmenot's avatar

Support for the “Fellas”

Breefield's avatar

I never really think about my underwear much. But a couple weeks ago I ripped a pair while I was out in town. Yea, don’t ask. Anyhow, my underwear is more of an…external thing. Not boxers…they won’t fit in my pants :)
Anyhow, I’ll say, the day without my extra coverage was very uncomfortable.
I wear my underwear to cover myself.

gailcalled's avatar

I am interested in hearing about this issue from more of the women. Since I can’t seem to come up w. euphemisms, I will just say it. Vaginas both give and receive….the leaking or dripping * can happen at unpredictable moments and would be noticeable on light-weight fabrics – whether skirts or slacks. And sticking to the seat of a leather or plastic chair is not unheard of.

*Fluids other than menstrual blood, I might add. It’s not called “lubrication” for nothing.

joli's avatar

I have to say, bikini-waxed and wearing a skirt, or seamless cotton slacks sans any panties feels liberating and sensual. But on a day to day basis, it’s not practical and yes, you will stick to that chair.

syz's avatar

There’s also a chaffing issue. But as an aside…..what’s with skid marks!!! Is this a guy only phenomenon?! Is it some kind of toilet paper allergy?

samkusnetz's avatar

zippers are dangerous! my shorts protect me!

Ronamo's avatar

Underwear helps to insulate the genitals, as well as to protect them from friction. It also provides a secondary hygienic and absorptive barrier.

Spargett's avatar


No one has an excuse for “skid marks”.

flipper's avatar

Its fun to take them off of a girl!

delirium's avatar

Cute underwear is fun, but I love feeling sexy and liberated and enjoy not wearing them. I, however, don’t wear pants…. and only wear skirts…. and fluffy non-tight skirts at that….

Wind and I have our problems.

Riser's avatar

Anal leakage is an existing medical disorder, often times a side effect of many popular prescriptions… having said that… I wear button fly pants only (horrendous eight year old trauma) and I am an exceptionally clean person… but what a fantastic medium between nudity and fully clothed that you can get away with walking around in, going to the swimming pool in and generally being as close to nudist practices as legally possible.

*Not all countries, counties, cities and villages accept this but I’ve had no problems in San Francisco or Los Angeles. :D

AstroChuck's avatar

Under where?

humanpaul's avatar

I always wear underwear; full briefs. I never wear boxers. I wouldn’t feel right without underwear. Is that normal thinking for people my age? (in my 40s)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I guess it comes down to what society one lives in; in the US it is more perception than actual need. With men, the type pf clothes we have here, zippers can be a problem, having the “boys” loose won’t kill anyone but would feel strange as we males have been taught to wear underwear since we got out of the Huggies. I may be wrong, but I would think the pads had adhesive in them to keep them in place, and certainly there is the option of tampons. The idea of protecting against sweaty parts, if there is no crotch to get sweaty, a flowing skirt or a mini worn commando even if the groin area manages to sweat I can’t see it sweating that much as to effect the skirts. If it did, to me that would mean women are running around all day with clammy moist panty material stuck to their groin. There are societies where I suppose underwear is more of a luxury than a given, they carry one and they do not fall apart as people because they are not double layered. I say if one feels they are more trouble than they are worth, they should be able to ditch the underwear and be seen no different than those who feel they need them, at least.

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