Thong Underwear: Frisky Friend or Frustrating Foe?

Americans spend about $575 million on thong underwear per year, according to Glamour magazine. To me that sounds like 130 million preventable wedgies.

I’ve never understood thong underwear.  Why pay for a tiny strip of cloth that pretty much guarantees inner-butt annoyance? Isn’t it easier to simply go without? If we fear some sort of vaginal spillage, a panty liner makes more sense to me—with or without underwear. And as most women know, there are plenty of cute, comfortable panties that don’t show through form-fitted clothes. I know what some of you are thinking: They’re sexy! But are they? I can’t help but wonder if the porn and fashion industries have simply taught us to associate them with sex. Unless they’re made of non-messy chocolate and worn temporarily (IYKWIM!), I’m not interested.

Okay... SOMEtimes they're cute, if equally inappropriate.

Cute doesn’t necessarily mean appropriate.

Booty-String Backstory

If you dislike thongs, you may presume, as I did, that a guy invented them—and you’d be right. But not for the reason you’re likely thinking.

Thongs were invented in the 1930s because former New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia felt that the city’s nude dancers were exposing too much skin at the World’s Fair. In other words, they were created to conceal our sexual anatomy, not to accentuate it or turn others on. If LaGuardia sported a pair himself, I doubt he’d have advocated their use.

Alas, thongs were born and derived their name from the Old English term thwong, a flexible leather cord. (Youch.) Making matters weirder, IMO, thong underwear have become somewhat popular for guys over the years. Male dancers donned them first, followed by bodybuilders (strings upholding a pouch) and male strippers. Men’s thongs tend to be more comfortable than women’s, particularly in other countries. In India, for example, men’s thongs are essentially loincloths with fabric ties.

Porny Pathogens?

You know what’s not sexy? Bladder and genital inflammation.

As if wedgies weren’t buggy enough, thong underwear may contribute to infections. While researchers haven’t yet analyzed the link, many gynecologists report increasing and recurrent urinary tract and vaginal infections in thong wearers, according to Columbia University’s health department. Doctors speculate that the string moves bacteria into the urethra, setting the stage for infection. (Maybe someone should invent thongs made out of garlic and yogurt; both guard against UTIs! Anyone???)

One aspect of thong popularity I find disconcerting is the fact that it relays the message that appearance matters more than health and comfort—assuming others find thongs as irksome as I do. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe others LOVE the string-up-the-butt feel or don’t really notice it. (Note to self: Research inner-butt-cheek sensitivity.) If so, more power to ’em!

If you have only love for your G-string, may you and your collection share many years of bliss. I’ll keep my mouth shut and stick to what I find more comfortable myself. 😉 Regardless, I must know…

How do you feel about thongs? What do you seek in underwear—comfort? Sexiness? Both? Any thong-gone-wrong stories to share? I love hearing from you. ♥ For more thong fun/funniness, join me on the Girl Boner Facebook page and Twitter (#GirlBoner).

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34 Comments

  1. I HATE thongs. I own only one pair, and have worn them only once.

    I’m with you, August. I’d rather go commando [Oooooh! My naughty brain went to wild and raucous thoughts about commando potential when wearing skirts. For the record. I blame credit you for some of the adventures my brain now conjures.]

    Thank you! I thought I was alone in my displeasure with assaults on my butt crack. Of the thong variety, that is…

    Next up? Grooming butt-crack hair? Eh. Never mind. I already Googled that. And, I wonder why I keep getting odd spams in my inbox. Duh!

    Reply
    • LOL Um, you’re welcome? 😉 I’m honored if I’ve contributed to your sassy thoughts in any way, Gloria. Cheers to free-GB-ing! Best you keep those adventures whirling.

      Reply
  2. I had typed up a wonderfully humorous comment and was told the site could not post this comment, so, here is a generic one. Sorry,
    Scott

    Reply
  3. I have waaaaaaay too many pairs of undies. I have thongs and do sometimes wear them – though they have to be a particular kind and i wear them with particular clothes and really I don’t notice them. But lately, I’m ALL over the boy-short kinds of undies – I just love those things! They are soft and comfy and cute. 😀 What I don’t wear any more are the regular old looking ones – bikini briefs or whatever they are called, and No Granny Panties allowed! 😀 —

    Reply
    • Boy short undies are super cute! And I’m with you on the NGP policy. (Ha!) Glad to hear that someone’s found thongs that aren’t irksome!

      Reply
  4. I can’t stand thongs either, August. I hate feeling like I need to yank on my undies all day long. However, I was shocked to learn, when I went to London and was able to buy them in cotton, that g-strings are the comfiest things on the planet. You don’t even notice that string up your hiney when you’ve got it in cozy cotton (and nothing is too tight!). 🙂

    Reply
  5. We old guys are content with our boxer shorts, thank you very much. 🙂

    Reply
  6. I hate thongs and g-strings. I like boyshort style or bikini. that’s it that’s all. 🙂

    Reply
  7. oh and when they stick out, I think it looks goofy…K, I’m done. 🙂

    Reply
  8. I hate thongs with a purple passion. When they were all the rage, I bought a package of them. Imagine me going to town, wearing my sex-ay thong undies. Picture me using cuticle scissors to cut those bad boys off and toss them in a trash can. Never, ever again.

    I don’t doubt thongs contribute to inflammation and UTIs. My taint was sore for days after The Thong Experience.

    I’ve heard people say they are comfy. Maybe those folks put lidocaine on their nether parts?

    Reply
    • I’ve done the same darn thing, Catie! Talk about relief. 😉 No more TTEs for us.

      LOL If people are using lidocaine to make thongs comfy, they must love the other benefits (of which I remain leary) with equal passion. I wouldn’t be surprised…

      Reply
  9. Ugh. Thongs. Definitely not sexy for male or female, IMHO. I’m a strong believer in matching bras and panties–never step out of the house clashing even if no one is going to see–but I prefer boy shorts. And well, the occasional commando. 😉

    Reply
  10. I’ve always wondered how anyone could be comfortable wearing those things, and I, for one, don’t see anything sexy about them. I think good old bikini panties are MUCH sexier. And I can’t speak for women, but I find men’s bikini underwear to be much more comfortable than any other kind. (I’ve never understood how men can stand boxers, either. I had to wear them in the army and hated the way they felt on.)

    Reply
  11. Well, I’ll be the odd one and say I often wear thongs and find them more comfortable than regular underwear. But, you have to have the right kind and a thong and a g-string aren’t the same thing. For me it depends on my outfit — boy short brief, hipster, thong or commando. And never visible, thank you very much! 😉

    Reply
  12. Always been a Y Front man August. Thought I’d share that with you.

    Reply
  13. I hate them.

    Reply
  14. Dear August:
    A couple things. I wore a chocolate thong one time, but the lifeguard wouldn’t let me into the pool. I left, and wandered around the park, STILL WEARING the chocolate thong, but I got arrested anyway.
    You may think that getting bladder and genital inflammations is always bad, but there’s a place near where I live that they actually encourage such things. (It’s a small, unique group, and I promised I wouldn’t mention their name.)
    Regarding your plan to research the sensitivity of certain part of the area of the body where the legs are joined, let me offer some advice: Don’t bother. Two things: It will be painful etc., or worse, you’ll get addicted to the sensation, and will be spending too much time at hospital emergency rooms. (See the previous paragraph about the group of folks near where I live.)
    Trust me, I could go on. And on and on. But I’ll give it a rest, and hopefully preserve our friendship in the process.

    Rob Riley

    Reply
  15. Yea, no. Not for me either. I’m happy with my granny undies, thank you. 🙂

    Reply
  16. I’ve never worn a pair…and never plan to. Preventable wedgies…yup. I’ll prevent them forever. I’ve also read that thongs may allow germs to ‘travel,’ which sounded pretty disgusting, so there’s another reason. Give me soft cotton ‘hipsters’ any day of the week. In a rainbow of colors, patterns, and of course…black.

    Obviously I don’t have any thong gone wrong stories…but I do have fun with the word. I don’t know what they’re called these days, but before the crazy underwear craze, summer footwear owned the thongs name. Having vowed to hold onto my sixteen year old immaturity forever, I love walking in or near shoe departments and saying, in a normal tone of voice, “Hey, I think I need some thongs.” My daughter will turn about twenty shades of red. 🙂

    The funny thing about thong underwear is I imagine the string being just as uncomfortable (in its own way) as the little piece of rubber between your toes when you have footwear on.

    Reply
  17. Oh a hoot! Thongs? Most uncomfortable thing ever. Invented by a man? Makes sense…kinda like the bra was…I mean WHY is the adjust strap in the BACK?? Does that even make sense? There could be other uses for that thwong – like thwacking the man who invented it. 🙂

    Reply
    • LOL Excellent points, Donna! Thanks for making me laugh early on a Friday. I may have to investigate that bra adjuster issue… (I’m reminded of the song “Auto Titsling,” from “Beaches.” :))

      Reply
  18. Um, my underwear collection is too extensive. I have at least one of everything (from g-strings to granny panties). I managed Intimate Apparel for over a year, so I’m all about options and variety! But it does matter the kind of thong. Cotton or lace ones are best. They breathe better.

    Reply
  19. Raani York

     /  August 31, 2013

    I think this blog post is hilarious – and a pure health reminder to many many! girls and women. I personally can’t stand thongs. They irritate me to death. Do they look sexy? Not to me… neither on man nor woman. But that’s only a matter of taste. I think a lacy hip hugger can look sexier, just because there is more to look sexy!
    I’m not too much into double-padded-15-gallon-grandma-panties either… but I think there are cute and sexy slips that can make women feel feminine and keep girls and women away from permanent bladder-and genital inflammation.
    Besides: Aren’t normally the ones wearing thongs who shouldn’t?? Means to me: It doesn’t really look sexy to wear a thong which doesn’t hold anything in its place – it comes out the hip-pants which shouldn’t be worn and where the hip fat is suspiciously on its way out while everything else around belly, hips and butt just wiggles, hops and dances… except of course the thong which I think feels cozy and warm – and well hidden… *grin*

    Reply
  20. laurie27wsmith

     /  September 1, 2013

    This brought to mind a scene from best little whorehouse in Texas, where Dolly Parton hands Burt Reynolds a thong to wear and he says something along the lines of, ‘What’s this, a slingshot for a pair of bowling balls?’ They look nice on some people, especially when worn under a see through dress. But as a workable piece of apparel they’re probably suitable for being worn to be ripped off in the heat of passion. Went commando in Vietnam, the heat does terrible things to your family jewels.
    Knew a lady who wore hers back to front for a whole day the first time she wore one. Reckoned she’d never felt so uncomfortable. 🙂

    Reply
  21. He he. This post and the comments are making me giggle. I know it isn’t meant to, but it does. Personally, if all my underwear is going to creep into ‘you-know-where’ I’d rather there be less material than more. Just saying. 😀

    Reply
  22. Thong undies = frisky at all the wrong times; foe – when I’m in a room full of people it digs deep down and I feel the need to pull but can’t.

    Reply
  23. What’s a prerequisite to wearing thongs? Good hygiene …

    Reply
  24. I find wearing regular underwear uncomfortable….. I can’t feel thongs. They’re the soft cotton. *feeling extremely awkward now*

    Reply
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