"Why are women wearing thongs to exercise?" I have some ideas.

April 2, 2013

yoga mat

After reading a “cheeky” article on the Lululemon pant debacle (a story where all the puns are intended), Amanda Marcotte at Slate is very concerned by the author’s casual assertion that women wear thongs to yoga. Marcotte writes:

Cowles talks about ‘your thong’ as if nothing is more suitable for exercising than wearing underwear specifically designed to slide between your butt cheeks and attack you at the slightest provocation. What kind of sexualized hell are these poor women living in that they can’t even give up porn-compliant underwear in order to keep their bodies lean and toned for future thong-wearing situations? I was under the impression that yoga was supposed to be a healthful activity, and yet here women are, contorting their bodies in a strap of fabric made to respond by straining painfully at your most sensitive bits. Yoga is supposed to be relaxing, and not reminiscent of a visit to the proctologist.

I was…not aware that I’m living in a “sexualized hell.”

While I totally agree with her that the best option might be to just skip underwear altogether, I don’t typically go this route as (confession!) sometimes I wear yoga pants more than once before I wash them. (Gross? Yeah, kinda. But I take them off right away and hang them up if I’m going to re-wear them and…whatever, this is why I like doing yoga at home.) And underwear is kind of crucial to pulling this off. And if I happen to be wearing a thong (which I guess you could call the underwear I wear every day? It looks like a thong, but it kind of sits on my ass, it doesn’t really go in it?), then so be it. Also, my yoga pants are like tights; all the extra fabric from a brief is going to get pretty bunchy. So it’s less about the visible panty lines (because Chuck is the only one who sees my ass during yoga, and he has a tail so he can’t judge) and more about being comfortable. If I know I’m going to wash my pants right away or I’m just feeling sassy, sure, I’ll totally go without. But most days I just leave on my kinda-thong-thing out of habit.

But this brings up a good point: what underwear do you wear to work out? I’m not totally satisfied by the current situation and I’ve long wanted to get some “performance underwear.” (I mean…athletic performance underwear…non-sexual athletic performance underwear.) The problem is, most pairs are pretty expensive and I’ve never wanted to take the plunge without knowing that it’s going to be amazing. But seriously, whether it’s cotton briefs or a cotton thong or some $40 pair of designed-for-Olympic-athletes underwear that you swear is like a gentle breeze blowing over your crotch, I’d love some suggestions.



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