Hello again everyone, my name is Brandon and I am a new contributor to Underwear News Briefs. My route to UNB was somewhat “organic” I guess you could say. In February of this year I created a Twitter account named @TheFirstThingOn designed to essentially “share” my underwear collection which blossomed into a Tumblr page. A couple of months later, the brilliant mind behind UNB invited me to contribute, which was very flattering and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
I was asked to contribute primarily on the basis that I occupy a unique piece of real estate in the underwear-crazed landscape. I’m straight.
As a straight guy operating in a world that is occupied predominantly by gay men, it gets a bit lonely, but my ultimate goal with The First Thing On, and now with UNB, has always been to provide a voice, or some sort of “go-to,” for all of the straight guys who love, or are curious about designer underwear; but who may also be a bit apprehensive because the culture that surrounds it.
Of course I am referring to the very organic attraction of gay men to designer underwear. For most straight guys though, that isn’t a major hang up necessarily, but they do fear that pursuing an interest that so many gay men have already been satisfying might leave them open to unfair judgement from others. So, the average straight guy who may want to “take a risk” and buy those Calvin Klein bikini briefs he constantly has been ogling at Nordstrom, starts to feel that he can’t because he might be “judged” in some way or another.
Yes, it’s 2012, and a solid amount of progress is being made in the long-term task of easing the United States’ organically humble, puritan view about anything that can be perceived as sexual, and that of course, includes the underwear you’ve got on. The overwhelming “straight” view about underwear remains however, and that is that function and conformity are preferable to flash. Since that is the case, any straight guy who subtly or a not-so-subtly chooses to deviate from this view, is ripe for potentially public ridicule.
And it is not just men that perpetuate this, “you’re straight, you must wear bland, poorly-fitting underwear” either. Women are as much a part of the problem as men. But there is hope. Many straight men are starting to become exceptions to that rule, and are starting to pay more attention to what their underwear can do for them.
I became the ‘exception’ about two years ago. Like most straight men I was comfortable sticking to social norms with my underwear, and as I’ve already laid out, that means I wore humongous Hanes knit boxer shorts throughout college and into my professional life. Like most straight men, I barely thought about my underwear. Luckily for me, this “journey” I took was somewhat forced upon me by my wife (then-girlfriend).
She brought home a pair of 2(x)ist trunks that had a contour pouch, which up until that moment in time, I had never seen, let alone heard about. After putting them on, I never really looked back. They had given me something I had never been able to “feel” in underwear up until that point, support. And it was awesome!
Like most straight men, I had always perceived “support” as crushing “tighty whities,” but this felt different. My package was actually being “held” in place, not getting squished, and it felt great. My response was to snap up more trunks from designer brands, and eventually my underwear drawer was transformed from baggy boxer shorts from Hanes, to trunks from Calvin Klein and 2(x)ist.
Going from generic brand boxer shorts to designer trunks was the easiest and most thoughtless step for me to take, and one that I would encourage all straight men to try. But going from trunks to briefs is not nearly as easy, especially with the societal stigma around straight men wearing anything without the word ‘boxer’ in its title being the prevailing “wisdom.” Eventually I decided to take that leap.
My “transition” to briefs did not come without serious thought, however. I knew briefs would give me even better support than my trunks, which I still liked, but I also knew I didn’t want my briefs to have that bigger, traditional cut (think Hanes, or even American Apparel). I wanted something with a bikini cut, but with a nice sturdy fabric. So the 2(x)ist Neon Sports Brief became my first brief since I was a little boy, and as soon as I got them in the mail and got them on, I was hooked.
I still have and wear those briefs today, and I love the way they feel and look on me. The best part in the days after I had made this transition, was that I didn’t once have any negative emotion or second thought about them, which I thought might occur from the societal “stigma” that tend to follow brief-wearing straight guys. With no worries about that whatsoever, my new found love for briefs started to lay the foundation for what today can only be viewed as an obsession for all types of men’s underwear.
What I mean by that is, a chain reaction started to take shape. Once I discovered how great these “modern” briefs were, I started focusing any of the attention I was giving underwear, solely on them. They caused me to pay attention to fabrics and pouch designs and through some basic trial-and-error I had figured out my preference which was for high-quality briefs with the ample pouch my body required and sporty, or bikini cuts.
By the end of 2011 (this whole process started in Summer of 2010) my collection probably numbered about 25 to 30 pairs total of designer-only underwear, but I had no idea that seven months later I’d own almost four times that many pairs of underwear, let alone that I’d have my own blog dedicated to my new passion.
After some reflection, I attribute that humongous “increase” in interest to two “discoveries.” The first was the discovery of the male thong, and the second was my much too delayed decision to buy my first pair of Andrew Christian briefs.
It took me a couple of months to do it, but in December of 2011, I finally submitted to my own curiosity and bought the Calvin Klein Body Thong. In all honesty I was skeptical about how it might fit or make me feel. After wearing it for a day, I was amazed by the fact that I was wearing a pair of underwear that offered me the best support any design can give, while simultaneously feeling like I wasn’t wearing underwear at all. That sentiment, along with the overall sex appeal that comes with thongs had me hooked, and I started researching designs and materials and it was the thong that exposed me to the underwear subculture, as I was seeking out reviews of men’s thongs, which led me to websites like this one. After reading these blogs, and some reviews on retail websites of specific thongs, my collection just started to grow (and will continue to).
To be honest, the first brief I wanted to buy was the Andrew Christian Almost Naked Sport Brief. The problem was that I couldn’t bring myself to pay $29 (Freshpair.com price at the time), so instead I opted for other great designs but that had a much more affordable price tag. Once I found andrewchristianshop.com that featured direct, and thus much more affordable prices I have not stopped.
Once I got my first pair of Almost Naked briefs on, I fell in love with underwear all over again and the reason was simple. I had finally found a brief that felt like they were made for me. The “anatomically correct pouch” that allowed my package to hang naturally fit better than even the best contour pouch briefs I owned. From there, I just kept buying and buying until eventually I came to the realization that I was obsessed.
The decision to become an underwear blogger was somewhat of an easy one in the end. I had sort of inadvertently felt a need to amass this collection, I was familiar with social media, and I knew that I wanted to start with a Twitter account that simply allowed me to display my collection to the world while remaining mostly anonymous. Once I quickly gained 100 followers, I discovered Tumblr, and knew that it would give me the opportunity not only to share photos of me in my collection, but to write about my feelings about all the different aspects of men’s designer underwear as well.
It wasn’t until I started The First Thing On that I came to realize that a guy with my sexual orientation being a part of this huge subculture-of-great-taste is unique. That also happens to be the reason I wanted to share my story-to show that great underwear is there for all men to enjoy.
I look forward to writing more, much shorter stories and opinions that will serve to break other straight guys of their inhibitions while also providing a qualified voice to all of us that love underwear.