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Date Posted:06/21/2013 05:35:25Copy HTML

Not exactly about thongs, but it's not often one finds an article encouraging men to wear speedos.

Summer is here, and again I am seething with frustration. Why? Every year I scan the beaches for men in Speedos and every year I am disappointed. The ridiculous board-shorts trend shows no sign of waning. 

I had high hopes for change after last year’s Olympics, when the entire nation was gripped by the spectacle of those jackknifing water sprites in their micro-briefs. (Those preposterously teensy swim skivvies worn by Tom Daley et al could only be explained by some kind of harsh polyester-rationing scheme: “Sorry, boys, but only 1 square inch of fabric per customer. Don’t worry. It is quite stretchy.”) 

I just assumed that, come this summer, one might see an increased willingness on the part of the U.S. male to embrace a little European savoir-faire. But, yet again, all I see are men in billowing shorts....
bbyrne78 #1

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 06:16:10Copy HTML

That is a great and funny article. I read it to my surf lifesaver husband and shared a chuckle. The reality is that the majority of drownings occur because the swimmer is swimming in an area where he or she shouldn't as well as swimming beyond their capabilities. Although I do like the explanation of the possibility of men drowning because of their "voluminous" shorts, call it comedic license.
Love Bren
ithongit #2

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 09:54:45Copy HTML

 I showed this to Randy, my lifeguard instructing husband, and he got quite a kick out of it too -- both as a thonger and from the life-guard standpoint.  We both thought it wasn't particularly "Pro" speedo simply because of the light-hearted or humorous tone.  However, it still might make some people (and especially men) at least think "So what is wrong with a Speedo?"

He feels in reality, board shorts could have a slight effect on a man and make him more likely to drown -- but not much.  First, there is the issue of added weight -- when you step out of the water in shorts, you will feel all the heaviness (probably only a couple of pounds tops), but this heaviness is water, and when you are in the water, it has no effect so the only heaviness is the weight of the suit -- maybe three or four pounds at most.  What is a bigger issue is the drag most board shorts present while swimming.  This can be significant. 

Manufactures of men's athletic swimwear make "drag" swimsuits to be worn in practice sessions to help build up muscles.  Randy has found that many high school swim programs who normally use Speedos in competition will have their athletes wear board shorts in practice sessions only because they provide similar (if not more) drag than the somewhat expensive "drag" swimsuits.  Why buy an expensive special swimsuit if something the kids already have will work? 

A slight argument can be made that some of the cheap board shorts which have the annoying practice of having air pockets (in liners or pockets themselves) when a man gets into the water might give the person a little "lift" like a life preserver -- but again, only a tiny amount or a few pounds at most.  Better made board shorts put rivets in the pockets or use more breathable materials which let the air escape almost instantly once the wearer goes under the water. 

Self Rescue techniques commonly taught well into the 1960's used to include removing one's pants or other clothings and tying them up somehow, then filling them with air to make a small air pillow type device which the person could use as a flotation device.  Most programs don't teach this any more since few people in an actual disaster situation can strip off their cloths, tread water while they are creating the air pillow, fill it up (by blowing air into it by the mouth), and continue to keep it filed (by more blowing) while they are drowning or expecting to drown.  Fashion trends have also made this less appropriate.  A long heavy cotton dress might have worked in the old days.  A micro mini pair of cutoff denim jeans can not even be made into an air pillow.  Same goes for older shirts vs. modern T-shirts which are to porous to use as a floatation device. 

As bbyrne78 states -- the biggest reason for drowning is swimmers going beyond their capabilities and swimmers who swim where they shouldn't. 

Men especially have the macho thing going and feel they must prove themselves -- either to their friends or to themselves -- by swimming "to the other side of the lake" or swimming 5 miles or whatever.  Often, a group of men will go out to prove themselves to each other and one will barely make it back.  The other side of the lake could be a mile or more away, but people are not real good judges of distance -- especially on water.  Randy tells people who want to try something like this to first canoe or kayak from one side of the lake to the other first.  Most are amazed at how hard it can be even in a boat and give up the idea immediately. 

bbyrne78 also comments on swimming in inappropriate place -- again a very common problem.  Most people don't fully realize the power of rip tides, the fact that there can be strange underwater currents near dams, under water falls, etc., and the risks of diving into unknown waters.  Jumping into a pristine looking lake might reveal a submerged car or rocks which the swimmer hits and either knocks himself out on or which causes other physical injuries which effect their ability to swim.

Randy suggests a third drowning or potential drowning issue -- the presence of life guards.  There is a large segment of the population that will try something dangerous or beyond what they normally would simply because there are life guards available and there is an assumption that if anything goes wrong they will be rescued.  Yes, normally this will happen, but lifeguards are not there to let people push their limits or to try something that is dangerous -- they are there to save people.  The statistics are not conclusive, but there seem to be fewer drowning and near drowning at some Ohio state park beaches since life guards have been eliminated.  (This might be because of reduced beach use.)  The number at other areas -- fishermen who fall in from the sides of lakes, boaters, water skiers, etc. seem to be about the same with or without the life guards.  A separate study has found that the same is true in motel and hotel pools where tourists would use the facilities for only a day or two.  Randy has heard rumors that some insurance companies even give discounts to motel and hotels who legally can get by without life guards by posting "swim at your own risk" signs!  Supposedly, people are more responsible when they know they are in charge of their own lives.

One more thing -- swimming alone.  Time and time again this becomes a issue in a drowning or near drowning.  A person gets himself or herself into trouble while swimming or diving, and there is nobody to help them.  At a motel pool in a city with a good EMT force, a call to 911 should be made first -- then the person should be helped.  In a remote rural setting, it can sometimes take 20 minutes or more for the EMT's to get there.  A call to 911 first is still a good idea, even with the extended time needed to get help.  Few people realize how a drowning person can struggle and actually put the lives of an untrained person trying to save them at risk.  There are normally a few drownings a year of bystanders who attempt to rescue someone who might be drowning.  The original "victim" lives -- the untrained assistant does not.

Another growing trend is people who try to rescue pets who fall into the water or through thin ice.  I know pets are like family members to most people, but if the ice is so thin that a 10 pound cat falls through it, how will it support a 150 pound person?  Most animals have pretty good swimming instincts and will find a way to swim to shore.  If the conditions are so dangerous that they can not survive -- a person might not survive either.

With regards to the skimpier swimwear.  Both Randy and I are into really skimpy swimwear and obviously are frustrated by the way fashion trends make swimwear for men so conservative.  Look at the trends in swimwear from the early 1900's until about 1990 and both men and women's swimwear kept getting smaller and smaller.  Some observers in the 1980s and early 1990s predicted that the trend to skimpier outfits (including thongs) could not continue much further and that soon the public would start accepting nudity at the beaches as a normal and acceptable condition.  But then something happened -- mostly for men, but even for women.   Swimwear started covering more.  Even women's suits were not as skimpy, thongs disappeared, and even Rio or string side suits were unusual.  Only recently have women been pushing for skimpier outfits again.

What caused this?  Was it the manufacturers seeing an end to their income (who would by swimwear if the country started embracing nudity at the beaches).  Was it conservative or religious efforts to hide the sinful body?  Was it homophobia in some men?  Was it that the move to skimpier swimwear had been fairly gradual, revealing only a few more square inches of skin a decade and then suddenly in the 1980's the trend to show more suddenly pushed to the limits?  Was it the countries youth boycotting the fashions of their elders in an attempt to disassociate themselves from their parent's generation?  Or was it something else?  Who knows what it was.  I think it was a combination of all these things.

John Howard #3

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 11:34:37Copy HTML

 I agree with Traci's reasons for this to occur;  sadly this is a US exported 'fashion' that has been winning more supporters worldwide,  ifor example it makes me sad that both my sons who used to wear speedos to the pool and the beach, now have fallen for the peer pressure of wearing not only board shorts, but also rash guards.

I don't push them against it, just let them wear what they want;  however I never miss the opportunity to remind them how much water they drag wearing shorts, how long does it take to dry before going back home, and how much do these garments contribute to clogging the filters of swimming pools.  

In the meantime they know that their dad will not change to that fashion, I always wear a thong with them on the beach, or a 1/2 inch rio bikini for the pool.   I keep training hard and watching what I eat to be able to show the best body I can achieve.  That I think is the best contribution I can make to the speedo cause, and obviously wear it proudly and naturally.

I would add obesity in men as another reason why fashion trends have come this way.
bbyrne78 #4

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 02:09:24Copy HTML

The best thing you can do for your kids is set a good example. You obviously lead a healthy life which must rub off on your kids. You also do not adhere to the silliness of fashion as well. Ideally, the example that you set for leading a healthy and strong life is something that they'll follow into their adulthood.
It may be unfortunate that they are following the fashion of the day, but if they are happy, healthy and keeping out of trouble, you've done everything right as a parent.
Love Bren
mack_back #5

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 02:42:37Copy HTML

What it comes down to is simply modesty. If males wore speedo swim briefs their size of manhood would be obviously noticed.. If he is single difficult for a potential mate to make a judgement on his verility if he is wearing dork shorts... If a male is married the partner doesn't want him to display his goods for every women to see.... We all know people like to mock others be it their body type, size and humilate. Safe bet for many average males is to cover up and be essentially not noticed or pointed at in any sexual manner...
Also women often feel uncomfortable talking to a male displaying his manhood to readily.. In my experience it seems all what women do is stare below glancing upon my bulge.. Some have gone as far leaving not wanting to be around me because they can't trust themselves what they would do to me...
Seen many times on a nude beach clothed lurkers coming to view males anatomy but once they are engaged in conversation they run away. Usually feelings of akwardness talking to a nude male women feel uneasy with... So to when a male wears skimpy swimwear he is less approachable and uncomfortable to chat with, all because people can't possibly ignore a males bulge prominently displayed or entirely disappeared.. 
So when every male  is covered up in loose fabric it makes others not notice your anatomy big or tiny, thus no judgement nor discussion on what he looks like..
Believe me i know the reactions from being nude on a beach or prominently showing my big bulge through a speedo and wearing loose shorts out and about..

Comes down to males feeling confident looking good and if your not sure about the size of your anatomy it is best to keep covered which many do..Sort of the adedge of got something to feel confident about display it, if not hide it because none want to see a grown male looking like a women very imasculating.... Many cases in the past when being a youngster never seen a older male wearing a speedo who didn't have a big bulge.. Yet many didn't have the body overweight, hairy, yet confident enough not shy about everyone seeing their manhood.. Yet everyone laughed seeing how out of shape they looked... 
mrhb2008 #6

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 02:58:55Copy HTML

 I blame Janet Jackson for the new "conservatism".  Actually, not her per se, but the outrage that followed & the countrys willingness to embrace fearful modesty.  I like the fact that we are in the minority.  
Grabeach #7

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/21/2013 10:16:25Copy HTML

I think brief swimwear would have been in decline well before the superbowl 'show' (2004). Certainly was in Australia.

Started me thinking however of the effect of popular films and television on thong wearing.  Borat (2006) sending up male g-strings is classic example. In Australia, Kath & Kim, which was a very popular TV show for many years, showed one of the stars wearing g-string underwear in a ridiculously unflattering manner, but even in 2002 this was after the peak of thong wearing hear in the early to mid 90s. In both the above cases it was the entertainment industry jumping on the band waggon rather than setting a trend.

 With regard to Speedos, it's more a case of the media portraying what is occurring at the time. Hence a 'soapie' set in a beachside location will show young guys in boardshorts, whereas coverage of a surf lifesaving championship will show them in Speedos.
jackk #8

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/22/2013 05:22:42Copy HTML

Some other news outlets posted comments on the original article.
Its a ironic that the Huffington Post accompanied their somewhat negative reaction with a gallery of female celebrities in skimpy swimwear.
Gstringjoe #9

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/22/2013 11:22:04Copy HTML

 This article seems to think that speedos are coming back.  http://moonbun.hubpages.com/hub/speedo-trunks
Ex_Member #10

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/22/2013 12:58:58Copy HTML

 I would have to agree that the speedo might be making a comeback, just for the pure reason that the manufacturers will need a drastic change to sale their products, and for the past decade+ that has not been happening
JM_Runs #11

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/22/2013 07:08:32Copy HTML

My observation of swim teams who come to Fort Lauderdale during winter and spring for training and swim meets suggests that this year not as young men changed out of their speedos and into board shorts when moving between pool and beach.

I think the trend was started around Christmas by some dive teams. Good divers often have world class bodies that don't need hiding, and to some extent their sport is all about showing off and getting judged, so they have to develop a level of personal body self confidence.
Having the boys from the dive teems ruining around the beach in speedos, and walking slack lines between the palm trees, seems to have encouraged other young men from the swim teams to abandon the pool to beach change. 
Also the swim teems see the pool and beach life guards. This year more of them are wearing speedos for their pre-work beach runs or swims.
Ex_Member #12

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/22/2013 10:45:07Copy HTML

In France, the situation is very différent.
A lot of public swimming pool forbid the boardshort. So, men are obliged to wear a speedo or a trunk.

Young men are afraid to wear speedo, so they wear boardshort.
But men, more than 30 y.o., wear speedo or trunk, even on the beach...
Why ? Because boardshort is not an adult swimwear. It is a teenager swimwear.
Wearing a speedo, it is like showing that your are confident in yourself, in your body, and you are not a teenager.
However, speedo are very conservative, not with big bulge and with 2 or 3" side.
When you are older, next 40 y.o., you try to wear speedo less conservative, speedo that make you a big bulge, on private pool or on beach. Beacause when your are 40 and you are seeking 40 y.o. women, you understand that women like to see the bulge before and not after when it is too late...
ministeve #13

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/22/2013 10:46:01Copy HTML

 I think square cuts will actually be the next swimwear trend from what I can tell.  It's leaps and bounds better than loose shorts that go past your knees.
Gstringjoe #14

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/23/2013 10:30:10Copy HTML

 I agree ministeve.  I think that more guys would embrace square cuts than even swim briefs.  And I believe it will have the added bennifit of making minimal swim wear less taboo.  I don't think that we will see thongs on the majority of beach goers any time soon but square cuts would be a big step in the right direction.  
ithongit #15

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/23/2013 12:11:27Copy HTML

 The past few days, I was able to go to State Park beaches two times.  Once at Indian lake (to the small beach in town) and once to Lake Loramie.  (Randy was doing work in the Anna area.)  At Indian lake, I was first on the beach, and stayed about 2 hours.  By the time I left, the crowd had grown to almost 20 people.  Four guys wore Speedos.  One was an older man -- probably about 40, but the others were late teen and from the lake-front town of Russel's Point, where the beach is.  They rode in on their bicycles, shed their soccer-athletic shorts and hung out in their Speedos.  Their swimwear matched and later when they came over to get a better look at me (topfree and wearing a thong) one of them said they had to wear Speedos at school for mandatory swim classes, and most of the guys would continue to wear Speedos at local swim places but on a trip, especially to high-profile destinations like Florida or the ocean only board shorts were appropriate.  He said locally nobody cared about guys in Speedos, but in these other places, a guy wearing Speedos is treated like a "dork" of "fag".

At Lake Loramie, there were a couple of guys in Speedos, although they did not come over to chat and their Speedos did not seem to match.  At both places, the boys/men in Speedos were perfectly comfortable and didn't act any different than other guys would act when wearing board shorts.  Perhaps it is the area (West Central Ohio) or the fact that Speedos are mandatory swimwear for school swimming classes, but at least in this little pocket of Ohio, there are a few young guys who feel comfortable enough on their home-turf beaches to wear Speedo swimwear.

With regards to square cut swimwear, the talkative guys at Indian Lake were still there when Randy showed up and were not bothered at all when he stripped down to his thong.  Randy ask how they liked his swimsuit and one of them said "anything is okay as long as it's not  a square cut swimsuit".  When questioned about this, he said "everyone knows that gay men are the only ones who wear square cuts."  He also thought that there was a general perception that Speedos are gay, but he knew better (since he and his friends wear them but are not gay) and he had never heard the rumor that thongs on men were gay.  He even thought that what made Speedos and square cuts popular on gay men was that the material was tight enough to help shape their buns some, and gay men love looking at each others buns.  Thongs, which do not provide support could only be worn by gay men with perfect bodies.
Gstringjoe #16

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/24/2013 11:12:38Copy HTML

 I have never heard that about square cuts. But atleast you there is a beacon of hope for younger generations. 
joshpr16 #17

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/24/2013 01:40:24Copy HTML

 Excellent article, I thought.  I'll try to post more of my thoughts later (if I have the time), but the depressing part of this article was reading the comments section.  An overwhelming number of comments (at least 98 percent) said Speedos were not appropriate to wear at any time, anywhere.  I draw the opposite conclusion that swimsuit styles for American men will not be changing in the near future.
Thongdude87 #18

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/24/2013 10:08:12Copy HTML

 The comments section is sad reading. People are just so afraid of anything outside of the norm that they are all sheep to conformity and fear. Totally ridiculous. 
pkthong #19

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/25/2013 01:33:58Copy HTML

 The "moonbun" article seems like a advert foe Speedo. Mentions "Speedos" but not male bikini or any other companies.
OS777 #20

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/25/2013 01:40:19Copy HTML

Thongdude87... I agree that many male board members have a lack of confidence when it comes to wearing what they best identify with. Sad. They need to look within themselves and work on developing better self confidence.
Ex_Member #21

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/25/2013 02:08:45Copy HTML

I am afraid to wear speedos because I prefer gstring and thongs! Speedos have too much material!
JM_Runs #22

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/25/2013 03:09:50Copy HTML

In the USA "speedo"  has become a generic world for a style of swimsuit, not so much a specific brand.

If you want to see more positive comments on an article, put some effort in and POST SOME !!

If you want to see more normal men on the beach in Speedos and Thongs then be NORMAL and VISIBLE yourself. 
This means not hiding at the end of beyond, not covering up, not segregating to the gay/thong ghetto. 

Gstringjoe #23

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/25/2013 11:34:45Copy HTML

 Are the comments not visible on mobile?   I have only read the article from my iPhone and have not seen any comments.  
richard12181970 #24

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/26/2013 02:55:18Copy HTML

 The best thing we, guys, can do is show up and swim in speedo type suits.  Swim laps, at pool parties, family beaches, etc.  Be a good ambassador.  Encourage those diving and swim team guys to be proud of their look.
ithongit #25

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/30/2013 07:55:41Copy HTML

 As stated above, wearing minimal swimwear is only part of what we need to do to get it more accepted.  We need to wear it in public and be otherwise so typical in or behavior that absolutely nobody can find any faults in our actions or think they see anything odd about our behavior.  This isn't always easy -- especially for a newbie or someone who think they would be setting up is in a particularly unfriendly group of people.  These people who don't like minimal swimwear can make anyone's day a nightmare on occasion, and it can be tempting to sneak off to the the sides of the beach or hide in the sand dunes or whatever to stay as far away as possible -- but the minute you go hide, you have given them the power to tell you what is and is not appropriate on a beach.

 By removing yourself from the main crowd, you have only reenforced their belief that you are different -- in a bad way -- and that even you admit that there is something wrong with what you are wearing and that it is not appropriate in the main beach area.  The next person who shows up in a thong or other minimal swimwear they think is inappropriate they will expect to slip off into the sidelines too, and if enough do this, then those who object to seeing minimal swimwear will start to expect all of us with skimpy swimwear to go to the extreme borders of the beach.  The next thing you know, they start expanding their thoughts -- if thongs are so inappropriate that they shouldn't be worn on the main beach, then maybe they shouldn't be worn on any public beach.  Then, if they are inappropriate for any public beach, then maybe they are really inappropriate everywhere. 

This view has already taken place in many people.  Now, those same people are expanding their negativity to men in bikinis (Speedos).  If you look at posts on some of the nu-regulated question/comment boards like Ask, and compare the answers from a few years ago to those today, you will see that the anti-Speedo comments are more general in nature -- 10 years ago, people would say "Speedos are okay for sports" or "Speedos can be worn only by men in the most tip-top physical shape."  They didn't say they shouldn't be worn in public, only that they were appropriate only under certain conditions.  Five years ago, the comments are often more like "Speedos are okay for private sunning" or similar comments indicating that they are not acceptable in the public.  Now a lot of comments are "Speedos are inappropriate at all times" or "No man should ever where a Speedo swimsuit."  Thong swimwear went through a similar slide in acceptability 10 or so years earlier.

My great aunt who is now over 100 and as sharp as a tack, has know I was into thongs almost since the first day I wore a thong in public.  She doesn't have any issues with wearing thongs, and has told me about the struggles both men and women have had as swimwear got smaller and smaller from the early 20th century until today.  She tells about how men used to have to wear swimwear which covered their tops -- and how the trend was fought by many, but was finally "broken" in only a few years after Hollywood movies started showing men topfree in their films.  She tells about how scandalous it was when women first wore swimwear that exposed their midriffs, and the way that again, movies, the popular magazines of the time like Life and the Saturday Evening Post showed women in this type swimwear and how the World War II pinup girls helped in the efforts.  Airmen during that war even went so far as to paint images of some or the pinup girls on their airplanes to customize them for their crews.  But it wasn't until the "beach-blanket" movies and TV shows like "Giget" that practically any woman could wear a bikini in public.  She saw the first thongs and g-strings as a natural progression in minimizing swimwear choices, but for some reason the media has almost never shown them as part of a "normal" lifestyle.  She thinks this is why they started to catch on -- but never quite made it -- and are now in decline.

So while there are many possible reasons why minimal swimwear has lost or perhaps is still loosing support in the general community, there certainly are very few positive media images to help us.  The few thongs and Speedos we see in films are usually shown for comic relief -- or promote that only the most undesirable type person would wear such swimwear -- not the positive type of media image given to bikinis or shirtless men.  These were show as being worn by fun-loving people in normal situations or even by people who wanted to be sexy -- something many viewers wanted to look like too.

So since we can't get the media to show minimal swimwear as being just an alternative style in swimwear, we must do it ourselves.  And while it might not be the easiest thing to do, and might occasionally promote some confrontations or unpleasant comments, placing ourselves out "in the crowd" can not hurt our cause (provide we don't wear something bordering on the obscene).  For every person who sees us and complains, there are probably at least two -- perhaps ten -- who see us and realize "that person is not a creep".  I have read in several threads on the board where people say that thongs are less common -- but better tolerated than in the past.  Perhaps people are already starting to get over their prejudices against people who wear thongs.  Hopefully, they will someday start thinking "gee -- maybe I should try that sometime".  But if they see thongs only in a negative way, they probably will never try a thong or Speedo, and even if they did, their refocused mind would probably keep them from enjoying the experience.

I have met a few guys on the beach who were thonging but very uncomfortable.  Some admitted that they were wearing the thong on a dare, and all but one said they did not like the experience.  Their friends chose wearing a thong (or Borak type suspenders suit) as the most humiliating thing they could think of making their "friend" do.  On the other hand, we have had dozens of people come over and ask about the legality of wearing thongs (many think it is illegal) and about why we wear them.  Often, they say they want to try minimal swimwear and ask where to get appropriate skimpy swimwear.  These people see us having a good time -- right there in the middle of things -- without true harassment and  realize they might be missing out on something good.  (Same goes for women who see me topfree.)  Add a couple more thongers on the beach, and things become even easier.  It almost seems like the acceptance grows in a non-linear way as more and more minimal swimwear clad people visit a beach.

John Howard #26

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/30/2013 10:54:54Copy HTML

 quoting Tracy...."(provide we don't wear something bordering on the obscene)".......

that can be the key issue,  anything over the top can achieve the opposite effect.   In my opinion, wearing a torpedo suit, a baggie, see through suit or bright pink, orange, yellow, etc suit, can trigger the negative reactions that we so much dislike.       These suits are as bad as wearing a borat suspenders suit, a thong by itself is already a strong statement;    seriously, how many guys (and girls) do really wear a thong in public on these days.

So wearing a thong in public, in the middle of the crowd, a plain standard opaque thong, is the best and smartest way to wear it.   Behaving naturally and in a friendly way is the other part of the deal.     And when the occasion doesn't permit wearing a thong, a standard 5 cm speedo should be the natural alternative.

All the positive acceptance that minimal swimwear might have achieved by the general public could be very easily ruined by wearing an inappropriate suit.
tguy #27

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:06/30/2013 01:25:33Copy HTML

Tracy, I don't think anyone could disagree with what you have said; you really hit the nail on the head. Since the media is not on our side we all need to be proactive and be part of the mainstream crowd with our minimal swimwear. We can't hide to the side as this only continues to foster negative perceptions about those who wear thongs or speedos. We may be different from the others in what we choose to wear but we are just regular people like all the other beachgoers.  Being appropiate in our choice of style as John mentioned is important for us if we want to better our image. I don't think color is an issue as much, unless it is semi/full transparent, but styles such as torpedos and the like should be worn at more appropiate times and places. Being a father myself I wouldn't feel comfortable for my child to see a man's genitals in a see through or protruding suit. We need to practice some etiquette as we do in all things in life. You can't go to a nude beach and do anything sexual, that is not a nude beach is about. So wear your thongs and speedos with confidence, be a part of the crowd, friendly and enjoy yourself as the others do. It is up to us to be the goodwill ambassadors for minimal swimwear.
JM_Runs #28

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/01/2013 12:57:47Copy HTML

 One cannot complain about attitudes in online forums unless you make an effort to create an account on a number of them and post some contrary comments or answers.
I sometimes log in to Yahoo Answers and see if I can help add some sense to any serious questions about thongs.  There is lots of stupid questions that are best left ignored.
Always remember the adverage age of the most postings is probable not much over single digits, at least mentally.
tiggerix #29

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/01/2013 01:29:16Copy HTML

Guys are afraid of wearing speedos because 'guys are afraid of wearing speedos' it's one of those circular things.  As others have said it's mostly peer pressure and not wanting to stand out from the norm.  For me, I was encouraged to wear a string in part because I saw another guy wearing one and he looked fine in it - it suited him.  The most I will ever wear on a beach is a speedo type suit but always a narrower cut/sides.  If anyone says anything - and they do - I just smile and say something like, 'this is what I've always worn', or ' I didn't pay all that money to get some sun and beach not to get a tan'.  I comment that I don't understand wearing long shorts - especially the latest habit of wearing underwear underneath - and most people can agree that's odd. 

I do think that whatever you wear, you need to look reasonably good and comfortable in it.  So for me that rules out odd/strange looking thongs/strings that are best left in the bedroom, or anything obviously ill fitting.

In Europe I think it is fairly easy to wear a speedo type suit or go naked, a thong or string is a harder call mostly because the styles don't quite 'work'.  I try to go naked whenever I think I can get away with it.  I'd thong more if I could find something that I felt really comfortable in and I thought genuinely looked good, oh and I could get the mrs to approve...
TennStud #30

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/01/2013 09:29:14Copy HTML

One has to find a spot on a beach where he feels comfortable. I finally found that spot and cashed in my board shorts for speedos. After I catch up on my tan base, I plan on thonging it for my first time on a beach.  Where have a very large beach that is separated into family, then single and couples, and then a gay section. My spot is in the singles/couples areas but close to the gay section. Everyone leaves me alone and I don't know a soul. Perfect
thongboy052000 #31

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/02/2013 05:49:59Copy HTML

 The bottom line to all this is that the more timid we become about going on the beach in a thong or even Speedos, the more we try to hide the fact (i.e. by wearing shorts or a long tee shirt when we walk around) the more marginalized we'll become. I know we're fighting the current culture, quite different from 40 or 50 years ago when guys wouldn't be caught dead in dork shorts and were comfortable displaying a package — and, I might add, with the approval of their girlfriends — but we must continue to assert our right to wear brief swimwear or else we'll become more extinct than the dodo.
abczyxabczyx #32

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/03/2013 04:24:34Copy HTML

 I am not afraid to wear speedos.  That is all that matters.
luvnmythong #33

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/03/2013 04:51:24Copy HTML

I have been around a lot of male models and body builders.   They are always posting pictures of themselves on facebook.   They don't think one thing about having pictures taken in their bikini underwear but would never have pictures taken in a bikini swimsuit.   I guess their underwear is considered something "normal", while bikini swimwear is not acceptable.   I don't get it!  
kohler1977 #34

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/04/2013 10:55:43Copy HTML

I am not afraid to wear my speedos the solar type, but I am the only one in our area, and I am in the school system, so I thought the USA, was a free country. In my family a speedo is swimwear, that you swim, tan, and train for triathilons.
TennStud #35

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/06/2013 01:06:14Copy HTML

Peer Pressure.  Stereotyping
dobbybeach #36

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/07/2013 10:06:06Copy HTML

i bet a lot of guys would say they don't want to look stupid, or gay, or like a weirdo. but that REALLY means they're afraid of what OTHER people might think, i was full of this fear as a child. it disabled me.
joshpr16 #37

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/12/2013 12:09:55Copy HTML

 FYI.  Not to be a Negative Nellie, but the July 2013 issue of Details magazine (which probably would describe itself as a "hip, with it" fashion magazine for the 20 to 30 year old crowd) said that under no circumstances should a male wear a speedo, with the only exception being if you are a male model.  On a little brighter side, however, the magazine also said don't wear boardshorts either.  It suggested boxer shorts that come down half way to the knee.
thong_jock #38

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/13/2013 03:18:46Copy HTML

Do as you're told, sheep. What a bunch of crap.

Details and magazines like them are around in an attempt to dictate the fashion nexus to sell more overpriced clothes made in Asian sweatshops under slave-like conditions. Wear what you like - just try and combine some common courtesy with good taste.

Walk away from mass media. Be an individual.
BarelyCovered #39

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/13/2013 05:10:10Copy HTML

 This doesn´t answer the question. But yesterday a funny thing happened. I had some friends over for a bbq. After the dinner we watched some photos on a tablet that a friend of mine had taken. The youngest guy there (almost 20) scrolled through the pix and started to laugh hysterically, and I asked him what picture he found (I knew there was some pix of me doing faces) but it was a picture of me wearing a aAssiebum speedo, you can see the picture in my profile. But my reaction was relaxed. I really didn´t care, and I say that I have nothing to hide on my body and it gives me a nice tan. 
2xist #40

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/13/2013 06:19:01Copy HTML

 @ BarelyCovered-  You look amazing my friend!!!! 
joshpr16 #41

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/18/2013 11:48:47Copy HTML

 Expedia took a poll of people around the world who were likely to take a beach vacation this year.  I found the poll by going to google and typing in "Expedia flip flop."  (The poll is also briefly mentioned on the HuffingtonPost web site.)  The poll covered a lot of subjects, including toplessness and nudity, but on the subject to speedos 62% of world-wide respondents said wearing a speedo was okay, including 52% in the United States!!  (I thought that was amazing!)  France had the highest speedo approval rate at 91% and surprisingly Norway and Japan had the lowest approval rate (in the 20% range).
abczyxabczyx #42

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/18/2013 04:37:03Copy HTML

joshpr16, Thank you for the stats.
Thongdude87 #43

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/18/2013 10:29:06Copy HTML

 That's so typical of Norway. I live with a bunch of f*****g prudes. Too many people are so hung up in fashion and not daring to be different. It's pathetic! But I'm glad of the stats from the rest of the world. I hope this is an indicator that the trend for minimal swimwear is going in the right direction. 
sailor250 #44

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/19/2013 01:23:01Copy HTML

more on the recent regional polls on beach behaviors

thongman8 #45

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/19/2013 02:48:50Copy HTML

 I swim at the Y and do laps in the pool.  I started wearing plain ol swimming trunks.  After seeing that I was about the only one wearing them while  most people wore either swim briefs or jammers, i started to wear them too.  I now wear 1" briefs (camo color) that are about as small as I want to try.  They really don't cover much.  I'd like to try wearing a thong or even something like a "Boy Short" with half coverage but i am not going to press my luck. 

The first time I wore my camo briefs, I was sure the guards would notice and maybe even say something.  but, to my surprise, it was like they didn't even notice.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  At least half of the guys that swim there wear briefs, 48% wear jammers and the rest wear trunks. 

It is nice to see so many guys wearing briefs, or speedos, to the pool to swim laps.  It seems like they might be coming into style, but, how many of these guys would wear them to someplace else other than to swim laps at the Y?  My guess is not many.
Grabeach #46

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/19/2013 09:47:27Copy HTML

Can't be too many wearing trunks if at least half are in briefs and 48% in jammers!
In Australia a majority of lap swimmers still wear briefs, though there is a bias towards the older guys. I've also found that the lifesavers don't distinguish between 25mm, 50mm or 125mm side lengths. How could they? They would have to take issue with all the girls wearing the same. Doubt that they notice the difference between full back and a Brazil back styles. Anything with less coverage (ie. thongs) will be noticed, but if left soley to the lifesavers they won't worry about them either. It's only if a customer complains that they are obliged to report it to pool management. It's anyone guess what happens then.
shape1 #47

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/22/2013 02:49:00Copy HTML

The word "speedo" instills mortal fear in the American male when it comes to swimwear. I can tell you firsthand my fears of that most dreaded of male swimsuits.  When I was a young lad I would spend summers at my aunts house. She though, would frequently go on lengthy trips and leave me in the care of a 4 foot nothing 300lb babysitter known only as "Louise".  Louise also babysat her sister's 3 short plump daughters.  Louise as you might guess was a most formidable woman with a really bad temper when it came to kids.  She would frequently take us to a local state park that had a beach.  The 3 little plump girls wore huge baggy shorts whereas yours truly was given a swimsuit purchased for me by none other than "Louise".  I was struck with fear at the sight of that thing.  It was not a speedo but a very skimpy high cut adidas swimsuit.  I will never forget that swimsuit.  It was dark blue with stars on it.  I remember having to put that thing on and getting in the car to go that beach all the time wondering why the girls were not wearing anything like it?  Those girls would giggle and laugh and I felt like crawling under a rock.  We would get there and I would be made to carry most everything down to the beach but most specifically, Louise's huge sun umbrella.  I would then just curl up in my chair scared to death of going swimming lest the other people on the beach see me in that suit. I remember constantly pulling my sweatshirt down to try and cover up more.   Later on when we got home those 3 little fat devils would hold that suit up and proclaim "look what so and so has to wear".  I think Miss Louise had some strange rumblings in her head (Duh! Ya think?)  I also remember her watching HBO shows at night that, during those days premiered dance productions from the Lido Paris and MGM Las Vegas.  Quite obviously those shows featured a ton a nearly nude dancers in lavish productions.  The guys in those were no exception and lots of numbers featured them is G-strings.  Those little devils and Louise would laugh and say "so and so is going to have to wear one of things up his butt if he continues to dance".  I was very embarrassed as I took ballet.  Perhaps this revelation might shed light on her thinking. As mentioned earlier, I did indeed take ballet at a studio my aunt owned.  During those days boys in a formal ballet school were required to wear white t-shirt and boys ballet shorts.  Suffice is to say that those shorts were really nothing more than tight panties.  That darn Louise would be right out there in the lobby with those 3 nieces who delighted in me having to take ballet.  Thinking back on it all perhaps Louise just felt that the swimsuit was no big deal as my dance attire was also skimpy.  Trips to the amusement park were also horrific for me as I had to wear very short pants.  Back in the mid seventies they actually made boys hot pants and not surprisingly, Louise got those too. it was pure hell taking crap from the other kids.  I never told my aunt or anyone of this.  Later on in life I failed at ballet and became a striptease dancer performing with women on stage.  I suppose those girls were right in that I did end up dancing in a G-string.  Later on I had no inhibitions at all at putting on a G-string or a thong with my eventual wife.  I guess ole Louise prepared me for all that.  At the time though, it was very traumatic.      
mack_back #48

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/23/2013 03:51:06Copy HTML

Comes down to homo erotic images on the net. Whenever you google men in speedos or discission groups it is riddled with homo erotic stories or opinions from 99% gay men. Doesn't help the cause for straight males wearing speedos like myself and females coralation on the net they read or look at... For example if a female is adoring me from a far then goes home to look up guys on the net in speedos she will get bombarded with stories of a gay lifestyle. This gives women pause that in truth men who wear speedos are gay and thus having prejudice of what she seen or read on the web.. Then i become labeled and unapproachable or waste of time to investigate the true nature of my personality and hetro lifestyle.. This causes men to stop wearing speedos for not confusing women initially that they maybe gay.. Last thing a women wants is to waste time being attracted to a gay male.. It's not a fair commentary that most guys wearing speedos are hetro but the net skews peoples attitudes warping the truth but many people believe it men and women... So blame the net for not fairly portraying hetro males in speedos not a joke or disgusting or lust for gay men...
Gstringjoe #49

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/23/2013 11:25:05Copy HTML

 Over the weekend I went to a friends house for his sons birthday party. After hhanging out and eating we decided to get in the pool. I was surprised to see my friend sporting a speedo.  I was in trunks that went half way to my knee. I did not want to go extreme do to the young kids that would be in attendance. But I would have worn my speedo if I knew my friend was too.  
leo40 #50

Re:Slate: Why Are Guys Afraid to Wear Speedos?

Date Posted:07/23/2013 06:31:59Copy HTML

I swim laps daily at a YMCA, always in a Speedo "solar 1" or more or less equivalent, plus a nylon cap.  Comments are few.  I have gotten positive comments on my one leopard print suit (not as skimpy as the rest), and I always counter any sneers that might occur by holding out a hand with "Michael Phelps disguise --- trick or treat." 
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