Friday, October 24, 2008

Thongs for the memory, a brief history

So what I want to know is when did thongs go from this...

to this?
Fortunately, there is Wikipedia. You can tell some enterprising (no doubt male) writer/researcher spent many long, hard hours coming up with this entry for "Thong (clothing)."

(Who knew that thongs, the clothing, were directly descended from loincloths and jock straps? Or that the word thong is from the Old English thwong, a flexible leather cord? Learn something new everyday. Though I think I will pass on the leather thongs, thank you very much. Oh, and for my two female readers who might actually care about the history of thong sandals, and remember when we used to call them that, you can read more here. Not to ruin the excitement but they were derived from traditional Japanese sandals.)

So why do I care about thongs of any kind? Well, I don't really, except that I read this post on my friend Dave S.'s blog yesterday, about the Republican National Committee's outfitting of its "Caribou Barbie" (aka Sarah Palin) with $150,000 in new duds -- and thongs happened to come up (or down) in the comments, which got me thinking.

I admit, I have at times been a bit curious as to who or what kind of person (besides strippers, call girls, prostitutes, and unselfconscious Brazilians) wears thongs and why. Why bother wearing anything? And why would you want a piece of (often itchy) fabric wedged between your buttocks like a piece of dental floss (hence the term butt floss), which, btw, would probably be more comfortable. (Note: the answer "so Bill Clinton will nail me" is no longer valid.)

First, a confession: Around my birthday about five years ago, after losing many pounds and wanting to spice things up a bit/show off my svelter figure, I told my mother, who had asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and happens to live in Paris, the lingerie and sexy undergarment capital of the world, to get me some thongs. Clearly a sign of a mid-life crisis. However, my mother was happy to oblige and purchased several lovely pairs for me, which, I should note, would have barely fit Malibu Barbie let alone me (and I am pretty petite).

After trying on two of the pretty strips of fabric, and experiencing immense discomfort, I believed my thong-wearing career was over. Or so I thought, until a couple weeks ago, when I noticed (gasp!) unsightly panty lines after donning my new workout/yoga-style pants. Not wanting to go all Britney, and after trying on several more modest options, I reached far, far back into my underwear drawer and retrieved... the thong. Enough said. (And no, Tommy, I WILL not be posting any pictures of myself in any type of thong. EVER.)

Though the experience did raise the question: aside from Victoria's Secret models, does anyone (let's stick to females, please) actually look good in a thong? 'Cause most of the women I've seen sporting thongs on the beach or at some pool or in the locker room at my gym should definitely not be. While I applaud their self confidence (or are they just delusional?), I could not and will not be doing the same any time soon.

And with that, I thong you for your attention and will be getting back to work.


TommyMac71 said...

How about a picture in Ho-Ho-Ho boxers. I got a pair you can borrow!

J. said...

Who you callin' a Ho, Tommy?! ; )

Anonymous said...

A fascinating post in light of the global meltdown. It's going to be an extraodinary day on Wall Street; the combination of the credit crunch, a visible global recession, and mutual funds redemptions, on top of the stampede caused by fear, and, as one pundit put it, "irrational moves by irrational men," are combining today to push the markets over the cliff; freeze limits on selling have clicked in; "frantic Friday" is not too strong a term. So -- let them wear thongs....interesting.

J. said...

I'd rather lose my thong than my shirt, Moishie.

Yeah, going to be quite a day. Was watching CNBC earlier this morning. Not pretty.

Isn't is much nicer thinking about thongs than the throngs of people losing their homes and life savings? (Weeping.)

Dave S. said...

Like Spandex and Speedos, thongs should be designated a controlled substance and their use carefully regulated by the appropriate agencies (e.g., US Department of Am I Hot or Not).

Thanks for the link! For those who do venture my way, please do not feed the troll.

Anonymous said...

Hot of course is in the eyes of the beholder. And given that, I say the regulators should ensure that the thong be limited to footwear only.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm shocked and outraged that you would suggest that some women are more entitled than others to the benefits of thongs. I never suspected, J, that you would be a member of the thong elite. I suppose you think most guys should keep their shirts on when they mow their lawns, too.

Anonymous said...

I may not have the perfect *** but I love my thongs (underwear, that is) despite the name calling in the blog! :) J, maybe you just haven't been wearing the right kind! They are so comfortable... no panty lines, no rising up where you need to pull them down... You get the picture!

As to the economic meltdown, with the way retail is going, I am sure that there will be many styles and pairs to choose from, all at a bargain price!

In response to Dave, I thought that men were supposed to be happy to get a women to the point of undress to see her thong, whether she is hot or not!

J. said...

Maybe you can suggest some brands, Anonymous? Or send an email to my spouse? ; ) Though frankly, the only part of my anatomy that was really made for wearing thongs are my feet. And I already have several pairs of what are now referred to as "flip-flops" (though can always use more).

Dave S. said...

More etymology: The Old English word thwong, in turn, derives from the sound made when one of them would snap.

Whanne in Aprille thy thwonges do ridde upp...

Anonymous said...

thong is a slipper
if you live in hawaii
the footwear that is

Anonymous said...

How do you like the names of some of the thong brands -- Hanky Panky and Commando are two that I'm aware of.
Great branding!

EMM said...

I started calling thongs "flip flops" long before I switched from "pop" to "soda".

My mom always told us we had to wear (clean) underwear in case we ever got into an accident and had to go to the hospital. You have to love the Catholic modesty/guilt behind that logic.

Panty lines are never attractive and must be avoided. You men don't know the half of what we go through.

J. said...

Yesterday, the day of the "thong" post, I had 69 visits. Vedy intahresting... ; )

Anonymous said...

Since I spent all day today in a thong necessited by the type of pants (material doesn't get any closer to one's rear end than riding pants) - I still have not changed my mind - it's a piece of jabbing material shoved up your you know what. While certain brands are less painful (Calvin Klein), the fact of the matter is, every time you use the facilities you remember VERY quickly, "oh, there is something up there, and when I'm done with my business, I have to put it back up there: yuck!" But it is better than the alternative (no Britneys here).

BTW, men do notice if you do or don't have VPL b/c the days I wear close fitting skirts/slacks to work with the dreaded thongs, my male collegues (who never notice what I wear) almost always say, "those are nice pants/skirt." (Right - how come you never noticed ANY of my clothes before?) And for those equal opporunity thongers - just catch the episode of "Real Housewives of New York" when Simon and Alex run in slow motion on the beach in St. Bart's in their bathing suit thongs glory - yech - and they are in relatively good shape!

Bottom line: a necessary evil to be used by women (Simon, gotta get some swim trunks buddy) as infrequently as possible!

Anonymous said...

As an old-fashioned male who nevertheless takes pleasure in viewing nearly every aspect of the female form, I can honestly say "thongs, but no thongs!" The reasoning:

1. I don't need to see "thong-handles" stretching up out of a woman's pants, as they are wont to do.

2. They encourage VBC (visible butt crack)--something far worse than VPL.

3. To a trained eye they're nearly as visible as regular panties, only less natural-looking. (In other words, ladies, you're not fooling anyone!)

4. Women without the benefit of firm rears (i.e., many women) should definitely *not* be wearing them, since they need all the firming material they can get. I still shudder at the many recollections of VCK--visible cheese cake.

5. A VPL, done properly, can actually be quite sexy.

So, to all you women stressing over "to thong or not to thong," I hereby offer this opposing view. (Of course, I'm also one of those men who prefers small breasts, so what do I know?)

As for witnessing Alex & Simon frolicking thongily on the beach, you can only imagine how *I* felt--they used to be my landlords!

Anonymous said...

It’s nice to see you are still obsessed with, and sometimes wearing, thongs - Go Yoga!! In answer to your question, many women look awesome in them (as I am sure you do:) and it’s the tease, which I am very surprised YOU didn’t know, that makes them so attractive. C