Tired Of Wearing Underwear? Here Are 6 Things You Should Know Before You Go Commando

Study up. Your manhood is at stake.

Marygrace Taylor |

Taking off your underwear is liberating. Your balls can finally breathe! So it’s easy to see why some guys want to feel that freedom all the time. In fact, there isn’t any medical reason that states you need underwear for support, says Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D., co-director of the PUR urology clinic in Clermont, Florida.

Recently, MH did a poll on what kind of underwear men prefer. Twitter answered, with 36% saying they prefer boxers, 26% briefs, 25% boxer-briefs, and 13% preferring to go commando. But before you start stripping, there are lots of things to account for. Underwear should be your first option, but if not, make sure you follow these rules first.

1. Protect your privates, or prepare to chafe.

Without underwear, you don’t have any protection between the outer layer of your skin and the “harsh reality of the fabric and seams of your pants,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University. This can cause painful skin irritation. So before you go commando, apply a thin layer of baby powder or petroleum jelly to your groin. It’ll help form a barrier to minimize the friction, Dr. Gohara says.

2. Don’t count out jock itch.

Jock itch—a skin condition that presents as an itchy, red, ring-shaped rash—occurs when you’re exposed to fungus, says Dr. Gohara. And fungi love to hang in warm, humid environments—just like the inside of your pants when your balls are sweating all over them.  To fight off fungi, keep your boys dry with just a sprinkle of baby powder in the morning and regularly wash your pants. Which brings us to our next rule:

3. Double your laundry duty.

If you normally wear a pair of pants four times before washing them, dial that down to just two. Going commando will cut your wear-to-cleaning cycle in half, says David Burrows, cofounder of the app-based dry-cleaning service Laundri. When fabric sits directly next to your skin, it makes your pants dirtier—and smellier—faster. If you wear dry clean-only fabrics like wool, this can get pricey, says Burrows.  Pants made from heavier, thicker fabrics can usually last longer between washes than lighter, thinner pants, he says.

Related: Eco-Friendly Gear That’s Good For Your Wardrobe And The Environment

4. Anticipate sweat stains.

When you don’t have extra fabric to absorb moisture around your crotch, you end up with nasty sweat stains, says M. Jay Singleton, a men’s style consultant and founder of Urban Squire Club. These stains are more visible on lighter fabrics and colors, like khakis, he says. As with chafing or jock itch prevention, you’ll want to sprinkle a dash of baby powder on your privates. This will absorb moisture so stains won’t form.

If you do see a stain, rub a teaspoon of dish detergent mixed with two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide into the stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes. “Then wash the garment as you normally do in cool water with your regular detergent,” Burrows says.

5. Steer clear of skinny jeans.

Skinny-cut pants, especially those made from heavier fabrics like denim, may cut into your crotch when you sit down, says Singleton. To make matters worse, if your fabric isn’t thick enough (or if you’re wearing too light a color), you could give everyone an eyeful. To mask weird lines or bulges, wear wool or heavier cotton pants, says Ray Li, CEO and founder of the men’s clothing line Suitable.

6. Avoid fitting rooms.

Your crotch area is teeming with loads of bacteria, including the kind that can trigger diarrhea. So this is obvious, but don’t try on new pants while going commando. Some of those fecal bacteria can transfer onto the fabric, says Sarah Council, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab.

Related: 11 Essential Rules to Dressing Like an Adult

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