Saturday, August 23, 2008

Confessions of a Speedos wearer

A while ago, a friend and reader of mine, and she knows who she is, wrote an entry about the Olympics in which she opined that she couldn't understand why the womens' volleyball team uniforms were so skimpy. She said she could understand why the uniforms weren't restricting, but not why they had to be so small in size.
Now I'm not having a go at her—I like her a lot—but I said, in response to this entry: either put the women in baggy shorts like the men have to wear or let the men compete in volleyball in Speedos. To which she responded, "Speedos are evil and should be banned."
This I consider to be rather a harsh point of view, and frighteningly puritanical.
You may be asking yourself by now, why would I—a conservative "man's man" sort of guy—defend Speedos, or any briefs-type swimwear? This is because I believe in equality, dear reader.
Why is it fair for females to sun most of their whole bodies, but men can't? Can any woman seriously tell me that it's sexy to have their guy strip off in front of them after a hot summer's day spent outside, his calves a golden brown glow and his thighs a pasty winter's white? Does this sort of thing really turn a woman on?
I used to think of Speedos briefs as "faggy" too, for a while. Then I moved to England, lost those dumb puritanical inhibitions, and was willing to give them a try. At first, I used them only for sunbathing. If I wanted to take a dip into the pool or ocean, I'd throw a roomy pair of shorts over them.
Then, one fine summer's day, I decided that I just couldn't be bothered. I'd left my shorts back at the hotel room and didn't want to go back after them. So I swam in the pool in my briefs and—my God!—I couldn't believe how much better I could swim, and how much less the drag factor upon my apparrel was. And, honestly, if we're so worried by modesty, isn't it better that a guy keeps his private parts covered rather than having the water suck off his shorts every time he dives into the pool?
What's next? Do we ban diving into the deep end for males only because the water might suck off his dork shorts, whereas if only he'd worn tight-fitting Speedos that very occurrence would not have happened?
As a conservative, I believe in freedom. Believing in freedom means beliving in equality. And believing in equality means that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. It means not saying that you can tan your legs all over while the other half of society must settle for tanning only half their legs.
But the prejudice against Speedos—and guys that wear them—is part of a larger malaise in American society. We quite rightly shake our heads in despair at what some hard-line Islamic societies force upon their womenfolk, instructing them to cover up everything except for their eyes, even in the most blazing heat. Yet, we supposedly freedom-loving Americans do this same thing to men. We tell them, "Eww, don't wear Speedos; in fact, eww, don't wear briefs at all, even under your pants. Eww, don't wear shorts even a quarter of an inch above your knees! Eww, don't wear tank tops. Eww, eww, eww."
I have grown ever so tired of all this "eww" factor. Just wrap all men up in burlap sacking and be done with it, why don't you?
If any of you seriously think that "real men" and briefs are an unnatural pairing, look at pictures of World War II-era American soldiers on break by the seaside. 'Nuff said. Call these guys "fags," and you'd have ended up with a mouthful of teeth.
I now know that I will never go back to roomy shorts for a day at the pool or the beach now that I've discovered the freedom that I have every right in the world to. If you don't like the look of me so attired, then do not look at me. Simple, no?
And please stop ogling over pictures of Michael Phelps in his briefs too, while you're at it. After all, you're not hypocrites, are you?


James said...

A man can either wear the high cut speedo briefs or go for a more conservative square leg cut. I've worn the square leg cut speedos this summer and I don't notice any women snickering.

If it's too much of a jump to go from boardshorts to briefs, then go to the square leg cut. It's also not as revealing as the briefs but one can still get speed in the water. One also doesn't need to be a super fit males to wear the square leg speedos.

Nightdragon said...

James -- I agree with regard to the square-cut ones. I have worn the boxer brief Speedos too on many an occasion, and they are comfortable and allow for great swimming. But I think, for the ultimate tan, high-cut Speedos briefs are the only way to go. To me there's no point in sunbathing if I can't get as much of my body colored as possible.

James said...

I'll agree. However, it will be very difficult to get a man to go directly from ankle lengthed boardshorts to high-cut briefs. I'll suggest a two-stage process of boardshorts to boxer-brief, then to high-cuts.

Go to a public pool in France, the maximum a man can wear is a boxer-brief according to French health regulations. I'm not kidding! Boardshorts are interdit.

kristen said...

Dragon.....don't you know my sense of humor by now? That was completely sarcastic. The Olympics can do what they want with swim-wear, in fact I understand why male swimmers wear them (and why they shave their legs!!)

Personally, I just think speedos are unattractive. Guys look hotter in board shorts, which by the way can be cinched at the waist with drawstring. And, I'll have you know, that as a female, I'm a one-piece wearer. I'm a believer in modesty.

Nightdragon said...

James -- Yep, I always feel at home in France with regard to the high-cut briefs. That's at least one thing the French are sensible about!

Kristen -- Alright, if it seems I over-reacted, then I'm sorry. It's a wonder to me why dork shorts are attractive to anyone. I can understand why tall, lanky dudes, who are nothing but skin and bone, wear them. But for muscular, compact guys like me, Speedos are a natural.
But hey, to each their own. I'm a live-and-let-live type of guy. I know I poke fun of guys who wear pink shirts, but I would never tell them they couldn't wear them. They can wear pink shirts, get those goofy spiky haircuts and put highlights in their hair as much as they like and I'll never say a word to them about it, though I'll scoff privately. I just expect the same favor to be returned to me should I feel like wearing Speedos or tight jeans or shorts above my knees or whatever else is apparently so unholy for men to wear. Laugh behind my back and out of earshot if you like, but don't directly challenge me over my right to wear what I please or to look the way that makes me happy.

East of Eden said...

I think that it's wrong for women to strip to nearly naked to sun themselves, if it matters. If we want society to stop objectifying us, then we have to start with how we present ourselves. I too am a BIG fan of modesty too. I'm still wating for the Granny Moses swimming suits to come back in...but I think it's a pipe dream ;)

Nightdragon said...

Well, Eden, you command my full respect, because at you're willing to burlap the women as well as the men! ;) What's good for the gander is good for the goose and all that.

Jack Pipsam said...

I know this is a bit old.

But I must say I agree, speedos are under massive discrimination and is a huge double-standard considering the things many women wear.

A man should be able to wear a speedo without facing such judgement from people.