From Geek Dog…to Greek god

All that running around in my underwear put money in my pockets. I can focus on working in interesting movies without having to worry about supporting myself.Mark Wahlberg

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As a male child, you wear briefs; period. Your mother, who is usually in charge of your wardrobe, is still probably still swayed towards maximum security after having had to clean the mess each time you crapped your pants in your infancy.

Typical “Petit bateau” kids briefs.
So like everyone else, I wore them for most of my childhood. My own beloved Mum had this bizzare habit of sewing in a tag with our names on them. Probably for summer camp, in case other kids tried to steal our undies. I never thought of these as particulary coveted items at that age but who knows, for many, fetishes start early.

Now, when you become an angry teenager, you naturally rebel against the existing order. Aged 12 this seditious behaviour often results in a claim to the right to chose your own wardrobe. This is often accompanied by an attitude shift, moving away from blind acceptance of the restraining hold of the traditional briefs, to pursuing the free-swinging ideals of the boxer shorts. The latter type could even be found in cool colours, with fancy prints and all, and they made you feel like a grown up dude too. I loved that feeling.

For some reason in my rebel years I still had a few briefs from my younger days in my drawers, probably forgotten during a clear out, and I clearly remember going on one of my first dates – which was promising to be a bit frisky – and realising on my moped, miles from home, that I was wearing a “Petit Bateau” slip brief with my name tag on it. Nightmare scenario. I probably did everything I could to keep my pants on that night, to the dismay , disbelief and may be even disappointment of my date.

However generally speaking, by your late teens, at least a few decades ago, you would not have been caught dead wearing anything but boxer shorts/trunks…for fear of looking like these guys.

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Then Calvin Klein came on the scene. Eventhough CK slip briefs were available, here I am talking about the revolution that were the stretch cotton boxer briefs. The Mark Wahlberg ad. That was new, that was exciting, that was suggestive. I read somewhere that a guy who manages to make people want to have his name of their underwear has to be a genius. I get that.

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Mark Wahlberg in the seminal CK ad.
For years if not decades, my underwear drawer was full of CK’s. They made you feel secretly sexy and confident. I still have that feeling sometimes when picking great underwear before a special event.

When my love story with D2 began, it took me some time before I switched my Calvins for some Catens. First I got a few boxer briefs. I have to say at the time I thought they were a bit too similar to other brands; instead of the aforementioned NY designer’s name, or everything from Ralph Lauren to Jack&Jones, you just had Dsquared2 on the elastic band.

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Now to be fair since the twins have also made “smalls” in a great variety of shapes, fabrics, designs, wash…A further post will delve into the category of “sex” underwear by D2 (jockstraps, buttlift effect, see through…). 

The concept of distress, which originated with jeans, later to be extended to t-shirts, sweatshirts…was also brought to the undergarment world. Some of my D2 trunks are sold with paint stains, which made my mother laugh out loud when I explained that to her. She suggested why not pre-urine-stained?

For the manufacturing, the brand signed a three year agreement in 2012 with Italian company ISA, and the latter has just been reconducted until 2019. Back then ISA chief executive officer Christian Thirty said “We are [pleased] that Dsquared2 has chosen us for their new license and given us the opportunity to partner with two of the most vivacious and creative designers worldwide”. Looking back at their past collaboration, , Dean and Dan Caten recently stated: “ISA SpA has been able to interpret the DNA of Dsquared2 and we are confident that together we will continue to grow further in these categories and achieve great results.

D2, like CK or D&G for that matter, are great at advertising campaigns. They hire the best. Stephen Klein’s photos in that department are just first class.

This is how they got me tempted a couple of years ago to buy a pair of briefs, in my youth the very symbol of the old order’s oppression. Oh Lord what a decision that was. They felt great, providing perfect support without the suspected squeeze, and with the help of a few gym sessions, they make you feel like a sex beast when looking in the mirror.

A homo or at least metrosexual sex beast that is. Because straight men’s underwear habits are probably split between:

-The “wife beater”: he wears the eponymous top and below, briefs, not as a fashion choice but just because he never thought about it really. With his hairy beer belly he can hardly look like a sex beast. Just a beast.

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Scene from the film “Gomorra” (2008) directed by Matto Garrone
-The “dude”: still a teenager at heart, he thinks he is too cool for briefs; his surfing spirit needs freedom, hence the trunks.

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Scene from American pie 2 (2001) directed by James B. Rogers

-The “metrosexual”: well reported human group in the “naughties”, he has in fact not really disappeared, even if the name has faded away. His mimicking gay codes would have at some point led him to wear branded briefs.

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Cristiano Ronaldo in an Armani ad

Now what about the beholder? I mean the ones likely to be spectators of the wearer parading in these undergarments?

Most gay men like guys in briefs, that is clear. But what do women think of them? Don’t they prefer the more dude-ish boxers or trunks? We actually conducted a survey (using Survey Monkey):

If only 10% of female participants preferred briefs over boxers and shorts, the good news for the metrosexual is that to the question “Would you drop the idea of having sex if you found your partner’s underwear ridiculous?”, a whopping 83% responded “I’d get over it”.

So in short you nearly always win! When you thought briefs were dead…Long live the briefs!

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