Today, when I scroll through the Body Aware website and read the product reviews and descriptions, I see people often call their product panties. I can’t tell a lie, I’ve always liked the word panties, I think both for the sound and all my connotations of what they represent. Despite my own proclivities and interests, however, seeing the word pop up in so many product reviews and descriptions on the Body Aware site made me wonder, what exactly are panties?
As always with these kinds of questions, I started with a quick google search, which mostly led me to dictionary definitions. And these definitions I found online were both predictable and disappointing. Every dictionary I found online defined panties as underwear for women (the urban dictionary gave a more entertaining definition, but still the same basic premise), though many of us who are interested in experimenting with underwear and alternative ways of self-expression understand that the term can have much more nuisance and complexity, and thus this basic dictionary search didn’t answer my questions at all.
I’ve been trying to come up with my own definition of panties, but not sure I am making any progress. I do think panties differ from underwear, at least in concept, suggesting something about the cut, design, and fabric of the garment. When you think of panties, you don’t think of plain colored cotton underwear with worn-out waistbands, but rather of colorful and delicate fabrics with minimal and flattering cuts. A word like underwear seems to suggest something that serves a basic purpose; panties are soft, delicate, intimate, and inviting.
There is no denying that until recently women had many more options in underwear, and I think the very term panties suggests this kind of palette – one of rich colors, fabrics, and textures. I also think of panties as being a bit more decorative, almost like the wrapping on a Christmas present. Or maybe like a sexy little garnish to help accentuate the main dish. So if you think of it this way, panties suggest a full menu of color and delicacy and surprises and are not just underwear for women.
There is also something just to the word itself. When you speak or think of underwear, somehow it doesn’t trigger the imagination. The very word panties, however, seems delightful, naughty, and playful. It’s fun to say!
The problem with the definitions I found for panties online is that the whole idea is so much more evolved and complicated, full connotations and associations that are much more than just underwear for women. If you look at Body Aware and all the great things going on in men’s underwear design today, you cannot deny that panties have evolved into so much more, something that is not gender specific. I love all my undies with sheer fabrics, lace, and luscious colors. Indeed, I can say with pride that I love my panties and don’t think of them as something just for women at all anymore!
What are your thoughts on calling underwear panties? Let us know in the comments below!
Signing off for now!
Sorry guys, but I totally disagree with using the term panties in the context of men’s undergarments. It has such a clear and definitive history of being associated with women that I don’t think it will ever be successfully overtaken by a gender neutral connotation. Honestly, when I read ’men’s panties’ I envision something like ruffled sissy pants for cross-dressers (which I am NOT knocking, by the way, just to be clear), not sexy men’s lingerie. Don’t have an alternative term to suggest unfortunately, but ‘panties’ will never work for me.
I have never used the word panties to describe underwear that bodyaware labels as panties. This is because I have always associated that generic term with ladies lingerie.
Yet having read the comments thus far I will in future use the collective noun preceded by the possessive noun ’men’s’. I have worn men’s panties all of my adult life. There is no style of underwear to beat them in my view.
Let’s face it. Panties are for women like briefs are for men, that’s all folks. It’s just a matter of genre and now we want to break all barriers, true. Difference may be because of the fitting and shape (men and women must have same rights and all that but still have different bodies). I must let clear that I don’t have any problem with the word “panties” but it helps in language to understand quickly… Now we just go further with briefs in soft fabrics, seductive, colorful (soft or daring) but still “briefs”. So, I think that’s why we don’t find briefs for women as well.
Panties – underwear designed to support genitalia and guard against staining of outer clothes by bodily fluids, and which, whilst functional, are generally delicate an minimal in their construction, being designed an worn to stimulate excitement in the wearer and others they hope to encounter.
I love panties, and wear them all the time. The word undies, on the other hand, is much more female in connotation, and embraces things like french knickers and bras.
Have been wearing men’s panties for years. To me they denote silky, soft, sensual underwear. A little satin and lace makes me feel great knowing that what is under my clothes. I don’t find women’s panties comfortable but Bodyaware has taken that design flair and made comfortable and sexy men’s panties.
I LOVE panties. I wear panties. Most times I wear mens panties. Sometimes I wear womens panties.
I love the term panties. I have always enjoyed the briefest panties I could find, although when my wife called my underwear “panties” twenty years ago I was embarrassed. Now, I’m proud to say I wear panties.
The word “panty” evokes a diminutive pair of pants. Pants under pants.
I have no problem calling my underwear panties. It denotes softness and sexy design. It embraces fabrics like silk, satin, lace, and sheer mesh. It conjures up invitation with features like skimpiness, seductive openings in front and/or rear, and tantalizing views of pleasure to come. Bodyaware incorporates all of that. I enjoy their designs with thoughtful openings in front and behind, their use of sensual fabrics, and their attention to comfort and sexiness. I wear panties…do you?
Cute story. But I never use the word pantie. (One correction nuisance should read nuance)
I totally agree with every statement made here. Panties are much more than just “underwear”. Personally, my day starts with what panties I will wear. Panties defines me and totally liberates my self-expression. As far as my thoughts, there’s panties and there’s underwear! If I want to be basic (which is never) I’d wear a basic pair of cotton underwear. For my extravagant days better believe I’m rocking a pair of panties. The term “undies” is also acceptable for those who consider panties are for women.