The Man Writing a Romance has covered the topic of women’s underwear early and often, but he’s left a gaping hole in the conversation when it comes to men’s under…things.
The reason is that The Man Writing a Romance is not interested in men’s undergarments, save for the twenty or so pair of Stafford Full-Cut Briefs he bought at the JC Penney outlet store in 1999.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Gee, Dave, isn’t it time to buy some new ones?” Even if you’re not, I’m answering, “Why? I still fit into the ones I have, the elastic is less than fifty percent frayed on most of them, and occasional bleaching has kept the vast majority of them reasonably white.”
You might answer, “But, Dave, think of your romance novel heroes. Would Clay or Holt or the super-secret stud of San Fernando Dream wear 14-year-old meat-and-potato style briefs?”
First, those guys are f’in’ rich, the bastards. And none of them does his own laundry. Speaking of which, I do all the laundry around here. Mary Jo folds, and she’s never busted my balls about my britches.
My initial hasty and incomplete research took me to a post about trends in men’s underwear at The Underwear Expert.com. My reaction was, “There are trends in men’s underwear?” Pink, green or blue neon sheer and mesh manpanties that “keep your cucumber cool” (or something like that) and “get you noticed” (as if sailboarding in a banana hammock wouldn’t do it) make a guy as hot as a model with six pack abs and a sexpot pout?
I just couldn’t see Lara or Sushma caring if Clay and Holt wore tightie whities—as long as they were clean.
To find out if I was all wet, I did more ridiculously shallow and incomplete web research and found side-by-side pix on The Wondrist.com of your typical male underwear models and ordinary guys—grundiewear models, perhaps?—striking the same poses while wearing the same items. Of course, followers were asked to comment on who’d they do.

Jen opened by singling out “Mr. (Real) Calvin Klein. He is SO my type.” Erin concurred with, “Amen!” Velovixenmsp out-enthused Erin’s single exclamation mark by posting “yes” in triplicate.

Which was revelatory, since one of the “unreal” dudes depicted is David Beckham. Mr. (Posh) Spice got a few votes, though, including Pinot Ninja’s: “If David Beckham ever crossed my path looking like that, I would be all over him like a chihuahua in heat.”
Jessica said the traditional models looked too good: “I much prefer the real men (especially the beardy guy with glasses), as they are men that I can see myself with and being comfortable around if we both happened to find ourselves in our underwear.”
The rest of the commenters split into two camps: The models-kick-ordinary-guys’-ass crowd, and the models-look-fake-I’ll-take-a-pouch-and-untamed-pit-hair-anytime gals. Except for one gay guy, who sided with Team Real.
An Ordinary Joe named Mark got right to the heart of the matter by helpfully noting that “underwear models wear two sets of pants to help make everything look fuller in the package.”
How important is that? In a poll on PickFu.com, boxers beat briefs 32 to 18. One commenter explained her vote by saying that briefs are better at revealing the bum. Another said that “although briefs will show whats in the package, there isn’t anything sexier on a man than silk boxers.
News to you, Boxer Lady: Loose-fitting undies will also show you the beef if the circumstances are right. Which is to say, if your underwear is already off.
Clay wears briefs in Palm Springs Heat, as does Holt in Malibu Bride. Should the hero of San Fernando Dream be a boxer boy? It’s worth considering. But I’d rather not think too much about it.

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