When the summer heats up, dudes get desperate for ways to cool down. If it’s socially acceptable, you might take your shirt off. But if your butt and balls get too steamy, you might consider taking something else off: you’re underwear.
Yeah, we’re talking about going commando.
There are few feelings that rival a fresh breeze blowing through your balls. It’s easy to see why you’d want to ditch your undies and keep your boys liberated 24/7. As Kramer famously quipped on Seinfeld, “I’m out there, Jerry, and I’m loving every minute of it!”
Going commando is an appealing option, especially when your boys feel squashed and sweaty in the confines of tight underwear. However, this approach can create more problems than it solves.
To help you make an informed decision about your undergarments (or lack thereof), we’re going to stick to the facts on both sides of the debate. But first, a quick history lesson.
What Does “Going Commando” Mean?
“Going commando” is a slang term for not wearing underwear. It’s also called “freeballing.” There are several reasons why guys might go commando, from pure comfort to a shortage of clean underwear when laundry day is overdue.
Why Is It Called “Going Commando?”
The term “going commando” originated in the 1970s when soldiers returned from the Vietnam war. According to the British Forces Broadcasting Service, wearing underwear in the humid jungles of Vietnam “would sometimes lead to a fungal infection which affects the skin of your genitals, inner thighs and buttocks.”
Rather than washing their skivvies every day to avoid chafing and swamp ass, the troops ditched them altogether. Ironically, going commando actually violates military dress code. But the phrase still caught on quickly for civilians who wanted to let it all hang loose.
Do Girls Go Commando?
Although going commando sounds undeniably macho, it’s actually more advantageous for women.
For starters, it’s the easiest way to prevent pervs from staring at their panty lines through their leggings. But apparently women go commando for health reasons more than anything.
Dr. Vanessa Mackay, an OB-GYN, points out that thongs can lead to all sorts of unmentionable issues with their lady parts, like yeast infections.
So, should dudes ditch their underwear too? Or is there a valid reason to add an extra layer between your balls and the world?
3 Benefits of Going Commando
It’s estimated that between 5-7% of men don’t wear underpants of any kind. Are they brilliant or barbaric?
If you’re considering going commando, here are three reasons to support your choice.
1. It’s More Comfortable
A recent survey found that comfort is the #1 reason to opt out of underwear. 17% of people reported freeballing feels more comfortable. It makes perfect sense: no underwear means no restriction, which can be magical if you’re stuck in an office all day.
2. It Can Boost Your Sperm Count
Research has shown that men who wear tight-fitting underwear have a 25% lower sperm count compared to men who wear boxers.
Because sperm are sensitive to heat, your body naturally wants your testicles to hang loose to stay as cool as possible. Stuffing your package into a pair of tighty whities in the summertime isn’t ideal if you want to stay fertile.
3. It Helps Your Balls Breathe
A warm, wet crotch is a breeding ground for nasty bacteria and fungal infections like crotch rot or tinea cruris, AKA jock itch. This is basically like athlete’s foot on your nuts caused by excessive sweating and chafing in an enclosed area.
Soggy underwear can also lead to the dreaded swamp ass, caused by an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in most environments. Going commando, supplemented with a daily dose of DUDE Powder, can keep your third pit fresh.
3 Disadvantages of Going Commando
Going commando is ideal if you’re lounging around or working from home. But there’s a reason (actually multiple reasons) why more than 90% of guys are loyal members of team underwear.
1. It’s Less Hygienic
Your genitals carry a lot of germs. Whether it’s a dribble of pee or poop residue, it’s better to have that stuff absorbed by a pair of underwear that you wear once rather than festering in a pair of pants that you wear multiple times before washing.
Left unattended, a buildup of bacteria in your pants can lead to rashes, chafing, jock itch, and swamp ass—the very problems you tried to avoid by going commando.
2. Dick Prints and Sweat Stains
Without an extra layer of fabric between your package and your pants, onlookers have a front row seat to see what’s going on below your belt.
For starters, nobody wants to see your dick print, especially if you pop a boner at random times throughout the day. There’s also the infamous butt crack sweat spot, which is especially visible on tight clothing or lighter fabric colors like khakis.
Do your fellow humans a favor and wear underwear until you get home.
3. No Support for Your Balls
Whether you’re running or hitting the gym, it’s quite the hassle when your junk is bouncing all over the place. Going commando during a workout can also give you the wrong kind of burn if you don’t have a layer of protection between your skin and your workout clothes.
The solution is to slide into a pair of moisture-wicking boxer briefs to give you the support you need while also keeping swass and stank at bay.
In the words of Cosmo Kramer, “My boys need a house.”
Is It Good to Sleep Commando?
If you’re not into the idea of going commando to work or on date night, you still might want to consider sliding out of your undies before bedtime.
Letting your nuts breathe keeps them cool in the wee hours, which can protect your sperm. Going commando to bed can also help you fall asleep and stay asleep, since your body needs to cool down to maximize sleep quality.
A lot of guys ditch clothing altogether when they sleep. According to a 2022 survey, nearly 60% of men sleep naked. This gives you all the same benefits of going commando, not to mention it can be a turn on for your partner.
Is Going Commando Socially Acceptable?
The question of whether it’s ok to go commando in public is less about fashion and more about social awareness.
Modern society has become increasingly tolerant in terms of fashion and personal expression, especially in the United States. However, there’s no denying you’ll raise a few eyebrows if you announce you’re not wearing underwear. (It’s a different story in Scotland, where 38% of men go commando under their kilts).
Even though going commando doesn’t harm anybody, the fact that there’s so little standing between them and your genitalia can be mildly disturbing. As a rule of thumb, treat your underwear habits like your opinions on politics and religion: keep them to yourself.