Should Men’s Underwear be Tight or Loose?

When you think about it, there are two types of people in this world. There’s the guy who wears looser pants than anyone else around him — and then there’s the guy who wears tighter pants than everyone else around him. And while both styles have their advantages (and disadvantages), we believe that wearing your underpants too snugly can lead to some pretty big problems for guys. If you’re wondering whether to go tight or loose when choosing what to put on beneath your clothes every day, keep reading to find out why going too loose might not always be better for your health.

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The first person we should talk about is Dr. Frank Sacks from Columbia University Medical Center. In an interview with WebMD he said, “There has been no evidence showing that wearing briefs makes any difference in cancer risk.” So don’t worry about exposing yourself unnecessarily by opting for loose-fitting boxers over boxer shorts (or long johns). On the other hand, if you’re looking to protect yourself against prostate cancer, which affects approximately 1 million American males each year, you may want to consider wearing tighter briefs instead.

Problems with Tight Underwear

So let’s say you decide to wear your underwear like a belt at all times. This means they fit tightly enough so that your skin doesn’t get pinched during daily activities such as sitting down or lifting up heavy objects. The problem here is that these tight panties won’t allow for proper circulation, which could result in poor blood flow to certain parts of the body including the genitals.

Another issue with overly tight briefs is discomfort caused by chafing between the legs. When you sit or sleep, chaffed areas become irritated and red due to friction or rubbing. Not only does this feel unpleasant, but it also puts unnecessary stress on the muscles surrounding the genital region. Over time, this kind of irritation can cause sores or rashes, leading to infection.

In addition to pain and possible infections, another concern related to tight underwear is bladder control issues. These kinds of undies make it difficult to urinate because of the lack of space between the thighs and pelvis. Men who experience urinary incontinence because of this condition usually require medical help to deal with the problem.

On top of all this, the constant pressure applied to sensitive regions of our bodies by tight clothing can increase sensitivity to cold temperatures, causing frostbite-like symptoms known as pruritus frigorum. To avoid this uncomfortable side effect, experts suggest keeping warm layers close to us at all times, even though many people prefer to wear super tight underwear underneath those extra layers.

Now that we know how bad wearing extremely tight underwear can actually be, read on to learn about the benefits associated with regular use of loosey goosey briefs.

A recent study published in Cancer Research found that the level of testosterone produced by the testes was significantly reduced after exposure to high levels of cadmium. Cadmium occurs naturally in soil, water and foodstuffs, and has been linked to bone loss, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, memory impairment, decreased sperm count and damaged liver function. It appears that cadmium interferes with hormone production, and therefore good sexual performance, by preventing the enzyme aromatase from converting testosterone into estrogen. As a result, men exposed to higher amounts of cadmium suffer from low levels of sex hormones, including testosterone.

Health Benefits of Loose Underwear

If you choose to go with a pair of comfortable yet loose briefs, you’ll start off strong with healthier overall health. We mean this literally, since studies show that wearing loose underwear helps prevent constipation, diarrhea and hemorrhoids, which can be painful and embarrassing conditions. Wearing these type of briefs will also reduce strain on the back and neck, thus reducing tension headaches and fatigue. They do this by providing ample room for intestinal gas to move through the digestive system without being trapped inside.

Aside from relieving physical ailments, wearing loose briefs has psychological effects. A 2008 study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University showed that participants wore looser fitting briefs before eating lunch compared to those who were dressed similarly but wore tighter outfits afterward. Those who ate their salad lunches in loose briefs felt fuller sooner, had improved satiety and reported lower hunger pangs afterwards.

Worn comfortably without feeling suffocated, loose briefs are also less likely to ride uncomfortably below the hips and create unsightly panty lines. That way, you can enjoy peace and quiet throughout the day without worrying about having to buy larger sizes of undies later. You can also breathe easier knowing that your underwear isn’t creating breathing difficulties for others nearby. Plus, since your underwear aren’t riding low, you won’t look silly trying to hide them discreetly behind something in public places.

While wearing loose briefs seems great, most people still ask themselves, “What’s my ‘goldilocks zone?’” Read on to discover what this term refers to and how it came about.

It turns out that the average waist size of North Americans is 33 inches (84 centimeters). While this measurement varies based on age, height and weight, it’s generally considered normal. However, if your waist measures above 40 inches (101 centimeters) or if you have excess belly fat, doctors recommend discussing ways to lose weight with your physician.

How to Find Your “Goldilocks Zone”

We’ve established that wearing moderate-sized briefs is ideal for maximum comfort and ease of movement. But just like Goldilocks searching for porridge that wasn’t too hot nor too cold, finding the perfect amount of tightness can sometimes prove challenging. Fortunately, scientists developed a handy formula to determine the best combination of elasticity and compression needed to achieve optimal wearer comfort.

To figure out the right degree of compression, researchers measured the thickness and length of male volunteers’ penises using ultrasonography. Based on the results, they created a chart indicating three different zones for varying degrees of compression :

  • Zone I – 0% compression/elasticity
  • Zone II – 20% compression / 30% elasticity
  • Zone III – 50% compression / 70% elasticity

By applying this chart to various combinations of briefs and socks, researchers determined that the appropriate zone for optimum comfort lies somewhere within Zone II. After determining the correct zone for comfort, you can experiment further by adding or subtracting padding, fabric and elasticity until you arrive at the sweet spot for your own personal preferences. Just remember to adjust accordingly if you ever need to add or remove items from your outfit.

Despite its name, Goldilocks never did end up liking the Three Bears’ porridge either…



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Hi Guys, I’d like to take the time to thank you for reading some info about me. My mission here as a writer at Unfinished man, is to entertain and inform on all things, from cars and gadgets, to reviews and life. I have a Bachelor in business but never really enjoyed school. I’d much prefer to spend time working on Unfinished Man than spending my days working long hours in some stuffy office. I love green tea and pistachios and my favourite fruit is pomegranate (weird I know). I hate the water but love nature, especially the nature here in my adopted country of Canada.

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