The Pros & Cons of Wearing Thongs
The Pros & Cons of Wearing Thongs
Thongs. No, I’m not talking about flip flops. I’m talking about the kind of underwear that Sisqo sang about in “Thong Song”. (Woooow throwback, right there.) I’m talking about the kind of underwear with no back except for a small piece of material that nestles itself inside your bum cheeks. I’m talking about the style of underwear that has women divided between “I love them” and “I hate them”. That kind of thong.
When I asked for opinions on the pros and cons of thongs, the reactions I got ranged from pure hatred to high praise. There were surely a few in there that also tolerated thongs for their practicality underneath clothing, but lamented the “need” to wear them for this purpose because of their displeasure with the way they feel. This is not unlike bras. In my many years as a bra fitter, I’ve encountered countless women who find bras uncomfortable and only wear them because they feel they have no other choice. Yikes. What a way to live, right? Not so hurray.
It’s been my pleasure to help women find bras that fit well AND feel great, and serve both their purpose as an undergarment (helping their clothes look good, or supporting a certain style or intended look), and as an element of self care (helping her feel comfortable and confident so she can stand tall and lead with her heart.) And I can do the same with underwear. Trust me, it’s possible!
That being said, a thong is just one type of underwear. So just like one type of bra (or no bra at all) isn’t the answer for every woman, the same goes for undies. My hope is that you’ll find the kind of underwear that makes YOU say hurray. When you put it on, you’ll feel a pep in your step. You’ll feel sexy. You’ll feel comfortable and at peace. You’ll feel confident and ready to conquer the world. You’ll feel exactly as you’d like to feel that day. That’s how I want you to feel in your underwear. I don’t want you putting up with something because you have to, or (God forbid) wearing something uncomfortable or unhealthy.
So, our first stop on this underwear exploration train: Thongs. There are pros and cons and I encourage you to consider them all. If you’ve been vehemently for or against the thong, I highly suggest you take all sides into account. Take a deep breath. Be open. Let’s dive in.
The Pros (Hurrays) & Cons (What-the-Hays) of Wearing a Thong
Pros & Hurrays
No visible panty line. This is by far the most common reason the women I’ve helped prefer to wear thongs. Because there is no back, it’s a seam (and fabric) free undergarment. If you’re looking for the best seamless underwear options for underneath tight pants, leggings, or clingy dresses, read my What to Wear Underneath Leggings and Tight Pants post. Thongs are just one option!
It seems thongs are a popular choice for under yoga pants and while working out – mostly to avoid VPL. But some women also like the way they stay in place or make moving easier. Again, both sides felt pretty strongly about this one. Check out my article on Exercise Underwear Problems Solved.
Feeling sexy. Thongs have a sexy reputation. Some people feel that because thongs show more skin, they can feel a bit more racy to wear. One of my friends chooses to wear thongs because it makes her partner happy, since he thinks they’re sexy. Another woman I know loves the little bit of protection they give, and that she can feel the breeze, her jeans, or a silky material from her skirt against her bum. It’s just one way to Own Your Sexy.
Note: This can be a tricky topic when it comes to wearing them as a young woman. As Elizabeth G. mentioned above, it’s common to think of this style as “sexy” and inappropriate for girls. This is up to each mom and daughter. And I invite you to explore how you feel about this and share with us here.
They can be a way to love your bum. Wearing thongs is one way to explore Learning to Love Your Bum. They aren’t covering much up – it’s all out there! Which can help you take steps toward getting to know (and liking) your own derrière.
Comfort. While it’s common to associate thongs with discomfort, it’s also true that many under-wearers love to wear thongs for comfort! Some women find underwear with a back tend to ride up, move around, or basically turn into a thong anyhow while they walk or move around during their daily activities. And it’s not just certain women with certain body shapes.
I have found that women of all shapes, ages, and dress sizes vary in their love or hate for the thong. Some women with very large bums and hips hate thongs, while others love them. Some women with narrow hips swear by thongs, while others wish they’ve never been invented. The truth is, it’s up to you! Wear what makes you (and your bum) say hurray.
Cons & What the Heys
Uncomfortable. This is the biggest “what the hay” that I hear about thongs. Granted, many under-wearers actually think the opposite. But discomfort wearing thong underwear is very common. If they’re not your thing, no worries. But if you want to give them another try, I suggest trying one of the brands in my 5 Most Comfortable Thongs article. These are the thongs that I suggest to women who “hate” thong underwear. And some of those ladies are now total converts!
Most often the discomfort is from the back going “up and into” the bum crack. I’m just not sure of a more elegant way to say that. People also say “it feels like an all day wedgie”, or “I hate butt floss”. Keep in mind that thongs have plenty of different backs. The g-string style, for example, is very thin. While the back of a tanga is more like a v-shape and has more material. This usually allows the back material to go in the cheeks, but not way up there.
There are several other styles to consider. Depending on your preference, one may feel better than another. I personally like the soft lace and wider back of a thong like the classic Hanky Panky low rise thong (which is totally on my list of most comfy above).
Health concerns. This comes up a lot. And for good reason! The area covered by your undies is delicate and very important. So, please, take care and wear what feels best for you! I must say, I am NOT a medical professional. So for the real deal, please talk to a doctor. I was, however, invited to chat about thongs (including health concerns) on HuffPost LIVE, along with a very knowledgeable doctor. Watch the video clip for more thong pros and cons, and for her official word on the matter. (In summary, if you already have health issues down there, like a UTI, infection, or fissure, avoid wearing thongs. If you are otherwise healthy and they are comfortable for you, it’s a-ok to wear them.) If you’re concerned about wearing thongs during your menstrual cycle, there are Period Panties made specifically for this – even in thong style!
TMI WARNING! Personally, I wore thongs very often, but I wasn’t taking care of my gut health. That lead to diarrhea. Often. Which lead to a super uncomfortable anal fissure. Ew. I know, but they do happen. I ignored it for awhile and kept wearing thongs, and in an attempt to be super clean I over-washed my bum with drying soaps. Which made things worse. So I had to let it heal, and took a break from drying soaps, thongs, and upsetting foods.
Now I’m back on the thong bandwagon and love to switch between several panty styles! If you want added piece of mind, try a thong made of anti-microbial material like the Miel Luna thong (which also made its way onto my top 5 most comfortable list above).
Digging in. If your purpose for wearing a thong is to eliminate panty lines and bulges under tight clothing, it can be a big bummer if the top of the thong digs in and causes spilling or digging. If your thong is banded with elastic, I suggest going with something seamless and flat like the peach Incognito thong I’m wearing here, or the popular Commando Classic Thong (one of my favorites from the Most Comfortable article). In addition, a wide, soft, stretchable band (like that on the Hanky Panky thongs) won’t roll, dig, or move around. Anything with a super thin or string-like top can get twisted or dig into your hips. If that’s an issue for you, avoid those at all costs and stick with something wider, softer, and more seamless.