Functional or Sexual? The Binary view of Lingerie for Men.

We have become members of a pretty interesting group on Facebook recently, it’s where you can sign up to see what stories journalists are seeking an expert opinion on, and where entrepreneurs can pitch to see if there are any journalists who would like to write about what they are up to. 

We had a go at a pitch, and OMG, did it kick off. 

We had a load of wonderful comments:

  • ‘Good on ya - and great legs!!’
  • ‘This literally writes itself - I hope you get picked up by a journalist, sounds like life has taken you down some really interesting & creative turns! Nice products!”
  • ‘This picture is just the best! Hope this gets picked up. Look forward to seeing you on This Morning soon!’
  • ‘Fair play to you
  • ‘Somehow I think you're going to get press coverage!’
  • ‘Annoyed that a man can stand in heels and has nicer looking legs than me. Seriously though, great photo and story.’

but we also managed to seriously upset a few journalists who called us out for being ‘extremely disingenuous’ - now, if you have followed Moot for a while, you will know that being open, honest and ethically responsible are our core values and we will consistently place them above profit margins. Being called disingenuous was a touch painful - so what did we do to elicit this reaction? 

We made the mistake of saying in our pitch that our underwear was functional and that it was ‘just pants’ - OK, looking back I can see that they do have a point here, not all of our underwear / lingerie for men is entirely ‘functional’ (although, it depends what the intended function is, I mean, the Tutu Wilde and the Crown Jules perform brilliantly at their function..) the problem is, even our most modest of styles, the ones we absolutely consider to be ‘daily wear’ (Hollywood range) are considered too racy for ads and it was this misclassification that I was referring to in the pitch. 

The whole upset over the wording of the pitch has brought about a positive though, it has led to a discussion here at Moot about who we are and how we view ourselves. We have no desire to be ‘disingenuous’ or misleading, we never want to pretend to be something that we are not. It is more that we have become very used to seeing men’s lingerie and talking about men’s thongs, g strings, sheer pouches, lacy briefs and sexy boxers, so what might appear to be very ‘sexualised’ for one person, seems perfectly ‘everyday’ for us and we need to bear that in mind. We are actually, very happy to admit that a great deal of our mens lingerie is a bit kinky, racy, skimpy, sheer - generally gorgeously sexy - but some of it IS functional. 

We do want to talk about the dichotomy of the view of lingerie for women and for men. In setting up Moot, what we wanted to do was to create a range of luxurious undergarments that sat in parallel with the offering for women’s bodies, but ones that were designed to fit a male form. 

Designing them led to one set of particular challenges, advertising them has offered a whole different feat of ingenuity. What we didn’t fully expect was the clear feeling from much of the population that if a woman wears a pair of lace knickers it is perfectly ordinary, it could possibly be empowering. However, for much of the world, if a man is ‘caught’ wearing a pair of lacy knickers he is a sexual deviant and there is no other explanation.  It seems that whenever men make the choice to wear lingerie, it is not ‘allowed’ for them to have made that choice just out of preference for a shape, or a fabric. Unless you have a ‘proper’ reason, like being a dancer or a triathlete, anything other than standard jersey boxers is inherently sexual and is to be feared. 

We disagree. It might be sexual. It might not be. Exactly how it is for women. When a woman pulls on her pair of black lace knickers, she might be getting ready for an evening of wild sex, or she might be going to put the recyling out. Who knows? It is not our business. 

This is the place we hope it gets to for men. The ‘who knows?’ place. 

It might be sexual, it might not be. 

Whatever it is, it’s none of anyone else’s bloody business to judge. 


  • L

    Great article. I am a triathlete and there is still that ‘sexual deviant’ nonsense, not just with the type of underwear, but swimwear, tights, the length of your shorts, etc. I love how you pointed that out.

  • Anonymous

    I found this a really interesting read. Coming from a guy whose had his own struggles in coming to terms with who he is, should he have his own preferences on what he wears and how this makes him feel. After all, we’re all human!

    I’ve been wearing my couple of Moot pieces now mostly every evening for the past six months of receiving my first underwear and the ones I have got so far are both what most would consider ‘sexual/kinky’ underwear. I love them and I for one am proud to say that’s what I choose that I’d like to wear.

    For most evenings, I get dressed up in my underwear that takes me psychologically to a new level whenever I slip on my Quintens or my thong that I’ve got. For a woman who is used to wearing such pieces most days in her life, she probably won’t feel the same I (or other men) do. And part of that I find is that my lacey, sexy underwear is evening wear and I get excited to dress into and to get comfortable in my bedroom or wherever I may be. I’ll admit, I have what I call ‘fantasies and such feelings allow me to ‘escape’, to get rid of unwanted, bad thoughts that may be going through my mind and be my true self. I live on my own anyway so nobody can see me!

    As guy who wears feminine looking underwear in the evenings, and I hope to continue to do so. I just love the sexy feel and look of the underwear. During the day, I wear standard men’s briefs (I don’t feel uncomfortable in boxers AT ALL). Therefore, by the end of the day, getting dressed into my lingerie is like a treat. It’s like saying ‘Go on Glenn, slip on your underwear and enjoy your thoughts’ and I’ve been getting more confident in thinking that this is just who I am and have the tight to feel this way. I’m not a sexual deviant or weirdo, I’m just a guy who wants to feel free.
    I also find that society needs to ‘unlearn’ the so called ‘shame’ that one has even if they have erotic fantasies. I have no desire to actually live permanently with a partner, but there’s something about the way I am and that I have a beautiful body, that I will wear this underwear, and having such a beautiful male body, it is only right that I get to choose frilly undergarments and feel the way like a woman should if she wants to feel this way.

    Lastly, about the part where it says ‘Unless you have a ‘proper’ reason, like being a dancer or a triathlete’ This is something men still have to battle with on a regular basis. I’d love for one day to have effective hair removal so I can have a full silky-smooth body without having to justify that I am a ‘swimmer, cyclist’ etc. If a woman can choose this without having to justify herself, then so should a man be able to. As it appears for some, without a man having a real ‘excuse’ as to why he needs to remove unwanted body hair, he is seen as ‘girly, weak, gay’ etc. Which needs to stop. And I feel salons and other establishments need to be at the forefront of recognising and encouraging men to feel more welcome as I, as a young guy still feel that there is this feeling of ‘shame’ and ‘wrongness’ of me entering such an establishment like a salon to have a wax or have a pedicure. And one day, I’d like to think this will be ‘normalised’ to the general public.

    Anyway, I loved the read of this journal. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rain

    From total straight male perspective, without even digging into the article itself, going off from the title only….Functional or sexual is a matter of personality. Same way as for women – not every woman likes fancy frilly stuff, not every man likes to wear traditional “female” lingerie. But because men live by visuals the sexuality part is therefore more related to men. It is understandable, it is denied for men, socially unacceptable, therefore it usually comes with “gay” labels attached. Functional is more related to women as it effectively draws attention from men which is what it’s meant to be. But it is actually funny because it is vice-versa in raw nature – male is usually far more beautiful than female. We humans have it the other way round somehow. Therefore for men what is denied is kind of attractive and though not always and not for every man but it creates this feeling of “I wonder how it feels like”. I tried stockings and pantyhose, Wolford, and I was hooked from that moment. I was thinking wow, women get to have this feeling whenever they like while we men have no idea. And ofcourse it came with instant guilt that this is wrong, I should not be doing it, I should not be wearing it. So there, I will read the article now and see if I nailed it. Thank you.

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