Monday, October 12, 2009

Is That Really a Thing?!

If Thinking Men Should Definitely Wear Pantyhose Is Cool, Consider Me Miles Davis

This week's "Is That Really a Thing?!" doesn't really need a witty introduction. Let's just cut to the chase, shall we?


Yes, that's right.

Pantyhose for men, which have been popularized in Europe for some time now, have officially traveled across the pond. Looking at the picture to the left, we can tell that this is not just a really muscular woman. As the psychiatrist said to the naked, male patient, "I can clearly see you're (your) nuts."

I have never actually seen a man wearing these - ahem - mantyhose (it'll be awhile before I'm fully comfortable saying that word), although, that could be largely in part because I live in Oklahoma: Land of the "What in Tarnation?!"

When I was doing my research for this week's ITRAT, I stumbled across this little jewel on a website called "Best of Stupid," which is a blog about, well, stupid stuff. I thought it was a joke. This looks like something you would see on Saturday Night Live; it's right up there with Oops, I Crapped My Pants! and Colon Blow Cereal. I had to find out if this is really a thing.

Enter my new favorite website, E-Mancipate. This site sets out to raise awareness and acceptance of pantyhose as a men's fasion item. The picture to the right is only one of many that made me laugh, out loud, while writing this. I'm not judging these guys, I've just never seen anything like it before. The enjoyment I have gotten out of this topic is rivaled only by the first time I ever saw a drag queen show. (By the way, if you've never seen a drag queen show, you should do so; those ladies straight up know how to entertain!)

What I find incredibly ironic about this whole "e-mancipation" theme is that emancipation is a word that is characterized by the process of becoming free of something. For example, teens who are emancipated from their parents become their own entity, no longer under their parents' control.

So, when you mantyhose-wearing men were trying to figure out how to set yourselves free from the unjust and extreme oppression that has held you back for far too long, didn't you do any research? Don't you know that pantyhose are garments from which women have long been trying to emancipate themselves?

Newsflash: Wearing pantyhose does not emancipate anyone from anything, by any stretch of the imagination. They are tight, binding, uncomfortable, and they don't allow the uh, "situation" down there any breathing room. Why would any guy want to subject his poor, defenseless package to such extreme conditions? And in the name of fashion? Really? Really?!

I think I can speak on behalf of most women when I say this: Guys, if you want 'em, you can have 'em. We will totally trade you. In fact, why don't you just take over shaving your legs and waxing your you-know-whattie as well? If it means that I never have to wear pantyhose again, you can consider me a "Mantyhose Ambassador."

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  1. Hey, just thought I'd throw in a little balance here. I work for ActivSkin, and the top photo is from our website ('s actually a CG pic. Anyways, we've been selling these here in the U.S. for 10 years now, so the trend actually started here and is spreading around Europe. BUT, we've always targeted the practical/functional reasons for wearing sheer or opaque hose--not the fashion aspects. The e-MANcipate site takes a completely different tack, one that is a good deal harder to sell to most guys.

    Without restating the reasons in detail, I'd suggest you visit my blog, The Nylon Gene ( for what might be a more palatable (sp?) view on the 'mantyhose'. BTW, I don't particularly care for that name either, but the media's latched onto it, so I use it more out of convenience than anything else.

    Also, you should know that most of the legwear we sell has a fly opening--or at least features a front panel that makes extra room for guys.

  2. I think Steve is right. The 'emancipate' end of the spectrum features pictures that can only make the majority of those who wear tights squirm with embarrassment. There is a longish history of men wearing for an extra layer to keep warm when it is freezing cold, usually but not always in an athletic context, and happy to accept a bit of banter about this but unhappy at being associated with anything 'weird'.

  3. Jess, I disagree with your characterization of most women. The truth is like men, some women like wearing pantyhose and/or tights while others don't. I find it very comfortable to wear and it has especially proven to be a life saver in the cold weather and when I have to sit through long traffic jams. I'm glad I can count on wearing tights/pantyhose to reduce leg cramps. Plus, when I go to meetings and I am wearing a skirt, I noticed a big difference between wearing tights vs going bare-legged. My legs would wiggle less and I would get better reception from my peers than I would bare-legged. I don't understand where you are getting your notions from.

  4. First of all folks, thanks for your feedback. It's always nice to hear different perspectives.

    Dan- I'm familiar with men's practices of wearing an extra layer for warmth; I had simply never heard of this type of hosiery. According to, "weird" is defined as, "Of strikingly odd or unusual character; strange." By that definition, and given that I had never been exposed to Mantyhose, I DEFINITELY intended to associate that particular garment with weirdness. If something isn't usually seen, it is considered UNusual. In my twenty-eight years, I have NEVER seen a man in pantyhose. Trust me, I'd remember that. Sorry to offend, but yeah, that's totally weird. It's only an opinion, and I stand by what I said.

    And Jennifer- That's awesome that you love wearing tights. I'm sure many women feel the same way. But my commentary was really directed at the concept of hosiery being required of women in certain settings (such as the workplace), rather than being a matter of choice. If you like wearing pantyhose, then you have no reason to desire emancipation, thus you are not a member of the population to which I was referring. But whether you like them or not isn't the issue here: it's the irony of the suggestion that men can be liberated by wearing pantyhose, while by contrast, women are often required to wear them by a dress code.

    Also, "Is That Really a Thing?!" is meant to be funny and light hearted. If you are seriously upset over an article about men's pantyhose, maybe it's time to reevaluate your existence.

    I'm just sayin'.

  5. Hi Jess

    No offence taken at all! There are men who, whenever this subject comes up, populate comments threads with all sorts of fictional stories about wearing tights. They are certainly insulting to the intelligence of the reader very often, and well deserve the label of 'weird'. They often make claims about how acceptable this has become in public which are not true - I have never seen any man wearing tights in public either.
    Then there are those of us who have worn for say athletic reasons and not visible to the public (honest!)who do not want in any sense to be associated with this first group, but it is difficult to escape the stigma.
    This is where I disagree with Steve - I don't see this becoming a fashion to be worn under shorts in public, but then there is no way of telling until it does or doesn't!
    And I also agree with you that we need to keep our sense of humor about the whole issue.

  6. Jess,

    Although you said you've never seen a man wearing pantyhose in 28 years, that doesn't mean you've never encountered one. Given the number of customers we at ActivSkin have, I would guess you've encountered quite a few more than you're aware of.

    Most guys still wear them under long pants and aren't eager to advertise that fact, so there would be no way to know how many you pass on the street on any given day. Of those who wear them with shorts, most would probably pass by w/o notice if they were wearing a skintone color. I've had numerous conversations with friends and acquaintances where I made mention of the fact of my having hose on--thinking they were surely aware of it--only to have them say with surprise they had no idea I had them on.

    So, the only way you would be likely to notice is if the guy in question is wearing dark colored hose with shorts, which is still pretty rare--but no unheard of.

    I'm just sayin'...

  7. Steve

    Let me just say that in my 50 years on this earth I have never seen them on any man either. That does not mean that I have not passed by someone who could be hiding ANYTHING under their outer layer of does mean that I have not had 1 single conversation about this topic, at least until now.

    I consider myself very accepting of people and to be quite honest I could care less if the men of the world want to keep their "twigs and berries" in nylon.


  8. Carl Frost

    I have seen many similar comments that men wearing tights is 'weird', but without any reason given, this is simply asserted. As a genuine question, can you say say why this is weird, and do you mean in all cases or only when worn publically say under shorts?