Some swear by it, others gasp in horror at the sheer thought: Is there anything as polarizing as the act of going commando?
Well, possibly, but this cheeky debate has proponents on both sides. Let’s explore the facts.
Going commando (or sans underpants) can be good for your downstairs. There’s not a lot of research on the topic, but for those who have sensitive skin or nerve damage in their pelvic region, underwear can be painful and distracting. It this is the case, saying adios to your undergarments could help with pain, as long as you’re not wearing something restricting like skinny jeans.
Getting a little more air down can also be beneficial for those with chronic candida or yeast infections—a warm, dark, moist climate is the perfect combination for yeast to proliferate—as well as less irritating than tight underwear can be.
Form fitting yet moisture-wicking clothes, like most athletic pants, don't require that you wear underwear. In fact, because you'll be sweating for a long period of time, it may be more beneficial to skip the underwear and let your technical running tights do their job and strip moisture from your skin.
One caveat: If you’re opting out of underwear and want to wear form-fitting apparel, make sure your clothes are thoroughly washed and clean. Undergarments protect sensitive skin from germs, prevent chafing, and wick away moisture, so if you’re going to pass on panties, it’s probably not a good idea to throw on a pair of pleather pants straight from the department store. (Yuck.)
Want to find a happy medium between totally bare and completely covered? Look for natural fibers to keep your sensitive parts dry and comfortable. Cotton, linen, hemp, and tencel are all great options if you're worried about the health effects of man-made fabrics.
Illustration by Katherine Prendergast