Up until very recently, I was an underwear-every-day kind of gal. Then something happened (maybe I didn't do laundry?) and I started venturing out into the world sans panties. I was instantly more comfortable, and felt oh-so-very free. But even more importantly, I realized there are so many health benefits of not wearing underwear. Why hadn't I been going commando all along?
Well, like most women, I grew up thinking that underwear was an absolute necessity. Pulling on some cotton drawers was a normal part of getting dressed, and I never really questioned it. After all, when you think about it, underwear does kind of make sense. It helps to catch vaginal discharge, it holds your pad in place, and the right pair can even be kind of comfy.
That's why people are on both sides of the fence when it comes to going commando. "The choice to wear no undergarment is a personal one that really depends on what you’re wearing and what your preferences are," says Cindy Barshop, founder and beauty, sexual health expert of VSPOT Medi-Spa, in an email to Bustle. "The timing of your cycle, if there’s any discharge, and the soil [level] of [your] clothing are the factors to take into account when deciding if you’re going to wear underwear."
If you do go for a pair of panties, make sure they are cotton, according to Barshop. But if you want to skip that part of getting dressed, then be ready for a pretty comfortable life, as well as all of the health benefits listed below. Here are some of the reasons why 86ing your underwear can be a pretty good idea.
1. Air Can Flow Freely
One of the problems with underwear — especially the kind made of synthetic fabrics — is that it prevents air from flowing. And that's not good. "The most important thing about [an] undergarment is aeration," says Dr. Carolyn A. DeLucia, FACOG, MD, of VSPOT Med-Spa. That's the action of air flowing through the garment and to your genitalia, according to Barshop. In this respect, wearing cotton panties is best. But going commando? Even better.
2. Your Bits Can "Breathe" At Night
If you don't want to nix your underwear during the day, you should at least consider going to bed panty-free. "[Experts] say it is much better to go fully commando at night to let your nether regions ‘breathe’ and to avoid infection," noted an article on the Daily Mail. "Bacteria can collect in that part of the body, especially if it becomes too sweaty."
3. Bad Bacteria Is Less Likely To Migrate
If you're a fan of thongs, it may be time to rethink what you slip into every morning. "Thongs are a no-no. Thongs act as butt floss," Barshop says. "In clinical terms, [they aid] in bacterial transfer from the anal area into the vaginal area." And yes, it can happen even after you've showered. So if you're worried about VPL, going commando may be a better bet.
4. Yeast Infections Can Clear Up
If constant yeast infections are your MO, skipping underwear can help clear things up. "Allowing the air to hit this area is important because it stops the moisture trapped by our underwear from causing a yeast infection and skin irritation externally," Barshop says. Good news for those of us who are feeling a bit... itchy.
5. There's Less Friction While Exercising
If underwear traps sweat and moisture throughout the day, then you can only imagine how messy things can get whilst working out. And that's why it's often a good idea to exercise without undies. "The combination of heat, sweat, and friction in your nether regions is not only uncomfortable, it can be unhealthy," noted an article on SELF.
6. UTIs Can GTFO
Again, underwear can trap bacteria and start it heading in the wrong direction. "When bacteria travels from back to front, it increases your risk for contracting an uncomfortable urinary tract infection (UTI) as well," noted SELF. "These can both be prevented if you pay special attention to what you wear below the waist." And sometimes, the best answer is "nothing."
7. Your Sex Life Will Get A Boost
Of course you should do whatever makes you feel sexiest — whether that be wearing pretty lingerie, or sporting cute undies. But some people really do get a kick out of going panty-less. Not only does it increase sensations throughout the day, according to Alexia LaFata on EliteDaily.com, but the idea is kind of fun for your partner, too.
8. You Don't Have To Worry About Infections
If you need one more bit of evidence that going commando is OK, turn your attention to some research. According to LaFata, science has shown there's no direct correlation between not wearing underwear and contracting infections. So if you want to give the panty-free life a try, don't let naysayers talk you out of it.
9. You'll Feel More Comfortable
Underwear has the annoying tendency to bunch up, turn into wedgies, and get itchy along the seams. If that's been your experience, then consider dropping the habit altogether. Without all that extra fabric bunching up between your thighs, you'll be a 24/7 commando convert in no time.
10. Chaffing And Irritation Aren't A Thing
According to the Daily Mail, excess moisture in your underwear can lead to chaffing and irritation in your nether regions. If this sounds like your life, then think about how much comfier your day would be in a long skirt or dress, with the air flowing free. Pretty nice, right?
11. Circulation Is No Longer An Issue
Tiny underwear — and especially shape wear — can get to be too tight, if you aren't careful. "If it’s really tight, you could have nerve impingement and decreased circulation,” said Donnica Moore, M.D., in an interview with Sara Schwartz on HuffingtonPost.com. If that's something you worry about, then remember it's totally OK to skip out on the Spanx.
The commando life may not be for everyone, but it sure does have a lot of benefits. Give it a try, and see if you don't agree.
Images: Pexels (12); Bustle