11 Emotional Stages of Buying Your First Thong At Age 22

I was feeling particularly adventurous while out shopping last week. I'd recently made lots of positive and very adult changes in my life, so I decided to do another very adult thing by buying my first thong ever.

Yes, I am 22 and I've never worn (or even considered buying) a thong. It's not that I wasn't exposed to them: Starting in the early '00s, everyone and their mothers (mine included), seemed to be replacing their "granny panties" for something a bit smaller. I didn't understand the appeal.

Once I got older, all my femme friends started to rock them as a sign of their adulthood and budding sexuality. I'll admit that I was jealous, thinking they were more mature and experienced than I was, simply because of the narrow strip of fabric poking out of their low-rise skinny jeans. Yet, I was still too skeptical to give them a try.

A few months ago, I discovered that my 18-year-old sister owns and wears thongs pretty regularly. She told me how great they were for fighting pantylines when wearing leggings or tight skirts, and that, no, there wasn't really a perpetual wedgie situation to deal with.

Trusting my sister above all women in my life, I decided to shop for one myself. It was definitely a new and uncomfortable experience, but I did it. Here are the 11 emotional stages I endured throughout the process.

1. Apprehension

Walking into my local Target on that sunny afternoon, I went over the reasons why thongs felt like the strangest undergarment of the bunch. Despite my sister's words, how could they possibly help one avoid wedgies? Aren't they wedgies by design? Are there non-lace versions, which would be essential to my ever-sensitive labia? What if I didn't even know how to wear them properly? Ultimately, my trust in my sister won out and I sheepishly approached the lingerie section.

2. Embarrassment

I felt sure of the fact that everyone in the aisle would be able to tell I had no idea what the hell I was looking at, and frankly, I was embarrassed. I also felt strange as a trans person presenting masculinely walking into the women's lingerie section to rummage through the pile of shiny pink thongs. "Now isn't the time to worry about whether or not this quest is gender-affirming," I thought to myself. "You're on a mission, damnit."

3. Confusion

For the first 10 minutes of my search, I was lost. With the underwear in piles, I couldn't tell the difference between the garment I was searching for and the rest of the selections. Do I even know what a thong looks like if it's not on a body? Would I know it when I see it? My anxiety calmed when I noticed signs clearly indicating the thongs, separate from the boy shorts and bikinis. Alright Meg, relax.

4. Doubt

As soon as I picked one up, a purple lace selection with silk-like detailing, I was doubtful. These were much too feminine, alien even, to me to fully process. I couldn't begin to imagine how I would look in a pair of panties like these, and didn't exactly look forward to being emasculated by the skimpy, stereotypically feminine garment. Would it be weird if I tried these on? I decided the answer was yes.

5. Frustration

As I'd realized just moments before, thongs are small — So small, in fact, that I was unsure if I should get one in my regular medium size or go larger. I wondered if people were different sizes in thongs, as the XXL thong seemed like it would fit my body best. I decided it would be odd for there to be entirely different sizing systems for this one particular piece, so I went with my normal size.

6. Overwhelmed

As a person whose skin normally breaks out in a rash at the feeling of lace, I started to lose hope. Most of the thongs on offer were lace, and I just wanted a plain, simple, cotton version. I finally found some, but I was disappointed that the trade-off: The cotton versions might not give me a rash, but they simply weren't as cute.

7. Self-Consciousness

Once I chose my pair (a thin cotton thong in a pale pink hue), I held it up against my pelvis and frowned at how little the front part of the garment covered up. I don't know if I was going for a bold, overgrown garden look, but I felt that would be the effect of underwear this tiny over my full bush. I convinced myself that I would try to embrace this aesthetic and dropped the panties in my cart.

8. Concern

Watching them stare back at me from the cart, I worried about what an impractical purchase this was going to be. Sure, my sister said they would be super comfortable. But how could they be? Looking at the impossibly tiny garment with its thin backing, I imagined it would have to cause wedgies rather than prevent them. But out of belief for my sister's sage advice, I decided I'd buy it anyway and got in line to pay for it.

9. Excited

"Maybe I'll look sexy AF," I thought to myself. My butt is super cute, so I imagine the G-string could only complement that fact. Then I thought of how my partner might like them and got pretty excited about future sexscapades — maybe this was the effect thongs had on people?

10. Relaxed

These are only $5, so honestly who cares if I hate them? There's nothing saying I have to wear them or even keep them. Giving myself a break from obsessing about money, I paid for the thong and felt pretty OK about it.

11. Relief

At the end of the day, I was proud of myself for having stepped out of my comfort zone and making an impulse buy (something I never do). You only live once, after all. Not that there's anything particularly wild about a thong; but for me, it felt like I had pioneered some very new and daunting territory.

They've been sitting in my panty drawer ever since, untouched and neatly folded in all their powdery pink goodness. And one day this week, when I'm feeling particularly daring and don't have anywhere to go (in case I have to perpetually pick a wedgie) I'm plan to rock the living hell out of them.

Images: Meg Zulch, Giphy