Now lemme tell you why that’s a big deal.
Got a little quiet around here again this week. But I’ve gotten such positive responses to my 1000 word ode to cockrings, that I wanted to take some time today and talk about the general un-gay-ing of penis accessories. Because I think it’s relevant and because I think it’s important and cool, to boot.
It should come as no surprise at all that I am on a LOT of mailing lists for underwears. As someone who owns 200+ pairs in regular rotation, only a fraction of those could have been gifts, and the bulk have been personal purchases from a variety of sources. Very often, these retailers will be gay-focused (think International Jock, Mensuas or the now-defunct International Male), spending their advertising dollars directing the male gaze towards some aspirational butts and bulges. But there’s also the occasional mainstream brand like His/Her Room, and Freshpair.com.
In my inbox this morning was an email announcing a really good clearance sale (!) at Freshpair, as well as a 20% off coupon (!!). Normally, I try to resist email marketing of underwear and only shop when I have a legitimate need, and not when they happen to be having some discounts (lest my collection accidentally double in size, while my bank account does the inverse). But clearance and coupon was more than I could bear, and I spent an hour or so this morning putting a shopping cart of wanties together. Imagine my surprise, when, while scrolling through the pages, I stumbled across a cockring, on a mainstream underwear site, labeled as a COCKRING. On the next page? A ball stretcher! And they had called it a BALL STRETCHER!
“What’s the big deal?” I can preemptively sense you squinting at your iphone screen.
The big deal is that, even gay-focused outlets feel compelled to ratchet down what they perceive as over-sexual imagery, to avoid potentially offending the delicate sensibilities of middle America (in order to continue to sell them products). Remember last year when International Jock’s photo editing team strategically removed dong prints from their Nasty Pig Union Suits? That shit pissed me right off. I can promise you that nobody in the whole entirety of time and space has ever purchased a Nasty Pig Union Suit expecting that it will do anything to hide or restrain their bulge. That’s not a thing. So for International Male to do this, to pretend like these models somehow were smooth and rounded like dolls down there, in order to avoid offense at the shape of the male body, was not just silly, but a blatant and comical misunderstanding of the actual product they were selling.
That’s why it was exciting to see Freshpair selling cockrings and ball stretchers as products that regular men wore. And even more exciting to see them offered in a non-sexual context; as undergarments. If you’ll recall that was a trend that I discussed in this post, that is very real amongst a lot of dudes who have penises. It’s cool to just wear a cockring as a piece of jewelry for you cock. It doesn’t need to give you brain-exploding orgasms like you’ve never experienced before, or whatever people anticipate cockrings will do to improve their sex lives. It can just be a thing you put on so that you’re a little more aware of your penis.
You already know how I feel about scrotal stretching. So I won’t continue to gush here. Suffice it to say that every dude should own at least a BASIC nut stretcher.
And to see these in the underwear section of a mainstream retailer like Freshpair means that – MAYBE – some dudes who have previously thought of cockrings as “gay” or somehow otherwise “not for them” due to associations with gay porn or culture, might be gently enticed to try something awesome for themselves.
That Freshpair uses the words “cock ring” and “ball stretcher” is also a big deal. Even retailers like Groupon – who we learned last year have a massive stock of remarkably cheap penis products you should totally explore – refuse to list items as “dildos” or “cockrings.” Instead they use PG words like “massager” and “C-ring.” These are examples of coded language to make people feel safe and neutral about purchasing something that is (ironically) specifically made for their genitals.
This kind of nonsense coddling about sexuality and genitals is what keeps guys from engaging in behaviors or play (even just with themselves) that could open fantastic doors for them. Not to mention free up tremendous amounts of time otherwise spent worrying about whether or not an inanimate object like a cockring or pair of underwear was somehow “gay.”
I, for one, am thrilled to see a vanilla brand like Freshpair encouraging dudes to try something different for themselves, and I think you should spend your money there. Is it a small step towards getting men over their hangups about their precisely drawn lines of hetero and homosexualtiy? Yeah. But every step we can take towards smashing those ideas up is an awesome one.
If you have a cock, even if it’s a straight one, it deserves to be ring’d, bro.