Going Commando

I’d have to start by explaining that this is out of the ordinary for me. I don’t just walk around sans underwear for the hell of it. Although, I suppose it’s not that outlandish. There are people who free-ball all the time; like they’re allergic to the fabric of our lives or something.

I actually don’t get that, these people who go commando like it’s their religion. I used to think it was free-spirited, but now that I’m in their supposed carefree shoes, all I can wonder is who would deliberately subscribe to this level of paranoia on a regular basis? Because right now, I’m fearful of each stray gust of wind, of every subway grate I pass over. The forward march of the minute hand is my enemy; each passing moment births another opportunity to show the world a side of me that has gone unseen by many of the men I’ve had dinner with. On the flipside, damn does it feel good!

Did you know that women are supposed to sleep with their underwear off and their bras on? That it’s the best way to preserve our bits? I don’t know who I learned that from – probably Dr. Oz or the friend of a friend, one who’s categorically unqualified to give medical advice. I wonder how much of the health-related information I’ve acquired over the years is completely made up. Eating an arsenal of snack foods past Midnight makes you fat. Drink eight glasses of water a day at minimum or you’re doomed. Fight against every human instinct you have, and you’ll be healthy. It’s all such bullshit. I think this ‘not wearing underwear’ thing has some legs though. I recall the phrase, “Let your vagina breathe.”

Oh, it’s breathing, all right. I’m not, though. I’m holding my breath each time the skirt of my dress pulls. As I approach the subway, my anxiety heightens. Even when I’m protected by underwear, I have this gnawing feeling that everyone I pass on the steps can see right up my dress. In the countless hours I’ve spent walking up and down subway steps, I don’t think I’ve ever, ever been able to see up someone’s dress, but it still petrifies me. I think of some pervert slipping his cell phone in between my legs for a quick snapshot and getting more than he bargained for. Surprise! Why buy the cow when you can get the Gratuitous Picture Of My Vagina for free? This is why I’m single.

Here on the platform, I’m allowed to tightly grip the hem of my dress like I’m expecting it to be blown away. The train’s arrival always finds a way to tempt loose fabric. No one will think I’m overly concerned about mooning the Spring Street station; this is just something us girls do when we’re waiting for the train to pull up. And when it does, I resolve that I won’t be sitting down. Sorry. I don’t care that there’s a surplus of empty seats. Take advantage of the space my absence creates, spread out, let your own respective genitalia breathe. There’s just too much risk involved for my bikini region to come that close to subway surface area.

My stop arrives, and this time I’m more afraid than ever to climb the stairs. Ascending is decidedly more revealing than descending, it creates a new level of vulnerability. I stand at the foot of the steps for a moment and watch the asses of the women climbing them, trying to determine whether or not I’d be able to see up their skirts from any given angle. When the coast is clear, I clench a ball of fabric in my fist and run up the stairs. Oh, god. Is that my jiggling ass? My ass is jiggling. This, THIS is why we wear underwear. I get it, now. Holy shit was I not ready for this jelly. I just made the horrifying revelation that my Buns Of Steel are Buns Of Real – and believe me, you do not want to be in a subway station when that truth is unearthed. In the middle of sex with the person you momentarily love? Sure. But in the middle of a subway station? There are few things bleaker than that.

I emerge from below the ground and rejoin the city on street-level, I’m greeted by sunlight. It’s the golden hour, and I decide that I’m going to continue my commando pageant with conviction. Fuck it. I’m not the only one walking around with a secret. As I head toward the park, a woman drives past me with a knowing smile; another sits on a grassy patch of earth with her dog and raises her eyebrow at me in a celebratory manner, like it’s a champagne fluke, and it’s then that I know – all anyone wants is to be able to breathe. TC mark

image – kelly


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  • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

    Woot! Sounds like a liberating day. 

    • guest

      Or do you mean ‘a labia-rating day.’ fuck, that was corny. my bad everyone. 

  • Guest

    I almost never wear underwear with pants but almost always with dresses and skirts so no one can see my labia.  The last time I went out in a skirt sans undies there *was* one of those horrible gusts of winds and I just kept walking like it was no big deal, so maybe what I need to do is just… commit to commando and own the fuck out of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    oh bb

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    Heres a question.. if wearing dresses, with or without underwear, makes you feel nervous.. WHY ARE YOU WEARING DRESSES? So much of this “you don’t know how hard it is to be a woman” crap is shit that you women do unto yourselves.

    • Guest

      Where is any IT’S SO HARD FOR WOMEN stuff?  What are you talking about?  

    • Guest

      Also haha ‘do unto yourselves’.  You’re so KJV.  

    • Miranda

      Because dresses are about 2398472 times more comfortable than pants.

      • Guest


  • Random

    Commando for men is a totally different beast.

  • Jamila

    @Greg the anxiety involved in dressing scantily clad has to do with the attention it will induce; however, NOTHING feels better on a hot NYC day than to wear a tiny dress sans undies.

  • Anonymous

    “Holy shit was I not ready for this jelly.” Was that supposed to make me think of Destiny’s Child?

    I always find it odd that when I’m wearing a short skirt or dress and I sit, the part of my underwear covering my crotch comes in contact with whatever chair I’m sitting on. I like the idea of going commando, but I feel like if other women are also doing it, the combination of two separate women rubbing their vajayjays on the same inch of plastic is just unsanitary.

    There was one time where I was wearing a skirt and I got into my car and realized I had forgotten underwear. I hadn’t left the house yet, so I ran back in and grabbed whatever was clean, but I swear to a higher power – In that split second I had visions of myself doing cartwheels and flips in front of all my classmates, completely unaware of my visible lady bits. Like the idea of having a seizure while walking by a storm drain and dropping your keys, I simply avoid the situation. I put my keys in my pocket when traveling over the grate and I refuse to leave the house without undies.

  • erin

    I go commando pretty frequently, and I’ve never had issues except the time I was at a party at some fancy hotel and I saw two boys pointing at the floor near my feet…only to realize the floor was a mirror.  But based on the type of underwear I usually wear, I would have been fucked either way.
    Anyway, it seems weird to most people, but it is completely fine to wear jeans without underwear.  It is way more comfortable, and you don’t get the whole “shit my ass jiggles” thing

    • Guest

      Yeah!  Fuck wearing underwear whenever possible.

  • illdoit

    when i was a kid, my cousin danielle told me her mom said that if you sleep without underwear, bugs will get in your vagina and youll never be able to have children.
    i revisited this idea in HS when i was deciding what birth control to go with.

  • sittin

    yo underwear also protects ur vag from city dirt and the like.  with underwear on you can sit anywhere you please without worrying.

  • http://maxwellchance.wordpress.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    This was fucking epic. I fell a little bit in love with you. Like, plus two love points.

  • Anon

    “Holy shit was I not ready for this jelly.”
    Marry me!

  • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

    You are amazing. And I can’t remember the last time I wore underwear, not allergic to the fabric of our lives though. Anyway congrats on going commando!

  • Lou

    ‘I just made the horrifying revelation that my Buns Of Steel are Buns Of Real’ LOOOOOOOL

  • Guest

    i never wear underwear anymore. i really find it a waste of time. i also don’t wear dresses very often, because i don’t want people seeing my lady bits if i drunkenly fall over.

  • Sophia

    I can relate so hard to every sentence of this.
    Witty and real. Great article.

  • joe

    I really hope someone else got the “fabric of our lives” reference.

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve made a rule for myself going commando. I never wear underwear when I’m at home and when I leave the house I only wear underwear if my skirt is shorter than knee length, that way you don’t have to worry as much about flashing strangers/ touching your naughty bits to trains seats etc.

  • Brit

    I was always mortified by the thought of going commando, and thought my friends who swore by it were nuts… until one out-of-town visit that I forgot to pack any undies so had no choice but to ‘let her breathe’. Since then, I am one of the crazies who swears by it. It’s uncomfortable, man!  Not to mention, unless you’re wearing 100% cotton, you’re creating a less-than-ideal environment down there… (Or so my gyno tells me.)
    BUT, you are a brave lady to let everything be free in a dress! I will always endure the discomfort of undies if I’m wearing short shorts or a skirt…If not because of the wind in Oklahoma, but because I happen to be quite clumsy and I’d hate for that to be the cause of people seeing the goodies. 

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