13 November 2012

Fundoshi Social

If it can squirt juice, our society covers it up.  If it changes shape during sexual arousal, we shroud it in secrecy.  Thus, the female nipple, which gives milk, is forbidden, but the visually near-identical male nipple, which doesn't, causes nary a ripple -- even in "family" publications!  It seems arbitrary, but it also creates the mystique and sensuous tension that a garment like the fundoshi introduces into the proceedings.  It becomes an "interval" in our arousal, foreplay, and sexual imagination -- a stop along the way to the juice squirting part.  By itself, it often initiates the shape changing part.  

I'm over-simplifying things.  But the loincloth serves a social purpose -- to conceal and obscure sexual excitement, and thereby it has become fetishized for many, just like underwear, and implicitly identified with the very arousal cycle that it was invented to mediate.  Therefore, first nudity became taboo, because unbidden erections could cause social tension -- namely, fighting among males.  Loincloths and underwear evolved from those situations, partly.  Also, obviously, to protect the sensitive genital areas from sun and the environment, and from injury.

Now, as we are even further removed from innocence and nature, by layer upon layer of social engineering, specialization, religion, and legal controls, appearing publicly in underwear or a loincloth becomes itself an offense!  Even when it would be infinitely practical, like during the bruising heat of this past summer.

Much as a woman in a bikini can appear 20 feet tall on a billboard, but a woman in a bra and panties shrinks away and feels embarrassed, we've created spurious double standards in regards to bits of cloth and string.  Yet these very double standards have also served to amp up the sensual experience of lowly items like jocks, thongs, expensive tighty-whiteys, and homemade loincloths.

This leaves us at a divide: keep the fundoshi to ourselves and continue to ramp up its ecstatic potency for private sexual gratification; or show everyone how to wear one, market it for its engineering brilliance, affordability, and comfort -- and thereby homogenize the experience and de-sexualize it until it more closely resembles the historical role the fundoshi originally played.

As fairly casual participants in this re-introduction of the fundoshi -- as a community of friends -- we have the luxury of even considering this.  For many, it will be nearly impossible to override their social programming and see the fundoshi as anything but a fetish object or a homoerotic obsession; two things that it can be, but historically isn't.  For others, its ingenuity and thrift will delight their pragmatic side, and its sensual potential will be seen as a side-benefit.

A button-down shirt can be sexy.  Glasses can be sexy.  That shirt could be used to tie a persons wrists, and those glasses could stay on during intercourse, so either can be used sexually, as well.  Daily objects like tables, rope, and tape can be commandeered for sexualized use -- but objects in and of themself are only as sexual as we psychologically determine them to be.  So a fundoshi folded in a drawer is not as sexy as a fundoshi tightly stretched over a pair of hips. 

Keeping the fundoshi private, secret, and among friends is one way to ensure sweaty secret liasons, slicked-up masturbation sessions, juice-filled erections fluttering into shape and engorging to rock-hardness.  None of that is at all bad or undesirable.  Quite the contrary, it is the epitomy of desires realized.

Bringing the fundoshi out from the personal and into the public, tips the scales somewhat towards social bonding, and away from sexual gratification.  That's how fundoshi parties and Japanese winter festivals can raise that feeling of joy, alchemically, in the collective chests of their participants.  Fundoshi bars straddle the two worlds, with their more public lounges and their more curtained private back rooms.

There will always be the potential to bring an object, another person, or a length of cool white cloth into a sexual situation.  The same goes for a candle or a camera.  Bringing something into the public sphere is far more intimidating, even something as once-widespread and socially acceptable as a fundoshi.  A few companies have tried marketing the fundoshi over time.  I remember seeing a fundoshi in the International Male catalog in the 1980s.  I think that's where I learned the word, in fact.  And then the online store xzytes.com (which appears to be no longer with us) marketed various fundoshis for several years.  In Japan, it's a matter of course, and fundoshi also go by the name "classic pants."  They're not uncommon at beaches and pools, saunas and the like.  Their taboo nature is not innate, but it can come out at night so to speak.

In the West, with our prohibition against showing the buttocks (especially the male's), it's certainly harder to contemplate wearing a fundoshi out.  There's more risk involved, and not just legal.  There's social risk.  Some readers have overcome this and introduced their households and their friends to the concept of fundoshi.  Converts have been made.  Parties have been thrown.  Beaches have been visited and their fundoshi tan-lines are their badge of courage.

I think it's possible to inhabit a point, quite happily, somewhere along the spectrum between fearlessly showing off your fundoshi and secretively tucking it into your khakis.  Likewise, there's more than one way to get the word out.  Whatever you decide, for yourself, the simple enjoyment of cinching a banner of fabric around your waist and loins can be a defining moment in your day; and your day a defining moment in your life.  This should make you smile!

I hope your fundoshi feels great today!


John said...

Great photos but an even greater thought-piece. I think we can all enjoy a fundoshi both ways as a practical garment that does a job and as an erotic extension of ourselves. By covering and accentuating our genital areas, it draws attention on an ongoing basis. Being naked has its initial shock and then, that wears off. A fundoshi makes one wonder what is underneath.

I am 11 months into wearing nothing but fundoshi each day and I'm not going back. This is it for me. I've hosted parties and introduced friends. We've swapped. We've had our giggly fun but we've moved forward the same way a guy does the first time he wears a jock. It's different and then after a while, it isn't. I've had sex in a fundoshi with my partner in one too. When we conceive next year, I want to wear one so some day if I have a son, I can give it to him. Hey, it also feels great to have something to grip while thrusting.

But the idea of sex props is a good one to bring up. The mention of glasses staying on took me back to having sex with a cool friend years ago. He wore black-framed glasses which looked good on him. I remember looking up as he mounted me thinking how good he looked and that I'd never had sex with anyone wearing glasses. That became my memory anchor.

The idea of taboos, things we can and can't do has to go. Something as intimate as sex can't be determined by a book of etiquette written by someone else. It comes down to two (or more) people making their own rules of sexual engagement, talking, exploring and ultimately, sharing something totally personal. I've reached this point with the fundoshi. It looks good and it feels good. It's about $1.25 each rather than $30+. I understand the world is not ready to see me walk through the mall in one but at home and on the beach, I'm comfortable. All of my partner's friends have seen my bare butt. At first it was one of those taboo things. Now it's not a big deal. When friends visit they know they can take off their pants and relax. Sometimes, pants stay on.

I just know that I feel more free to be myself now. The fundoshi has helped me grow and mature and leave the stereotypes of others behind. I've learned in the past year that I can love my partner with whom I plan on having a child soon but I can also love my best friend who also has a cool female partner. It's a different kind of love but both involve touching and sharing of energies, skin on skin, a slap on the butt and mutual support in life.

Anonymous said...

Some very erotic photos in this set! I especially liked #18, the Samurai/Sumo fundoshi! This gave me a great boner! How about a how-to or link to tie this Sumo type of Fundoshi! Keep upt the great work!!!

Ryan Rokushaku said...

I will look for one! I know this is a more complex wrapping procedure -- a beer bottle is used to get the sharp creases in the cloth -- and it takes a great deal more fabric. It is called "mawashi."

Ryan Rokushaku said...

I found you a diagram that will help you tie a mawashi! It's here http://www.ikeda-jc.com/w/04/post_9.html

Note that a mawashi is 4 times as wide as a fundoshi, carefully folded into quarteres (lengthwise) before you start donning it. This looks like a 2-person operation. Good luck!

Shy C said...

First and foremost, what attracted me is the very 1st pic which have a zooming effect of bring your eyes straight to the repeat-pattern of the fundoshi. Brilliant, love it very much! Than as I read on, I totally agree with John, tat it is indeed well written with great inner tots. Your insight on double standards lead me to ponder on how we accept people wearing swimming attire at pool or beaches but if it were to rain heavily and to keep my clothes dry, I decided to walk in just my undies, I most likely to be arrested. lol Some of the standards tat we have develop over the years seems rather strange yet since it is the norm, no one have much to say and just live by it. Imagine, when we see someone expose their undies waistband in their low-waist jeans yet if it was the twisted loin of the fundoshi, what would their reaction be especially if it is outside of Japan?
I have mostly used my fundoshi or related erotic inner beauites for photography and keepsake but have not worn it as a functional piece for simple reason tat it might be a bit more difficult when call of nature strike and somehow modern undies really have the ease of usage when it come to emergency release.