25 November 2014

Fundoshi Gatherings

As the number of people interested in fundoshi swells, the geography between us shrinks. Who knows how many fundoshi-wearers there are in a square kilometer? Or in your city or province?

The possibilities of meet-ups and parties is always a fun one to contemplate. Whether it be two individuals meeting up to hang out, or a gathering of fundoshi-clad revelers, there's no end to the possibilities! I thought it might be fun to write out some fundoshi-specific etiquette for such occasions:

1. Always carry a spare fundoshi.

2. Bring a new fundoshi to share. If everyone brings an extra, a fun exchange can happen and everyone can go home with a new fundoshi! Maybe a unique pattern or a fabric you particularly like? Make sure to get lots of pictures and send them to Fundoshi4All!

(More after the jump)

3. Help your friend into their fundoshi. If you have any pointers or tricks for newbies or even for long-time wearers, hands-on is the best way to demonstrate them! You can also tie and untie your own fundoshi a few times in a row, slowly, so that attentive observers can get the hang of the steps.

4. Be the host with the most. If it's a party or get-together at your place, make sure you are stocked with snacks and drinks for all tastes. Make everyone comfortable. Make introductions. Provide some entertainment that is engaging for everyone. Television and card games, in general, always leave someone on the fringes who isn't really into it. But things like swimming in a pool, for example, have plenty of variety for everyone to enjoy.

5. If you're going to serve alcohol, serve food too. Keep the number of a taxi company handy. Have some sleeping bags and extra pillows on hand. How the host behaves will usually be mirrored by the guests, so keep that in mind as you dispense refreshments.

6. Introduce everyone to everyone else. Maybe do a round of introductions: share your name and a little about yourself, maybe how you discovered fundoshi or what your first experience wearing a fundoshi was. Get everyone at ease and then let them take over.

7. Being a host, the tendency is to try to be everywhere refilling drinks and sprucing things up. You can end up more of a manager than a participant. Instead, draft a couple friends or guests to help out. People love purpose. If everyone feels that they are truly a part of the proceedings, more fun will be had even if more "work" or "organization" is getting accomplished. It's also tempting to take a 100% hands off stance... letting everyone determine their own enjoyment. But we all get comfortable at different rates. Providing a little structure can help everyone get in synch. This also frees you up to stop worrying about restocking hors d'ouevres so you can enjoy the party you are throwing.

8. Set the tone. Definitely DO be in control of this aspect of the gathering. If someone is rocking the boat, find a diplomatic way to let them know and that if they want to have a different kind of party they are welcome to arrange it at their own house. Be pleasant, yet firm.

9. Be a good neighbor. Mind the noise and other possible incursions into the peace and quiet of those who live around you. If you're out in the country then whooping around a bonfire is no big deal. In the city or the suburbs, different rules apply. Generally, keep it indoors. Think about the parking arrangements. Keep the curtains drawn. Keep the volume down. If someone does complain, treat them with courtesy, offer them a drink or snack, and address their concerns. This is just being a good human being.

If you're like me, nothing sounds like more fun than friends and acquaintances having a fundoshi-clad good time. Not ready for a big gathering? Try inviting over one or two friends. Let them know the dress code and go with the flow.

Now here's a cool party trick: make 5 fundoshi with just two tears, right in front of everyone!

Let's say you have a three-yard piece of fabric. Fold it in half once lengthwise. Make a very small cut with scissors 9.5-10 inches (24-25 cm) on one end, measuring in from where the to corners meet. Now make a second cut 5 inches in from the fold. Make sure these small cuts go through both layers of fabric and that they are lined up... then rip! Tear the fabric lengthwise with two long steady tears until you are left holding 5 brand new fundoshi! Now tie up 5 waiting friends in these brand new loincloths.

10. If you're like me, music plays a huge part in setting the stage. I'd say pick something not too common and play it at a medium to low volume. That way the atmosphere is interesting but won't compete with conversation. It will also help control noise so people won't get too boisterous and stage a sing-along, since they won't know the songs! As an option, have someone with a good repertoire bring an acoustic guitar. Ask them to keep it mellow.

 11. The late night movie. Chances are things will wind down to just a few guests, or maybe just one. Once the glasses and plates are cleared, reward yourself with a movie. Fundoshi-themed pornography is my suggestion! But I leave that up to you. Treasure Of The Sierra Madre might be more your speed. This is a good time to curl up on the couch with a blanket or comforter and a buddy or two.

If your gathering was outdoors, huddling around the fire is a good option. A good fire is better than a lot of the movies I've seen. If you're near water a late night dip is always nice before you wriggle into a sleeping bag and start telling ghost stories.

I generally like to avoid gossip, politics, religion, or depressing news as topics. I don't think they need to be forbidden, but if they come up, find a good way to shift things into more positive territory.

If you're looking for a movie suggestion, try this one:

 That's certainly not all that's available in terms of entertainment! Just something I found recently that I thought readers would enjoy. There's always Casablanca if two young men in fundoshis climbing all over each other is not appropriate. In the movie, silly! In the movie.

So in wrap-up, hosting a fundoshi party can be lots of fun, isn't much work, and leaves everyone feeling pretty invigorated! A fundoshi-swap let's everyone leave with something new to wear. I'd recommend printing out some instructions to help people remember how to tie a fundoshi if they are new to it. Check out the Resources tab (above, top of the page) for a few ideas.

Semi-nude parties don't need to be sexual in nature, though they often tend to be. Obviously monitor everyone's mood a little bit and make sure proper consent is being practiced.

The object is to have a great time and maybe introduce some new people to the joys of fundoshi-wearing. I think a good secondary objective is to set the stage for a second party. The way to know people are having a really good time is if they bring up doing it again. that's your chance to say "maybe at your place?" If no one takes the bait, go ahead and offer to have it at your place again. Renting a cabin or a beach house is also a fun option, and one people can pool resources for.

Like any party, a fundoshi party can be done with almost zero preparation, too! Sometimes parties just happen. You never know!


Shyc said...

Wow!! Sounds like you throw a mean party! Makes my mind go into over drive what to expect if ever I get invited to your fundoshi party. Very good read... which I must confess, is not what I normally would do. Kudo to this article!! :)

Ryan Rokushaku said...

You're on the VIP list if I ever throw my own fundoshi party!

Anonymous said...

I do take two or three rolled up folded strips of flannel or very soft cotton cloth with he when seeing a friend or ladyfriend. Have a length of string to go around the waist, then tuck in the front, bring around between the legs and tuck in and pull down. Not exactly tied like a true fundoshi, but looks like the real thing. Mmmm.

Evening does get hot. Nice use for old very soft sheet torn in two lengthwise and folded lengthwise.

Have used a cotton, plastic fibre mix narrow stip sheet as covering as it does keep the fundoshi warm and a bit moist. Tuck in in front, pull between legs and tuck in back.

On a cold evening, a warm fundoshi makes for a hot night..

Ryan Rokushaku said...

Sounds nice, a loincloth-to-go! I think more people should get into loincloths!