Why do innerwear brands sell sexuality or machoism?

Abhinav Jain
2 min readApr 26, 2023

An underwear ad usually shows a male protagonist able to protect the girl simply because of the confidence and comfort endowed by the chosen brand. Confidence has been appropriated more or less by the entire beauty industry, sanitary wear, and this category.

How does what you wear inside, invisible to most of the world impact confidence? Innerwear is the closest to your skin, which means if it is uncomfortable, it will end up taking significant mind space throughout the rest of the day. For example, itchy underwear not absorbing sweat, a bra strap that is visible, or a panty line showing the contours of what you are wearing, can cause quite a lot of discomfort.

Sexual prowess due to confidence is what the men’s category earlier focused on. This is in some ways similar to sanitary wear communication, now that you are comfortable, you can win the world. The world for men was simplified to getting the woman. New players like XYXX have taken a larger route of “play your way”, while Dixcy Scott has converted this discomfort into a “body language” problem that can hinder your success.

For women, the conversation has been led by fit and comfort, since selling sexuality to women is a sensitive topic in India. With the most uncomfortable offline buying experience, the category was ripe for disruption. Offline one had no option but to rely on the “Expertise” of a strange man, or go with a standard size. But online options like Clovia and Zivame are able to stock a wide inventory to meet your exact needs. What does a great fit mean? It means you can run to catch a bus. It means you won’t be slouching trying to hide your breast.

In many countries, the category focuses on sexuality. Confidence from comfort is clear, but how does innerwear lend sexuality to women, especially when no one else can see it, at least on many days? In my opinion, it is similar to wearing makeup, it makes you feel beautiful. It is a form of expression, the difference is that is a safe and controlled one. Since it is innerwear, you can explore a side of you safely within the confines of your outer apparel and control who gets exposed to this side of you. In fact the more confident you feel, the more you are okay with innerwear being visible or becoming outerwear.

Is the same true for men? While confidence may be true for both genders, does wearing a certain type of innerwear actually make men feel attractive? Also another random thought, why is the term “beautiful” not used with men?

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