On Wearing Disco Booty-Shorts
*Disclaimer* In this essay I discuss the fact that I have a penis, and how that influences the etiquette and logistics of wearing extremely tight clothing. If you find that distasteful, feel free to skip this piece.
Halfway through 2013 I was 29, just about to turn 30 and my wife were having the time of our lives going to some most excellent parties and music festivals.. One of the prime components of this scene was the incredible costumes; the more garish-ridiculous the better. Swept up in the glamour, and wanting to be more fully a participant, I supported a kickstarter to gain an article of clothing more revealing and absurd than any I’d ever owned (or will probably ever own); a shiny, tiny, pair of XXL disco booty shorts. In between my KS pledge and fulfillment however, Lauren became pregnant and my life changed. And so, I put the utterly ludicrous non-outfit away in the bottom of my underwear drawer (because -seriously- this thing is smaller than the things I wear *under* my pants). I moved on with my life.
In 2014, I attempted to attend the bare minimum of festivities; desperate to honor this new side of our life and the fledgling relationships we’d begun. But mostly, I prepared for (and reacted to) the wrecking ball of joy-difficulty-change that was the birth of my daughter crashing into my life. And through it all, the disco booty-shorts glittered at me whenever I found myself running low on boxer-briefs.
In 2015, and especially with sleep training + weaning our daughter, Lauren and I tried to do more events even as we balanced being fully engaged parents. That year, we experienced many good times, a few bad ones, and generally building back up to the comfort levels of 2013. And through the months, sometimes as a threat, sometimes as a promise; the disco booty-shorts glittered at me.
If 2016 is to have a theme, it is -in being in a good place balancing the various parts of my life- I want to take some chances, to do some things that terrify me. And so, the disco booty-shorts glittered at me. And, frankly, the thought of wearing the damn things terrified me.
A word on the things that scare me. When it comes to other people’s feelings, their fears and anxieties I try to be gentle, compassionate and caring; at times to the point where I transform these virtues into vices. When it comes to *my* fears and anxieties, I will (eventually, when I get sick enough of my own bullshit) adopt a berserker charging a shield wall approach. Because, ultimately, nothing I’ve been afraid of has ever been worse than the fear that tries to worm its way into my bones. I don’t do it with everything all at once, but -if you watch me carefully- you can usually discern at least one thing that scares me shitless because it’ll be what I’m running at… full tilt.
And yes, wearing this ridiculous pair of ‘pants’ scared me. I have some body-shame issues which is simply to say that I’m a 21st century human being and not one of those incredible mutants that i meet sometimes but who I still don’t fully believe exist. I began to psych myself up for the moment; trying them on by myself (and letting the ‘nonononogodno’s spill out), teasing at the possibility on Facebook.
Beyond the fear however, with this level of tight there was the technical problem of having external genitalia. I didn’t necessarily want everyone in my immediate vicinity to have direct knowledge of the exact size, shape, and tilt of my flaccid penis; especially as -since I was choosing to make everything shiny- people might find themselves glancing at my pelvis not due to their own volition but simply because of the basic cognitive firmware (present in all apes and corvids) to ‘look at shiny shit.’
As such, I had a couple of options which I explored in the week before the party:
1.Tuck. I could have simply tucked my various bits back between my legs and allowed the tightness of the shorts to keep everything in place. The disadvantages of this tactic would have been even greater discomfort, the necessity of adopting a certain jaunty bandy-leggedness to prevent pancakefication, and creating the impression that my nether regions most closely resembled a pantless ken doll whose crotch had been coated in glitter.
2.Going ‘As Is.’ Wearing the pants as intended was certainly an option but I feel this would have (somehow) made me more naked than just being naked as my genitals would have been more or less perfectly outline but now busy refracting the multicolored lights… although some of my friends reminded me that no matter how glittery or tautly outlined my dick may have been wearing something, *anything* would have prevented floppiness; the oft overlooked peril of true male nudity (most especially when it is correlated with dancing).
3.Employ the use of a modesty sock. The other path was to stuff my shaft and balls into an elastic banded sock, and then shove that whole deal into the disco booty-shorts. The downside of this is that it feels vaguely perverse, akin to the teen comedy movie fodder of ‘stuffing’ a sock down one’s pants in a cringe worthy attempt at misrepresentation based on those most basic and lame male insecurities. To employ this method, I would need to remind myself that I -in no way- was interested in convincing anyone that I was packing anything more than I possessed but rather only hoped to provide some welcome obfuscation for anyone who was otherwise uninterested in knowing whether or whether not I’m circumcised.
Of these three, well into the night of the party, I went with option 3.
I totally wore the booty-shorts at a party. And yes, they’re an appropriate symbol for Lauren and I being great parents while still growing and changing ourselves. And yes, they work as an elaborate metaphor for my life changing and opening myself up to new possibilities and silliness and fun. Yes yes, that’s all well and good.
But the part of the booty-shorts that aren’t a conceit, the part that is a literal, insufficient strip of stretchy fabric… that part isn’t really all that comfortable to wear physically. I’m fairly certain that, had I remained in the booty-shorts I would have discovered-invented cold fusion as the horrendous snugness engulfing everything below my belly line and above my upper thigh would have collapsed the distance between the atomic nuclei of my buttocks and those of the booty-shorts. Given my own estimates as to the reaction mass of my ass, had such fusion occurred I project it would have caused a thermo-nuclear chain reaction somewhere in the 37 kiloton range; engulfing the party in addition to much of the city of San Diego in a fiery conflagration. As such, the fact that I changed outfits when I did makes me a goddamn hero and I have (frankly) not been thanked enough for saving thousands, possibly even millions of lives.
Anyway, I shifted in my neon orange faux crushed velvet almost pajama pants, my fetching sloth t-shirt & my shoulder fringe of (badly) imitated fox fur and the party continued in earnest, with me smiling inwardly at reaching new heights of silliness even if only for less than an hour.
When it comes to some of my friends, I can not actually compete in the race of best-worst dressed; I will lose. But it makes me happy that -in the bottom of my ever expanding costume bin- are a tiny, shiny pair of xxl disco booty-shorts that I can don at any time. And whatever your absurd, ridiculous, exuberant ‘thing’ is; I hope you make time to wear it -for the first time or merely ‘again’- soon.