Saturday, March 06, 2010


A few days ago, I'm in the bedroom with boyfriend T and we're getting ready for bed. I take off my undershorts and while I stand there naked, folding my trousers, boyfriend T has a question for me.

"Why don't you put those undershorts that you've been wearing today in the laundry bin?" he asks.

"I'm quite a clean guy," I answer, "so my undershorts aren't dirty after I've only worn them for one day :-). But I do change them regularly, after a few days, even if they don't seem dirty!"

"What?!" shrieks boyfriend T, "that's not clean!! You mean you don't wear clean undershorts every day??"

"Um, well, should I?" I reply calmly, surprised by his reaction, "I don't know if I've got enough for one a day!"

While boyfriend T opens my underwear drawer and counts my spare pairs of undershorts, I recall that ex-boyfriend P had a theory that guys from colder northern European climates like me don't wash as much as guys who're from tropical climates, who typically sweat more during the day.

"Look," he says triumphantly, "You've got more than enough for one a day! Are all British guys as dirty as you?"

"But I'm not dirty," I protest, "although it's true that when I was young my mother and my grandmother thought that I should wash more!"

"Well what about ex-boyfriend S?" asks boyfriend T, "did he have clean underwear every day?"

"Yes actually," I reply, "I think he did!"

"Well at least some British guys are normal then!"

Although I don't think there's anything wrong with my cleanliness, I'm quite interested to know how regularly other people change their underwear. So please vote in the poll that I've set up on this blog's right-hand side bar :-).

Update 20-Mar-2010: The graph below shows the final results of the poll. What clean guys you all are, well, most of you anyway!


Shawn L said...

Sorry GB looks like you are really the dirtier one based on the poll ;p

In Southeast Asia you HAVE to shower 1-2 times a day and change underwear every day

I don't think I will shower that often if I live in London during winter

the happy go lucky one said...

im a malaysian, and yes we change AT LEAST once a day :P
and yes we sweat more than u guys in colder weather :)

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Definitely at least once a day and wear clean ones after a shower...


Volodya said...

GB, I am with you on that!

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

Oh dear.. even born in London I might have had the same reaction as T.

In summer I'm known to change my boxers as much as two/three times a day. But that said as Asians I think our bodies generally sweat more than Caucasian bodies do.

Bless, I think I might have been a little more tactful than T if I were raising the subject. Thanks for the major laugh though :)

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

I'm trying to tell myself not to judge others - but seriously one of your readers has marked once a month on your survey - I don't know what to do with that information dude :p serious.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Good job you've gone to great lengths to hide your true identity!

You don't have to sweat to smell bad, ya know?

close encounters said...

every day, and sometimes more in the summer !

the immigayrant said...

Interesting post,

I'm from Southeast-Asia too.

I change my undies everytime I take shower. Back then in hot-and-humid Jakarta, I showered twice a day. Hence I changed undies twice a day.

Twice a day during summer, and once a day during winter here in Melbourne.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the line: "you can wear your underwear 4 times without washing: forwards, backwards, inside out forwards, inside out backwards."

More seriously, I'd always change once a day unless absolutely stuck, I'm sure it is mainly a habit, but it isn't one I'm looking to break.

Antony said...

I change them every day :D just the way I was brought up I guess lol.

A x

Phil said...

Once maybe twice a day, one pair for work and if I'm going out another pair after a shower, even if I'm just going to the gym where I go commando anyway. I'm white British so no excuses GB, you need to change them more often!

Bill said...

Always at least once a day; I'll certainly change them (and socks and other personal items) if I'm going out in the evening, and of course I'll have taken another shower before that too. I thought the traditional British notion of bathing and changing underwear just a few times a week went out in the 1950s, lol. I could not possibly imagine wearing underwear two days running. Obviously when I lived in the Middle and Far East it was at least twice a day and often three times at specially humid times of the year.

Grouse79 said...

Another vote for the once a day crowd. Given the parts of your body that underwear is next to, I'd say going for more than one day is only excusable if you can't get hold of a clean pair from somewhere. Especially if you might be having *fun* with someone later that day.
I used to only change my shirts every two days until I realised how badly stained they got. Now it's once a day for them as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm from the UK and, whenever possible, I try to change my underwear every day. It really depends on the weather, and on what you are doing with your body!

Hedgie said...

Underwear and socks changed every day - and yes, if I shower more than once a day the undies & socks get changed too. It's a habit I got into growing up in South Africa and even if it is unnecessary psychologically I just don't think I could wear undies twice running.

Paul said...

Yet more underwear shockers from GB. I remember reading a while back that he had gone out, to meet a guy for activities, with holes in his pants. You need a clean pair every shower, and make sure they don't have holes.

Anonymous said...

Sorry man, you're a pig. Change your underpants. That is just nasty.

Anonymous said...

I'm a student from a tropical country in the UK. When back home I do change every day, but here as the months went by I started getting a bit more... European in my habits. I now change every two days, mostly (sometimes every day, sometimes "GB style"...)

There's nothing actually wrong about it if they're clean though... the whole underwear freakness is a pretty recent phenomenon!

Jamie said...

Sorry GB, I'm British and I've always thought:

"Pants worn twice are not very nice!"

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting way to augment one's earnings during a recession:

Morgan X said...

I am pretty certain that I've changed my underwear every day of my life, except perhaps on nights I've unexpectedly stayed out at someone elses place (ahem). I'm from north Scotland where it's even colder than London and would never assume I simply didn't sweat enough to need to change my underwear! And i swear I've never met someone else who acted any differently.

Jake said...

At least once a day, and sometimes more (like if having an early shower and then getting dressed again - clean pants are a must).

GB, you skank! :-D

Anonymous said...

Dear GB, I think you should conduct a scientific experiment to get your reputation restored. Given that you do have more than one piece of underwear, here is my suggestion: wear some pieces for just one day, others for two, others for three days. Once you stop wearing a piece, seal it in a ziploc back and write a random code number on the bag. Plot down on a secret list for each code number how long you have worn the piece of underwear. Once you are through your entire underwear collection, hand all the sealed pieces of underwear to your boyfriend and ask him to identify those that have been worn for 1, 2, and 3 days respectively. If it is true that wearing the underwear for more than a day leads to unacceptable filth, he should have no problem doing so. On the other hand, if he fails, you have established that there is nothing wrong with underwear worn for 2 or 3 days!! :-)

antaeusguy said...

Don't you love the smell of a fresh pair of undies, GB? ;)

rickisimus2 said...

I change my underwear once or twice per day.

Hugs from Spain.

Z said...

I see no need to change more than once a day unless you have some post of VD and are leaving secretions.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lord! Ew! I'm British and change once a day - sometimes more! I assumed this was the norm (and think it should be).

I'm envious of Justin Timberlake. He wears a new pair each and every day - throwing away after one use. He likes the feel of fresh ones apparently.

A, London

GaySocrates said...

How Interesting!
I change once a day and have done ever since I have been a grown up gay man.
I like the idea of the 1/2/3/ day experiment. Sometimes I wonder if we actually need to change that often. We've kinda been programmed by a western capitalist toiletry industry that we're all prety filthy and we need to keep showering and changing /laundering our clothes.
I've just got back from a faerie gathering where washing is not a priority and realized that there can be something enchanting about someone's animal aroma.
Maybe in the corporate banking world that might be beyond the pale!
But GB you've just gone up in my estimation because you don't seem to have succumbed to the propaganda
Maybe gay guys are more liable to fall for the idea that we're all basically unclean and need to ablute and re garb on a regular basis because of our intrinsic self esteem issues- I'd love to know if straight guys were quite as anal about their underwear.

Hedgie said...

Hey! I started changing my undies every day as a child - well before I realized I was gay!

On another note - we have to bump this thread up to be GB's most commented :-)

Hedgie said...

Discover the V&A's underwear collection:

Last comment, promise! :-)