Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?


Kiss Me

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.

- Jim Davis

I'd luv to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair.

- Bette Davis

Butt I don't even like you!

Source: web


Drank Too Much...


Sizing It Up

Condoms aren't completely safe.  A friend of mine was wearing one and got hit by a bus.

- Bob Rubin

Everyone agreed that condoms were a great idea except for one thing - while men came in different sizes, condoms only came in one size.  Manufacturers had realised from the beginning that that no self-respecting man would walk into a chemist shop and ask for a pack of small condoms!

The conversation turned quiet at this point as each person made their own inner reflections.  Finally someone hit on an answer.  The smallest size could be called "large"!  What about the larger sizes?  The atmosphere became ribald at this stage.  It was finally agreed after many alternatives that there should be three sizes of condoms: "large", "huge" and "Oh, my god!"

Source: Whole Earth Review

Condoms for All Shapes and Sizes

by Paula Oliver

Pharmac, the Government drug-buying agency, has discovered that size really does matter - so does dryness, breakage and a close fit.  A wider range of subsidised condoms may soon be available as a result of a public consultation exercise.

Governments have paid for condoms for years, but the agency's consultation showed users want choice.  Pharmac's medical director, Dr Peter Moodie, said yesterday that size was the main issue raised - even naming the various dimensions was important.  "The sensitivity of this subject expands to how you describe size ... Small, medium and whopping may not be acceptable, whereas regular, large and something else may be.  We didn't realise how complex the whole thing would be."

There was also a desire for more extra-strength options - now there is only one on the Pharmac list of 11.  A non-latex condom for those with a latex allergy was also wanted, as were a choice of spermicide and non-spermicide and even flavour, but Dr Moodie said a line needed to be drawn somewhere.

It was important that condoms be fully subsidised.  "A lot of people can't afford them in any quantity."  And if they were not appealing, he said, they would not be used.  "We have to get the balance between what is sensible and what is being silly.  While it can generate a lot of humour, the reality is that the social cost of not using condoms is very great with both unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases."

After consulting the Family Planning Association and other groups, Pharmac thinks it has found the hitches that discourage use.  It has decided to no longer simply invite tenders for "standard condoms" from suppliers.  Pharmac will ask pharmaceutical companies for proposals shortly.  If one has a range that adequately covers what Pharmac wants, Dr Moodie says that single company may be the chosen supplier.

About 7.6 million condoms are prescribed each year, costing $1.2 million.

Source: 31 December 2001

King Size, Not Queen

Some Men Have Taken to Wearing Pantyhose

by Kevin Helliker

The mainstay for cross-dressers is a boon to athletes and guys on their feet all day long.

Robert Rodgers used to carry into stores a list of items such as milk, eggs and pantyhose, hoping others would think he was shopping for a wife or girlfriend.  But he is no longer hiding the truth.  "The pantyhose are for me," says Mr Rodgers, a 34-year-old San Francisco financial manager for an entertainment union.

It's not news that some men like to wear women's clothing.  But a different sort of man is discovering the virtues of ladies' hosiery.  No cross-dresser, he wears hose for warmth, comfort or the compression they provide as a possible antidote to circulatory problems or varicose veins.  How his pantyhose look - or what other people think of them - becomes moot once he puts on his slacks.  "I don't broadcast what I wear under my pants," says Steve Newman, an Ohio engineering-firm manager who wears L'eggs Sheer Energy Active Support under them, among other brands.

Determining the amount of hosiery hiding beneath male trousers is impossible because store cashiers don't usually record the buyer's sex.  But statistics online, where a man can buy hose without raising eyebrows, point to an authentic niche.  At, a lingerie Web site offering European brands, about 85% of women's hosiery sales go to males, many of whom place two orders - large sizes for themselves and smaller ones for their wives.  A "small" percentage of sales of the No nonsense brand go to men.  Based on communications with these customers, parent Kayser-Roth Corporation estimates that 40% are cross-dressers, and most of the rest men who simply like or need to wear pantyhose.

A generations-old wholesaler of women's hosiery called G Lieberman & Sons has restructured itself into a manufacturer and online purveyor of pantyhose made exclusively for men, called Comfilon.  "There's a whole underground culture of normal, mainstream guys who wear hose," says Chief Executive Steve Katz.  Most buy women's brands.  Mr Katz says he sells hundreds of thousands of dollars a year worth of three-year-old Comfilon, which has male-specific features such as a fly in front.  The company's motto: "Comfilons are not your mother's pantyhose."

Men working outdoors sometimes find that nylon, unlike thermal underwear, provides warmth without bulk and without absorbing perspiration.  For that reason, professional football players occasionally wear pantyhose during cold games.  Men whose jobs require long hours of standing say that pantyhose can reduce leg pain, swelling and fatigue.  Increasingly, doctors recommend that long-distance fliers wear tight-fitting hosiery or socks, to prevent getting blood clots in their legs.

Men's sense of freedom to wear pantyhose is growing at the same time that women feel freer not to wear them.  It is much less common these days for companies to prohibit bare l egs.  A big problem for the hosiery industry is that many young women now eschew pantyhose even when wearing skirts.

The industry sells $1.4 billion a year in pantyhose in the US alone.  But unit volume has been declining.  At Sara Lee Corporation, the largest player through its L'eggs and Hanes brands, unit volume of sheer hosiery fell 8% in 2001, "reflecting the continuing decline in the global sheer hosiery market," the company said.

The prospect of a whole new customer base would be enticing-if not for the decades-long promotion of pantyhose to women, based on sex appeal.  That old slogan, "Gentlemen Prefer Hanes," didn't mean they liked it on their own legs.  The idea of pantyhose on men was so unthinkable that quarterback Joe Namath got a big laugh by donning them for a television commercial in 1973 for Hanes's Beauty Mist brand.

If the industry suddenly tried marketing to both sexes, would it alienate women in greater numbers than it attracted men?  Sara Lee has no plans to market to men.  At Kayser-Roth's No Nonsense, Vice President of Development Diane Warren notes that the potential problems extend beyond marketing.  "It would be difficult to get a retailer like Wal-Mart to devote shelf space to a pantyhose for men," she says.

Still, it isn't a big jump to pantyhose from nylon running tights, or cycling pants of the sort that are increasingly popular among men eager to look like Lance Armstrong.  Also bridging the gap are support hose prescribed to men with phlebitis or a history of blood clots.  Although over-the-counter pantyhose don't provide sufficient compression to combat serious vein or circulatory problems, support hose can help minor cases, doctors say.

But whether the incentive for pulling on that first pair is athletic performance or improved circulation, many men keep wearing women's hosiery because it feels good.  Mr Rodgers, a former college athlete, substituted his girlfriend's pantyhose for his running tights one day as an experiment.  A decade later, "I wear them every day under my clothes to work," he says, praising not just their comfort but efficiency.  "It combines underwear, socks and thermals all in one."

For the industry, a key to marketing to such men might be the naming of the product.  So many men were buying women's brands at Wolford AG, the luxury hosiery company based in Austria, that four years ago it started offering male products.  Its tights for men - a $90 cotton velvet offering - aren't called tights.  They're called the Waistsock.  Amid last year's recession, Wolford America posted double-digit sales growth in that category.  "There's nothing feminine about our men's products," says Karen Schneider, Wolford's chief executive officer.

But Waistsock doesn't seem sufficiently macho to Rob Safko.  A construction contractor in Ontario, Mr Safko has such severe varicose veins that a doctor ordered medical support hose.  He wears them as prescribed during long-pants season - but not under shorts in the summer.  "I can't see the guys being too understanding about that," he says.

Mr Safko has given considerable thought to how the pantyhose industry might market a product for guys, and not only because he uses them himself.  His wife, Nicole, founded, and he moonlights as her assistant.  In selling women's brands online to other men, he has learned that many wear hosiery during athletic endeavors, such as cold-weather cycling.  Thus, Mr Safko asserts, the industry should devise a name that suggests strength and endurance.  He would choose "Men's Power Skin," he says.

Legwear purveyors contend that men wearing pantyhose belong to a tradition dating back to European aristocracy.  "There are portraits 200 years ago of royalty who wore exactly this garment," Mr Katz says of his Comfilon male pantyhose.  But since most people don't regard male pantyhose wearers as conventional, let alone traditional, many men hush it up.  Larry Sobczak, a Michigan journalist and avid cyclist, secretly has worn pantyhose for a decade, without mentioning it even to his brothers.  The stigma bothers him.  "I once had a girlfriend steal a pair of my boxers," he says.  "Why is that okay - women wearing men's boxers - but it's a big problem if I steal a pair of her pantyhose?"

Many guys say their wives or girlfriends have no problem with it.  "I had a girlfriend who liked to help me pick them out," says Mr Rodgers.

A few men wear pantyhose publicly.  "I'm 57 and don't care what anybody thinks," says Ron Torgeson, a buyer for an Indiana mechanical contractor.  A pantyhose user for medical reasons, Mr Torgeson wore them under his shorts last summer on a fishing trip with a buddy.  "When he came down to the boat, my friend noticed my hose and asked, 'Do those help?'  And I said, 'They do.'  Then he started asking me about hosiery.  He seemed quite interested in it."

Kevin Helliker is a staff reporter

Source: The Wall Street Journal Tuesday 18 February 2002

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