Going commando

Health experts have weighed in on the the benefits of forgoing underwear. Image: Pexels

Time to go commando? Here’s why you maybe should…

Health experts weigh in on why going commando might not be such a bad thing. Take a look at the pros and cons…

Going commando

Health experts have weighed in on the the benefits of forgoing underwear. Image: Pexels

There are varying views on why we need to use underwear. Historians hold different opinions as to why humans started wearing underwear. The most likely reason was for a barrier that could protect private parts from the elements

Since we no longer use loincloths to do this job, is there still a need for an extra layer of protection around our private parts? A surprising number of respondents in a survey conducted by Vanity Fair said they do not wear underwear occasionally, or at all. Up to 25% of participants said they go commando. 


It’s not known where the term “going commando” comes from, but it is believed that it originated during the Vietnam War, when soldiers in the field sometimes went without underwear, to prevent fungal infections when they weren’t able to shower. 

Nowadays anyone can realise the benefits of forgoing underwear. Moreover, there’s no real medical reason why one should wear underwear and in some cases, it may be more harmful to your genitals. 

Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of going without underwear. Discover the potential pros and cons of going commando below.


Reduced risk of yeast infections:  Certain kinds of underwear, like those made of materials other than cotton, may lead to higher rates of yeast infections. So limiting the times when you wear underwear may help prevent these, medical advisor and urologist at Aeroflow Urology Aleece Fosnight told Business Insider

Fewer UTIs: Women sometimes get urinary tract infections (UTIs).  If you frequently get UTIs when wearing underwear made from fabrics other than cotton, going commando may be beneficial. 

Reducing vaginal odours: Throughout the day, sweat in your genital area, and your underwear may trap moisture or odour-causing organisms. If you’re concerned about how you smell down there, skipping underwear might be recommended. 

Less irritation: Tight underwear can cause rubbing or chafing, and some underwear may irritate sensitive skin. 


Lowered risk of jock itch: Underwear can trap sweat close to your body and cause fungal infections such as jock itch. If you sweat heavily during workouts, skipping underwear might help to “air” your genitals and prevent fungal infections. 

Reducing sweaty odours: Damp underwear is a breeding ground for fungal infections.

“Not wearing underwear can help decrease genital odour,” Fosnight said. 

Increasing sperm count: When your testes become too warm, the increased temperature decreases their ability to produce sperm, Fosnight says. Tight underwear like briefs can hold the testes close to the body and make them warmer, which may reduce sperm count. So, abandoning underwear may boost your fertility. 

Freedom of movement: If you find underwear restricts your movements, going commando may allow more freedom during workouts or just help you to enjoy the breeze around your privates.


Before abandoning all underwear remember that there are also some setbacks to not wearing underwear. Going without underwear might leave one open to chafing and irritation of the vulva or urethra, caused by rubbing against coarse fabrics of one’s outer garments.

Other negatives include:

Reduced protection from drips: If urinary incontinence is an issue, skipping underwear might leave you without an extra barrier between your genitals and outer garments, should there be any leakage. 

Lowered support: Men may find that going commando leaves them without as much support as usual during physical activities.

Stains from vaginal fluids: Women who do not wear underwear may find vaginal discharge gets on their clothes, which may leave visible marks. 

Protection from zips: Without underwear serving as a protective barrier between your body and your pants, it’s possible to accidentally catch your private parts in your zip. 

Ultimately, the choice to forgo underwear is personal.

“Trial and error is the best solution, along with your personal preference,” Fosnight was quoted as saying by Business Insider.

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