Purpose of a Jockstrap?

Discussion in 'Underwear, Clothing, and Appearance Issues' started by Mastur, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Mastur

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    Way back when I first saw a jockstrap (on Rob Lowe in Young Blood), I was somewhat intrigued by it. Since then I came to understand that it is sort of regulation underwear in American sport? What is the purpose of it? Why is the buttocks exposed? Is it more comfortable than normal undies? Why? What's the history behind it?
    I find it strange that it isn't considered a little too homo-erotic. Especially with so many homophobes out there and with America being so conservative regarding the show of butt-cleavage (the slightest indication thereof will always be blurred on their programmes...)
     
  2. Bbucko

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    Jockstraps have been around for about 100 years as athletic supporters. They keep your equipment all together and close instead of swinging about. Personally, I've always found them to be pretty uncomfortable, but I'm a freeballer from way back. Color me not an admirer of the athletic supporter.

    Because of their athletic associations and the fact that there's no feminine correspondent, they've always been considered very manly. This inherent masculinity makes them an easy target for fetishists.

    They have no backside because at some point in their development, they were constructed of nothing but elastic strapping except for the cup. At some point, that design must have made sense.
     
  3. Mastur

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    Well, that makes sense considering that underwear were quite different 100 years ago. Maybe modern undies were inspired by jockstraps? However, with the good support of underwear nowadays, is the wearing of jockstraps still necessary? And if they are different from other underwear in regards to support, why still make them without backsides?
     
  4. sykray

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    I share your puzzlement about why the jockstrap is still used and designed as it is. I can understand why it was invented a 100 years ago when underpants were large and baggy but since the invention of Y fronts there have been many designs that would support and hold the genitals or contain a "cup".
    As a Brit kid playing cricket (I've never understood that game, BTW) 50 years ago, I had to place a "box" or "cup" inside my briefs but there was no need for elastic straps and bare buttocks.
    I can see it's homo-erotic or fetishistic attraction but no longer see any particular utility in the garment. Maybe, like a dance belt (as the US terms it), there is a unique function in keeping the testicles out of the way during rapid and free ranging hip rotation but I doubt it, somehow.
     
  5. Bbucko

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    I had a jock in the early 90s that had a full back panel attached, but it was very unusual. I suppose that the design is conservative because it works. But men's wear in general is extremely conservative. I honestly thing you're overstating the importance of the open ass.
     
  6. Mastur

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    "I had a jock in the early 90s that had a full back panel attached, but it was very unusual. I suppose that the design is conservative because it works."

    Showing one's ass is not conservative at all, in my opinion...

    "But men's wear in general is extremely conservative. I honestly think you're overstating the importance of the open ass."

    Me? Don't you think that the jockstrap is...?
     
    #6 Mastur, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  7. Bbucko

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    Jock straps are underwear. The ass is always covered by a pair of shorts. If guys walked around the gym bare-assed, I'd agree with you. But they don't.

    And you're misreading the word "conservative". In this case I mean traditional or conserving the old style (not changing the status quo). I don't mean politically or socially conservative.

    And I still insist that the idea of knowing that some guy's ass is naked under his shorts means much more to you than really seems appropriate. Get a grip.
     
  8. davis67

    davis67 New Member

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    Take a hockey puck in the balls and you'll understand why a jockstrap is worn.
     
  9. Mastur

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    "And I still insist that the idea of knowing that some guy's ass is naked under his shorts means much more to you than really seems appropriate."

    Listen here Bbucko, do not presume to know what I'm thinking, OK...? I'm not trying to pick a fight here, I honestly just want to know why a jockstrap looks like it does. I'm not American and therefore do not understand the 'cultural importance' of wearing something that I find peculiar. Just trying to understand the necessity of it not having material in the rear. Since the whole idea of underwear has always been that of hygiene and only later for support.
     
  10. Mastur

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    "Take a hockey puck in the balls and you'll understand why a jockstrap is worn."

    How does it protect your balls exactly? Does it have a built-in plastic cup such as cricketers wear? How does an open ass assist in protecting one's balls?
    Or I'm being inappropriate for asking?
     
  11. actioncfc

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    The cup is removable for health reasons (to clean it) and the open back was due to the pocket in the front. The pocket (a 100 years ago) was needed to pull the testies forward away from the body. This way the testies would have far less chance of being injured by objects or the legs. So when you wear the jock strap you may choose to or not wear a cup with it.
     
  12. davis67

    davis67 New Member

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    it has a cup...the open ass thing means nothing. A jock strap is there to protect the genitals.
     
  13. Mastur

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    Thanks actioncfc. I really appreciate your explanation. That's all I wanted. Please just explain as well; "the open back was due to the pocket in front". Would the material in the back have altered the function of it?
     
  14. ericbear

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    In recent years, jockstraps have been largely replaced by other types of undergarments, such as compression shorts or support briefs. These take care of the function of a jockstrap-- to support and restrain the genitals and prevent soreness or injury during athletic activity-- but also function as normal underwear, and have a back panel.

    However, these newer garmets are only possible and comfortable because of modern fabrics. The jockstrap was invented in the 1870's. In those days, stretchy fabrics were very different than today. Before the jockstrap was invented, men needing support wore girdles made of rubberized cotton cloth. While this fabric had some stretch to it, it was hot and unpleasant to wear, and did not allow sweat to pass through. Therefore, it was not very good for athletic activity. The jockstrap design was an effort to increase comfort with the fabrics of the day. By removing the side and back panels, and replacing them with elastic straps, the jockstrap was made cooler and more comfortable to wear than the rubberized girdles, but still provided good support. The jockstrap could be worn with other, loose-fitting underwear to completely cover up the back and sides, if desired.

    Modern fabrics like Lycra, etc., provide good stretch and support, without being hot or uncomfortable. Therefore, it became possible to make briefs or tight fitting undershorts out of stretchy material. These provide support, but are still comfortable to wear, unlike the rubberized girdles of the 1870's. Since many people prefer to be covered up in back, or just find jockstraps to be strange, these modern garments became very popular, and to a great extent have replaced jockstraps. But, some men still prefer the traditional jockstrap, and they are still made and sold in great variety.
     
  15. Mastur

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    Great explanation ericbear! Thanks. So, today it is worn for posterity as Bbucko said: conserving the old style...

    Appreciation is only possible with knowledge.
     
  16. noface60

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    *thunderous applause*

    I was worried that this thread would not produce a relevant answer. But thanks for that. Because I was curious too.
     
  17. unzipped

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    very informational and well written...

    I still prefer the old fashioned jock.. it holds my big nuts and dick out of harms way...
     
  18. Mastur

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    "I was worried that this thread would not produce a relevant answer. But thanks for that. Because I was curious too."

    So was I...

    "very informational and well written..."

    I agree.
     
  19. Sergeant_Torpedo

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    The proto-history of underpants illustrates it was a middle class invention (like lace coverings on piano legs) as the aristocracy, until fairly recently, viewd them as very parvanu. The Prince Consort of England (Franz Albert von Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) went commando and it wasn't considered homoerotic. Shirts up until the 1940s were long tailed, reaching just above the knees in some cases so boxer shorts are more to do with Hollywood than history of costume. Hose and cod pieces of the 14th to 17th centuries might be considered the grandaddy of the athletic support. Knights and warriors always had some genital protection - a sort of jock similar to what classical ballet dancers where (can't think of the name of this garment) or a padded linen apron under a metal "cup".
    Health and safety legislation has made the wearing of so called jock-straps almost de regle within educational and professional sports, though not religiously adhered to in Europe where uniformity is discouraged unlike the US. A pair of comfortable well made briefs will suffice.
    Maybe its association with fit males: athletes, sportsmen and professional warriors is the key to the homoerotic aspect prevalent in American gay culture.
     
  20. B_ytcorp

    B_ytcorp New Member

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    I'm just surprised they're still as prevalent when such better more comfortable options are available like compression shorts.