They first originated in the
1930s, but were obscured by the popular
briefs. Around 1947, boxers
started to gain in popularity. Boxer shorts gained massive
popularity in the 1980s when
Nick Kamen appeared wearing them in a Levis advertisement.
briefs outsell boxer shorts,
it is apparent that more and more young men prefer the latter.
Most boxer shorts have flies for urinating. Boxer shorts
manufacturers have different designs for closing up the
fly. Some styles include a button or a metal clasp for the
fly. However, most of the boxer shorts on the market do
not have a mechanism to close up the fly. Usually, they
are available in solid colors, but they also come in a variety
of patterns and prints. Most television programs prefer
displaying men in boxer shorts rather than other types of
underwear. This is mainly because it is the more socially
acceptable underwear type to see in mass media.
In 1975, an advertisement for boxer shorts created a recurring urban legend.
The fall/winter Sears catalogue displayed two underwear models, one wearing
briefs and another wearing boxer shorts. The model wearing
the boxer shorts appears to have part of his penis exposed. At the time,
this caused a stir because of possible indecent exposure. However, Sears
states that it is a printing defect and the same ad reappeared in color
in a later catalogue, where no penis is shown. Despite the publicity, Sears
did not release a copy of the colored ad to allow the public to verify its
statement. Without the proof, the urban legend still persists in popular
Advantages and disadvantages
Fans of boxer shorts claim there are certain advantages to wearing boxer
shorts compared to other types of underwear. First, the opening in front
of the boxer shorts gives easier access to the penis when the need to urinate
is urgent. Second, boxer shorts can be worn as loungewear in a social setting.
Third, the majority of surveys show that women prefer seeing them on men.
Fourth, boxer shorts appear in more different styles, colors, and patterns.
Fifth, boxer shorts are much easier to take off. Sixth, the temperature
inside boxer shorts is much cooler, which is better for a higher sperm count.
And seventh, boxer shorts do not reveal a lot of details of the man's covered
Critics of boxer shorts claim there are certain disadvantages to wearing
shorts compared to other types of underwear. First, there are very wide
openings for the leg holes, which can result in accidental exposure of genitals.
Second, the genitals are not supported and tend to move around a lot. Third,
the waistband can irritate the skin. Fourth, an
erection is much more noticeable when wearing boxers. Fifth, wearing certain
kinds of pants over boxer shorts looks awkward. And sixth, the loose fitting
can move the underwear into awkward positions.