Apparently the Most Embarrassing Subject Ever: Underwear or the Lack Thereof

It has come to my attention via various private messages and a couple of anonymous comments because apparently the underwear to bed issue is TOO EMBARRASSING to talk about in public (yet here I am) that not wearing underwear to bed is a very common thing. In fact, a random sampling of my friends on the (dying) social blogging site Livejournal has the underwear versus no underwear to bed ratio at about 50/50. I remain astounded because I’ve never heard of this before. I’ve heard of people sleeping naked, of course, and I’ve heard of people going commando in general, but I’ve never heard of purposefully taking off your underwear before you put on your pajamas.

Most of my underwear-to-bed-wearing friends and my mother were equally surprised to hear that so many people are not wearing underwear to bed , so I know I’m not alone in my shock. Apparently this is a truly taboo subject because I can’t find much of anything about it on the internet at large. Or maybe my search terms are wrong. I found a few message boards where people were asking about it, but no formal information. There was ONE yeast infection prevention information page where ONE GYN recommended wearing nightgowns with no underwear to bed. Why? Well, apparently (and this is what my anonymous friends and commenter are telling me) your girl parts “need to air out at night” to prevent yeast infections.

When I first heard this, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. Cotton underwear are breathable. Why on earth would removing them make any difference? And also, um, we wear underwear for a reason. Doesn’t everything get gross when you aren’t wearing them? How often do these nightgown with no underwear people change their sheets? It’s baffling and seriously brand new information for me. It’s so strange that people whose mothers DIDN’T tell them to do this have never even heard this is a thing if it’s really true. I’m apt to think it’s am urban legend, but a couple people have told me NOT wearing underwear to bed has made a big difference in their health. When they wear underwear on a trip or something they end up getting a yeast infection.

I am still leery and even checked Snopes.com to see if there was any information about this. Snopes failed me and I’m contemplating requesting an article.

You’d think those of us in the underwear-wearing-to-bed mob would have at least HEARD of this sometime. I just have trouble believing one little layer of cotton could make such a big difference. I mean, if underwear causes such problems, why aren’t we just going commando ALL THE TIME (OMG, imagine the laundry!!!! I wear the same pants a few times before washing them. Imagine all the washing! Imagine all the jeans I’d have to buy!). A bunch of people confessed they usually wear yoga pants without underwear. I had no idea. I’ve been wearing underwear under everything my entire life. The thought of not is just as shocking to me as it was for Ramona when she discovered that firefighters wear underwear to bed.

Anyway, maybe it’s true. Maybe I shouldn’t be wearing underwear to bed. It makes me wonder what other quirky little things 50% of people are doing right now to avoid disease that I’ve literally never heard about.

Behold, I did it. I wrote the first underwear-to-bed blog post in existence. Go me?

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16 Comments

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16 Responses to Apparently the Most Embarrassing Subject Ever: Underwear or the Lack Thereof

  1. anon

    I’m not embarassed about it, I just didn’t want people to search me on the web and then have a post come up where I talk about my vag health! If I were talking to you one to one, no problem with giving my name.

  2. barney

    Maybe it’s not as much a taboo subject, as something we never really think about, to post about it on the web? But I agree with you, I just cannot sleep without underwear. I don’t know about health, but in my home, underwear was always a synonim of hygiene. I’d rather sleep with my bra on than my underwear off.

    • I thought about trying it last night, but I just couldn’t get myself to do it! No, my bra, that definitely comes off at night. Ouch.

      Even if it’s not taboo, it seems like if this is something that affects our health it would be on the internet more!

  3. Not everyone wears cotton undies. I have a variety of cotton, silk, polyester/spandexy stuff and what not. For awhile I wore only polyester/spandexy stuff all the time, and then I got yeast infections. My OB/Gyn actually told me not to wear underwear to bed for my vaginal health, also to make sure I peed every time my husband and I got intimate. Now I try to mix it up and wear cotton or some loose silk once in awhile, specially at nights, and no yeast infections. And yes, I wear underwear to bed. And obviously I do not fall in the embarrassed to talk category.

    • I give you an A+ for not being anonymous! :)

      This is the first time I’ve heard of an OB/GYN being the one to tell someone not to wear underwear to bed, so that makes it seem more real. I’m still surprised it’s not more common information.

  4. anon

    When I was a teen, I had an ongoing problem with yeast infections that were so bad they were considering cutting off my labia because the inflammation was that horrible and nothing was healing. It was fixed by being on Diflucan for a month, taking it every single day. Anyway, the gyn did make sure that I was sleeping without underwear when he was going over things I could do to make it better. He actually had a checklist he handed out that had “things to prevent yeast infections” at the top. Not just going underwear free at bed, but it had the pee after sex that someone mentioned, wash your genitals before sex, when you shower no soap on your genitals (plain water and your hand or a washcloth are more than sufficient to clean that area), when you use conditioner, bend over when you rinse it so it drips to the bottom of the shower, and doesn’t drip down your body. Use a blowdryer after you bathe, and wash your hands after handling newsprint (which I would guess most kids these days don’t do so I’d be surprised to see that on a list now).

    I don’t think it’s that uncommon for a gyn to say “no underwear at night”. If you’ve never had a problem with yeast infections, it wouldn’t come up in a conversation with your doctor.

    • It’s really a thing then! I’ve had a couple people say their GYNs told them to do it. It’s just so interesting to me that those of us who sleep in underwear have absolutely never heard of this before. It seems like there should be more information out there about this since it’s apparently pretty important! I still wonder why it’s no underwear JUST at bedtime and not during the whole day. It seems like they should also say no blankets at bedtime if the area needs to be aired out, but if it works it works I guess! I have never had a yeast infection, so I guess that’s part of the reason I’ve been completely oblivious to all of this.

  5. anon

    I think it would be tough to get people to not wear underwear during the day. Not just the cleanliness issue, but my underpants serve as protection from the seam in the crotch of my jeans. And there’s the modesty issue with skirts, no one wants to pull a Britney Spears if they are in their right minds.

    • barney

      I agree with the toy warden, I had never heard of it before, but those who sleep without it claim to have heard it from ther gyns. I mean, those other reccommendations (no soap, pee after sex, etc.) are pretty common-knowledge. I’ve read them on newspapers, and there are a lot of adverts on TV of soaps especially for vagina (I’m not comfortable either with the idea of never ever putting soap there…). But I’m pretty curious about this no-underwear-at-night reccommendation.
      To add another spin to it, what about your period? Is there any reccommendation about not using pads because of perspiration, or using tampons even at night? Without undies?

      Sorry about my grammatical nonsenses, English is not my first language and it’s been a long day of studying…

      • The girls I asked about it said they wore underwear while they were on their period. It seems to me that the pad/tampon thing has the potential to cause far more problems than wearing cotton underwear at night (or during the day!). But you can’t NOT wear something then. I mean, EW.

    • I can’t even get myself to try the no underwear thing at night. The seam in my PJ pants seems like it would bother me!

  6. Teresa Smith

    I am so glad I have seen that other people have had this discussion. The question about medical experts recommending no underwear is clouded in secrecy as no expert would want such opinions to be public knowledge, but I beleive they are absolutely right. I was told to stop wearng underwear nearly 10 years ago, both day and night, except for during my period, and it was the best advice I could possibly have been given having suffered for years and years with various ‘female’ complaints. Very ‘none PC’ advice, and given without ‘official’ backing, but it proved 100% effective.

    • It’s so fascinating to me that those of us without a history of yeast infection have never ever heard of this! It seems like something that should be more common knowledge considering how effective it apparently is.

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