Monday, June 25, 2012

Why I Wear Lycra

It was around this time last year, my beloved sister and I were awaiting the commencement of somewhat fun run 'Run Melbourne' having upgraded us both from the 10k event to the 21k Half-Marathon (it still perplexes me how often I get asked how long a marathon/half-marathon is, I assumed like how to use chopsticks everybody knew by now) and we had dropped off our bags.

As somebody who wears their clothes until they are literally rags I am too cheap to ever throw away any of my warm gear at the start line, so approximately 10-20 minutes before the start of a fun run I am in nothing more than my running gear.

It was at this event I noticed that approximately 99% of male competitors wear some kind of polyester running shorts. I seemed to be the only one in lycra shorts, many wear skins or 2xu compression gear (*spitting noise*) or lycra running shorts under their outer shorts, but generally men do not wear form fitting bottoms when running.

I do. I have unusual running preferences for a distance runner, but common running preferences for a sprinter. I like my shoes to weigh under 100g, I like my clothes to only be there if they are an improvement on being naked. For me the comfort and performance offered by these preferences should surely only multiply as the distance run increases.

Admittedly I lose all sensation in my feet, but aside from that the light weight form fitting attire pays off with literally every step. That is why I prefer to run in that gear.

But I can't help but notice a clear gender divide. If you know running you know that shrinkage is a factor, your dick is never going to be particularly impressive during the cold months of the cross-country running season. Furthermore even when you run and heat up, your blood is diverted away from the genitals and the opposite of engourgement happens. So it's possible that many men would honestly prefer the comfort of running in lycra shorts but simply don't because they feel self conscious about their small genitals.

But I was lead to understand that the great masses of marketing and media messages were disproportionately devoted to making women feel bad about their appearance and thus would be far more self conscious. But there is absolutely no evidence, none, that women feel self conscious about their bodies and furthermore displaying them behind a thin veneer of lycra. There seems to be no social pressure to cover up at all.

Admittedly this has always been the case, the 'hipster' cut of jeans  suited very few womens body types, yet during the early 2000's we all copped an eyeful of 'muffin tops' as the unflattering fashion was dutifully subscribed to.

Why then do men feel an urge to cover up? Men that have unrealistic and high maintenence body shapes?

When I am in shape I wear lycra to intimidate my opposition. When I am out of shape I wear lycra to punish myself for getting out of shape (whilst simultaneously enjoying the comfort). The only, the ONLY justification for wearing cover-up shorts I feel is that no lycra shorts to my knowledge have a pocket for your keys.

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