A few years ago, a gay male friend arrived at my apartment, pulled down his pants, and proudly revealed the impressive bulge in his tight briefs to my roommates and me. "It's the underwear," he explained, modestly, after we oohed and ahhed. Apparently his penis was actually threaded through a (presumably very large) loop attached to the crotch of the briefs, so that it was pulled skyward and thus "enhanced." "So, kind of like a push-up bra?" we asked. "I guess?" he said.
Apparently these kinds of "supportive" underthings are catching on now. Today's Times has an article about how men's underwear is getting fancier, more expensive, and can't just be thrown in the dryer — you know, like bras. And there's a real demand for it, too:
[M]en are paying more for underwear. Sales increased by 7 percent to $3.3 billion last year, according to the NPD Group, a rise that some retailers attribute to the higher prices of fashion styles. At Freshpair.com, an online underwear retailer, the average price per unit has increased to $28 this year, from $26.15 last year. Five years ago, it was $18.
So, what do these newfangled, pricier undies have that normal briefs don't? Special sweat-wicking fabric (let's not think about that), fancy embellishments like pearl buttons, and yes, size-enhancing features:
Behold the Frigo No. 1, as the new design is called, the first underwear with an interior mesh pouch that is suspended from elastic straps, so it can be adjusted to fit different characteristics of the male anatomy. It’s sort of like a bra with one cup.
What this article fails to mention is that the aforementioned "mesh pouch" is actually called the FRIGO Zone™, according to the company's website (they've patented it, obviously). Meanwhile, the actual process of putting it on and taking it off is unclear, but it's probably safe to assume that it's trickier than your basic hook-clasp bra, which means many men will be rendered totally helpless.