When Kingwa Kamencu, a rather provocative 2013 presidential candidate whose ambitions were stillborn, came with what initially passed as an absurd Underwear Free Movement with the bold ambition to strip all women in Africa of the piece of clothing that wrap their private nether parts, some of us paid attention.
She was obviously serious, even getting arrested for stealing and destroying underwear in her hood. But what was the hullaballoo about, after all, some of our women were already going commando, as is evident from the bobbling buns that beguile men in Nairobi’s streets. The Nairobian (our sister publication) even did a piece about city women who dare to go bare.
Our survey showed that fashion was the main motivator for ladies to go panty-less and sidestep faux pas like an attention-seeking panty line. And they have strong backers in the likes of international celebrities such as Christina Aguilera who has openly confessed that she hates underwear and that going bare is “empowering.” For other Nairobi women, ‘whistling in the wind’ means no more loads of lacy laundry to go through, and why bother, considering that some of history’s hottest sex goddesses like Cleopatra and Jean Harlow, reportedly went au naturel beneath their clothes, if Sara Bodnar’s feature in ‘Cosmopolitan’ is to be believed.
Free-buffing, as ditching undies is sometimes referred to, has its practical advantages, like avoiding a sweat-soaked irritating piece of clothing between your legs, besides showcasing a woman’s sexy side. It is risqué, and gives a naughty rush of knowing one is exposed, and not just to the elements of weather!
Some women wear long vests while doing house chores after shaving ‘Kembu Farm.’ For some, it is to avoid irritation or the itchiness of a hot day. The Nairobian decided to pick the minds of men on what they think of panty-free women. Some men find the physical presence of a woman strutting panty-less intriguing...well, arousing is more like it! So stark is this topic we even roped in a whole scholar.
Listen to Prof Okumu Bigambo, sociology lecturer, Moi University who argues that every man’s preference depends on his background and surroundings: “Not wearing underwear is widely considered to be immodest and socially unacceptable if the crotch area becomes exposed, but can be part of some sexual fantasies and pornographic films,” he says, adding that going bare down there may in some quarters be interpreted to mean a woman is ‘out in the open’ or ‘ready for action.’ His trifecta of men’s behavioural tendencies resides in three types of characters:
The pervert This is the breed of men who hug random women in the bar while running their hands down their derriere in search of panty lines. They are wont to push their luck by grabbing a woman’s ‘udongo’ to confirm their fantasy. Most men at this stage of evolution find women without panties as irresistibly inviting and sexually exciting. Even among steady couples, not wearing underwear can be a not-so-subtle way of sending a flirty message that ‘tonight we gonna shred the sheets hun!’
“Inside every man there is a rapist. Be it the Pope or former President Barrack Obama. The thought of a woman without panties is very arousing. The knowledge that the only barrier is her skirt or dress is an instant turn on,” Travis Momanyi, a media practitioner says.
These men believe that a woman stepping out sans panties is all they need to spice up their relationship. “I like to send my partner a text during the day and ask her to wear a skirt with no panties for a date later in the evening. The naughty thought of her without panties across the table makes her even more attractive. Men should try such little things, who knows, this could be the solution to pinning down straying dudes,” a recently married musician who sought anonymity told The Nairobian.
Men in this category also love panty-less lasses because they are the type that can be kinky. Fred Omondi, a marketing executive says that such women pass off as ‘ladies in the streets, but can be freaks in the sheets!’
The daring The daring man is the bold, curious and adventurous type who would walk to a woman on the dance floor and ask her in her face if she’s ‘decent’ in her privates: “Hey I can’t see a panty line. Are you really wearing anything down there?” With all these commando talk, you wonder what happens when the woman is ‘in the moon.’ “I really don’t know how women without panties make it. Most of us imagine that a woman’s plumbing always has a stained leak. I would like to sit down a woman and let her explain to me how they manage to keep their skirts spotless when they are bare,” says a bewildered James Mwenda, an IT practitioner.How many hours of sleep do you normally get?
But have you ever considered that maybe the women just want to air their wares without necessarily aiming to arouse lustful men? “As a man who does not wear undies, I believe that it helps them to stop self-arousal. I don’t see any other reason beyond that,” Olwenya Maina, an actor, says. These type of men care less whether a woman is girded or not. All they would want know is their reason for shunning the undergarments.
The traditional The traditional man is the conservative type and believes that for a woman to qualify as ‘wife material,’ she has to attend church, sing in the choir, wear long skirts and probably cover her head with a scarf.
For them, a woman without undies is disgusting, wayward and morally wanting.
“Commandos in my view are mostly seductresses who thrive by torturing men with wild desires. Some could also be sweaty down there and are simply looking to air themselves,” a media person who sought anonymity (for fear of victimisation) said.