Silk Boxers, Big Mistake

Certain mistakes you only have to make once.silkworm cocoons

Saying “That didn’t hurt,” to your mom after a spanking.

Smoking a cigar on an empty stomach.

Forgetting to reapply sunscreen in Key West.

Using the word “dramatic” when you’re in an argument with your wife-to-be.

Visiting Texas.

Just about every guy I know has made the mistake of buying a pair of silk boxers—no more, no less.

They seem like a good idea. I mean, it’s silk! A vast network of trade routes from the Mediterranean to destinations across Asia was established so that Europeans could bedeck themselves with gossamer strands that came from the glands of Bombyx mori caterpillars. Long before that, Egyptian monarchs wove it into their hair. Charming.

Silk is soft and luxurious. The best neckties are woven from pure silk. Expensive wedding dresses are 100% silk. When water, a breeze, sheets, or a NASA-engineered moisturizing lotion have a pleasing texture or feel, we describe them as “silky.”

Surely silk boxers are the nirvana of the men’s undergarments realm. Surely floating my man camp in a pair of airy, shimmery cloud fabric could only lead to, at worst, comfort, and, at best, enlightenment.


sad bullDo you know how bull riding at rodeos works? A cowboy has the privilege of riding an enraged bull who is pissed for three reasons: 1) he’s a bull and he’s getting no respect; in fact, someone is on his back as though he were a Shetland pony or Dodge Stratus; 2) he’s got a flank strap chafing his tender places, not his testicles, mind you, but still his own special neighborhood, and nobody belongs in that neighborhood, and why don’t you go violate somebody else like a milk cow or a silkworm?; 3) even if he throws off the idiot on his back, caves in the rib cage of that annoying rodeo clown, and manages to get out into open pasture with the sun on his back, juicy grass at his feet, and cool, running water off in the trees, they’ll either make him do this dance again tomorrow night or they’ll make dog food out of him. When they were asking for volunteers to become a steer, he shouldn’t have gored that nice man in the lab coat. He should have just gotten in line. We live, and we learn. We live, and we learn.

Wearing a pair of silk boxers feels like being a bull in a rodeo. You feel constrained and harassed. People are watching, so your hands are tied. You can’t get rid of that constant source of the irritation. You’re angry at everyone and want to splinter all threats into nothingness and go to sleep.

You hate Target and the stupid rack where the stupid silk boxers in their vivid sage greens and garnet reds were waving like prayer flags in the faintest breeze from the air conditioning, and you curse yourself for falling for a stupid gimmick that has turned your tender places into enemies and tangled and chafed them and made you completely unable to strike up conversation with the love of your life who is sitting at the desk in front of you.

After you explode in your rage and kick and spin and with your heart in your teeth try to free yourself, you’re still a boy in a straightjacket of hormones and desires who has to wait—and wait.

And why must life feel like a blood sport without the killing? Does searching for peace just lead to exhaustion and despair? Does God really love us?

In other words, I wouldn’t recommend silk boxers.

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