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January 24, 2010 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Why do jockstraps leave his entire butt exposed?
posted by HotPatatta to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Do athletes typically wear a jockstrap in addition to a pair of underwear that offers full coverage?
posted by HotPatatta at 8:06 AM on January 24, 2010


In hockey there are many layers going on there, in most other sports there's underwear and then a uniform over the jockstrap.
posted by rob paxon at 8:10 AM on January 24, 2010


The original purpose of a jockstrap was to support and protect the stuff up front, with the least bulk and weight. The stuff in back, on a man, is in little need of such assistance, hence the two "straps" going up to the waist band.
posted by Danf at 8:14 AM on January 24, 2010


Also, different types of standard equipment common to some sports may have fuller underwear-type garments that the cup goes in rather than a jockstrap. For example, my hockey shorts (a thickly-padded part of the uniform) have an insert for the cup to go in, eliminating the need for a jockstrap.
posted by rob paxon at 8:15 AM on January 24, 2010


How much more genital support does a jockstrap provide than a pair of well-fitting briefs? And if the purpose of the jockstrap is to eliminate bulk and weight, why do athletes wear underwear on top of it?
posted by HotPatatta at 8:26 AM on January 24, 2010


Jockstraps have different uses. When I played baseball, we wore 'em with cups so when the baseball flying faster than some highway speed limits hit us in the crotch, we wouldn't experience hell in the form of physical pain. So it had nothing to do with support at all.

I had a teammate who didn't wear one once, either because he didn't want to or he couldn't afford one, and it was not pretty when a pitcher knocked him in the gonads. Poor guy was on the ground for about ten minutes.
posted by Atreides at 8:31 AM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, a jockstrap holds a cup in place whereas as you can imagine underwear merely holds it inside itself... if the device the cup is inserted into, whether a jockstrap or something else, isn't designed to hold the cup in place then it is going to move around. A cup that isn't in position can cause more damage than no cup at all, as whatever impact can drive the outside of the cup directly into particulars.
posted by rob paxon at 8:54 AM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I umpire baseball. Like rob paxon's hockey shorts, a lot of the compression tights and shorts available have cup pockets now, eliminating the need for the jockstrap.

MLB player Adrian Beltre took a shot without a cup this past year. Shocked everyone that he wasn't wearing one.
posted by stevis23 at 8:59 AM on January 24, 2010


There's a range, and some don't. Likemine for example
posted by anti social order at 9:02 AM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Usage: keeps the twig and berries in place, holds a cup if desired.

Proper underpants (jockey/brief) would mostly provide the support, but the ass-panel area would cause uncomfortable bunching when ones legs were doing various akimbo-style maneuvers. Kinda like a thong with a pouch. The idea is that the whatnots are supported by the belt rather than by their internal rigging.

Briefs/jockeys don't usually have the right pouching effect and would let one of your balls slip out and then get pinched/twisted/crushed when you stand back up. Or worse, when you sat back down.

Even just when running, if the fellas aren't properly supported you might not stride as hard as you possibly could because they might get caught up between your legs.

This is especially an issue in athletics because the increased body temperature makes the nutsack particularly loose.
posted by gjc at 9:54 AM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everything you just said runs exactly counter to my experience, gjc. Perhaps we are bizarro versions of each other. Your moniker is a rearrangement of my initials.

I always thought they were only for wearing a cup when you needed one, and since a cup is itself restrictive, the awkwardness of moving in a jock strap didn't matter. In my akimbo maneuvers in a jock strap, the back straps would get caught or twisted, which was a problem.

I wouldn't wear one for anything requiring moving athletically. If you're not fast enough or paying enough attention so as to avoid getting hit in the balls, you probably shouldn't be playing most sports. I'd wear one if I played jai alai or something though.

My nutsack tightens up when I'm sporting it up. Always seemed perfectly logical to me. I just wear briefs that fit or compression shorts.

I used to ahve a coach that claimed that he once played soccer in boxer shorts and his balls got twisted up and they had to cut one off. I still don't know if I believe him, but I sure am serious about proper scrotal containment to this day.
posted by cmoj at 10:55 AM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Support of the fellers is pretty important--it pulls them out of the way of stuff. The idea that if you can't jump out of the way you shouldn't play is dumb. Children, including less-cordinated ones are better off when exposed to athletics, team sports expressly included.

Pretty sure the cup was a later addition to the athletic supporter, which served the same function by reducing the "footprint" of the genitals, so to speak. Plus it allows you to not worry about getting it all trapped inbetween the thigh and the lower torso.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:08 AM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


They're also handy post-vasectomy for support and compression.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:00 PM on January 24, 2010


At least no one used the term "junk." I thank you all.

I am a woman and I read this because I didn't know what jockstraps were really for, I now know. I feel enlightened.
posted by fifilaru at 2:11 PM on January 24, 2010


I wouldn't wear one for anything requiring moving athletically.

Dead wrong in my opinion. I wear mine for muaythai (kickboxing) and BJJ (like wrestling). Groin shots are just a fact of life and not wearing one would be like playing football with no helmet or soccer with no shoes. The compression shorts part of the combo is essential to keeping the protection in place no matter where I end up or what I try to do - like high kicks or holding someone in guard.
posted by anti social order at 7:07 AM on January 25, 2010


Children, including less-cordinated ones are better off when exposed to athletics, team sports expressly included.

You're right. I wasn't really thinking of the cup as being in the foam helmet category.

I wear mine for muaythai (kickboxing) and BJJ (like wrestling).

Never did muythai, but plenty of jujitsu. How do you maintain your range of motion wearing a cup? Kickboxing seems likeit'd be even worse. I assume by your mention of kickboxing that you're talking pure sport. We were taught to guard our groin since you're unlikely to be wearing a cup during your next bar fight.
posted by cmoj at 12:31 PM on January 25, 2010


I wouldn't wear one for anything requiring moving athletically. If you're not fast enough or paying enough attention so as to avoid getting hit in the balls, you probably shouldn't be playing most sports.

Sometimes lady luck wants to see you hit in the balls. It doesn't matter if you're God's gift to athleticism or Goofy born again. There many sports where I wouldn't wear a cup, there are a few I most definitely would. Played baseball from 7 to 18, never got hit between the legs. I did get hit in the eye because the ball hit an otherwise unseen pebble which caused it hop over my glove and into my face, while trying to scoop a bad throw out of the dirt. I pretty much never miss this type of throw, but for all my experience and ability, that last second minor deviation involving a fast moving object resulting in me getting a black eye (and thankfully only that).

In general, the majority of sports don't require a cup, but in any sport with hard, fast moving objects, or where full contact is expected and common and other players may take a cheap shot when you're not in a position to block it...it's just a smart thing to do, even if it never is actually put to use. It has nothing to do with your ability to play.
posted by Atreides at 3:04 PM on January 25, 2010


How do you maintain your range of motion wearing a cup?

The ROM is the exact same. You ever watch MMA? Those UFC guys all have cups - no binding or limiting.

I'm totally not getting into any goofy sport/street thing, but why leave off protectors for sparring and training? Taking a shot to the cup still sucks, but less than taking one to the junk.
posted by anti social order at 3:59 PM on January 25, 2010


Ya gotta answer the question folks. We know what they are for. Why are they backless?

I have always wondered the same thing.

Perhaps the back part would get all bunched up if the front and crotch were sufficiently tight? These things date back to long before modern materials were available, and once the design was established, it's tradition.
posted by Xoebe at 6:13 AM on January 26, 2010


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