I don’t know about you, but I personally get the feeling that any teenager who wears a pair of underwear (boy shorts style, no less!) with cutesy sayings like “Not Tonight” or “Dream On” written across the waistband are doing so ironically, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, or (and Lord, do I hope this isn’t actually the reason) to boost any boy who gets to see them’s self-esteem. Think about it: if she makes such a defining statement but then goes against her printed undies’ rule for him, well, he’s quite the stud, right? And I’m sure when he sees them, he’ll get a sense of satisfaction and finally understand the euphoria that prompted a nerd to thrust a pair of panties over his head in Sixteen Candles. Quite the score to nail a virgin in today’s day and age, right? Ew.
But consider this: anyone who is really serious about waiting to have sex, even if just for a few more dates– a few more months– is not treating the act so flippantly he or she would literally mock the decision by printing it on their clothes…nor would they even be getting to the point where they’re showing off their underwear to someone who is not their doctor.
These “Purity Panties,” however, still appear to be a big hit. They’re making a statement, especially for those wearing them as a way of keeping their parents off their backs about having “the talk,” that’s for sure. And in this case they’re doing so with the approval of their middle aged (and in some cases, Mid-Western) moms who can breathe a little easier living in denial that because if their precious little girls are actively wearing underwear to the effect, then they can’t possibly actually be having sex.
Personally I think it would be pretty funny to don these unironically, when I’m annoyed that the guy I’m seeing has texted a one word response to a really long email in which I put a lot of thought, planning, and feelings. I have a feeling a lot of women of my generation might take a bit of pleasure in getting their guy excited, stripping down to these Purity Panties, and then climbing into bed…only to turn on their side away from him, flip off the light, and fall right to sleep. The power is so often in our hands when it comes to deciding if and when to sleep with a guy, but this is just more blatant about displaying it.
Or maybe that’s just my own personal brand of cynical humor showing…
For anyone younger, wearing them when you’re with your guy could be an act of sharing something special: an inside joke and an understanding that could serve to bond you in your deception. But that might be reading way too much into it and giving the designer a bit too much credit. After all, “Purity Panties” are just that: panties. They are made out of regular ole material; nothing fancy (and nothing inherently sexy about them either). In other words, they are not complicated chastity devices with some kind of locked mechanism only boys with 4.0 GPAs who come from good families and know how to properly roll on a condom can get inside. Anyone who thinks otherwise– mother, pastor, guy on date about to score with chick he is now flattered saved herself for him– is sadly mistaken.