There are numerous terms (e.g. “freeballing”, “free-styling”, “freewheeling” “going regimental”, “going commando” etc.), which may be used to describe the act of not wearing underpants.
Perhaps the most notable group of people believed to go without underpants are Scotsmen with kilts. The kilt is traditional male clothing in Scotland and is also part of the uniform for Scottish military regiments and there are stories relating to soldiers lifting their kilts (either from the front or the back) to instil fear or show contempt to their enemies – see the Battle of Stirling scene in the 1995 Braveheart movie staring Mel Gibson. Although this may be dubious in terms of being historically correct, it indicates “going regimental” has probably been known about (at least amongst the Scottish) for at least 2 or 3 hundred years.
Interestingly there are no written rules amongst Scottish Regiments of the British Army, regarding underpants when wearing a kilt. This tends to suggest it is left to an individual for them to decide to wear their kilt with or without underpants. If the choice is to go without underpants then they are referred to as a “true Scotsman” (regardless of their ancestry). Today, for modesty, sporting athletes and dancers wear underpants or compression shorts, usually in a dark color to go with the kilt.
In the Wash
While the Scottish may have been the earliest adopters to freeballing, it would take the easier laundering and at lower costs for males to consider going commando. This was brought about by the availability of a domestic washing machine in every home, perhaps starting from the 1950’s, to encourage the non-wearing of underpants to a wider mainstream population.
Yon Don't Know Man, You Weren't There!
The scenario of not wearing underpants was helped to establish itself with American veterans returning from the Vietnam War during the 1960’s. While in Vietnam the wet, hot and humid climate made wearing underpants uncomfortable, if not unhealthy due to crotch skin conditions such as rashes, inflammation and infection. Troops needed to gain more airflow and found this could be achieved by not wearing their underpants. This became known as “Going Commando” and proved to be a habit they continued when back in the States.
With the advent of more synthetic clothing materials
we have seen an increase in the number of garments designed to be worn without
underpants. These include swimming trunks, sports shorts, compression
shorts/pants, cycling shorts etc. and have certainly helped to give men more
freedom of choice in what they wear and how.
With regard to freeballing today it appears there are two camps and they seem strictly divided between men who do go commando and those who would never dream of doing so. Many might be forgiven for asking: “Who is right?” However, as with many things in life (and in this case, men's attire) there is no wrong or right, just a question of personal choice. Regardless of which camp you are in, the following information might help you: consider freeballing; help you overcome some common difficulties with going commando; or firmly set you mind on never going out without your underpants on!
Many find it more comfortable when wearing tighter fitting pants (trousers) e.g. jeans to go without underpants. This seems to be the main reason people choose not to wear underpants, and some limit their freeballing to this style of pants only, while donning underwear with other styles of pants e.g. Khaki’s, Dress & Suit pants etc.
Going without underpants ensure there is no visible panty line (VPL), or as some call it “Manty” (rather than “Panty”) - i.e. VML! However, there are other alternatives to this by wearing differently styled underpants e.g. trunks, thongs etc.
There is Increased airflow around your genitalia without underpants; this creates a cooler feeling during the warmer months or when in hotter climates. However this could also be achieved by using looser fitting garments, and making better-informed choices regarding the materials employed.
Not only might it titillate you with the freedom the lack of underpants may bring, but it provides quicker/easier access for a spouse or partner. We’ll leave the rest of this up to your imagination…
The Zipper Trap
Catching hair and/or skin in your zipper can be painful, and may lead you to make strange noises, usually at awkward moments. In bad cases it can cause blood ruptures under the skin, leaving bruise like markings. In extreme and rare circumstances the zipper may become stuck and too painful to unzip, requiring the support of medical services to extract you! Reducing or removing hair by using a hair trimmer and/or shaving certainly helps in reducing the possibility of things getting stuck in a zipper, as does a button-up fly.
The need to tap more than just once, before leaving the urinal, needs to be considered to ensure all liquid has been accounted for. Otherwise a wet patch will develop on your pants, often appearing a few minutes later (rather than immediately), and is accentuated when wearing lighter colored pants.
If wearing machine washable pants and you only wear them the once before cleaning them, then the following is not an issue. If you do not clean your pants on each occasion of wearing, any sweat, drippings (urine), seepage (semen) or faeces (poo) will go directly onto your pants (rather than your underwear). This will necessitate increased washing and may cause higher costs, especially if the pants require dry cleaning.
This may not happen to everyone but it is possible your underpants are providing much needed support in preventing a hernia. We are not entirely convinced there is any medical or scientific evidence to support (pun intended) this theory, although if you go commando and experience pain immediately below your genitalia, seek qualified medical help. Different types of underpants provide varying levels of support and you may find the more vigorous your activities (e.g. sport) the greater the need for this support.
If your pants rip you may find yourself exposing more than you wish. You may also expose more of yourself than intended, particularly if you are wearing shorts, as underpants often help to tame the beast within!
You never know when you might need to sleepover at friends or when you might wish to go skinny-dipping. While going without underpants might not prevent you from doing these things, wearing underpants sometimes make these things easier, especially when in mixed company.
In cold seasons and climates freeballing may prove to be overly cold, it is not unknown for testicles to temporarily retract themselves back into the body and the penis to shrivel in size (making it difficult to urinate, and with accuracy, until it has warmed up). Wearing underpants in cold conditions will certainly add a degree of warmth you may be thankful for.
Like padded bras for women, there are padded underpants for men that can enhance the bulge in front or the round fullness of the butt. Obviously by going commando this type of enhancement is not available.