The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

My question or dilemma is I have a thing for briefs, specifically white, that I'm dealing with right now. I didn't have this when I was younger, and I was wearing them at that time as well. It wasn't until this boxers trend started at school that really led me off track. I would wear boxer briefs and later boxers as I was trying new things but in an essence I was trying to fit in with "the in crowd" of kids at my school. But later in junior high, I missed wearing briefs. I found out in the locker room that three of my classmates still wore briefs without a care in the world about what other kids thought. I found out one of the male gym teachers wore them as well when his white Hanes waistband showed over his running shorts. The length of the running shorts he was wearing led me to the conclusion that he wore white briefs as his everyday choice.

So I went back to wearing them, but I then wound up with this need to know of others who wore them so I didn't feel alone. That led to me watching pictures of men in their underpants and videos. I had a locker room phobia for years about other kids seeing my underwear and conflicts within me that I didn't look the part to be wearing briefs that are white or of any other color.

God's been helping me with my confidence in myself, and I officially know I'm comfortable wearing briefs. But I still have inner struggles with seeing others who I think or know wear them. My friend, who is also walking with the Lord, I discovered wears briefs without a care. It was just last week in college that I found out when he bent over to grab something and my eyes caught his white Hanes showing above his shorts.

I don't want to start fantasizing about him in his underwear. He's my friend, and he's helping me find my way. So if you can please give me advice, it would be really appreciated.

I have several questions:

  1. I get aroused and have erections for other men who I see or know wear white briefs. How can I refrain from fantasizing about them in their underwear?
  2. Is it normal to be aroused a guy wearing briefs, whether on a picture or in person?
  3. How do I remain confident that the underwear I wear is still normal for me and other guys, and it's nothing to be ashamed of, such as when I feel like showering and dressing in the men's locker room at my local gym?
  4. Is it OK that gain confidence from seeing that guys still normally wear briefs as their everyday underwear as well?
  5. Is it normal that I have an arousal or erection when I buy underwear and put my underwear on sometimes?

I feel all of this started when I changed to boxer type underwear in third grade. And God's now helping me through it step by step, including this now. So can you answer all of my questions if not too much trouble.

Thanks.


Answer

It is very common for young men to become obsessed with an idea. It is a side-effect of the brain rewiring itself from child-like thinking to adult-like thinking. Thus, I run into young men who compulsively put on deodorant because they are obsessed with the idea they smell bad, or they feel driven to have their food laid out "just so," or they are terrified that they might have cancer. Each of these are habits that have been allowed to get out of hand and dominate their thinking. It gets really bad when sexuality gets thrown into the mix since sex gives such strong feedback to the body.

It is very easy to mistakenly assume that erections are being caused by whatever came just before the erection started. But since boys just entering puberty get spontaneous erections for just about any and every "reason," it is very easy to latch on a particular idea or object. Once the latching takes place, it ends up reinforcing itself.

Along with this, you strongly want to fit in with other guys and be accepted by them. But at the same time, knowing that you are doing something that you imagine others would disapprove of lends some excitement, and being in an excited state does make erections more frequent. In a sense, you see being bold enough not to follow fads as being manly and I suspect that you have convinced yourself that you aren't manly.

The result for you is that over the years, you have connected white briefs with the idea of a man being sexy and manly. Logically, you know that what a guy wears has nothing to do with his sex appeal. But as this obsession continues, you are getting drawn into homosexual thoughts about guys.

Jesus taught the Jews that lusting for something sinful and doing something sinful are both sins. We have a tendency to say that doing a sin is worse than just thinking about sinning, but Jesus declares they are both equally wrong. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Therefore, to entertain sexual thoughts about a guy is just as wrong as having sex with a guy.

What you need to do is break the habit, and it will be rough at first. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). The first thing is to stop looking at pictures and videos of men in their underwear. If you stop feeding yourself mental junk, it will stop coming out in your thoughts and behaviors. Second, you have to actively distract yourself ever time you start to think of guys in their underwear. Purposely finds something else, totally unrelated, to think about.

What you choose to wear beneath your clothes is your choice. It doesn't make you more or less a man. Think of this way, men were men long before there were briefs or boxers. Actually, you don't have a choice in that particular matter -- you were born a man. Clothing doesn't change who you are. You don't need the acceptance or approval of other men to know that you are a man.

Thanks for the advice!

For the past two months, I have learn to balance my thoughts on wearing briefs and everything it's seems to connect to. I've learned that a real man comes from loving God. With both types of underwear, one supports and the other one doesn't, it's my choice on which variation I prefer. I don't need to have a popular opinion about it either. Though I still struggle with some things, I've been understanding some of what you've said two months ago.