Is it really bad for straight men to wear thongs? If women don\’t like men in thongs, why do they go see them at strip clubs? I\’m not "metrosexual;” I just like wearing a thong because it doesn\’t bind around my thighs, bag up or get all stretched out at the waist. Women wear men\’s boxers; what\’s the deal?  

— Average Joe

If you really want to know discomfort, bend over on a first date and let a woman see a thong peeking out the back of your Levis. She\’ll be out of there faster than you can say "my boyfriend Sven."

Life is not one big equality fest. If a man flashes a woman, she\’ll probably call the police. If a woman flashes a man, he\’ll probably call Tom Leykis — the syndicated radio jock who rallies young hotties to hike their shirts for male drivers with their headlights on. There are countless nudie magazines for men and even a nudie home, the Playboy Mansion. While there is Playgirl magazine for women, there\’s no Playgirl Mansion, not even a Playgirl guest house to entertain loyal subscribers — girls with names like Dirk, Buck and "The Hairy Pirate."

Women, for the most part, don\’t go to strip clubs to see men in thongs; they go to strip clubs to laugh at men in thongs. Flipping the bird at convention is part of it, but sociologist Beth Montemurro, who watched women watching men strip, said women\’s motivation is mostly about "having a shared experience" with their friends; you know, like yesterday\’s Tupperware party — except the headliner isn\’t a lady in an apron but a ripped gay guy in a gladiator skirt.

No, women aren\’t repressed, just different from men. Men have a more visually based sexuality, so they can get physically aroused from pictures alone — or just from watching a girl wearing three Band-Aids and a fire hat sliding down a greased pole. Most women, on the other hand, need touch, emotional connection and a bit of backstory. They get turned on looking into the eyes of a fully clothed firefighter — and grossed out by men in tight pants or Speedos, or those who wrap their package in anything silk, satin, leopard or thong.

Regarding your comfort complaints, keep in mind that underpants, unlike luggage, do not come with a lifetime guarantee. Toss those that have been with you since junior high. Go to a high-end department store and ask a salesperson to point you toward full-coverage that fits. You just might do a little better than if you\’re grabbing them three-to-a-pack at Rite-Aid.

Sure, there are a few girls who don\’t mind or even prefer a man in a thong. Very, very few. Of the 50 or so women I polled this weekend, most said stuff like this:

Nancy: "There is one scenario where this would be OK: He\’s just had, at the same time, a testicular operation that requires they be strapped tight at all times AND treatment for third-degree burns on his behind, meaning it cannot be covered in fabric. But, he\’d better have some salve and gauze back there!"

Kate: "EUWWWWWWW. I can\’t even go there on how creepy this is. Commando, fine. Boxers, sure. Tighty-whities, if you must. Pouches, thongs, dance belts, G-strings — not in my lifetime!"

The consensus was best summed up by my friend, Leah: "Any guy who can tolerate a strand of elastic between his buttocks for long periods of time is not straight. However, he can head straight … to West Hollywood. Don\’t forget the chaps!"

Better wait than never

The guy I\’ve had a crush on all year has always flirted like crazy but never asked me out. Six months ago, I suggested we hang out, but he was seeing someone. Two months ago, I saw him at a club. I casually asked about his girlfriend, and he said they were "on hiatus." To make a long story short, he came home with me and we slept together. He left abruptly at 4:30 a.m. without even getting my number. Is there any way to salvage this?

—Uncharacteristically Dumb

It\’s hard enough to salvage a one-night stand, but a three-fifths-night stand? Sorry, a guy who ducks out before you can ask how he takes his coffee is never coming back. What you could salvage is a lesson, not on the merits of playing hard-to-get, but being hard-to-get. While patience can be a real buzz-kill in the moment, it\’s especially unfun when you have to exercise it sitting by the phone for two months trying not to feel used. For future reference, "hiatus" doesn\’t mean "over," it means "interruption"; as in, a break in a deep emotional connection with the girlfriend to jump in bed with some girl who immediately contradicts her claim, "This totally isn\’t me."