About a year ago, while climbing the crimson steps leading up to a fancy gala, I was confronted by a spectacle that is all too common in this ambulatory city: a young woman’s ass. Under normal circumstances, I would have averted the eyes after an obligatory once-overing that is every gentleman’s duty. But something about this round and bobbing specimen—framed in an expensive-looking, glittery gold fabric—held my attention. It was too perfectly round … too fixed. Something was amiss, and not in a good way.
Subsequent experience enlightened me that the lady’s posterior was actually just stuffed into a pair of thick, spandex sausage-skins, also known as Spanx.
These “rubber suits,” as the city’s social gals like to call them, represent a new and dangerous affront to all things sensual. And yet they seem to have stretched their way into the wardrobes of many an attractive woman in this town.
Like it or not, “Spanx or no Spanx?” is now one of the many questions that cross their minds when conceiving an outift.
So what, you ask?
The problem is encapsulated partly by the name itself. Spanx! It cynically celebrates the very sex and sexuality that I believe these thigh-stomach-and-bottom condoms exist to destroy.
In the months following that fateful confrontation with that motionless mannequin-rump on the staircase, I encountered Spanx in another, more intimate setting. I can fairly report that a pair of Spanx is to the throes of passion as a wrench is to the gears of a well-oiled machine.
Removing the things—think wetsuit—presents a direct threat to the delicate status of the lovemaking at hand. By the time you get those babies off, you might well be ready for bed!
Sickos and fetishists aside, it is my radical contention that heterosexual men still love a woman’s body—the way it feels, smells and, yes, jiggles. But the monsters over at Spanx have managed to convince girls of every size and shape that they’re better off in a rubber suit.
My sweet darling says Spanx afford her protection from the errant hand or gust of wind. To which I say, “Whatever!” Still, in a gesture of sympathy (and also a nod to the hallowed tradition that began with the French nerdballs who donned “stomachers” in the early days of the Renaissance and was later dignified by the brilliant Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot), I stuffed myself into a pair of her size B’s one Saturday afternoon.
In a nutshell—no pun intended—Spanx on a dude are no good.
My derriere, never a selling point for me, was now roughly the same color as my khakis rather than the usual pasty white.
Movement of the area, particularly any sort of plié-type motion, was severely impaired. And pudge around my stomach area was now made to grotesquely overflow about the edges of the wretched plastic.
One hour into the experiment, while numbing the mind with a glass of whisky, I noticed that I no longer had any sense of my manhood. That is, my boys were also numb, completely.
I couldn’t help but think a similar effect must be wrought on a woman’s privates. Is this why every formal party in town is devoid of sexuality?
The best thing I could say about wearing Spanx is that under a pair of corduroys they are virtually undetectable, though surely if someone had goosed me they would have noticed a certain resilient plasticity.
An hour later, what can only be perceived as a negative presented itself as I was en route to meet my girlfriend and her friend for dinner: A fart in a pair of Spanx has no where to go. The gaseous beast is forced to put up a great trashing fight to escape, so much so that one can’t help but take note of its struggles.
To be fair, while out on the tiles of a West Chelsea nightclub, I did detect a slight upside to my new accouterment: When I would bend to the beat, my posterior seemed to spring back in much closer proximity to the next beat than usual—to my mind improving my sense of rhythm.
Certainly there are those for whom Spanx add spice to the sexual mix—a quick Googling will lead you to the many proponents of the elastic enhancer of their deviant desires. And to them I say, “Carry on! Spanx it up.”
But to the nondeviant, to the occasional spanker, to those who enjoy seeing their fellow human climbing stairs or dancing to their own (missed) beat—I ask you, What good are Spanx?
The only useful insight I gained from donning the “rubber suit” is one I instinctively already knew: It is a stupid, unnecessary garment that further detaches us from our essential selves. In my case, my balls.