Men in Tights: The Truth About Men Who Wear Pantyhose

Men who wear pantyhoseWhen I was in high school, I heard a quote by Voltaire that has been my mantra for life ever since: “I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”  I try to live by this quote the best I can.  In my mind, as long as it isn’t harming anyone, I really don’t care what anyone does, what they believe or how they do it.   Therefore, I really had to take my own inventory when I found myself, like most, chuckling at and judging men who wear pantyhose.

This emerging trend has been under the scrutiny and judgment of many who have cared not to understand men who wear “mantyhose” (a term often used for men’s leg-wear) but, instead, have looked at it as fodder for laughter and ridicule.  We as humans are funny– the last thing we ever want to be is judged or humiliated for our own personal choices yet, given the first opportunity to do it, we are happy to jump on the bandwagon to laugh at others for theirs. The way I see it, this is a form of protection– better to laugh at others than to be be laughed at.

I admit, I was one of the laughers when I first found out that there was a group of men who wear pantyhose.  Yet, that Voltaire quote kept resonating loudly in my mind and I realized I was being a tremendous hypocrite.   I decided to find out more by exploring this topic on my radio show last Friday.  After all, it’s ignorance that is often at the root of judgment, hatred and prejudice.

Men who wear pantyhose What was shocking about booking this show was the fact that getting men who wear pantyhose to speak out on this topic  was incredibly difficult.  Scrutiny, judgment and being public laughing stocks has nearly pushed most of these men completely into hiding and made it questionable whether or not we’d even get guests for the show.  In fact, we had an interview scheduled to tape with the owner of a major mantyhose website and he never showed up for the interview.  Finally, we wound up getting two guests, men’s leg-wear wearers Rob Stephenson and Kevin Wright, to agree to talk to me  and, as luck would have it, were probably two of the best guests to interview.

What are Men Who Wear Pantyhose like?

I highly suggest you listen to the segment which can be found in the first 30 minutes of Friday’s show titled  Fashion that makes you go, “Hmm?” but to recap here: The first thing I want to say is that all men who wear pantyhose do not do it for fetish reasons nor do they all belong on the sex offender list.  In fact, there are many reasons why men wear pantyhose that are utilitarian and, quite frankly, boring.  Men wear them for warmth in the winter and/or as a compression garment for circulatory problems.  Now, if you’re breathing a sigh of relief thinking, “Okay, at least it there is a justifiable reason why a man would choose to wear a pair of pantyhose” then you should also know that there are men out there who are wearing them just because they like them.   What became plainly obvious to me when talking to others about this show was that as long as I could give a justifiable and universally understood reason for a man to put on a pair of ‘hose,  I would sense relief from them.  Yet, the second I’d mention that there are some men, good men who are upstanding citizens in their community, men who are living healthy, happy lives who choose to wear pantyhose as a choice their  skin would start to crawl.  Why?

Men who wear pantyhoseI could go on and share with you some interesting statistics like mantyhose makes up  2.5% of the leg-wear market, that according to the well known mantyhose site e-mancipate.net in 1996, LEGGS brand opened a forum to get a better idea of the needs of their female consumers and most of the forumers wound up being men asking for men’s pantyhose products and, finally, that leg-wear was actually a menswear garment long before it became a womenswear garment, but I’d be missing the more important point:  Why is this such an uncomfortable topic for most people?

Undoubtedly,  the fact that there are cross-dressers and people who wear them for fetishistic reasons that has created a huge stigma around men in pantyhose, with which my guests Rob and Kevin wholeheartedly agreed.  Yet, the second, less obvious reason the stigma exists is because many men who are wearing pantyhose (for whatever healthy and harmless reason) are doing it shamefully.  This was a strong point made by both my guests during the show when they asked for the entire community men’s leg-wear wearers to be more open and honest with their choice.  Yes, the world can use a little more tolerance and less judgment towards those who choose to wear pantyhose but until the actual wearers do it with pride,  the stigma will always be there.  Kevin and Rob both pleaded with their community to step up the plate and not hide because they believe when things are done in secret, society can only assume that something fishy is going on, even when there isn’t.

As a woman, there are many freedoms I enjoy in my fashion choices today.  I can wear pants, I can cut my hair short and if I choose to dress in a more masculine manner, I can.  While this seems like an incredible double standard against the freedom of men and their fashion choices, I realize that it is because of the women who came before me and went against the grain that I get to enjoy such freedoms like I do.  Nothing changes in society until those who want to change things decide to accept themselves and their choices no matter how bizarre others may find them.

Check out the interview here:

Listen to internet radio with BridgetteRaes on Blog Talk Radio

For more information about Mantyhose, here are some tremendous resources for more information:

LAUF (Legwear as Unisex Fashion)

The Nylon Gene

E-mancipate.net

  • http://www.nylongene.com Steve Newman

    I just listened to the radio show this morning and now your blog post and have to commend you for airing one of the best, most open-minded, segments on the mantyhose trend to air in quite some time. And I’ve seen quite a few since I am the author of “The Nylon Gene” blogsite, and former director of marketing for ActivSkin Legwear for Men and a longtime spokesman on this and related issues. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be available as a guest to be interviewed on your show, but was on vacation with my family when the opportunity arose. However, as it turned out Kevin and Rob did a fantastic job of capturing the essense of the subject so I doubt I would’ve added much more to it.
    I will say, as to the double standard you refer to, I’ve often said that it actually betrays a certain residual bias against women that remains in our society even to this day–even among women themselves. Despite the ostensible equality with which women and men are viewed today, you have to ask yourself why there is such a noticeable difference between the way people view it when a member of one sex strays into the fashion territory of the other. You noted that a woman can wear clothing ranging from the ultra feminine to jeans, t-shirts, boots and a short haircut and hardly anyone even takes note. Maybe she is even praised as being “a real go-getter”, or other positive adjectives. But if a man wears even one article of clothing that has typically been associated with women, not only do other men get worked up over it, but women may give him even more flack over it.

    You have to ask yourself if this doesn’t reveal some sort of latent bias against the female? Is it because a woman who co-opts a certain fashion item from men is seen as elevating herself? (BTW, not too many of us are old enough to remember the days when women wearing pants was considered scandalous). If so, by contrast a man adopting anything with a feminine connotation is considered to be ‘lowering’ himself to the level of the less worthy sex and needs to be resisted so as to not betray his manhood.

    Of course, when we try to come to terms with all of this, we hope we can be advanced enough in our view on the inherent dignity, and equality, of both men and women that we don’t behave this way. Some–many–men are wearing mantyhose for very legitimate reasons and knee jerk reactions against it have to be examined for what they really reveal about the people making them. Are they unknowingly acknowledging they don’t really view men and women as being equal in dignity? Let’s hope your blog and radio program can help us move beyond that toward true equality. Thank you.

    • http://www.bridgetteraes.com Bridgette

      Hi Steve, First of all, thank you for your kind words about how I handled the interview. Coming from someone who has been active in the men’s hosiery world for a long time, I take that as the highest of compliments. And, I want to be clear with the readers, it was not your site that neglected to show up for their interview…just in case anyone is wondering. It is unfortunate that you couldn’t join us due to your vacation but, like you and I both said, we had fantastic guests!!

      I also can’t agree with you more regarding the double standard. While it is liberating as a woman that I can embrace a more masculine look, what does it say about women when a man embraces what is perceived as a more feminine look and gets called things that are negative? I always think of that song by Madonna “What it Feels Like for a Girl” As the lyrics go:
      “Girls can wear jeans
      And cut their hair short
      Wear shirts and boots
      ‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy
      But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
      ‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
      But secretly you’d love to know what it’s like
      Wouldn’t you
      What it feels like for a girl”

      Therefore, what you said should be pointed out; that when a woman does something masculine it’s considered elevating herself but when a man does something perceived as feminine he is lowering himself. I couldn’t agree and it is something I’ve thought about quite often…especially being raised by a feminist.

      While few women can remember when women didn’t have the fashion freedoms that they do today, and can hardly remember the women who went against the grain, I still wanted to point that out to make my point about those who do shake things up, who take a stand and change the course of society’s perceptions. The funny thing is that we take those people, and what they did, for granted and my hope is that as men become more comfortable with wearing pantyhose, in time to come it will be so normal that this whole conversation that we’re having now will be as archaic sounding and preposterous as the idea that there was a time when women couldn’t wear pants.

      Lastly to your point about the inequality that is so blatant yet often not acknowledged and also the negative reactions that people have when they hear that men wear pantyhose, this I realized while taping the show: What stymies me is how enraged people get when others do things that make them uncomfortable. Why do we care so much? Why do we get uncomfortable, angered, judgmental, twitchy??? Why do we care? We could plop in any topic where this happens from homosexuality to body art to people who worship trees…it really doesn’t matter. If people do, wear or express themselves in ways that are right for them and it doesn’t affect anyone else and don’t cause any harm to others, why do we get so outraged, uncomfortable and judgmental? What is it in us that causes that reaction? I mean, when you look at it on the surface, men are wearing pantyhose…is this really something that should elicit SUCH a reaction??? Not really…yet it does.

  • http://www.nylongene.com Steve Newman

    Your reply is dead-on, Bridgette. If you don’t mind–since I posted my comments above on my blog, The Nylon Gene–I’d like to also add your reply. If you would like to go there and paste it in, be my guest, or, I could do it for you with your permission. Drop me an email and let me know if you’re OK with that.

    • http://www.bridgetteraes.com Bridgette

      My apologies for only replying now to this. I was dealing with a major spam issues and a lot of good comments got caught up in it. Of course, feel free to post my comment!!! Thanks Steve!

  • Mark C

    I want to thank you for this informative show. A number of years ago, I had a very serious case of varicose veins. It had gone to the point where I was having ulcers on my legs. After having my initial procedures I was quite leery to wear my compression stocking out of fear of being thought that I was a pervert. My doctor had to talk with me several times to convince me that it was to my own personal advantage to wear them for my health. I eventually conceded to the thought. Since then, I have gotten over the fear of what others may think. I now wear often with shorts, especailly during the warmer months. Once in a while I will get an eye drop, or a swivel head, but thats ok. My main thing is showing others that it is ok to wear hosiery no matter the reason. I am convinced that if it would have acceptable, and I had worn at an earlier age in life, that I wouldn’t have the trouble that I now have. We all know that an item of clothing does not make a person gay any more than swiming makes us a fish. How many homosexuals want a person of the same sex to look like a member of the opposite sex? Once the stigma is reduced or gone, there will be more sitings and many more will be open to the idea of wearing for health or fashion style.
    Keep your tights on!
    Happily married man with 4 wonderful children, MarK C

  • Nick

    The problem is that for every man who wears tights or pantyhose for ‘legitimate’ warmth and circulation reasons, there are a hundred who wear for fetishy reasons, if internet discussions of this are anything to go by. Some men write quite disturbing and clearly fictional stuff about this, and for better or worse this is what gives ‘men in tights’ a bad image. A hallmark of this is that such men were always introduced to this by women, never a man, with a desperate desire for female approval of this proclivity (“What are women’s views on men wearing tights?”).

    I’m not sure there is that strong a reaction against men who wear for warmth under running gear, for example, even by those who otherwise don’t like the idea, but the problem begins with public wearing under shorts. Do such men secretly want to be seen, is this some sensual trip they are going on? Equality, yes, but feminized men? This makes people feel it is a bit creepy, especially in view of the weird/fetishist community who often betray a kind of obsession with wearing nylon. Even on discussion boards where the oddball community is moderated away, the sensual element is not far from the surface. The fear of what people will think if a man is seen in pantyhose in public contradicts the assertion that this is ‘normal’ and gaining in acceptence.

    I still don’t think this is ever likely to catch on as a public fashion trend because the weirdo element have too much influence on the way this is looked at by the public, coupled with an innate resistence to men seeming to become a bit feminine.

    • Bob

      Why should you care *why* someone wears why he wears, or what he is thinking while he wears it? If I see a man wearing pantyhose, it’s exactly the same to me regardless of whether he does it for warmth, for health reasons, due to a nylon fetish, because he wants to be contrarian, or because he wants to be a woman. I do not care, and I don’t see why you should either. It doesn’t affect you in any way.

      • http://www.bridgetteraes.com Bridgette

        Who are you directing your comment to? It sounds like you are open minded, however, unfortunately, most of the population isn’t. That was the reason for my broadcast, to shed light on the topic and call out the behaviors of some who choose not to understand it or who need justification in order to accept it.

        • Bob

          I was replying to Nick, who commented that “for every man who wears tights or pantyhose for ‘legitimate’ warmth and circulation reasons, there are a hundred who wear for fetishy reasons”.

          My point is that I don’t think there are illegitimate reasons for wearing anything, as long as you wear it willingly. I like wearing tights, and I’m not even sure I could give a single reason why. It’s complicated.

        • CharlieB

          Thank you for your broadcast, hopefully it help to shed some light on men wearing pantyhose/tights. Your 2 guests pointed out that there are men who like to wear pantyhose for other than fetish reasons & wearing them openly has nothing to do with wanting to be “seen” in them, but it simply is too hot to wearing pantyhose under dress pants or jeans in the summer. I am thankful your 2 guests had the courage to come on the show. I do think if more women were openly accepting/supportive of men wearing hosiery more men might openly wear them.

          You comment of the double standard is really true; a women can wear a “man’s” suit with a tie or hair cut very short & nothing is thought about her. Should a guy let it be known that he likes to wear pantyhose, he is automatically stigmatized.

          Again thanks for the broadcast. I enjoyed the show.

  • daniel

    so one mensioned that its ok for a female to up grade her fashion by taking male clothing but its down grading for male to take there cloths as it makes them less manly. well if i women takes man cloths isnt that the same women are becoming more manly loosing the there girly look! women walk round with shaved heads boys cloths hats sometimes you cant tell if its a women till they speak.

  • Malcolm

    Bridgette has it right on. The fault lies with those of us who conceal the fact that we wear this garment. By doing that we automatically invoke the reaction that we are doing something secretive and behind closed doors. However having said that being open and honest about it is very difficult to do in this society. For many many years I concealed the fact that I wore pantyhose from the one I love for fear that she would reject me if I told her. I absolutely did not want to upset her in any way. However that fear was completely unfounded. She had known for years and was wondering why I had not told her. I wear pantyhose – tights in the UK – mostly for warmth in the winter and don’t consider it a “fetish” any more than I consider wearing socks a fetish. What has really surprised me is my wife’s reaction. She does not wear pantyhose very often but if she sees the brands that I like on sale she will often purchase for both of us. While I have not worn pantyhose with shorts as Steve is frequently pictured doing it no longer bothers me if my leg wear is visible or not. As any woman knows, wearing pantyhose with leg hair looks ghastly – even worse for a man as the hairs cause the pantyhose to slide down the leg – so I regularly have my legs waxed professionally (by women) and most surprisingly get very positive comments. I have noticed more and more men with hair free legs and it is becoming normal to the point where neither women nor men give a second look. My wife’s opinion really boils down to why I did not remove the hair sooner – she loves the look and feel both with and without pantyhose. When more men show their leg wear it will become normal which is Brigettes major point. The problem lies with the wearers. Just wear what you like and society will adjust – it always does.
    Thanks for a very thought provoking article and comments from all above. It has made me reconsider my reluctance to wear pantyhose without pants over the top of them.
    I would make one final point that there are major health benefits to wearing pantyhose. Mostly I wear the type that has a graduated compression feature and these are great for long flights or sitting in the car. So live longer – wear tights.
    Malcolm

  • charlie

    Hi

    My name is Charlie and I like wearing pantyhose. To tell you the truth pantyhose is not enough for me, I love wearing skirts and blouse. While writing this comment I’m wearing a pair of shiny hold-ups, a knee-length skirt and a woman’s top. It is such a fantastic feeling…

  • http://facebook.com/djspeedking Rob Stephenson

    In response to Charlie’s post, this blog post and radio interview has more to do about regular straight and gay men that wear pantyhose as a regular part of their daily attire and the double standard behind the fashion. This has nothing to do with crossdressing, though it does border it to a certain degree. As an open minded individual, I have nothing against crossdressers, but in this instance, respectfully, crossdressing has nothing to do with what the main topic is about. Yet, what we are trying to stop is the “creepiness” factor that many people have against men wearing hosiery. Most of us ARE NOT TRYING TO CROSSDRESS.

    Charlie, that’s great that you are open about what you do, and you should be open and proud, but it’s exactly this type of posting and the way you posted that creeps MOST PEOPLE out. No one needs to know what you are wearing, most people would rather know as to WHY you are wearing. “I wear for medical reasons” or “I wear hosiery because I like to cross dress and here’s why…” would be a more appropriate response.

    I’m not trying to bash or put you down, I’m trying to “clean up” what could be perceived as perverseness on our part by the vast majority of the public. This is something we in my community are trying desperately to break.

  • Joey

    I believe that the fetishism associated with men who wear pantyhose is a result of the secrecy. I believe if all men who like hosiery were comfortable enough to wear them publicly, then pantyhose would become just another garment. Instead, most boys are ashamed of themselves when they discover how much they like the fabric or the look of pantyhose. From what I have read on the Internet, I believe most guys start wearing before they reach puberty. I believe it becomes sexual later when two secrets collide.

    • Marwil

      Exactly, Joey! It’s a result of the secrecy that pantys on men are fetishized.
      Go the other way round: Ask women why they wear tights! Is it …
      … “because otherwise my legs get cold”?
      … “because I’m expected to do”?
      … “because I feel good with’em”?
      First answer would be cool. Very natural. An answer that includes men to the same action w/o extra legitimation. But this answer is unlikely.
      Second answer would be regrettable. Poor women! Puppets on a string. Nobody wants that.
      Third answer will be the dominant. Which is great! Which is apparent. And there we go! Do men NOT have the right to feel good in tights? Sexy, attractive, erotic? Oh yes, they have! But related to men, it’s not considered sexy, attractive and erotic but odd, disgusting and perverse. So what do we all get wrong?
      We have an image of men that is totally spoiled. But OH SO TOTALLY!
      It’s a cancer of imaging we suffer. Entirely us, men and women.

  • Tony

    I’m a married man in my 40′s and have worn pantyhose for years. At first I think it was a a fetish thing but after the thrill wore off, I found myself just wearing them under my pants every day. My wife knows and supports me fully. She has even told me that she would rather me wear pantyhose than not.
    She is the only one that knows I wear them, I would love to wear them with shorts in public, but I just have not. I get nervous and think it would just be easier to cover them up, instead of having to explain myself if anyone questioned me.
    Maybe someday I will and just not care what others think or say.

  • Paul

    Thank you for the show and your good intension. Here is my story. When I was 4-5 years old, I liked to put my mom’s pantyhose. Can’t remember how exactly it started, but I remember I took a pair to bed under blanket and I liked to feel them on legs. Sometimes mom would see me and she reacted normally. Once I tried to put them on a naked body. It was very pleasant. And then probably some years later I remember I put them on pants, then on naked body and after some minutes I got a strange new feeling. Later I repeated and it turned into intensional masturbation with pantyhose. I forgot it for some time, but occasionally would try again. Pantyhose became a strong erotic object. I don’t want to write like a creep, in fact I would like to forget pantyhose, but it became a strong desire and passion, probably like casino for others. There was long time I forgot this habit, but then it started again. Now I am over 20, sometimes I buy pantyhose with big exitement and run home to unpack and put them on. It ends with masturbation. Then with sincere wish for liberation from habit I through them away. Then buy again. By the way, I tried to convince myself that I want to really wear pantyhose and sometimes I tried to put them on for entire day, and I put some on winter as an excuse for cold weather, but it always ended with masturbation, after which I no longer wanted to wear them. So wearing would always had erotic roots for me. I also like women wearing pantyhose, I buy pantyhose to my girlfriend, like to speak about pantyhose, touch and feel different kinds of fabrics. Since I understand erotic nature of my habit and it always hurts me as a result, I would like to get rid of it, but it’s really powerful. Just for bigger picture: I’m not gay, I’m normal man, successful, well educated.

  • Lee

    Your bias is so clear I am not sure why anyone gave you positive comments on this subject of men wearing ’hose. One, your reference to men’s legwear as “hose”, “mantyhose”, “pantyhose”, throughout your article conveys your disgust. One can almost picture you rolling your eyes. Two, your reference to Madonna’s lyrics “What it feels like for a girl” and your comment that “…when a man does something perceived as feminine he is lowering himself”, sort of misses the point.

    Men have been wearing compression wear for years in sports, for medical reasons – none that have to do with being ‘feminine’ or ‘feeling like a girl”. Men have also been wearing “hose” for years to cross-dress, as a fetish, and other sexually or sexually oriented related reasons, as many of the commenters can testify. Bottom line is pantyhose is pantyhose, whether it is called Sheer Energy or ActivSkin (which is, I guess, comes in sheer and opaque and I guess they have a line of “manties” too); and compression tights by companies like UnderArmour, and graduated compression support hosiery specifically made in men’s style. Another thing, I have never heard a woman state pantyhose keep them warm. So the men that use this excuse to wear ‘hose’, are wearing them for a different reason. So, understand your audience when you write an article and keep personal bias out of it.

    • http://www.bridgetteraes.com Bridgette

      Hi Lee, thanks for your thoughts! I’m not entirely sure how you could read my blog or listen to my radio interview and think of my thoughts as biased, but I did consider your thoughts and did look back at my own writing and interview. First of all, it should be stated that I outed myself as one of the “judgers” who did misunderstand the whole concept of men wearing pantyhose and then, instead of closing myself off, remained open to find out more and better understand. I’m confused as how that can come off as bias?
      Are you sure you’ve never heard of a woman saying hose or tights are worn for warmth? Being a 38 year old woman, I am positive I’ve said that on more than one occasion. In fact, just this year I went into a drugstore to pick up a pair of tights when I realized that I underdressed and did need to put something on my legs.
      Honestly, I appreciate your thoughts and welcome them, yet, I really think you either missed something in this post.

  • Male

    I like the concept of men wearing pantyhose or whatever. I don’t stop just on one particular. I love to wear leggings, tights, stockings and pantyhose etc. But I don’t think anyone should be concerned about why men wear it? It just look great. I wish for day when nothing is gender based and everything is unisex. Except bra everything can be wear by mens too. I don’t find any problem with skirts or dresses too. Still people are very narrow minded and they can never think of anything which is not conventional or exist before they born. As adjustment to change is not possible mostly for mens only.

  • james

    my girlfriend loves me in tights .she says my legs look great in them. she has even bought me some 4 inch stilletos to wear with them.even she admits that women could get jelous of how sexy mens legs can look

  • Scott

    Bridgette, I just heard your radio show (on my computer) about men wearing pantyhose/mantyhose. I’m a 48 year old heterosexual man who’s wanted to openly wear pantyhose since 1972. In 2000, I started wearing them to the gym with my shorts. In 2009, I started wearing them with shorts everywhere else, and I’m a much happier person because of it. I don’t know why I love pantyhose, but since I’m not harming anyone by wearing them, I don’t see why society should have a problem with me wearing them in public. Thank you for bringing this topic to light.

  • Donnie

    Hi Bridgette,
    I listen to your radio show and thought you did a good job on the topic. I am sorry that it was hard to find guests. I would have been glad to participate but didn’t know about it until after the fact.

    I wear them everyday and have since I was a sophomore in high school. Now I did have to be careful and be selective about who knew and still do some. There are those that will make yours life torture if they know as they feel some need to be threatened. By what I don’t know. It doesn’t hurt them, affect them or alter their life or the world spinning on it’s axis. But they still feel and treat you as if you had attacked their world.

    As I mentioned, I wear them everyday with very few exceptions. I wear them in public and really don’t get more attacks than not. The ones that do are mean and harsh while the rest are of no opinion or just curious and want to know what caused me to and why do I really want to wear pantyhose.

    I just do and don’t think about it. I withstand the mean attempts to attack me and gladly answer anyone’s question if they are that interested to ask and not participating in mean ways.

    I know it is hard for some to understand straight guys can and do enjoy wearing pantyhose. But the fact is the world has many that do. Unfortunately most do it in private and not public because others have to make them feel uncomfortable.

    Some people get tattoo’s. I don’t and have no desire but if someone does and they like it…good for them. Same goes for those who wear different hair styles. clothes and even statement making items. I may not, but I am not going to make you feel uncomfortable because you did. But then that is just me.

    Until guys who like wearing pantyhose just start doing it in a controlled environment and let people see that is a fashion thing you like and do. They will not get used to it and it become just somebody else in a pair of pantyhose.

    Thanks again for exploring the subject and the efforts of your radio show to explain what the deal is with men wearing pantyhose.

  • http://www.confessionsinpantyhose.com/ Sheery

    I am very curious as to what percentage of men use pantyhose for practical reasons and what percentage use them purely for fetishism.

    You mention “mantyhose” makes up 2.5% of the legwear market and I’ve seen other stats, for instance, approximately 80% of pantyhose sales are to men according to Luxelegwear.com.

    I personally fall under the fetish category and, while I appreciate how pantyhose for men is trying to break through as mainstream, I actually only prefer the traditional version since they retain the feminine qualities which are a part of the fetish.

    Thanks for your article. It’s nice to get a view from the female perspective.

  • Nick

    Better late than never – ‘legitimate’ reasons mean that an article is being worn for what it is intended, in this case to help keep warm. Men and women could both wear tights for this reason. However, only women can wear to make themselves look or feel a bit more sexy, and to match other forms of women’s attire like skirts and heels. Men certainly cannot do this! Couple this with so many men (most?) being weird and creepy about the whole thing, and the public perception of men in pantyhose under shorts in public is that something has gone wrong and they look feminine. There’s no way getting round that.

    It’s the weirdness/feminising that causes the strong reaction against this from both men and women. The strength of reaction from men who wear when this is criticised to my mind indicates a guilty conscience at work.

  • Joe

    I’m a heterosexual male in my 50′s. I recently the past year had two knee replacement surgeries. So there were thigh high TED hose to prevent risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis.The second one gave me some edema problems, so as I moved through rehab I needed to get a new pair this time of compression stockings for the edema. There are a limited amount of men’s styles to meet my size and compression needs (20-30hg). The only thing on the shelf were womens compression pantyhose that met the medical needs and fit. They decfinitely help especially with the circulation. I will admit too I liked the way they feel on my legs and even seem to feel a more feminine side to me . Seemed weird, and initially felt ashamed. Later the doctor said the swelling improved and I could go to just knee high socks for men. After a couple of weeks, I missed wearing the pantyhose. I like the comfort and soft feel of the more sheerer womens pantyhose. Thankfully my wife reminded me given the medical needs its ok, and that if I preferred the pantyhose that was fine whether they are marketed to men or women. Even if the edema is gone, i might still continue wearing pantyhose and thigh high stockings. In fact for the past year I have worn pantyhose more than her.I am still not ready to wear with short, but am sure I will soon. Thank you for this forum

  • goscia

    wearing thighs made me delicate, I can get better job, I can be more nice to my wife, but I’m still to shy to show this.

  • Dave

    My case have been wearing pantyhose since I was about 13 or 14 years old. Started with my mom’s and when my parents found out they were livid as it was hose and other clothing as well. At home I do enjoy crossdressing but when I do out I will wear panties or pantyhose under my pants and just panties in the summer under my short. I have just sort of over the years come to like the feeling of a dress or skirt better then pants at least when relaxing at home. Guess only reason I have not worn outfits outside the home is due to the stigma attached to cross dressers and such. It does bug me how a lady as you said can go out dressed masculine but men get all the weird steers if they go out dress feminine. In a way it’s hypocritical of ever women who goes out dressed in pants or slacks. I mean men have worn tights long before women did so is sad that today we just get steers and gawks!!

  • Dave

    My case have been wearing pantyhose since I was about 13 or 14 years old. Started with my mom’s and when my parents found out they were livid as it was hose and other clothing as well. At home I do enjoy crossdressing but when I do out I will wear panties or pantyhose under my pants and just panties in the summer under my short. I have just sort of over the years come to like the feeling of a dress or skirt better then pants at least when relaxing at home. Guess only reason I have not worn outfits outside the home is due to the stigma attached to cross dressers and such. It does bug me how a lady as you said can go out dressed masculine but men get all the weird steers if they go out dress feminine. In a way it’s hypocritical of ever women who goes out dressed in pants or slacks. I mean men have worn tights long before women did so is sad that today we just get steers and gawks!!

  • John

    I’m a man and I wear pantyhose. I like the feeling and also the support that they give to my legs. I first tried on men’s Gerbe pantyhose one winter when I was on a trip to the Netherlands, and they kept me warm. In the winter I wear tights – not a big deal. In the summer I will wear nude pantyhose with slacks and loafers, and sometimes I will wear pantyhose with shorts. Fortunately I have great legs for a man! I have had many compliments over the years, although I have also had a few strange looks. I see nothing wrong with men wearing pantyhose.

  • Pablo

    I wear them all time. I first start using them as prescription but now I got used to it and it is part of my wardrobe.

  • John J

    I’m a married man, i have worn pantyhose for years, I wear them all time, like how it feel.

  • chris maestre

    If u have three choices. And. To enjoy. Life beter to wear medical pantyhose then you can enjoy life or stay in bed and let life past u by,or smoke medical weed,i am in a wheelchair, what will u pick,let .and you so much pain,and which way will u go,let me know please.

  • Mike

    I enjoyed reading the article, thank you for doing it. I been wearing tights/pantyhose since I was 6 years old, but kept it a secret from my family. It started with my sisters red tights i found in the bathroom garbage. After that point, I would wear them to sleep in, until I hit puberty, and attached a sexual need to them as well.

    I am 44 now and my wife loves them on me just as much as I like to wear them. She even encourages me to wear them when I am not, as she admits, its a sexual thrill for her. However, as much as I would love to wear them under shorts in public, I just do not think it will happen in this lifetime. My wife is like me, she would like it too, but only if it did not look “weird” and that is the issue for us both (weird to the general population). The only time we enjoy my public wearing, is on Halloween, I will either cross dress or wear a manly costume with opaque tights.

    Men wore short skirts and hose long before women did, yet the world has changed. Men are so pressured to be “masculine” all the time, that anything taking away from it seems to bring the worst out of people. It does not help I am a biker and hang in a tough crowd, I have to maintain my appearance on a man that is tough.
    Yet, these same people on Halloween, will enjoy the show and get a good laugh out of it, in a good way. Like pulling up the dress and show them my “man hood” in the material, much to the enjoyment of the women with cameras flashing and laughs from the guy friends. Women will even tell me, how impressed they are with how comfortable in my sexuality I am….

    But it is Halloween, any other day, the reactions may be very different…..

    • Mike

      I also want to mention, when I am on my motorcycle in colder weather, tights, are very comfortable under pants, as opposed to long underwear. Sheers are a good liner under dress slacks, opaques can be used a swell and double as a dress sock. Joe Namath wore pantyhose as a extra comfortable layer for warmth under if football uniform…. As a practical item for men, they most definitely are. The world is ready to handle it more as a male undergarment, and that’s how it needs to continue to be marketed.

      If Major companies in the USE, like Legg’s, No nonsense and Hanes made a “male” specific line, that would help the trend in a very positive way. I think they fear turning off their female customers, but in reality, they are losing them anyway to the HORRIBLE bare leg look so many women think actually looks better to work or with an evening gown. Many years ago, I read how 60% of all their online sales were to men, yet, they hold back on making it happen….

      Fashion can be changed with the big players wake up and get active. first off, they need to call all male leg wear tights, “pantyhose” and “mantyhose” are not helping and the latter term, only amplifies the “fetish” aspect. PANTY is a world for women’s underwear, so a man in “PANTYhose” must be wearing women’s underwear…. Tights, albeit, footless ones are already marked to men, now, all they need to do is add the “feet” and keep calling them tights for men. Get athletes to wear them, do commercials and I think the idea will catch on. Maybe get soccer and basketball players to wear them under their uniform shorts…

      PAY them to do it, some will even realize the benefits of compression hose on thier legs for better blood circulation, thus less fatigue… Its not that hard to do, a major hose make just needs to WAKE up and do it…..That’s how it will get going and their slumbering hose sales since the mid 1990′s will turn around. sell them as a practical garment for men, the fashion aspect will take care of itself……..

      • charlieb

        I think you have a very good idea to call pantyhose for men as tights instead of mantyhose. With slumping sales you would think the hosiery manufacturers would explore adding some larger/taller sizes, modifying the hosiery they currently make or produces a male specific line. From reviews that I have read women’s hosiery is more comfortable than the currently specifically male brands. I have learned, after I have gone out for a hard training ride on my bicycle wearing a pair of Hanes Alive (full comprehension) my legs recover much quicker.

  • Peter

    Nothing really new about males wearing hosiery…travel back in history to the Victorian age and men actually were the first to wear tights. In essence, nylons were destined to be as unisex as your cotton variety socks.
    Of course silk was used as the nylon polymer did not yet exist. Nevertheless, hosiery even to this day is made of silk, on the high-end of the spectrum, with nylon, lycra, spandex in different proportions used for quality to everyday hosiery, whether it be for female or male wear.

    Whatever reasons men have in wearing tights is not the point, but rather the fact of just wearing them without thinking twice about it, regardless of how much nonsense perceptions are attached to this topic. Society is permeated with double standards and the fact that it has been long accepted for women to wear masculine apparel, it is but an obvious example among many without stirring up any controversy as far as fashion trends go. Between men choosing this alternative comfortable leg wear and all the bullshit fashionista expert opinions out there on what undergarments folks should wear as opposed to what they want to wear, do yourself a favor and make space in your boxer drawer as I have and enjoy. Your wife might even want to try on your own mantyhose and ditch her own nylons.

    • Charlie

      That is the problem with men wearing pantyhose/tights is society’s double standard. That is why most men will keep the wearing of pantyhose hidden. It’s just easier, then to be stigmatized by society. I really wonder how many men wear them for warmth in winter, support or just because they like the way they feel versus for a fetish reason?

  • Charlie

    It would be nice someday if pantyhose/tights were accepted as a unisex garment. For whatever reason (at least right now) society cannot seem to accept that a man would like to wear pantyhose for some reason (medical, warmth or just like it) other than it’s a fetish. It’s easier to cover them up than to fight society’s stigma of men wearing pantyhose.

    • zirkPH

      And what if it is fetish. Since when pepole are so prude. Pepole do have fetishes most of them if not everyone. Some know about it and are redy to take advantege of that in ther lives some not.

      I as a man wear pantyhose since 4 years now. The initial idea was to stay warm in winter but after a while i find myself wear them during spring and fall. I might as well buy warmer pants but i realy liked how it feelt. Sometimes I wish not to know what is like to waer pantyhose because pepole are very strict about it without any understanding but it happened. Now I’am hiding in the shadows but i at least try to show as much understanding to other as i can.

      I hope for a revolution in this subject and I’am ready to join it when the time comes.

  • Charlie

    That is exactly the problem, men are not comfortable with wearing pantyhose/tights openly. Pantyhose are worn secretly because we (or at least myself) does not want to be labeled by society. Society appears to have a hard time accepting that a man would like to wear pantyhose just because they like the way they feel, like the support offered by compression/support hosiery or even for warmth in the winter. Why can’t people admit tights are more comfortable & less bulky than long underwear. It can also happen after puberty, it just takes a challenge from a friend when she dares you to try a pair of tights.

  • Andrew

    I wear nothing but pantyhose and leggings and I love it I wish I had someone who understands I have to hide this I wish I did not have to do that. somebody email me at amayer080@gmail.comthanks.

  • Aston E.L.

    Fuck it…life is short, if you like to wear pantyhose, just wear it! Why do we have to bother how and what others think!? Wearing pantyhose doesn’t hurt anybody or causes eye sore to anyone…isn’t it!? I wear pantyhose to appease myself…to fulfill my own needs and desire. Why must I stop wearing pantyhose just because somebody think or oppose the idea?! Fuck it! I don’t live to appease other people’s opinion!

  • Gary Keil

    For years up until the 2000′s, tights were made from rather basic (and crude) nylon fibers. Tough and durable, stretchy, but easy to sag. Girls would frequently have to “pull their tights up” when wearing. In the 2000′s, new materials hit the scene. While Lycra had been around for a while and blended with nylon for tights, the improvement was nominal. A little less sagging and that’s about it.

    Recent new material formulations have created amazing stretchy and conforming materials, as well as different textures for inner and outer sides of the material. The result is that there are quality tights being made that feel absolutely fantastic on your legs. You get this wonderfully smooth stretchy feeling over your legs that also breathes. You can wear them all day and still feel terrific. And now… because of the increasing height and weight of the population, hosiery makers have enlarged their size charts. Finally, companies like Donna Karan are making tall tights that fit healthy proportioned men at 6′ tall and under. Additionally, you can get them with rather thick and firm control tops that “hug” your abdomen and nicely cradle your genitals. They feel fantastic. So why should women be given exclusive rights to wear tights? They shouldn’t. Everybody should be free to wear them. I do now, for warmth under my trousers in the cooler months. And sometimes just a pair of tights with a long T-shirt to lounge around in at home. They’re thinner in bulk than thermal underwear and have a much better glide factor. If a guy feels like it’s too feminine, he can opt for footless tights that end up looking like slightly lighter running tights. Gender ambiguity fears averted.

  • Kim Sherma

    I have been wearing tights outside for many years, I have some photos on flickr stmawescastle@yahoo.com
    Most folks I come across are kind to me and do not have a problem with it. There are a few, however, that do seem to take issue. I have not been able to understand why.
    Kim

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