5 Reasons NOT to Wear a Thong to the Gym

One of these things just doesn’t belong

I was at the gym the other day (insert brief, celebratory cheer for me being at the gym) and I saw something that, while commonplace, disturbed me. In the change room, a woman set down her things next to me and began to take her clothes off. No, that wasn’t the disturbing part. What threw me off was the fact that once she got down to her skivvies, she was wearing a thong. I thought that surely, she would change out of it and into a more appropriate workout undergarment. Surprisingly, she didn’t. She started talking to another girl in the change room and I noticed that she was also wearing a thong. I made a mental note that I would take a quick , non-pervy peek around the change room after my workout to see if there were more of these ‘thong, workout women’. While they were in the minority, a few were present.

I personally can’t imagine being comfortable working out in a thong. I’m certainly not worried about the way I look at the gym. I usually laugh at the girls who have gotten all dolled up just to sweat it out. But thongs…thongs? Are you REALLY that worried about a visible panty line? If you know you are going to be spending time at the gym, you should bring appropriate undergarments. No push-up bras either! But there are several, very good reasons not to wear your thong while you work out:

1. Rectal bacteria can travel along the thong to your vagina, which can cause vaginal and urinary tract infections.

A thong is actually a connector,” says Adelaide Nardone, MD, an OB-GYN in Providence, Rhode Island. “As you move, the fabric shifts and before you can say “Monistat,” you’ve got a yeast infection. To make matters worse, thongs tend to rub, causing tiny tears in the delicate skin around your vulva and clitoris, creating access for microbes”(source:Women’s Health Magazine)

2. If you already have an infection or irritation, it can make it MUCH worse by rubbing on the affected areas, especially if you are also sporting a brazilian wax. Your hair is there to protect you.

3. It will irritate your anus, especially if you have hemorrhoids, and can even cause lacerations.

4. Thongs can cut off some circulation to the vaginal area. That goes for underwear that is too tight as well.

5. If you create a vaginal or urinary tract infection at the gym while you are trying to make your body look sexier, then when you have the chance to be sexy out on a date you won’t be able to! Save the sexy undies for special occasions!

If all this information still hasn’t made an impact on you and you’d rather no one see those underwear lines, at least wear cotton thongs. Because cotton is more breathable than synthetic material you are less likely to get an infection. I betcha no one told Sisqo about all these thong problems while he was writing “The Thong Song”. As for me, I’ll be sticking with my cotton briefs, thank you!  Well…at least at the gym. 😉

Have you ever worn a thong to the gym?

I’ve removed the comment option on this post as I was getting spammed like crazy (who knew the word thong would bring so many crazies out!) and there were some uncouth comments going up.

Yes, it is my OPINION that you shouldn’t wear thongs at the gym. Yes, like in the MAJORITY of studies there’s no direct causation, just a high correlation…I was a psych major, I know the difference. This is just some information, like everything else you read on the net, it’s your choice to take it or leave it. Good vaginal health, ladies!


About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on February 18, 2012, in Experiences, Information and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I never understood how girls would be comfortable in those lol so at the gym it’s even worst 🙂

  2. I find this hilarious, because I’ve worn thongs about 99% of the time since early high school and it had NOTHING to do with my attempts at attractiveness. I’ve played sports all of my life and found thongs to be far superior to any other kind of underwear at keeping me comfortable and unchafed. The only time I have to worry about UTIs is when I’m dehydrated. I find the act of picking a wad of sweaty cotton out of my butt crack to be one I prefer to live without. I imagine that a lot of people dismiss thongs because they think they’re purely for aesthetics, but for me it was the last reason I chose them. They might take some getting used to, but so did bras.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I love thongs, but I definitely fit into the category of people who should NOT wear them to the gym. lol I’m far too susceptible. As long as it works for you, then great!

  3. Actually, thong underwear is something that is something that many athletes choose wear, which became very public when Team GB Olympian, Gillian Cooke was preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics, thanks to a rather untimely wardrobe malfunction, later it transpired that her team mate and bobsled partner, Nicola Minchello had recommended it. Now I’m sure that for an Olympic athlete if a clothing choice was not practical, it wouldn’t be worn purely for aesthetics.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Well, I’m not an Olympic athlete but I know that for many women thongs can pose health problems…serious ones sometimes. I also wonder if athletes who have more long-term, consistent movement in their sports would agree. Bobsled is a quick start…then lots of sitting. Do you know if any track athletes or better yet, cyclists, have the same preference?
      I’m also certain that the thongs worn by Olympic athletes are the right size and the right material to give optimum movement and breathe-ability. The thongs that I see at the gym are more often suited for a Victoria’s Secret catalogue than an Olympic event. lol

  4. all of your points are somewhat fair, but in my opinion, kind of irrelevant. health issues and cleanliness should not be a problem at all. if they are, you should really reconsider how good your… personal hygiene is. I’ve never ever had a problem. at all.

    more so than any other type of underwear, the type, size, shape, material etc of a thong you buy can change the comfort and fit a lot. there are heaps of thongs out there that are perfectly suited for exercise. if some girls are wearing anything by victorias secret to the gym, props to them. i personally don’t find them that comfortable to gym in, but looks are deceiving.

    it sounds like a slight superiority complex to be complaining about others underwear habits, making some very rash observations and stating some irrelevant health “facts” (that came from a commercial magazine).

    • Well, I’d like to say thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment but I don’t think I will. Leaving your opinion is one thing, insulting the personal hygiene of myself and women who tend to be predisposed to vaginal infections is another. The “irrelevant” facts stated are also confirmed personally by my gynecologist and the hundreds of women he has seen with similar issues. Although formal studies have yet to be done on this topic, mainly due to the fact that it would difficult to normalize the conditions as many women are not predisposed to infections (such as yourself), many OBGYNs confirm anecdotes of this across the board.

      You are completely entitled to your opinion and if you don’t like mine, that’s fine. Here is the opinion of another educated, medical doctor.

      “The thong is like a little subway car,” said Dr. Rabin, who is head of uro-gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “The bacteria goes from the rectum to the vagina and to the bladder. Normal healthy patients shouldn’t really be impacted by this, but anyone who is predisposed may have an increased incidence.”

      This one is from a journal about medical news.

      If you’d like to reply to this thread, be respectful or I will remove your comment.

      • The increase in infections due to thongs is more likely just more people wearing them and then assuming it is the cause. It sounds a lit more correlation versus causation.

  5. Absolutely correct Jennifer, doctors have found an increase in vaginal infections due to the use of thongs. My doctor has also mentioned this. Personal hygiene really has nothing to do with it. Bacteria can definitely transfer from the back to the front. You go girl, love your blog, very informative.

  6. Honestly, I can imagine wearing anything other than a thong to workout in. I have worn them for the last 15 years and have no intention of stopping

  7. I love to wear thongs especially for guys

  8. Hmmm, not sure about cotton underwear because cotton does not wick sweat away from your body. If you sweat a lot ( I do) then you will end up with some soggy panties and another carrier for at least yeast. More important is to wear the proper workout pants…anything that wicks moisture like what Nike’s Dri-Fit. I wear thongs, but now have figured out that the thongs, do not give me an attractive rear end look (emphasize the butt cra**.) I agree about the chafing issue, and some thongs DO chafe, while others do not ( I like Victoria’s secret, ‘Cheekies’)

  9. I don’t think thongs should be any worse than bikinis for spreading bacteria but I do think they increase the chance of hemmorids due to the concentration of friction on the anal hole area. I don’t see as wearing less than a bikini while working out is more than a sex appeal thing. I mean, thongs fell sexy, especially when working out, when you can feel it on your body, moving around on your body and knowing someone may catch a glimpse and get some arousing thoughts going. So hot… but may give a hemmroid as reward 😀

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