Enhance your pants

Josh Dare gets pumped up for a peek into padded underwear for men

Webster’s Dictionary defines an ass as “the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on.” Urbandictionary.com says an ass is “a place where courageous people do the nasty.” Some people, however, more accurately define their asses by their lack of definition. “Recently, I was told that I have a ‘bigh’ — a back that goes to thigh,” says Michael Hill, an apparent assless wonder. Hill has every reason to be worried.

“A good ass is important,” says ass-admirer Rob Anthony, “because there’s something sexy and seductive about a round, well-shaped ass. It ranks up there with a defined chest and strong arms. It’s perfectly positioned to be squeezed, grabbed, admired and appreciated.”

Anthony’s fixation on pert asses could just be a byproduct of gay culture, according to psychotherapist Adam Segal. “Unfortunately, in certain circles in our community there’s a real emphasis on notions of perfection,” he says. “Self-esteem issues and body-image issues are reinforced in parts of the culture where ‘this’ is what makes you a desirable gay man.”

If you’re ass-challenged, why not do something about it, like a million lunges at the gym? “Long ago I accepted that no amount of squats were ever going to give me the bubble butt that I dreamed of,” Hill says. “That, and some middle-aged personal trainer taking a hacksaw to my dream with, ‘I’m sorry, honey, you just don’t have the muscle fibres for it. The best we can do is tone what you’ve got.’”

If you can’t make it, you can at least fake it. Similar to a padded bra, ‘enhancement’ underwear comes with two foam pads that fit over your ass to give the appearance of a plump bubble butt. Some styles come with pads over the crotch, and designer Andrew Christian has upped the panty ante by releasing an anatomically correct Shock Jock, complete with a bell-ended penis mould. But hold up: won’t that make you look weird and deliberately stuffed?

“Not when it is cold outside,” retorts Christian. “No more male shrinkage necessary. Now you can keep the shock in your jock with my Shock Jock Flirt.” In apparent seriousness he explains, “The Shock Jock Flirt really does work and looks totally natural when you have it on. No one is able to tell you are wearing enhancing underwear.”

Silicone Body’s Pauline Rous believes that padded underwear not only works, it changes your appearance completely. “Suddenly your manhood and butt cheeks look raised and fresh. You get a chiseled balanced body look, like you’ve been in the gym for months,” she explains.

If you’re worried that the pads will look unnatural, rest assured that the companies manufacturing your new ass have done their homework — and your own butt may have been an unwitting subject. Jack Timlock of Toronto’s own Bottoms Up takes time out from staring out the window of the Church St Starbucks with a notepad to tell me, “After studying many butts, we realized that the left cheek is differently shaped than the right cheek. So in our desire to give the most natural look possible, we had moulds made to produce the desired effect we were looking for.”

Your butt may now look perfectly and naturally pert with its new padding, but check that your motives are healthy. “I imagine that there’s some people wearing padded underwear and it’s relatively helpful to them psychologically,” says Segal. “But there might be another group of people who are struggling with body image issues and constantly feeling that on some level they’re not measuring up.”

Rous doesn’t buy into that complexity. “There are two main reasons men wear padded underwear,” she snaps. “One, they need them, and two, they need them.” Christian agrees. “Men wear enhancing underwear because size does matter, and it gives them more confidence to feel sexy.”

Ass-less wonder Hill sounds like he might be conflicted about his situation and could use some padding — but would he ever wear padded underwear? “Never to rope in the boys,” he says, “’because let’s face it, that is just the height of false advertising. How could anyone maintain their dignity when they’ve picked up a boy who thinks he’s gonna have a night of eating out a perfect ass only to fi nd it hanging around the guy’s ankles along with his jock?”

“I don’t focus on whether it’s deceptive to other people,” counters Segal. “I think more about the individual who’s wearing them and whether or not, on some level, they’re lying to themselves and whether they’re able to have a healthful perception of their body, or if they’re only able to enjoy their body if it’s masked in that way.”

He also believes that the foam pads could deter a firm connection because your new ass may lessen your appeal. “Generally, people are drawn to authenticity,” Segal says. “It might strike that person as inauthentic, and that might get them wondering if there’s other ways in which you’re inauthentic. It might make you less desirable in some ways: when people are looking to make a connection with other people, they usually want a sense of authenticity.”

Ass-man Anthony wouldn’t feel cheated if he brought a guy home and discovered his ass was supported. “My thought would be, ‘Well, isn’t that interesting,’” he says. “I would definitely not feel cheated. The person obviously felt they needed to enhance that area and they had the right to do it. Good for them.
Why do we wear clothes that make us look slim or toned? It’s the same argument.”

Info: adamsegal.ca, siliconebody.com, bottomsup.ca, andrewchristian.com.

Josh Dare is a writer curious about those in need of a little more.