My son has stopped wearing underwear

I recently discovered that my 11 year old son has quit wearing any underwear. He sometimes forgets to throw a pair (directly out of his drawer) into the laundry – and when I took him shopping for clothes there was nothing underneath. I am worried about him going to school like this – and also worried if he could be injured on the playground or in PE. All that aside from the basic question: what happened to putting on underwear. I haven’t asked him directly yet. I’m hoping for some advice before proceeding.

Comments for
My son has stopped wearing underwear.

Feb 18, 2013 Commando (Freeballing)
by: John

He’s a boy who cares? Don’t be surprized if he sleeps naked as well. He is a boy you know.

Now if it was your daughter thats an entirely differen’t story, and I would put a stop to it NOW!!!

Oct 21, 2012 I like it
by: Martha

I want my 2 sons, both teens to wear underwear it keeps them warm and sometimes it is not possible to clean areas properly-lack of paper in public toilets,help prevent the soil of outer garments and honestly nothing smells worse.

Lets not be so pedantic about it, underwear serves a purpose, we all know that! I knew of a person applying for an executive position, he would have had the position but for a stain he left on the seat!.

Oct 16, 2012 No fun please!
by: Pritkar

I agree with Anonymous re comments about the jocular language of Andre. Sure I agree with him about his underwear position. But stick to ordinary language, please! If I want to laugh (and I did), then I would like a comedy. So his underwear views are fine but his language should be factual and sober as Anonymous suggests.

Oct 12, 2012 Writing and speaking( or talking ) different
by: Andre

Anonymous is right of course, that I talk differently than when I write, but so what? Anonymous does it differently also. Surely Anonymous is not so confrontational to say to all & sunder he/she meets, “you are pompous and ignorant” upon a disagreement???

Nor do I really intend to buy 2 gas masks.2 things I find sad concerning the lingo of Anonymous:

1: the repeated ‘Trust me’, how can I do that, when I don’t know this person, who is merely an anonymous entity to me?

2: his obvious lack of humor/mockery and perspective.

Oct 09, 2012 A bit of humor wont kill.
by: Ursula

Oh! Anonymous, I have not had panties for decades & disagree with Kent. I laugh at his humorous expressions. To call it pompous is pompous, none is perfect! So don’t be the pant less sourpuss.

Oct 08, 2012 Seriously…?
by: Anonymous

Andre – do you talk like this in “real life” or are you putting on airs for the online crowd? You come off as the worst possible combination: pompous and ignorant.

Trust me – my sense of smell is in fine working order. If only I could set up a blind test for you to “pick out those going commando.” I know you would not be able to.

If you prefer underwear, that’s fine – just say it’s your preference: no problem. But to act as though your preference is based on anything other than opinion is annoying and misleading.

I wear underwear most days – and don’t on others, but it has to do with comfort – not smell.

Oct 06, 2012 Oh! it must be obvious
by: Andre

Even to a most biased Anonymous, it should be obvious that I was not referring to myself in the smelling stakes!.

Moreover, I can not contort myself that well to smell my own rear department.

I suggest with all the tenderness and diplomacy I have at all times at my disposal that Anonymous get the smelling organs tested and I’m sure, if an improvement has been accomplished, that he/she will abundantly agree with my assessments.

Oct 06, 2012 Please Andre
by: Anonymous

Andre – don’t be ridiculous. I work in a school – I have smelled plenty of students who were quite obviously wearing underwear. Additionally, I know a fair few people who freeball and have never noticed anything remotely like a smell. If you stink without underwear – trust me, you will stink just as bad with them. If this is not the case with you – I suggest you wipe better!

If the kid wants to go commando who is he hurting. And if you read the original poster wearing underwear may have actually been causing him discomfort. Profits of manufacturers notwithstanding – there is no inherent harm – or smell – in going commando!.

Oct 04, 2012 Underwear companies re thriving
by: Andre

Despite all this “going commando” and “freeballing”,underwear companies are thriving!.

The idea of going underwear pantless is really only practiced my the noisy few. You can’t always spot them ( those without (undos)but often you can smell them.

Brrrrrrrrrrr! Hold your nose people!!!!!!!
In addition now to wearing undos, am thinking of buying a gas mask or 2!

Sep 15, 2012 going commando
by: Anonymous

I’m 13 and like your son stoped wearing underwear and knowone knew or even seam to care then like him I forgot to put some in the wash. mom just said what ever make you comfertable, remember you (meaning me) haft to
explane it. as of yet I haven’t had to explane it yet my male friends and classmate just don’t seam to care as many of them do the samething.

as far as my female friends and classmates are cocerned I don’t think any of them know

Jun 12, 2012 Contradicting Comments
by: Anonymous

I’m over 18 and just started freeballing. I find it very comfortable and I’ve been doing it for over a week with nobody noticing. If you wear jeans and a belt to keep your pants from riding down nobody will notice. Most of the time someone is caught when they’re wearing something baggy like basketball shorts where you can see up the pants leg but in tighter clothes that’s not a problem. I’m not a parent and I can’t agree with giving the kids free reign but when or if I become a parent I will likely tell my child the pros and cons instead of a command. I don’t agree with the hygien issue because if your underwear isn’t clean then it’s just as unhygienic as not wearing any. The only thing I can agree with is the possibility of being caught by someone but if someone, even a kid, is willing to take the risk I’d let them. If they’re careful and maybe if they can freeball everywhere save more public places like school and church they won’t get caught. Try a compromise not a ultimatum.

May 29, 2012 boxers?
by: jay jay 

A pair of loose fitting boxers is the same as not wearing any underwear at all. It’s more comfy feeling to not wear any undies at all. Studies show it’s not good to wear underwear. I say he’s fine going cammando..

May 09, 2012 Thanks so much!
by: Maria

I appreciate all the comments. I must admit I havent followed up because I found it a little embarrassing, but with all the input I thought I should.

Shortly after this post I took my son for his physical before school and I insisted he put on some underwear and made sure before we left. It was his doctor who explained the situation to me – and I understand why my son didnt want to talk about it with his mom.

In any case the issue was that underwear dont fit in certain areas and are extremely uncomfortable for him. We tried a switch to boxers to see if that would help, but unfortunately not.

Now I just feel bad that it took a doctor explaining this to me. But I do appreciate everyones help. Sorry it took so long for me to respond.

Apr 10, 2012 Can’t follow this
by: Ben

Just because Aussie does’nt see animals in clothes he says that we should not wear them.
I think animals don’t wear clothes because they can’t operate sewing machines maybe? otherwise they maybe have the latest fashion.

Apr 10, 2012 I love Aussie bloke’s sense of humour!
by: Rudy

I love Aussie bloke’s sense of humour. Particularly when he says: (literal quote) “We humans are animal not vegetable or mineral.We are the only animal that wears clothes ,so are all the animals wrong or is it just us?” (End quote).
So it is not merely wrong to wear underoos, but wrong to wear any clothes at all, according to his humorous logic. A question, does this humorous Aussie not wear any clothes?????????????
Also, we are the only creatures which have Doctors, Schools, and universities. Aussie bloke’s humour now nearly has me screaming with laughter about his humour, imitate the animals and you can’t go wrong. Actually what’s the sense of him answering this; animals that can’t be wrong have with their superior brain power and numbers decided that even writing is silly. I have never yet seen a creature other than men who writes. If there are such I love to read the authentic biography of an orangatang

Apr 06, 2012 Insist he wears undergarments by Barnaby
by: John the Aussie bloke

Barnaby has some queer ideas.Any doctor will tell you the benefits of not wearing underwear.
Take his comment(C).What going to stand at a school gate and ask each child if he/she is wearing underwear before he picks one that isn’t wearing any.
(E).If the family uses a nudist colony are they all given a bad reputation because they don’t wear clothes at all.
(F).The hygiene factor.That is the very reason I don’t wear underwear.I stopped wearing underwear in 1951 and have had no illeffects from the fact.
We humans are animal not vegetable or mineral.We are the only animal that wears clothes ,so are all the animals wrong or is it just us?
Back to (A).If u/w prevents chafing ,why do so many bike riders leave theirs off in a bike race.John

Mar 07, 2012 Up to who?
by: Raymond

Kristi, certainly not every sensible person would agree with you. Which does not mean that you are not sensible. What it means is that we are all different. Also you forget the input that parents have in this matter. I find it sad and somewhat revealing that you never mention anything about your parents’ guidance in this matter.Here is Maria, a mother concerned about her son.
Your statement that you consider underwear wearing superfluous is a generelisation and consequently can not be adresssed seriously.It is like saying education is superfluous, I am a self made millionaire and ditched education.
Think therefore, carefully before you give meaningless advice.

Feb 29, 2012 underwear are superfluous
by: kristi

I stopped wearing underwear in elementary school, simply because I found them uncomfortable. I tend to sweat a lot in that area, and undies exacerbated that (When I found out what a vaginal infection was, I realized I’d had them constantly as a kid til I ditched the underoos). Maybe Junior has similar problems?

With boys’ pants styles these days, no one can tell if you’re wearing underwear or not, and honestly they have no business caring. It’s one less tight waistband, one less thing to get out of the way in the bathroom, and anything it covers should already be covered by his pants anyway.

I also don’t understand why so many advocates of underwear think you’ll get poop on your pants. Do they really get poop on their underwear?! That’s disgusting. I know how to wipe my butt and I don’t go around sharting, so I’ve never had skidmarks in my life. Learn to control your bowels and wipe properly!

Jan 24, 2012 Getting it right
by: Joris

Maria, I think that Mona hit the nail on the head. With caution you can go either way with your boy in the under wear department. And therefore, it appears as if a truce can be declared in the great under pants debate.

Jan 15, 2012 I think it is allright
by: Mona


Jenn is right, talk to your son and then let him perhaps have his wish to use no unders.
As long as he gets dry cleaned trousers and shorts every 2 days. Also since he wears no jamies to bed, every 2 days he should have clean sheets in order to avoid contamination, faeces are the main contributing factor to get urinary tract infection I was told, and as he rolls around during sleep he may pick that up unless he has cleaned sheets. Also a good idea to air his bed matress and clean the surface with an anti bacterial spray.
Apart from that what Barnaby suggests is unlikely to happen, that he passes on disease to other who may sit where he sat previously.
With adults not wearing unders may be different, I would be carefull. So let your kids enjoy what they like to do!

Jan 10, 2012 Hmmmmmmmm……………
by: Belamby

‘Freeballing’ or going ‘commando’ is the latest fad. I find it funny that advocates of this lifestyle (going without undies) are often that vociferous; the entire world has to know about the freedom they discovered and they often act like they are heroes transforming the Universe (sic).
Sometimes I noticed (perhaps my imagination?) a faint unpleasant odour) escaping from these persons. I make it a personal point not to sit where they have been sitting-for sound hygiene reasons-minor seepage is not uncommon and totally clean bottoms & frontal appendages are almost as rare as frogs’ feathers.
Anyhow,-Jenn has a point- if individuals really feel liberated this way-let them. With children, !well the parents really should decide what they consider to be for their best interest; after all aren’t they parents & thus guides or are they merely idle bystanders?

Jan 08, 2012 Don’t sent them broke
by: Rory

Jenny may have a point or mabe not, just in case, I’m selling my shares in the underpant manufacturers. After all, who want want to get caught with their………..down?

Jan 08, 2012 Don’t want to buy into the under pants ‘war’…..
by: Fran

Not wishing to buy into the under pants war, I nevertheless fire this missile: Jenn has got a point & so have the other Forum contributors ( at least from my view point).
Ultimately it depends on the children involved and the parents judgement.
But I do think that if the parents consider that undies or singlets are better, then they should overide the desires of the kids. No! I don’t think that Jenn is a bad mum to act the way she does. At times I have had to shed my ideas in bringing up 4 children of varying sexes, ages and likings. Sorry I have to stop……my 11 year old is asking for clean undies…….. I can’t find any……Ah well today he’ll have to go to school without undoos…..’Stop that screaming you brat!????!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 08, 2012 At least LISTEN to the kid!
by: Jenn

I never said parents shouldn’t set limits and that kids should “do whatever they want.” My kids are well-behaved, have good manners, and do well in school. When it comes to things like dating, sex and alcohol and doing your homework of course parents need to set some boundaries. We are talking about wearing underwear. Would you make your kid wear a tee-shirt under his dress shirt if he didn’t want to? I just dont think this is a major issue. And I don’t think good parenting means I have to have the final say in EVERYTHING… ALL the time. If they don’t start learning to make some decisions for themselves (and face some consequences) they will do an awful lot of learning later on in life – and with a lot more at stake. Seriously – you think demanding your kid wears underwear makes you a better parent – or more importantly you think that because I don’t it automatically means I let my kids do whatever they want? I just think there are more important issues. But I do think understanding WHY is important – and probably will lead to a much more important understanding.

On the other hand, how do you enforce this? In my opinion all you are setting up is a relationship where your kid starts expecting that he needs to start sneaking around…on unimportant things. Whats going to happen when it comes to the big stuff? I think taking your kids preferences into account is important – and I dont see underwear as a major issue. Apparently, this one thing makes me a bad mom who never says no. Really? I respect your right to insist your kids follow your rules – I didnt find it necessary to put you down or assume you were bad parents.

Jan 06, 2012 They know best
by: Ross

Jenn is right, leave it to the kids, they know best. The parents are there merely to provide food and shelter for the children and listen and learn to their compelling advise.

Jan 05, 2012 Good idea
by: Rikki

The way Jenn suggests for this kid not wanting to wear undies is the logical answer of course. The parents submit to the wishes of the children, even if the parents don’t approve.
By following this method we soon have an harmonious world.

Dec 24, 2011 Talk to him
by: Jenn

I know you are waiting on advice – but I agree that you need to talk to him.

I’m not sure I agree with the others though. I have 2 boys – and they both go commando sometimes. I was also uncomfortable with it at first, but after I got over the first bit, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I would ask why – but I wouldn’t insist on him wearing them if he doesn’t want to.

Perhaps a little off the path, but what does he sleep in? I know my two sleep in the buff – they used to wear underwear to bed, but not any more.

Dec 22, 2011 I don’t comprehend……?
by: Belamby

Maria, you are his mum and it is surprising that you simply did not ask him ‘why don’t you want to wear underwear?’
He may have a pertinently good reason for this antipathy.
Perhaps his undies are too small for his growing requirements in that area. Perhaps his undies cause him an itch, some people are easily irritated by colour in undies or undies still containing detergent residue. Or he feels manlier when he is unrestricted in the private regions. Maybe his Dad (if one is around, hated undies). Or perhaps he has an intelligence problem. In other words he must have a reason or there must be a cause. You have to come up with counter reasons or if he is unreasonable, insist. That he does as you want. There are dangers attached to not wearing underwear. Hygiene for one. Also, it is quite visible when someone does not wear underwear, this could cause ridicule or even the attention of deviants. Also, undies and undershirts are the first protection and cushioning in case of injuries in these very tender boy regions.
Best if he has a Dad, that he steps in in enforces the rules for what clothes he must wear. Remember, parents are the guides but also the authority in his life at this stage. B.

Dec 21, 2011 My cousin always wears underwear
by: Muss


My young cousin of 13 always wears underwear, but for years he did not wear undies.
Then boys at his school playground put hands in his shorts’ and grabbed him there.
Another time boys pulled his pants down and he cried all day long.
Don’t let your boy learn the hard way, there are bad people out there!

Dec 21, 2011 Insist he wears under garments!
by: Barnaby

You are right to be concerned about your 11 year old son refusing to wear under wear.
For the following obvious reasons (amongst others):
A) Prevents chafing of sensitive areas.
B) Decency: prevents unwanted visibility of private areas.
C) Prevent child molesters from a possible attack on the boy.
D) Prevents unpleasant odours from perspiration and glandular activity from getting on-the-nose.
E) This could lead to a bad reputation for child and family alike, it will at times be quite noticeable that the kid has no under daks.
F) Hygiene considerations, alone should be reason to wear under garments.
Do not make it a problem Maria; the parents are in charge, not a snotty nosed 11 year old.
You can however help him by suggesting he wear a nice loose fitting singlet and comfortable, brief style boxer undies.
Let’s know how things went.B