The dog days of summer can turn bodily areas covered by even the most breathable fibers into certifiable sweat lodges. Nowhere is the textile hold more oppressive than down below, where radiating heat can subject a man's three most prized possessions to a high-temperature assault. With total nudity out of the question, sometimes our best bet is to lose the briefs or boxers in favor of "going commando." But doing so requires adherence to certain rules. These are the 10 commandments of going commando.
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1. Thou shalt not take a yoga class.
Without underwear, downward dog can quickly become boastful snake—a position not suitable for any yoga setting. If you've ever had the misfortune of attending such a class, you already know that every change of pose is, in a word, unpleasant. So, remember: Namaste…now put that thing away.
2. Thou shalt not make more daily "adjustments" than necessary.
A man's tender bits are not unmovable structures like Stonehenge. Since they're a work in progress—constantly shifting, hiding, and rocking to and fro—there comes a time every so often when a manual adjustment must be made. But forgoing the cotton shackles isn't a license to be more "hands-on" with your boys than usual.
3. Thou shalt remember the wisdom of Fight Club.
The first rule of going commando is you don't talk about going commando. Boasting or even copping to the fact that you're unencumbered down below is to be avoided.
4. Thou shalt use Gold Bond.
While leaving the Underoos at home can be liberating on one front, it may also create another small problem, in the form of a sweaty undercarriage. Fear not, for there is Gold Bond—a quick sprinkle of the white powder is as magical as a fairy's dust.
5. Thou shalt not try on new shorts or pants.
In a society that frowns upon twice dipping a chip, the thought of double dipping something far more personal than crudités—into a pair of jeans you don't even own yet—is about as undignified as it gets. In fact, when you go out commando, your pants should not come off unless someone else removes them for you.
6. Thou shalt not draw added attention to one's bulge.
Trust us, your dirty little secret isn't so secret after all; there's a good chance people are going to notice. So there's no need to throw a parade, or make eye contact with complete strangers and motion downtown, just to formally announce that there's a party in your pants.
7. Thou shalt go commando by choice, not in disdain for doing laundry.
Forgo the grape smugglers for reasons of comfort, not laziness. Besides, if doing a load of laundry is too much work, chances are these rules will seem positively draconian.
8. Thou shalt not make comments about one's "junk."
It often seems that when a man loses a piece of clothing, he thinks it's perfectly acceptable to lose his manners. While primal feelings are a natural reaction to physical freedom, bear in mind that when it comes to your family jewels, commentary is best left in the vault.
9. Thou shalt not assume the barn door is always closed.
A functioning zipper is all that separates your manhood from a wild romp through the unsuspecting streets. It's wise to assume the door is open at all times—and then thank your lucky stars when it isn't.
10. Thou shalt strut proudly.
Whether in life or in underwear, the less baggage the better. After all, God gave us each the perfect packaging; there's no need to put a bow on a masterpiece. So, provided you follow the rules outlined above, rest assured that it is perfectly all right to lose the drawers and let your boys breathe.
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—Alec Banks (@smartalec) is an L.A.-based pop-culture writer and a contributor to Details.com.