What is it about?

Why do men buy other men's underwear? In my paper, I look at Reddit and examine the comments of people who buy and sell underwear. I discover there's a value in the way people word the ads, specifically sellers "pump up" their masculinity (as athletes, or otherwise active) because that has value to the buyers. Buying these items from people they see as using this "tough" language means they are closer to them.

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Why is it important?

Buying intimate items, even for ourselves, is generally a private matter. So, investigating why someone would want to buy someone else's underwear, particularly men's underwear, helps us to understand that masculinity has a value to it- one that can have a monetary figure, apparently.

Perspectives

As someone who didn't realize this type of commerce existed before researching it, I was amazed to find out how much work sellers put into their image. They aren't really "selling" their underwear or themselves, but the image of their masculinity. Is it authentic? Who knows. But so long as it seems authentic to the buyer, it's valuable.

Steven Dashiell

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This page is a summary of: ‘[Selling]’: Gender capital in the commerce of men’s underwear on Reddit, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, August 2022, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/csmf_00057_1.
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