Don’t let going panty-less mess with your vag.
If there’s one thing we took away from Basic Instinct, it’s that ditching your panties can be the ultimate boss move. But could going commando mess with your lady bits?
The quick and dirty
Basically, there’s no hard scientific data on the topic (c’mon researchers, get on it!), says New York City gynecologist Marianne Styler, M.D. So really, it’s up to personal preference. “If a person is healthy, there is no real negative to going commando,” says Hugo D. Ribot, M.D., a Cartersville, Georgia, physician. “There’s no medical reason why it would be a bad idea, and most of the time, nobody’s going to be the wiser.”
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That being said, we thought it’d be good to offer up just a few guidelines to help you decide whether you should (or shouldn’t) skip the skivvies.
Do: Go Commando at Night
This gives your vulva—the outside of your vag—time to breathe, says Raegan McDonald-Mosley, M.D., chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She suggests slipping out of your undies (and just wearing comfy PJ bottoms) while you sleep from time to time. This can be especially helpful for women prone to yeast infections, says Mary Rosser, Ph.D., M.D., director of the division of general obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Health System. “You really need to let things breathe down below, and the best way to do that is at night when you go to bed,” she says.
Do: Go Undie-Less for a Glammed-Up Night Out
Going commando is a red carpet trend for a reason: It’s awesome. Not only does every woman deserve a chance to channel her inner J.Lo, but she should get to take a break from Spanx now and again. If you’re heading to a fancy event, why not opt for a thigh-high slit and nothing else?
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Don’t: Go Bare-Bottomed at the Gym
Your undergarments provide an additional layer of protection against irritation, whether you’re taking an indoor cycling class or engaging in any other activity where your lady parts need an extra barrier, says Erica Schipper, M.D., an ob-gyn in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Just keep in mind that thongs can lead to back door irritation during more strenuous exercise, says Styler, so it’s best to stick to a pair that covers your whole derriere.
Don’t: Go Nude Under Your Skirt When Hitting the Club
We all remember the days of Paris, Nicole, and Britney rolling up to nightspots and showing us their hoo-has when getting out of cars. And who can forget the scene from Jersey Shore where Deena Cortese accidentally revealed her koo-kah while going panty-less at the club? The bottom line: If you’re going to toss back more than a few cocktails, throw on some boy shorts. No one wants to see that much camel toe.
If Commando Isn’t for You…
Tried free-buffing and not feeling it? Make sure you’re wearing something comfortable that keeps your vulva clean and dry. “Cotton is always the safest way to go,” says Styler.