You heard it here first ... well, second, actually. This morning's Dom Post reports that that retail shrine to British commonsense, Marks and Spencer, is about to thrust onto the market something called a "frontal enhancement garment". For those whose first language isn't M&S, this translates as knickers that make your package look bigger. Thirty-eight per cent bigger, according to reports, although god knows how they arrived at this degree of precision.
I couldn't find this exciting item on their website - the closest I got was a bunch of dudes in vests http://www.marksandspencer.com/Bodymax-Underwear-Underwear-Mens/b/332652031?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=17EGAD9TBG995YHNEP6G&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=43593030&pf_rd_p=475115433&pf_rd_s=left-nav-2 Bodymax vests. Which, claim M&S, "shape" your body. It seems likely the new undies will emerge under this label.
They'll sell for around NZ$21. And you'll also be able buy bum-lift knickers. I can imagine some men being eager for both enhancements, but the only way to get them will be to wear two pairs of undies at once. Why didn't M&S design them as one?
Women routinely buy and wear wired, push-up, padded bras. Not to mention those stretchy cast-iron garments that "control" you from from mid-thigh to chest. Men just want the same, it seems. Or M&S hopes they do. Which is the way of our glorious capitalist system - create the thing and desire for it will follow.
It once more raises the question of who we dress for. Men dressing for other men will possibly flock to M&S for both products. Men dressing for women might too. They'd be misguided, though, in any belief that this will make the difference between pulling and not. When, lady readers, was the last time you decided it was all on with someone by sizing up their crutch? Their arse, now ... that's another story.
But then, so the argument usually runs, women buy underwear to make themselves feel good, not primarily to attract a mate. Perhaps it will prove the same for men. A bigger-looking bulge equals more confidence equals more success. Why do I feel like sighing?