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All Gussied Up

All Gussied Up

All Gussied Up

I guess this is more for the women in the reading audience, rather than the men who often pale at the words “perineum” or “discharge.”

There, that cleared the room. Let’s talk amongst ourselves.

Let’s start by talking about gussets. And how my gusset, possibly yours too, does not align with that which is sewn in to my garmenture.

Let me digress, first, terminology:

1) I hate the words panty and panties. They make me want to throw up. I’m not entirely sure why I have such a visceral response to panties but let’s say I can barely write it much less say it. Panties. Gak.

My friend, author Juliette Cross, has no problem with the word panties. But then, she’s awash with panache and writes a wicked Alpha hero, so why am I surprised?

2) That being true, I will refer to underpants instead. Knickers is ok too. Underpants or even undies (let’s stick with undies… more playful and less repressed) will refer to groinal garmenture in general. If I want to specify by cut, I’ll do that. But in general I’ll just say “underpants.”

3) For those of you who prefer panties, I am sorry. I just can’t. You can probably also say the word moist without shivering.

4) Yes, I’ll seek out some counselling.

Thong. Granny pants. Hip-huggers, bikini. I don’t judge. Commando? Good for you but we’re about undies today. This may bore you bolder gals. It doesn’t matter what you wear, chances are it’s been a rough road to comfort.

My first beef?


What are these? These are undies strategically cut to suck up your bum after ten seconds. You don’t know this when you buy them, of course.  They are badly cut, or hey, just designed to be worn — pardon the pun — briefly.

Either comfort is sacrificed for style and/or they are designed by some derpy designer with a penchant for thongs.

Do you know why men have taken over the world? Two words:



Yes, it’s true. The Back Panel has made men what they are today: people who don’t spend their spare time pulling underpants from their derrière. Of course, they do spend an inordinate amount of time adjusting their hairy bits (well, for those who don’t manscape).

Maybe it’s all that freedom?

When I was pregnant, the first thing I did was raid my husband’s underwear drawer. He had the good stuff (I should know, I bought it). Hello comfort, good by little scraps of lingerie which kinda got me into that predicament. I was amazed that the back panel added so much to my joy. Post-partum, I stole all his Calvins and kept on going (don’t worry, I bought him more).

The other tremendous joy about the well-made boxer brief?

No gusset.

Not little teeny tiny cotton crotch afterthought sewn in.

Ok, so I’m using the term loosely. Gusset, crotch (ew, I said crotch). Is it just me, or does the gusset/crotch/thingie rarely line up with one’s pink parts? Seriously, how hard can this be? Is this another area where men triumph?  To wit:

Their clothes fit.

How I’ve burned, watching my husband by shirts and jeans off the rack, without even trying them on. Men’s clothes, right down to their skivvies, have standard sizes and they FIT.

I have had gussets which start up my backside and actually END when they hit my ahem, leaving my tiddly winks essentially unprotected. This would be manageable if the (ew) crotch were seamless, but so far I’ve not found cotton undies with seamless knickery.

And thank you very much but no, I do not want synthetic fibres near my excuse me

Well, I thought it was at least worth a try. And I guess it’s true, nothing DOES come between me and my husband’s Calvins

BUT unless I embrace the belt (yes, I’m old enough to remember THE BELT), I need to wear my womanly unmentionables for THAT TIME. See note above. No gusset.

And thus misalignment cheerfully rears its ugly head.

When this is misalignment most irritating? When lining up (men, if you’re still reading, you may want to leave now) my menstrual pads.

How many times have I fallen for the ol’ line-it-up-with-the-gusset trick then pulled up my undies to find my pad riding up my backside, or coming so high up the front that I look like a dude sporting a mini-gherkin? (Answer: 103.)

The Sticky Wicket

And it’s not as though I can unstick, move, and re-stick the pad. Anyone who’s used a pad will tell you that the wings only stick to:

a) themselves or

b) to your lady hair (if you have, we don’t judge) and

c) rarely your gusset which is sprayed with anti-padizine.

Anti-padizine was invented by the tampon people way back when to discourage the obvious: use of pads. Anti-padizinists sneak into lingerie factories and sprayed ab-hesive (look it up, it’s from the Latin) onto the gusset of every scrap of unmentionable in order to render useless the panty-saving batwings. 

The more clever of you know the answer to this: mama cloth. Because I really want to have snaps near my womanly growth and do laundry in the dark of night.

As you may recall, I am a random proponent of the Diva Cup (you can read about this in my blog Hoo Hoo Boo Boo), but that has its own issues which I’ll save for another day. 

BUT only once, in the entire history of menstrual pad wings, there was ONE TIME the adhesive adhered to my unmentionables.

Here’s what happened:

This is kinda what the inside fluffy stuff of a maxi pad looks like, except this is just cauliflower. Don’t panic.

Misalignment. See notes above. My evil gusset lied to me and I stuck the pad onto the wrong place. New undies, what can I tell you? My eyes weren’t yet calibrated for this pair of hemp undies I bought on a whim, seeing if I could find something to carry me into my twilight years. 

I had to relocate my pad which clung like a desperate burr to a St Bernard, and the dreadful thing ripped open into a million pieces. It was my last pad. The kicker? I was being paranoid and hadn’t even started my period yet. BUT I had to go to a wedding in a brand new summery dress and we KNOW how that goes. So there I am, realigning a pad I don’t even need (I didn’t know that yet), my last pad (I knew that), and it explodes.

Let me rephrase that:

The top of the pad rent itself from its mooring.

I was left holding the top lining while I watched a bunch of fluffy stuff shower gently down, to the utter delight of my Bathroom Kitten, Sally who is still playing with the tufts at this writing (growling at them in the bathtub, I should add).

But this led me to the following discovery.

What’s in the pad?

Cotton candy. I swear this stuff is cotton candy. No. I didn’t eat it. But it looks and feels exactly like cotton candy.

So here’s the upshot of this blog: women get yeast infections because pads are stuffed with cotton candy. The sugar creeps up through the breathable lining and voila, yeast infection. It’s all a conspiracy.

You have the tampon people spraying undies with anti-padizine, and pad people are in league with the yeast infection drug lords.

Ab-hesive Pads. Cotton candy. Yeast infection. Call me paranoid but I just gotta say:

The truth is out there.

What am I reading this week?

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (non-fiction, science)

Forged in Fire (The Vessel Trilogy Book 1) by Juliette Cross (paranormal romance)

Her Heart’s Desire (Sunflower Series Book 1) by Linda Joyce (contemporary romance)






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