Yoga Pants Nation

Yoga pants aren’t just for the yoga studio anymore. And if the trend doesn’t die soon, Nathan Graziano may be doomed.

I’m obsessed with yoga pants. There, I said it. I can’t stop thinking about those damn yoga pants.

While I realize there is nothing shocking or revelatory about a heterosexual male saying that he has become captivated by a female fashion-trend that has obliterated the need for imagination, I like to think my obsession transcends the salacious. I like to envision myself as someone thoughtful and modern and progressive. But when it comes to yoga pants, I’m not.

Yoga pants have brought out my worst chauvinistic characteristics—the characteristics I’d like deny exist inside me. But when it comes to yoga pants, I can’t.

I understand that revealing clothing is nothing novel. For decades now, health clubs or fitness centers—we’ll use the word “gyms” for semantic purposes—have cultivated atmospheres not entirely dissimilar to soft-core pornography.

At any gym, on any given day, one can find both men and women, either scantily clad or in skintight workout clothes, who are in great physical condition, sweating and grunting and breathing heavy, pumping and pushing and thrusting. In microcosm, people at the gym are behaving according to their ascribed gender roles: the women trying to stay trim and sexy and fit and the men running and lifting to stay strong and hard and virile.

For my part, I am guilty as charged.

As a jogger, the New England winter—and my aversion to running on ice—recently drove me to join a gym for the sole use of a treadmill. But try as I may, earplugs inserted and Iron Maiden cranking and dimming my hearing, I have to employ a Buddhist-like asceticism to keep to from glancing at the attractive women and their yoga pants.

In fairness to myself, one cannot dismiss the biological components—the animalistic lure and the firing of pheromones—for both sexes of all sexual orientations, when an attractive person who is provocatively dressed passes the line of vision. It is reflexive, involuntary.

Let me start by saying that women have every right to wear whatever they want, where they want, without having to be leered at and objectified. Intellectually and philosophically, I know this. And the ex-Catholic in me tries his best to recognize the lechery and look away as the minutes and miles tick off on the treadmill’s dashboard in front of me.

Sometimes I succeed. Often I don’t.

My obsession, however, has been exacerbated by the ubiquity of women yoga pants outside of the gym. From supermarkets to bars and restaurants to semi-formal affairs, I can’t seem to escape women in yoga pants.

If the fashion doesn’t die soon, I consider myself doomed.

♦◊♦

I will be the first to admit that I have the fashion sense of an ashtray. I still haven’t moved past the ripped jeans, band t-shirts and flannel styles of the grunge-era. So if it is genuinely stylish for women to wear yoga pants everywhere at all times, I most-definitely missed this.

And when I ask women about yoga pants—hoping they’ll tell me the trend will pass—most women tell me that it isn’t that yoga pants are fashionable, per se, but they are comfortable to wear. As a claustrophobic guy, I couldn’t imagine being comfortable in anything that tight, but I’m going to suspend my disbelief and assume they are, indeed, comfortable.

But baggy sweatpants are also comfortable, so I can only assume there’s more to it. There is an implicit game here—the age-old tease where women flaunt and men look. Again, we’re simplifying ourselves according to a Y-chromosome.

Of course, fashion trends where women leave little to the imagination are not unprecedented. For example, I like to think the emergence of the bikini or the mini-skirt—hell, even the corset— in popular culture caused similar responses from men. And I know I’m not alone here. Websites and blogs, such as Girls in Yoga Pants, affirm for me the one thing I’ve always known about my gender: men are pigs.

But women are also complicit here. Again, I’m not asserting that the egregious rape-mentality of dangerous men—the ones who believe if a woman dresses provocatively, she is “asking for it”—has any validity. It unequivocally does not. However, I have a hard time believing that—outside of the gym or the yoga classes—women wear yoga pants solely for comfort.

Perhaps, the larger issue concerns, collectively, is our own frailties and vanities.

Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be noticed and desired and admired, men as well as women. And perhaps, in a culture blanketed with social media, the looming threat of loneliness has made us so insecure that we can’t leave anything up to chance or depend on another person’s imagination to do its work.

However, if I’m to believe Heidi Klum, one day in fashion you’re in, and the next you’re out. Yoga pants will likely pass, only to be replaced with another, perhaps, more revealing trend.

♦◊♦

And there I am, running like a gerbil on the treadmill. At 37 years old, I’m trying to ward off any impending middle-aged flab, trying to remain strong and youthful.

About ten yards in front of me, an attractive blonde with a high ponytail is doing step-aerobics in black yoga pants.

I stare and fear she knows, so I glance down at the dashboard on the treadmill. It reads, 29 minutes, 3.1 miles. Yet, somehow, I’m still going nowhere.

 

For responses to this article, please read:

Yoga Pants and Unexamined Assumptions by Noah Brand

Father and Son Have “The Talk” – The Yoga Pants Talk by Cornelius Walker

 

 

Read more Advice & Confessions.

Image credit: lululemon athletica/Flickr

Sponsored Content

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is the author of three collections of poetry---Not So Profound (Green Bean Press, 2003), Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press, 2007) and After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press, 2009)—a collection of short stories, Frostbite (GBP, 2002), and several chapbooks of fiction and poetry. A chapbook of short prose pieces titled Hangover Breakfasts was recently published by Bottle of Smoke Press this fall. For more information, visit his website at NathanGraziano,com.

Comments

  1. Joanna Schroeder says:

    As my husband says when I’m wearing them, “I’m not saying not to wear them, I just want to be clear that you understand that everyone can see your vagina.”

    Yes, we understand that. And no, it’s not the vagina you’re seeing.

    • Heh. You know I’m a stickler for anatomically correct vocabulary, so I totally agree it’s not vagina you’re revealing, but when pants like that go from form-fitting to cameltoe, it’s definitely a noticeable difference in…let’s say “vulvar detail” that if the woman is attractive, many men would *reflexively* find a turn-on. Cameltoe is to pants (or bikinis or whatever) as nip slips are to tops. I think it’s one of those things that is usually unintentional and quickly corrected if a woman becomes aware of that added level of exposure – just like with nip slips – but those accidental glimpses are hard to ignore while they last. Not hard to avoid acting on, but hard to look once and not keep letting the eyes slip back.

  2. I can sort of relate to your dilemma. I do pole fitness and while the recreational pole dancing community is dominantly female, there are a handful of super-talented male dancers (and not all of them gay). Pole dance/fitness requires a necessary availability of bare skin for traction, so most dancers wear as little as they are personally comfortable with to dance in. For women, that’s typically a sports bra and booty shorts (you thought yoga pants were bad??) and for men, it’s essentially Speedos and boxer-brief-cut shorts. And I fully admit that when I watch a male dancer, at some point in his routine my attention will be solely on his crotch. Partially because I wonder how he does all the same moves I do without injuring his bits, but mostly because IT’S RIGHT THERE. The bulge. It’s mesmerizing; I can’t look away.

    As of now, I haven’t practiced with or watched any men in person, just in videos, so I have the luxury of letting my gaze drift and linger. But I know there will come a day when I’m at a convention or competition or something and will be face to face with a very fit, barely clothed male dancer and… well, I’d be an idiot to claim that I’d never sneak a peek. So in that light, I can’t fault guys at all for being entranced by our Lycra-clad asses.

  3. One of the better memes I’ve seen recently has a face-palm illustration with the line “None of my yoga pants have ever been in yoga class.” They are, instead, the uniform of modern motherhood, I fear. Yes, they are more comfortable than tight jeans and hide unshaven legs better than a skirt. They stretch when we sit and they’re black, so slimming, right? Yes, they are less comfortable than the loose drawstring pajama bottoms we wear around the house. They are a step above the “I give up” shapeless Seinfeld sweatpants, but just barely and only because by wearing them we can pretend we’re on our way to or from an actual yoga class or similar fitness endeavor. Ultimately, though, I think they are a compromise. And honestly – I’m glad to discover somebody finds them attractive.

  4. I like how the ass and thighs are so tighly hugged by the yoga pants. If a woman has a big ass it looks irresistible. I particularly like it when a woman wearing yoga pants sits cross legged.

    I’m sure every heterosexual guy notices and appreciates this.

  5. I am amazed that it really is so hard to imagine that women don’t dress for you and could possibly be telling the truth that they wear yoga pants because they are comfortable. Many women really do put on clothes they like that are comfortable to wear with no thought whatsoever about whether they are adequately decorating the world for men. Not everyone wants “to be noticed and desired,” like you. Really, many women are so fed up with it that we’d rather blend in and be ignored most days. Unless you’re clairvoyant (doubtful), you just can’t make such sweeping generalizations about women’s intentions, especially generalizations that reinforce negative gender roles and stereotypes. I’m disappointed to see this piece published under The Good Men Project.

    • Moniqua

      Yes, we would like men to be as indifferent to our bodies as we are to theirs.

      • Consider me indifferent, although it took me about five years of practice and a diminishing libido to get there. In fact I have a commitment to pay anyone $1000 if they can prove I even looked at a women. So far no takers. I might as well up it to $10,000.

    • Do we look like ants from way up on your high horse?? I wear running shorts that are so short you know what religion I am. When it gets hot, I sometimes run shirtless. Tiny running shorts are more comfortable than longer ones and being shirtless is more comfortable than a shirt. However, I know that being nearly naked is going to draw eyes (whether good or bad). It is idiotic at worst and hopelessly optimistic at best, to think otherwise.

      I agree that some people want to be ignored. They should dress to be ignored, then. Until the entire world changes for the better, we’re stuck with this system.

    • I thought the article was clearly tongue-in-cheek and not actually accusing women of anything in a nasty way. I don’t know why you, and another commenter on the Facebook post (maybe the same person?) felt so attacked by this.
      The Good Men Project is about an honest look into the male experience; this article belongs here more than others I’ve seen published.

      When I’m putting on my yoga pants, I am thinking first and foremost about the comfort and range of motion allowed by the stretchy elastic material. When I am wearing them and see myself in the mirror or a reflective window, well, that’s a high-five moment right there. Comfort may be my primary reason for wearing them, but I don’t exactly mind that they also flatter my body, nor do I expect that I’m the only one who will notice that.

    • I would live in leggings if I could. They’re so damn comfortable. In high school, I wore my dance pants (the precursor to yoga pants) as regular pants for the same reason. They have the added benefit of an elastic waist band, which is great for little Crohnies like me with fluctuating weights. The only pants that fit me that are 6+ months old are my leggings. All my others are too big.

      Assuming that women only wear yoga pants to tease men is incredibly offensive.

  6. It is awful, I know, but nothing says, to me, “pissed off at the housekeeper” like yoga pants & a jumbo Starbucks on the street…
    It’s even worse outside the Montessori school on Gold St…

  7. My yoga pants make my ass look great. I wear them because I look good in them. That makes me feel good. And getting noticed by men makes me feel good…sexy. Feminine. Powerful. Appreciated for being a woman. For too long I hid myself. Now I own my curves.

  8. I agree with Christian. I am a young, athletic woman and could wear these “yoga pants” pretty well I’m assuming…if i wanted the whole world to look at my ass. And since i DON’T want anyone but my boyfriend to even have an idea of what i look like without clothes on, i dress MODESTLY. I laugh in the face of any woman who says that they wear revealing or tight fitting clothes for comfort. Ha! Then again…there’s that whole “atypical” thing…

  9. Sweats used to be one of the few cotton options for for working out, but they are not ideal. As the body sweats, clothing can wick absorb and assist in the evaporation of sweat, assuming it touches your skin. baggy clothing doesn’t accomplish this as well as tight clothing. Sweat pants are suppose to make you sweat more, by trapping heat in a thick layer cotton, that surrounds the body loosely to let body heat circulate. Sweats are what you wear when it’s cold, so that you can exercise outside.

    You’re right, these pants do seem to be making you less thoughtful. Lets pretend for a moment that women aren’t just walking butts in pants, and assume that maybe we have a purpose besides being attractive

    I see since you mention at the end that you work out in order to stay youthful and strong. And that women are ” the women trying to stay trim and sexy and fit” so it’s reasonable to believe you think everyone is at the gym for the same reasons, or ones similar. That Is it possible that they are there for their physical well being? Exercise is helpful to prevent just about every physical ailment the human body can have. With such a huge number of reasons to work out, isn’t it possible that we are just doing it for our health?

    Clothing that is “Sporty” (or as you call it, relieving) allows for ease of movement, and alleviates the discomfort of sweat as well as the heat generated by the body (or the sun, or whatever)

    I don’t discredit you for looking at attractive women, that’s fine. As long as you stay within the boundaries of politeness. If someone notices you staring, it is only normal them to feel discomfort, and your appreciation may not be well taken. At that point, you are in a situation where the polite thing would be to apologize, even if the person doesn’t verbalize there discomfort. An example would be a simple, I’m sorry for staring. You could include a respectful compliment, as your justification. I will define respectful compliment as the way you would tell your boss that they are wearing a nice, well cut suit. Not, “Damn baby, you were just looking so Deeeeeeelicious, I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.” That only causes more discomfort. Last, communicate that you did not intend to make them feel uncomfortable. Why am I giving you instruction on how to apologize for staring? The reason is this; although you have the full right to look at whoever you want, you do not have the right to make them feel uncomfortable, especially at a gym, where people are paying money for a comfortable environment in which to exercise

    . We are not there to be your personal entertainment. We are not there for you at all. Hell, we (hopefully) don’t even notice you. “….sweating and grunting and breathing heavy, pumping and pushing and thrusting…” are not sexual acts when working out, they are parts of working out!! We don’t sweat for you! We do not breath for you.

    What’s happening here, is natural, you just arn’t handling to very well. You work out, you experience increased testosterone, your sexual nature is reved up and nature is running its course, but do not use that, as an excuse to degrade woman, implying that everything we do, is simply an evolutionary tug at the crotch. You can argue, “But wait, I said I tried not to objectify them by looking at them!” No but everything else you’re said implies that women would still be dressed in 1800 garb, if it wern’t for there desire to look sexy for men.

    Not for there own comfort, only to be sexy.

    You’re hormones are getting the best of you

    Stop writing when you’re horny, you’re not in a totally rational sense of mind, and you’re making yourself look like an ass.

    You know

    • Sweats used to be one of the few cotton options for for working out, but they are not ideal. As the body sweats, clothing can wick absorb and assist in the evaporation of sweat, assuming it touches your skin. baggy clothing doesn’t accomplish this as well as tight clothing. Sweat pants are suppose to make you sweat more, by trapping heat in a thick layer cotton, that surrounds the body loosely to let body heat circulate. Sweats are what you wear when it’s cold, so that you can exercise outside.

      interesting to know, in the late 80s. i remember watching mr motivator (a famous tv gym instructor) here in the uk, he wore skintight lycra.
      perhaps men should return (in the west, historically and in the last 200yrs, it was men who first did the ‘clothed nude’ look) to wearing skimpy and skintight clothing ;).

      …i also in the early 90s, ‘the sun’ newspaper had a story about a gym telling a well endowed man to stop wearing lycra, as the women in his gym class (i think it was aerobics) were complaining.
      whats good for the goose…

  10. Tom Matlack says:

    yeah honestly I have to admit this whole deal is more than a little alarming to me…when most of the girls in my daughter’s high school show up in very revealing skin tight yoga pants it seems to me like something has gone a bit off. i had dinner once with the financer being lululemon and she (yes it was a SHE) said she knew it was going to be big but she never would have guessed how big. For her it was about the culture of the store and the amount of product she could inventory per square foot of retail space (expensive yoga gear is very compact indeed).

    I guess I like that women feel comfortable in their own yoga skin and also that fitness is something that we all generally are more aware of. But I do ask myself repeatedly how it became okay to wear close to nothing to dinner or class or a movie? I am not a prude by any means. But what ever happen to a nice pair of jeans and a white t-shirt?

    • Do you know how hard it is to find a pair of jeans that fit well? I have to try on dozens of pairs to find one I don’t hate. I tried on two pairs of corduroy leggings to find a pair that fit well, and two pairs of sweater leggings to find a pair that fit well. They’re extremely warm and extremely comfortable and actually fit my body. Oh, and they only cost about $20 each. I love jeans, don’t get me wrong, but I rarely have the $200 to spend on a pair that fits me properly.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Tom, we have to remember that this conversation is nothing new. My mom’s mom was completely freaked out about her hip-hugger jeans that now any nun would wear. My mom was freaked out by our tight jeans in the late 80’s and especially over crop tops and off-the-shoulder shirts.

      Then people freaked out over the low-cut jeans of the early 00s (Frankie Bs) that now are just no big deal.

      It all, eventually, becomes no big deal. It makes parents uncomfortable, but the reality is that a woman is not more likely to be raped if she’s wearing “sexy” clothes (whether that means a dress with no hose – an early 90s controversy – or yoga pants), and that women’s bodies are not going to hurt us.

      Your formality argument is a whole different one. My mom used to freak if we wore jeans out to dinner and my dad had to wear a collard shirt and pressed pants to class as a rule. All because parents were worried about the formality of the younger generation’s attire.

  11. The part about women being complicit and the age old tease of women flaunting and men looking…that’s you. How my pants fit my ass and how that impacts you is in no way an invitation. Just because this site talks about good men and because you are being honest about your own proclivity for checking out women’s asses, doesn’t mean this doesn’t smack of one more guy thinking he is entitled to leer at women because we are wearing something that can’t be interpreted as anything but a cry for attention.

    It’s crap. If you can’t handle it, throw on a sweatshirt and do your running outside.

    • As long as you are not offended or youre oblivious, a guy can check out your ass and think naughty thoughts.

      • You bet he can, but that’s a lot different than coming here and saying that what I wear is chosen thinking about how it will titillate him. Yoga pants are but one example, if a tshirt is at all fitted am I also only wearing it for attention?

        • um…yes? is there any other point to a t-shirt that is “all fitted”? i mean, people know what they look like without clothes on and if they’re wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination the only logical explanation as to why they are is so other people can see their body too……..

          • I think very few people understand how unflattering clothing affects the female mind.

            Here’s the very simple version:

            Clothing that makes us look attractive= happy
            Clothing that makes us look un-attractive= sad

            Wearing poor fitting clothing, for the most part, makes women unhappy.

            I’m a woman, and I could be wrong, but i would need another woman to prove that.
            And this is a overly simplified explanation, because some women enjoy loose fitting clothing that does not accentuate the body. Sometimes we just want to to be comfortable.

            I know it’s probably very hard for you to fully understand this, because women have a closer correlation between what there clothing looks like and how we feel about ourselves. That is why we dress the way we do. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It makes us confident, because we know that we are putting our best foot forward, and that our attractiveness will not be judged by our garments.

            Think about yourself, and your general life, most of the things you do, are for your own happiness. That’s all it is. We’re not waging a war, we’re not dishing ourselves out on a platter. We, and all human beings, just want to be happy. It’s that simple.

            • “Clothing that makes us look attractive= happy”

              Attractive to whom? If it is men then females are cognisent of what they are trying to achieve in the “get men to be attracted to me? stakes.

              Yet female after female says that what they wear has nothing to do with men. Like wearing a skin tight dress with her boobs squishing out and being so short she can only stand bolt upright without flashing her newest sexiest knickers.Clearly the dress and shoes are anything but comfortable since she is constantly adjusting it so as not to flash her knickers or have her boobs fall out. On the other hand, nuns do not wear anything sexy because they don’t want to be sexually attractive to men.

              Would a female pull on a pair of panty hose and go outside? They do with this type of hose. There is even a big push on feminist site mamamia.com to encourage females to wear pants.

              However, in the female world, the more men a female can attract the higher her status amongst other females. So females wear clothing which they know will exploit men’s sexuality so that they get an ego boost from it.

            • Here’s an excise we’ll use to answer the question Attractive to whom?

              To start off, when do you personally feel unattractive?

              If a female is attractive in a forest, is she still attractive? Or does she only become attractive, once a man is there to admire her?

              I when I have on a nice outfit, I look at myself in every reflective surface there is. Puddles, store windows, cars: I want to enjoy what a smashing fashionista I am. I sew my own clothes, because my ample lost-of-parts don’t all ways fit into off the rack clothing. If I see something I like that does not fit me comfortably, but I want to wear it, I figure out a way to do so, by altering it, or paring it with something that compliments it. I don’t like my arms, so if I see a cute strapless top, I’ll try to find a nice jacket or something that flatters them better (that’s what takes us women so long to shop, and to dress, we have to manipulate each piece of clothing because we have more items that need to be adjusted for individually, boobs, hips, butts w/e)

              it looks like the woman you saw, did not do this successfully,

              So I’m wearing my favorite outfit, for me it’s a pink mini skirt that I made myself with matching leg warmers that connect by matching garter straps, and a matching tshirt. (tight? yes) It fits, it flatters, it’s beautiful, it’s one of a kind, I can dance the night away in it, and often do. And I look great. I take a million pictures because it looks so great, so I can show people how great it was later. I knew it would be great, that’s why I own it. It’s got pink leopard! And ruffles! The leg warmers flair out at the bottom, but the part that flairs is leopard too! God that outfit is awesome.

              Point is, women love clothing. Not just sexy clothing, but good clothing in general. And we don’t need you to tell us. I never created that outfit so that men would look at at me, but they will, because it’s a mini skirt, and men like miniskirts, and that’s ok, I don’t have a problem with it. We women would not possibly devote so much time an effort to clothing if it was only for the enjoyment of others.

              Read some of the comments, women love themselves. We know how to make ourselves happy without men being involved. If you show up, that’s nice, but I’m just fine with my gaggle of girl friends going on about my sweet outfit. And I don’t even need that. I was happy before I even put the clothes on.

            • P.J

              Its all in the subconscious. Women’s clothing wouldnt have evolved the way it is if men didnt respond to the visual stimuli of women’s bodies.

              Also when a woman wears clothes that can be deemed sexy/revealing/provocative, she may only have certain type of men in mind whose attention she wants to attract or wouldnt mind. They wonder why ALL men are giving her attention.

            • Personally, as a woman who feel completely in control of her sexuality and fashion sense, and doesn’t let men define it, maybe I’m biased? I’m used to the idea that women own there own bodies, and should and will do whatever they desire to make themselves happy. I didn’t know that type of behavior was normal, as it doesn’t reflect the ideas of myself, or the women I know. Maybe the women you know are different.

            • So the way women dress has nothing to do with other people, except that the way a woman dresses affects her mood, based on how attractive she looks to other people?

            • Assuming you aren’t my boyfriend, with the same name, on the couch across from me, typing this on his crummy smartphone, Yes.

              If you are, can you pick up bread on your way home from work? And chips.

            • Logic fail.

            • Would actually maybe make sense if it was based on your own sense of aesthetics (ie, you’re attracted to the clothing).

              But based on others? Then you can’t deny you’re doing it for other people. Given it’s the whole point.

              I personally am dressing for myself. As such, I tend to not dress sexy. Wether it’s fashionable or not doesn’t affect MY PERSONAL aesthetics. Wether it’s a name-brand or not is the same. I tend to dress in a “cute” style. Can be sexy to some, but it’s far from the level of yoga pants or mini-skirts. I prefer quality, but will buy 10$ stuff if it’s the right thing.

              And I can find fitted jeans for 10-20$ easily. Not sure where this person saying she needs to spend 200$ for jeans is from. Even rich brand names don’t charge this much.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              This is an age-old conversation.

              We all want to look attractive most of the time, unless we are truly deviating from societal norms.

              Do you wash your clothes more than once or twice a year?
              Do you wear deodorant?
              Do you iron your dress shirts, or have them pressed before a formal event?
              Do you wear dress shirts to a formal event (ie wedding, funeral)
              Do you change from your gardening/work clothes before a dinner date?
              Do you buy new clothes when you realize your clothing is out of style?
              Do you ever put on a shirt that is a certain color that you know people think looks good on you?
              Do you change your clothing if you spill food on them?
              Do you match your socks and shoes?

              See, if you’re going to say that all clothes need to be just for utility (not attracting others) then the only reason you’d dress is to stay warm.

              The fact is, EVERYONE I’ve ever met wants to look good. Their idea of what looks good varies. My stepmother likes to look “put together” with a nice jacket and will-fitted pants and pretty shoes. My husband likes to look “cool” with straight legged, raw denim jeans and a plaid shirt and v-neck sweater. I generally like to look “flawlessly casual” which means layered tanks, long sweaters, skinny jeans and worn-in biker boots.

              Most people don’t examine it that closely but almost everyone wants to look good. For a lot of women, yoga pants are a way to be really comfortable, while still looking cute.

              And it’s not ANYONE else’s business why she’s wearing them. If you think she looks sexy, then look for a second, and then get back to your business. Take a mental picture and think about her later.

              She is wearing what is comfortable and cute to her, and it has nothing to do with YOU specifically, but it does have to do with feeling a little bit cute to the world, as a whole. She owes you nothing. It’s not about YOU.

            • ” If you think she looks sexy, then look for a second, and then get back to your business.”

              Agreed. My problem is when a simple look gets a guy labeled as a lecherous creep, or the logical inconsistency of “I dress so I’ll look good to other people but it has nothing to do with other people.”

  12. Kathryn DeHoyos says:

    I LOVE YOGA PANTS! I don’t care what anyone says or thinks, they are the most comfortable pants I have in my wardrobe! I would wear them all day every single day if it was appropriate. I hate denim, I do not enjoy dress slacks, other than a super comfy maxi-skirt they are the best thing in the whole wide world! Better than any maternity pants ever!

  13. They’re as comfortable as sweatpants, but look nicer. That’s it. Really.

  14. Sounds like the blonde is good motivation to run. I think you should just go on looking, realize if you get caught she’ll probably glare, and just relax and enjoy the view.

  15. Alyssa Royse says:

    Well, I wear yoga pants pretty much all the time. Usually because I am on my way to or from the gym (where I am a heavy lifter, not exactly trying to stay trim, but definitely getting way strong.) I generally throw them on in the morning (often the pair that I took off last night and is still lying on the floor next to my bed, let’s pretend it’s in the name of efficiency) and leave them on until I have a compelling reason to put on something else. I wear them because they are insanely comfortable, and I can put sandals and a nicer shirt with them and it is pretty presentable. Every now and then I even shower, on the fancy days.

    I do not put them on to attract anyone. Seriously. I put them on because doing deadlifts, rope climbs and toe-to-bars in things that are baggy totally sucks. That said, I know perfectly well that my ass looks awesome in them. I know perfectly well that people can see my body in them. (And the skin-tight long sports bras that I wear as shirts, and also walk around in.) And that’s fine with me. I agree that if I’m willing to walk around in this, I have to allow people to look and think whatever they want.

    THINK being the operative word. No one gets to touch, or assume it’s an invitation to talk to me, or…. If you like the way I look, then yay, I’m glad I could bring you joy. If you don’t, oh well. It really doesn’t matter to me. Because I don’t do it for you or anyone else.

    For what it’s worth, I have the same problem. When I see hot bodies, I get all distracted in sexual fantasy land, in my head. That’s my problem. I sure don’t think that anyone was trying to cause that, or even if they were that I would do anything about it. Lots of things inspire impulses in me, I don’t take it personally. Ice cream doesn’t exist because it’s trying to play a game with me and manipulate me. The sunshine doesn’t exist because it’s trying to toy with me and tempt me away. The rain doesn’t exist because it’s trying to make me sad. Don’t take it personally. (And I don’t think you do.)

    I will be wearing yoga pants long after this trend dies. Why? Because they are so so so so so comfortable. And because I like it when I look down and see the shape of my quads outlined. I love my muscles.

    • I disagree.

      This image proves you’re wrongness.

      http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3324/3456441648_96c59f6bd8.jpg

      All the other stuff is right though

    • Excellent post, Alyssa. Though I would like to comment on one point:

      “Ice cream doesn’t exist because it’s trying to play a game with me and manipulate me.”

      I think you would think differently if someone went about driving an ice cream truck, decorated with pictures of delicious looking ice cream and playing music, and then glared at you for looking at the pictures, or treated you rudely when you approached them. If someone did that and then called you a hungry dog who was only trying to “use them for ice cream”.. well, you’d probably wonder why they’d be going out of their way to attract ice cream eaters if the idea of selling ice cream is so repulsive to them. (Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you do this, I’m just trying to explain how a guy feels when he’s creep shamed for showing attraction to a woman’s body).

      It’s totally fair to expect kind and respectful treatment from people. But, on the issue of “men thinking it’s an invitation to talk to you”.. well, we’re told that we’re supposed to approach women (to not approach an attractive woman is an act of cowardice), and the only thing we can make an initial assessment for attraction is on physical looks. Given that system, I think it makes sense that more men will approach you if you look good. I think the solution is to dismantle the system rather than demand that men not approach women they find attractive, when we’re told that’s what we’re supposed to do.

      • Alyssa Royse says:

        I understand and even agree with what you said. Let me attempt to infuse nuance in there, which may backfire terribly, so be warned….

        My wearing yoga pants and happening to fit the bill of what some guy happens to find attractive is not the same thing as in invitation, or as an ice cream truck driving by. First off, not all guys are attracted to skinny, muscley white chicks in yoga pants. It is impossible to dress ‘attractively’ in any universal way because there is no such things as universally attractive. So I think it’s safe to assume that in the case of yoga pants, or comfy jeans or…. that a woman is dressing for herself. even if she’s not, it’s still safe to assume that. Doesn’t mean you have to not notice, just that it does not give you the right to approach her for no other reason.

        We spend a lot of time fending off people. Or, at least many of us do, and it’s not only annoying but really uncomfortable and eventually starts to limit how free we feel to move around in the world. I’m not angry about it, and I sure as hell don’t think that’s the intent of people, but when you’re dealing with it all the damned time, it’s really a pain in the ass.

        Now, are some women, some times totally doing this for attention? Sure, of course. (And if men were to do the same thing, they’d get called ‘creeps.’ I’m with ya on the double standard and confusing message, no doubt.) But my existing is not the same thing as cruising you with an ice cream truck begging for attention. If I keep looking at you, making eye contact, using the machine next to you, stuff like that, then yes, I’m an ice cream truck. Other than that, I’m just ice cream.

        Taking it out of the gym, to a bar – some place where even I would not wear yoga pants – and it gets blurrier, right? What if I’m wearing something that you think it hot? Does that make me an ice cream truck? No. Still just ice cream. If I’m making eye contact with you, sit down at the bar stool next to you, accidentally brush up against you… maybe then I’m a truck. Strike up a conversation. But even if I talk back, I’m still not asking you to eat me. Unless I do, by using actual words.

        It’s a fine line and a confusing dance. I prefer words, but sometimes I think I’m alone in that. I generally assume positive intent. But not everyone does. I don’t think that anger and defensiveness on either side serves either side. But you might also try to remember that many of us spend a lot of time trying to deflect the advances of men, and it’s draining. And we are taught that men can – and they often do – hurt us, so we are protecting our physical safety as well. Looking is fine, reaching out often isn’t. admire the flowers, don’t go picking them all. (It’s late, I’m mixing my metaphors….. )

        • (It’s late, I’m mixing my metaphors….. )
          Well you know what they say, you can lead a horse to water but if it walks into a bar, why the long face?

          Wait… nevermind..

          Really though, I agree. I just wish there was more of a vibe of “He didn’t approach her because she didn’t seem like she wanted to be approached and he respected that” rather than “He didn’t approach her because he’s a spineless coward”.

          • Also, you do have to consider that, for many women, simply dressing in a way they think will make them more attractive is how they expect to let others know they want attention/approach.

            Again, I think the solution is to move away from the “passive woman, aggressive man” model and allow for women to show more outward signs of interest (hell, even approach) without it being out of place. Would certainly make for a less confusing dance.

            • Alyssa Royse says:

              I agree with both of you, which is why I wish people would just use words rather than guessing based on clothing. Though even when I do get all gussied up, I’m still not looking for a man to hit on me, and still don’t want it. I don’t get mad, I very directly tell them that if they’re looking for a potential hook up they’re barking up the wrong tree and shouldn’t waste their time.

              And yes, if women were “allowed” to own their sexuality, then using words would be a lot more likely to happen. I’m working on it!

              That said, yoga pants are usually either a sign of comfort or exercise. I really don’t think women go out on the prowl in gym clothes much. (I used to wear a gigantic fake engagement and wedding ring to the gym just to stop men from hitting on me. Now, for the first time ever, i actually wear real ones for the same reason, though since I like neither gold nor diamonds, people don’t recognize them and they don’t work as well. )

            • I think this branch of the discussion has been excellent. There’s no shame in looking and appreciating, but that can be done without treating every person you find attractive as an invitation to approach (or touch, for god’s sake) or ogle to the point of discomfort. That’s what I was trying to get at a while back in my piece on “eye candy” that ran at GMP. I think some got it, others didn’t.

              Alyssa, it also occurred to me while reading your comments about how tedious it gets to fend off people, that being attractive is sort of like being famous. It can be fun and have it’s perks for sure, but it can also attract so much unwanted attention as to be smothering.

            • And something that has only briefly been mentioned is those of us who don’t have to “fend off people” on a regular basis. Either because of our age, or weight, or build, or skin, or whatever, we are not regularly seen as objects of desire. And maybe, just maybe, for those with our lot, a little glance brought on by yoga pants is a much welcome thing. Especially when we pulled them off the dirty laundry pile before grabbing our toddler and didn’t even have time to shower. Again. Just sayin.

          • I just wish there was more of a vibe of “He didn’t approach her because she didn’t seem like she wanted to be approached and he respected that” rather than “He didn’t approach her because he’s a spineless coward”.

            I agree that’s an important piece. I think there are important corollaries to how rejection is handled, so for women, they can reject without being treated like “rude bitches”, and men can reject without having their manhood questioned or mocked for saying No. I don’t know how to accomplish that on a wide scale, but it would sure be an improvement.

            • Different men respond to rejection differently. My stock answer is, “No, thank you.” delivered with polite smile. I hope that this acknowledges that I am not interested, but appreciate the complimentary nature of being approach.

              I have gotten every response under the sun to these three words, from the equally civil, “Alright, enjoy your day.” To loud and excessive profanity.

            • I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with some assholes who couldn’t handle rejection. A big part of the problem, I think, stems from the fact that society teaches us that, as men, a big part of our value is our ability to attract women. So, when a woman turns us down, she isn’t just saying “I don’t feel compatibility with you,” but we’ve been conditioned to hear “You aren’t good enough for me!”

              When we move from the “If you’re good enough you can get any woman” trope to “Attraction is about compatibility”, I think we’ll all be better off.

            • Amen.

  16. “But baggy sweatpants are also comfortable, so I can only assume there’s more to it. There is an implicit game here—the age-old tease where women flaunt and men look.”

    No. Please venture to the south where men on campuses wear tight fitting clothes, go shirtless and bodies are more freely seen. Men and women both seem to manage just fine in countries where skin is revealed and sensuality is welcomed. There is nothing about me wearing yoga pants (or anyone) that is about teasing men. That’s like saying if an ankle is revealed from a Victorian garb, the woman is a hussy. Good lord.

    If I enjoy how I look in yoga pants and you also enjoy it, there is no problem. But I am not wearing yoga pants to oppress your sexuality or tempt you into sin. You, the general you, are not much on my mind. When I dress to seduce, I do not tend to choose yoga pants. I wear yoga pants because they increase my feelings of flexibility and health and dance and that makes me happy. If that happiness translates into your admiration, ok. But it’s not my goal.

    Sweatpants are not comfortable in yoga class.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Julie, exactly. You’ve nailed it EXACTLY.

      Yoga – the ones I wear, Lululemon’s Wunder Under – pants are designed to wick sweat, stay dry, not move when you move, not rub between your thighs like sweats. When I wear running tights, it’s the same thing. They’re spandex-y, tight, and they’re high-performance material.

      Nobody I know exercises in sweatpants. Think about Rocky! Who wears that now!? The reason he wore it then was because that’s all there was! That and running shorts and soccer shorts. Now we have amazing tech fabrics.

      And yoga pants look better based upon current fashion trends where leggings and skinny jeans dominate.

      • I think the thing that gets me is that I would choose all my clothes with the male desire in mind. Maybe some clothes but not others. Maybe some clothes I have make me feel vital and sexy and alive even though I know my partner doesn’t find them sexy. I wear them for me and my interior experience not for him and his. Maybe sometimes I wear clothes he finds sexy for his interior experience. Maybe sometimes those yoga pants are clean and I need to get to the store. Maybe sometimes I have a really cool sexy pair of yoga pants and I joined a new gym and am single (I’m not, but I can understand why someone would). I understand that because they reveal form, that can be arousing to someone, but to tie in some level of complicity to all women wearing a type of pant all the time.

        If clothing is communication, of course you can wear any type of clothes and work to embue them with communication, but that doesn’t mean it’s always there or that people are wearing something to frustrate you personally.

        • I think the main point is that you can’t judge a woman’s intention by the yoga pants she’s wearing. Maybe she’s just an exhausted mom taking advantage of the free hour of childcare at the gym. Nor can you judge a man’s intention by the sideways glance he’s giving. Maybe he’s just a nice catholic boy trying his best to avoid his own demons.

  17. This post doesn’t seem to be seriously asserting that women are responsible for Nathan’s feelings about women in yoga pants.

    if anything it seems like Nathan is feeling some shame over finding them attractive.

    If you’re just looking (but not staring) and not reducing women to how they look in yoga pants I say more power to you Nathan.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Yeah, I agree Danny.

      There was really just one troubling line or two where he said that women are playing some sort of game with men… As if we’re trying to “tease” men with our bodies. That’s very troubling.

      • Hilarious to me. I don’t suspect the author would see my size 8 middled aged body in yoga pants and decide that…My guess is it’s ladies he already would find really appealing, only now their forms are more revealed.

        • How sure of that are you?

          Im asking because I’ve crossed paths with quite a few guys aren’t just looking at the so called young hotties.

          I know you’ve said you don’t dress the way you do to appeal to men. I think it might be worth saying that different men find different things appealing.

          • I am happy if my rear view in yoga pants makes someone’s day. I have no problem with that.

            • Whether you’re happy or not notwithstanding, I was just wondering why you were suspicious of whether Nather wouldn’t think you were trying to tease men with your body.

            • Not sure I understand you. When I wear yoga pants, regardless of who likes the view, I am not doing it to tease men with my body. Nathan indicated that women may be wearing pants in an age old game of “tease the man.” and I disagreed that that was a primary motivation for women in general.
              If I missed your point would you clarify?

            • My guess is Danny, that the women who are frustrating Nathan are women he finds very attractive. That it isn’t the pants he’s upset about, but that he’s seeing “goods” he can’t get to from particular women are hot to him. And if I was in the gym, he might see me in yoga pants and not be bothered by it, so because many attractive women wear pants that reveal things he likes, he’s deciding those women are wearing those pants to provoke. I think a lot of women don’t have any idea they are provoking strangers lust.

            • Or it might not be about seeing what wants but can’t have but about the very idea that a woman would wear certain clothes to tease men.

              The reason I say this is because when it comes to commenting on women that supposedly wear certain clothes to tease men its not alway so much about “i want it but can’t have it” but “how dare she parade her body around like that”.

              The former does happen but so does the latter, which doesn’t depend on whether or not the person saying it finds the person they are talking attractive. It’s the mere “fact” that a woman would tease any man in such a way.

            • I guess it just seems irrational to me. How dare you come out in public. How dare you vote as a person of color. How dare you as a gay couple hold hands. YOU ARE AFFECTING ME SO STOP IT. That seems odd. People have the right to just…be, right?

              Like, if I were in those pants and following him around and humping on him and flashing at him…yeah taht would be rude and mean and crude and odd and off balance and not ok, but just being in the gym not noticing him notice me isn’t me, that’s him.

              And by “him” and “irrational” I don’t mean Nathan, I’m speaking generally.

            • Now I want to know how Nathan is doing. Quite a thread! I don’t think Nathan needs to feel shame over liking women’s bodies in yoga pants. I just don’t think that most women are thinking of yoga pants like he does. I’m tempted to put a picture of me in my yoga pants up.


            • I guess it just seems irrational to me. How dare you come out in public. How dare you vote as a person of color. How dare you as a gay couple hold hands. YOU ARE AFFECTING ME SO STOP IT. That seems odd. People have the right to just…be, right?

              Despite being odd that is just how it goes.

              Irrational indeed but if there is any hope to getting rid of such mentalities they have to be properly understood. Why do people think gay couples shouldn’t hold hands in public? Why do people think only certain people should vote? The questions go on.

              Else you just end up with people telling others why they think a certain way which of course is a sure fire recipe for mixed signals, incorrect understandings, poorly guided solutions, and a break down of communication.


              Like, if I were in those pants and following him around and humping on him and flashing at him…yeah taht would be rude and mean and crude and odd and off balance and not ok, but just being in the gym not noticing him notice me isn’t me, that’s him.

              True. But if we then jump to telling him why he does it then wouldn’t that complicate things when trying to figure out how to address them?

            • Lol, yeah, not everyone wearing these pants is magically transformed into a statuesque goddess with hair down to her bum, and not a single split end. I if he were, I’d have a closet full.

            • Joanna said she found it troubling that men think women wear certain clothes to tease men. You then said you found it funny and that you doubt Nathan would think that you wear yoga pants on your size 8 middle aged body to tease men.

              What is it about your size middle aged body that leads you to think that Nathan wouldn’t think you would wear yoga pants to tease men?

            • Well, I don’t know actually Danny. I was making my own assumption about Nathan which yes, might be wrong. If I was in the gym and he was tempted by my tuckus, it wouldn’t be because I was trying to go out of my way to tempt men, just be at the gym.

      • But despite that there seems to be no shortage of people telling him he was seriously saying women do wear those clothes on purpose.

  18. If I’m reading this article correctly, I think Nathan’s point can be summed up in just a few sentences.

    “Jeez, women look fantastic in yoga pants, Lycra is just so flattering! Sometimes I have trouble not getting distracted by attractive women in the gym. I wonder if that makes me a Bad Guy? My years of Catholic upbringing tells me I should be ashamed to look. Should I feel ashamed for looking at them?”

    That’s what I heard. Sounds like one man’s struggle to distinguish between appreciation and objectification, if that can be done.

    Nathan: I hear you brother, yoga pants are a damn fine invention. Just make sure you aren’t making anyone uncomfortable and you’ll be all good. Sneaking a glance here and there at the gym isn’t the end of the world.

  19. I think women here are reluctant to answer the fundamental question whether they’d want to have it just like men or not.

    Since this staring, checking out, leering, creepiness, lustiness, predominantly affects women, I’d like to ask women if they would want men to be as indifferent to women’s bodies as they are to men’s.

    Would they prefer to live in a world where little or no sexual value is placed on women’s bodies? Where women’s bodies are de-sexualized just as men’s? Where men are as INDIFFERENT to the sight of women’s bodies as vice versa?

    Do women want to live in a world where the sight of their flesh is just as unwanted and uninvited as that of men?

    Because in that world, the problems that women so often complain about would no longer exist.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Men’s bodies are not desexualized. Tim, you live in a world of binaries. Women’s bodies are COMMODIFIED based upon sexuality. Men’s are not men’s are commodified based upon utility.

      But that doesn’t mean that mean aren’t sexualized in any way, or women aren’t valued for utility as well. It’s not all or nothing.

      But guess what? Many, many, many women would LOVE to walk around and not feel like a sex object who is in danger of a stranger groping, assaulting, verbally harassing or raping her. That would be a GREAT day for many of us.

      You need to grow some empathy.

      • I agree… women do need to grow some empathy. They apparently have no appreciation for what “invisible men” go through on a daily basis, being ignored or even actively avoided throughout their entire lives. Repeatedly informed (through actions, never words, because they’re not worth the effort) that they simply don’t matter, that their problems and feelings are irrelevant, and that nothing they say will ever make a difference.

        Men know that announcing “I’m upset” will never have the same effect it does when a woman says it; they know the response they’ll get is “So f–in’ what? Shut up and sit down, nobody cares.” Women complain about being the focus of so much attention, and men laugh bitterly because nobody ever pays the slightest to attention to them, under any circumstances–other than to remind them of how awful and bad they are, of course. (Thank you, feminism!)

        It’s a good thing we have forums like this where men’s concerns aren’t so readily dismissed and belittled, isn’t it?

        • I truly would like to sit down and have coffee with you.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          At least for me, I consider attractive women complaining about unwanted attention the equivalent of celebrities complaining about the constant media attention.

          Sure, it may have some headaches, but the average celebrity wouldn’t trade places with the average Joe.

  20. When I go running i wear a pair of tight fitting long underwear to keep me warm. But then I put on a pair of shorts over them so people don’t stare at my ass. I don’t dress provocatively because I don’t want to deal with unwanted attention. When I see a guy who I want to talk to I walk up to him and start talking to him. The best part is: I know he’s listening because there’s no way he can be staring at my tits (not that all men do this, i’m just saying…). We have a real conversation. It’s great. You all should stop trying to impress everyone so damn much with your bodies and try using your brain to attract a man…

    • I did use my brain to attract a man. My boyfriend has told me my intelligent conversation is what led to him asking me out on a second date.

      It doesn’t change the fact that I have large breasts that will never go away. It doesn’t matter what I wear, my breasts are noticeable, and men hit on me, or sexually harass me, because I have big boobs.

      You should stop making assumptions about everyone. You’re just a little bit full of yourself.

      • Ha! I’m full of myself? You’re funny. If you actually knew me you would feel pretty silly right about now! I’m not sure why you think I’m directly attacking you…I simply said that people should try to use a part of their body that doesn’t change (much) with age to attract a mate instead of a part that will change drastically. Sure, not all women who dress provocatively do so to get attention from men…but it is stupid assume that they don’t expect to attract some sort of attention. THEY KNOW. But if they’re NOT trying to attract attention from men with the clothes they are wearing, what exactly is the purpose of a low cut shirt that shows cleavage or tight-fitting clothes etc? For comfort? Maybe I’m alone in thinking that comfort does NOT involve constantly adjusting a shirt to avoid falling out of it or having to diffuse a wedgie every 5 steps. If you DON’T want the attention, you prevent it. If you DO want the attention you carry on as you were. It’s simple logic.

  21. You want to sneak a look at a woman’s butt? Go ahead. Chances are she’s doing the same to you. Just don’t assume we’re wearing yoga pants in order to torment you/turn you on. Don’t blame us because you feel guilty for having thoughts you deem inappropriate.
    I wear yoga pants every day. I also teach Pilates. They are my work clothes. Should I change in the locker room before going out in public? Should I not teach certain moves because my clients might find such movements provocative?
    Shall we go back to covering up piano legs because men might see them and have dirty thoughts about women’s gams?
    I realize it’s difficult for some (of both genders) to wrap their heads around the fact that not everything we do is done with the idea of putting ourselves on display (or not), but it is the truth.
    If I were a man, I’d be hugely insulted by the idea that I’m some kind of horny toad who can’t control myself.

  22. Why do some men and women feel the need to slut-shame women because men get aroused? I don’t get it. Men get aroused REGARDLESS of what women are wearing—so it really makes no difference. For some guys a t-shirt and jeans is sexy. Can I not wear that either? Am i not suppose to wear anything that actually FITS my curves? Can we stop now? PLEASE?

    Why is it that when men feel uncertain or insecure about their actions or feelings sexually women have to get blamed for it? Nathan sweetheart, it’s OKAY to notice an attractive person—-as long as you are not being rude and STARING at them as if theY have five heads.

    No need to blame yoga pants. OR blame women. Or say that women should expect rude behavior because of yoga pants. Or try to act as if it’s not slut shaming by saying ‘women can wear what they want BUT…’

    Or write and overly LOOONG article about it. Just be polite.

    • Yes!

    • I agree with many of the criticisms of the piece. Wear what you want to wear & no one should stare.

      However, I would take issue with the above poster’s assertion that men get aroused regardless of what women are wearing. Yoga pants are my Achilles’ heel too. I find a woman in YPs sexier than a woman in lingerie, or even (seriously) naked. And yet, if they’ve decided to go with a denim skirt or shorts, I can avert my eyes with ease.

      Not implying any logical conclusions or moral judgments here. Just saying.

    • Yeah. What EA says.

      And Andy, YOU find them sexier than lingerie. Should we all dress YOU? Some guys prefer denim shorts. Then what? Are we all trying to taunt THEM if we where them? Seriously, yoga pants are ridiculously comfortable, and men have been saying stuff like this for hundreds upon hundreds of years, so excuse me as I roll my eyes.

    • I agree so much, EA. Yoga pants are comfy and I wear them on days when I’m feeling lazy and can’t be bothered to do much with myself. I had no idea I was such a hazard to men of the world. Too bad for them. I’m so tired of feeling like, as a woman, I constantly have to police what I wear because men apparently can’t control their lustful thoughts. It’s fucking ridiculous. Why don’t I just throw away all my clothes and start wearing a burka around? It seems like it’s getting to that point sometimes.

  23. Ok, the ice cream truck analogy is just yuck and offensive. Maybe female and male street sex workers could be equated to ice cream trucks, as they are trying to sell how they look for a specific purpose, but they aren’t likely to glare at customers if they stop to buy. Also, they deserve respect, too. But a woman at the gym or the grocery store in yoga pants is not selling anything, they just want to be comfortable, or look good for themselves for a personal confidence boost, or both. Maybe sometimes clothes are chosen to attract others one is interested in, but not always, and it’s not a crime either way. For me, a male, I’m the same way but for slightly different reasons.

    I wear a t-shirt, harem pants and flip flops to therapy quite often when it’s warm (I have a Bowflex at home due to agoraphobia, social anxiety, PTSD….) I go commando in any pants ever because underwear bugs the heck out of me; it constricts, binds and hurts. Partly due to my abusive childhood and also due to adult personal comfort, I am used to being naked in my own home. It’s really not to entice my boyfriend or girlfriend (yes I’m bisexual and poly) it’s for comfort. I put on clothes to go outside, or if my kids are around, of course. Clothes often make me feel trapped, and I used to be beaten if I wore any at home without permission as a child, so yeah, I have some serious crap I need therapy for.

    Therapy involves “outside” though. I really don’t care if somebody’s offended (or if they stare) due to my harem pants. I wear them for comfort. No I don’t wear tight things like yoga pants, running shorts, or speedos, because: commando. Yikes. Harem pants hide a lot and are comfortable as a cloud.

    Other times I wear what I call “armor” (jeans, boots, Deicide t-shirt, leather duster) specifically to keep people at bay. Same reason for my tattoos and piercings. I’m usually uncomfortable in jeans though. Leather pants (yes tight) are actually comfortable (to me), but they are rarely a choice for therapy, unless I want to look like King Diamond and frighten all the people who aren’t into Heavy Metal. Admittedly, this is at times my goal, because I am more afraid of them than they are of me.

    If I dress for intentional sex appeal, I go for tailored designer suits. I have issues with “sex appeal” anyhow, with a face full of scars, but I do work out at home to maintain my dancer’s health (yes pole dancing, but also ballroom and Latin) and I guess for some people muscles and crotch are alluring even if the face could stop an ice cream truck. In any event, somebody else’s rare attraction to me isn’t my “fault”, nor does it mean I want their attention.

    Yeah sometimes my harem pants are a bit much, but I don’t often dress for others (except to ward them off). If somebody finds my harem pants fetching, fine; I still don’t want anybody to approach me for any reason. I have a desperate need to be comfortable in therapy, and that is way more important to me than what anybody thinks of my clothes, for any reason.

    By the way, folks, the generalizations are crap. “Men are pigs”? Please speak for yourself, not for me. I don’t leer at other people, men, women, or anybody along the glorious spectrum. I may see somebody attractive and appreciate it quietly in my mind. I may want to politely compliment them if I feel comfortable doing so and feel it may be welcome (but that is very rare and usually requires knowing them at least a little bit). But I don’t leer or stare, and I don’t try to chat them up with hopes attached. I just want to get therapy over with and get back to the safety of home.

    In short, not all men are pigs, and all people can wear what they want for the reasons they want, or need to. They shouldn’t have to worry that others will be jerks about it or make them uncomfortable, or blame them.

    Joanna, Julie, P.J., KKZ & Alyssa: I agree with you. Alyssa, you said: “If I were a man, I’d be hugely insulted by the idea that I’m some kind of horny toad who can’t control myself.” You’re right. As a man, that attitude does offend me, no matter what gender is saying it.

    • wrr
      i have a style harem pants too, i also wear women’s clothing in public, so thumbs up from me man, for wearing harem pants in public

  24. “There is an implicit game here—the age-old tease where women flaunt and men look.”
    No. There isn’t. There is a game that you have imagined and decided is real because it takes the responsibility for your own actions off your shoulders.

    “However, I have a hard time believing that—outside of the gym or the yoga classes—women wear yoga pants solely for comfort.”
    This is why you have decided to imagine a “game” that doesn’t exist in actual reality. Simply because you would rather believe that all women are secretly and constantly desirous of male sexual attention does not make it true. I’m not clear on whether you are actually so lacking in imagination that the idea of “pants being comfortable” is beyond you, or whether you are just projecting an insecurity that causes you to seek out affirmation from others onto the women around you so that you have an excuse to “look”.
    This quote has me leaning towards the latter, “Whether we admit it or not, we all want to be noticed and desired and admired, men as well as women.” Maybe just speak for yourself, and not for all women.

  25. Erika McDonald says:

    Nathan should stop worrying. I don’t think there is anything wrong with him being turned on by women in yoga pants. I wear them because they are comfortable. I doubt my 41-year-old figure would cause such a reaction, but I don’t care if men look at me, even in a somewhat obvious way.

  26. I did yoga for quite a while. Wore the pants. Had alarming feelings about my groin being, I don’t know, alarming? I admit it. I stared at the yoga pants…MY yoga pants in the big mirror. Trying to make sure I wasn’t alarming my own alarms.

    Yoga pants.

  27. Nothing worse than an insanely long post to confess that YOU have an issue with women wearing yoga pants. Nothing to read here, move along. Geez.

  28. You know what happens to me when I see a woman wearing yoga pants? Sometimes absolutely nothing. Sometimes I think the yoga pants are a neat colour/style/whatever. And then sometimes my unconscious brain goes, “hey that woman in yoga pants is hot,” and my conscious mind agrees and says, “oh yeah look at that, we’re looking at an attractive woman’s bum in yoga pants.” And after that moments-long internal dialogue, I look away and go about my day. The end.

    When I’m at the beach and there are people all around wearing bikinis and swimming trunks, same thing. Sometimes I’ll notice that a particular bikini is a cool pattern. Sometimes I won’t notice anything at all. And sometimes my animal brain goes, “she’s attractive in that bathing suit.” And then my conscious mind will often agree and then turn my attention elsewhere…because staring at a woman is rude. Plus, looking at a sexy anonymous woman just isn’t all that interesting to me. (Keep in mind I’m a lesbian).

    Yeah, some women are attractive to you and some of these attractive women are wearing clothing that you find even more attractive. Get over it.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Yes. Sensible, commonsensical, rational, balanced, human approach. Don’t drench yourself in guilt for feeling attraction to some people in some situations more than others, and don’t dump your issues on other people for wearing something you like. Enjoy, keep perspective, and move on.

  29. When I see attractive women in yoga pants, all I think is “ugh I’m a chubby old hag, I think I will crawl back into my cave now and sob quietly.”. Thanks yoga girls, for making my day! :-)

    • Dont worry, men are a lot more forgiving to women on their looks than the other way round.
      Chubby women can look appealing too in yoga pants.

      There is not one perfect body type of women that men admire. Women can be short, chubby, tall, thin, curvy, petite etc and still have sex appeal to their bodies.

  30. Christina D. says:

    For the love of all that is sensible and logical, PLEASE read the response from The Frisky if you agree with this man. Maybe hearing from an actual woman would help you understand that it’s not out fault you can’t stop sexualizing everything we do …

    http://goo.gl/vTahI

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the rounds today, a blog post about one man’s angst over yoga pants, as worn by women, and many, many responses to that [...]

  2. [...] has some sharp criticism of Nathan Graziano’s piece here at the Good Men Project, “Yoga Pants Nation“. Ms. McDonnell-Parry writes: Newsflash Nathan Graziano: Not everything women do is done with [...]

  3. [...] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are [...]

  4. [...] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are [...]

  5. [...] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are [...]

  6. [...] yoga. Even though some of you ladies have decided to make yoga pants an every-day thing, most men (with a few exceptions) around the world can appreciate. Let’s all take a stretch and see what Tumblr accounts are [...]

  7. [...] day or so ago, The Good Men Project published a post about women wearing yoga pants called Yoga Pants Nation. It was a fun, tongue in cheek-y kind of piece about a man, Nathan Graziano, who has found some [...]

  8. [...] inaccurately-named “120 Strength Training Tips for Women”  and once while reading “Yoga Pants Nation” by Nathan Graziano over at the Good Men Project (which really, can they just rename it to the [...]

  9. [...] this post as a result, you need no introduction to the argument. As for the rest, you should read Nathan Graziano’s essay, Yoga Pants Nation, on the Good Men Project. It’s generating a lot of attention, some of it negative. A heated [...]

  10. [...] think that yoga pants are just a bit too sexy for everyday wear. Nathan Graziano even commented that yoga pants are part of an “age old game, where women flaunt and men [...]

  11. [...] week, The Good Men Project published an article called Yoga Pants Nation, in which the writer, Nathan Graziano, confesses how much trouble he has existing in a world where [...]

  12. [...] me all throughout my yoga class one night this week. I had just come across the Good Men Project post on yoga pants and for some reason, though it didn’t surprise me in any way, it was unsettling to [...]

  13. [...] Yoga Pants Nation @ Good Men Project [...]

  14. [...] man comes clean on how he feels when looking at women in Yoga pants (not me the author). goodmenproject.com/featured-conte… via @goodmenproject — Thomas Matlack (@TMatlack) February 20, [...]

  15. [...] man writes. He says all women in your whole county wear sexy pants for their exercising, and “all…men…are….pigs”. This, perfect for us. You pigs like the sexy women. Please click for more sexy women. We send. [...]

  16. [...] author makes reference to a hypersexualized website called Girls in Yoga Pants and then to an article on The Good Men Project to make her point about the sexualization of yoga pants. She mentions two [...]

  17. [...] Good Men Project’s piece on how hard (no pun intended) it is on men when women wear yoga pants. (Okay, pun intended, a little bit. But seriously, Graziano’s piece is idiotic. I [...]

  18. [...] Most recently the fashion police have turned their disapproval towards yoga pants. Apparently some men think women wear yoga pants outside yoga class because they like to turn men on. The entire problem with this whole assumption is that strangers wear clothes for no reason to do [...]

  19. [...] a blogger on our site was so brazen as to admit that this yoga pants thing for women was kind of problematic for him as a man because it…. The response was swift and lethal: get over yourself. Women wear yoga pants for comfort and if [...]

  20. [...] line is it does not matter what a woman wears. It does not matter where she is. It doesn’t matter what she tweets. It is her body, not [...]

  21. […] for super sexy sexiness here, so get yourself some yoga pants – because we all know that yoga pants equal insta-boners for miles around – and squeeze your boobs into a tiny tank top.  The more skin showing, the better, because […]

  22. […] should be filed under “when keeping it real goes wrong.” It is doubtful the Good Men Project op-ed on how guys feel about women in yoga pants will be counted among the must-reads of early 21-century […]

Speak Your Mind

*