“This bra does wonders for your figure, sir.”
“It does, doesn’t it. Very good. I’ll take it. And maybe one more, for when I play baseball.”
The dialogue is imaginary but based on a singular fact unearthed by Weekly Playboy (Dec 22-29): There are bras for men. And men are buying them. In droves.
“It went on sale Nov 8, and since then, it’s constantly being sold out. Now we’re having to ask customers to wait a whole month,” says a spokesperson for underwear maker Wish Room.
Weekly Playboy assigns the story to a young part-timer named Maiko, whose first question, quite naturally, is: Why on earth would a man want to wear a bra?
“Well, we started hearing a while back from male customers who said they wanted a bra,” the spokesperson explains. “Lately women have taken to wearing men’s underwear as a matter of fashion. Why shouldn’t the reverse be true too? So we developed a bra for men.”
Maiko’s next step is to tap two of her male Weekly Playboy colleagues as test cases. She has each of them don a man’s bra (somehow they each manage to procure one despite the shortage) and describe their impressions. The fellow in the black bra is called Naoi; the one in the white, Bakko. Naoi is “a bit on the metabo side,” meaning overweight—“his belly sticks out more than his chest,” smirks Maiko. Bakko’s build is slim and athletic. They have this in common: adaptability. With a little getting used to, the unfamiliar garment fits them like a glove.
“Normally, whenever I go up or down stairs I can feel my breasts flopping around,” says stout Naoi, “but with a bra on, I don’t get that at all.”
There’s more. “My posture isn’t good, I stoop, but with the bra on my backbone straightens. And when I sleep with it on, I don’t snore like a chainsaw!”
Good for him—but what about the svelte Bakko? You’d think he’d have nothing to put into a bra, but there’s more to this than meets the casual eye, as he explains to Maiko: “My nipples are dark and very big. They show even through a T-shirt. But look, Maiko! With this bra on, you can’t see my giant nipples!”
Something about wearing a bra makes a man feel … well, “like first love,” says Bakko, “an inexpressible tightness in the chest, to the point that when I play the cello with a bra on, I seem to get a mellower tone out of it.”
Bakko plays baseball too, and he finds a bra gives him better batting form. “I recommend it to pro baseball players with batting problems,” he says.