Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
I have a bit of a fluffy, embarrassing question, but here it goes. This weekend, my rather conservative mom finally let me buy a thong (well, technically it was free from Victoria Secret, but that's beside the point). I wore it to school on Monday feeling confident and sexy, but when I got up from my lunch table to throw away my trash, a boy who I've never met yelled at me from another table "Hey, do you have a wedgie?" and all his friends started laughing.
I know for a fact that when I stood up I didn't do anything weird with my jean shorts or anything, I just fixed my shirt. Immediately after he said this I felt humiliated and self-conscious instead of confident. So my question is, can boys tell what kind of underwear you're wearing? Are they supposed to notice? Is this the attention that I'm supposed to receive by wearing a thong? Or was it just a stupid, immature boy making fun of someone for the enjoyment of his friends?
Let's start with your first question: can boys tell what kind of underwear you're wearing?
Yes. Yes, they can.
In fact, all human boys are equipped from the age of twelve with Extra-Sensory Underpants Radar, which they can use to discern the precise cut, color, and size of the underthings on any given girl, effective at distances up to 50 yards.
And girls, of course, are equipped with a similar radar, wherein they can look at any guy and know immediately how big his penis is.
...Is an example of two complete lies I might tell for my own amusement because I enjoy causing chaos on the internet. Wheee! FUN!
And the real answer is no, boys cannot tell what kind of underwear you're wearing—but, as you've found, they may be able to observe the effects thereof. If your undies don't have a full seat, then your cheeks can sometimes look more... uh, defined, particularly in certain types of jeans (e.g. the tight kind that have a little stretch built in and tend to cling to your booty). Which, in turn, might lead certain types of people—the kind who lack both maturity and impulse control—to start shrieking about wedgies when you stand up in the cafeteria.
And now, let's talk a bit about the reasons why you might wear a thong. Namely:
a) to avoid visible panty lines,
b) because you find them comfortable/flattering/sexy, and/or possibly
c) for the visual pleasure of an intimate acquaintance who may or may not be seeing you in your underwear that day.
But that's it. And as you may have noticed, in the aforementioned reasons, getting "attention"—and particularly the kind of attention that comes from teenage cafeteria buffoons who still find wedgies hilarious—is exactly nowhere. So wear whatever underpants you like, and if that guy (or anyone else) starts nyuk-nyuk-nuykking about it, just turn around, look at him like he's something a dog left on the carpet, and say, "Wow, thanks for staring at my ass, creepy person I don't know."
Because let's be real: if he hadn't been shrieking about wedgies, no doubt this dude would have found some other stupid thing to rag you about. Because he's an idiot. And 'round these parts, we are much too confident and fabulous to let an idiot tell us what sort of underpants to wear.
Let's talk about underwear! Leave your laciest unmentionables in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.