After road testing seven pairs of exotic men's underwear for the sake of journalism, I was faced with a dilemma: What should I do with the thongs, jocks, and leather briefs that were sitting in a colorful pile in the back of my closet? I didn't want to wear them again, I couldn't return them to the store, and I absolutely could not stand the humiliation of taking them to Goodwill (or cleaning them at the laundromat beforehand). Then the same editor who assigned me the story suggested that I sell them on Craigslist. I was skeptical and it took some time, but eventually I did find someone who wanted to buy my Manties.
After posting my ad, I discovered that the market for the undergarments of scrawny 20-something men isn't very robust at the moment. Maybe it has to do with the recession I keep hearing about, but I'm leaning toward me not looking gay enough. I received only a single reply from someone who sounded serious about paying cash money for whatever sweaty ball residue was residing on my sleazy-looking jockstraps, plus a couple boilerplate responses from men who just wanted to have sex with me.
I'll call my lone suitor "Dan." He introduced himself to me as "Really a sane person, nice Guy, etc." and then asked, "for extra $ can other smells be added?" (I've left his typo-ridden syntax intact.) I asked him exactly what kind of fragrances he had in mind, and after some negotiation and clarification he told me that he wanted both of the jockstraps and sent me this message: "Put lots of Cum on Them!!! LOL. You pick another pair, pee on them—LOL and $75.00 for the three is that OK?"
A couple days later I was pissing on a blue-green thong in my bathtub. It wasn't my proudest moment, but I consoled myself by reminding myself that I am an American, and in America nothing you do for money can be considered truly wrong.
As the day Dan and I had arranged for the hand-off approached, his emails started to get weirdly personal and he dropped the LOLs. He told me about his childhood, mentioned making some money on Wall Street, and said, "[I] now wonder, 'WHY' did I not face my issues—Still don't know what or how to begin."
I replied as neutrally as possible with information on where and when I could meet him—I just wanted to make a quick buck, not hear about how, essentially, a middle-aged closeted homosexual had been lying to his friends and family for his entire life and was now buying some kid's used, piss-stained underwear because he's too much of a fucking pussy to have actual gay sex. I wanted to tell him to go see a therapist, that I didn't give a shit about his life (or I didn't want to give a shit about his life), but I didn't want to scare him off. There was $75 at stake!
We finally met in a wide-open public place. He was lumpy and overweight and jowly, and he had a mustache you'd expect to see on a little-league coach that was really into discussing lawn maintenance. The kicker was that he had a stethoscope around his neck, which freaked me out until he told me that he was an "animal doctor." (I noticed he did not use the word "veterinarian" and, more importantly, does he wear his stethoscope everywhere he goes?)
We shook hands and he touched my cheek like an over-friendly uncle. He talked to me some more about his life and his passion for skiing while I waited to politely get the hell out of there. He mentioned he had a summer house and invited me to stay up there. "It's legit; it has four bedrooms," he said. I didn't say anything as I held the envelope with the money in it. He also gave me chocolates. Maybe this was the closest he's come to a real date in years, I thought.
He wanted to buy me lunch, but I considered having a meal with a guy who will presumably be masturbating on my underwear later to be crossing a line of some sort. I finally managed to get a word in edgewise and said, "Nice meeting you," shook his hand, and jaywalked across three lanes of traffic to get away from him.
Later, while munching on the chocolates, I found his business card in the envelope with the money. It made me sad, but we live in a cold, shitty world. At least Dan would find some happiness sleeping with my underwear under his pillow later that night.
I ended up throwing the rest of the underwear away. I thought about selling the rest, but I think any further interactions like this will permanently scar me in ways that I do not want to be scarred.