With the onset of summer, we decided to look into a method used by many women to keep cool — going commando. What we wanted to know: Is the femme form of free-balling healthy or not?
So we hit up Dr. Gillian Dean, associate medical director of clinical research and training at Planned Parenthood New York City, to find out.
What did she say?
Speaking generally about ladies’ nether-regions, she began by saying that there’s no scientific evidence linking common maladies — such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections — with wearing panties with synthetic crotches or tight clothes, as some have claimed.
However, a definite link does exist between douching and disease.
“Don’t douche!” she told the Voice. “Douching can mess up the normal balance of bacterias in vaginas.”
So does going commando increase or decrease risk?
“You mean loose-lipping?” she asked.
Is that the technical term? we asked.
“I think we came up with this when we were in medical school. We thought ‘it’s not fair that there’s an expression called free-balling’ for guys, so we called it ‘loose-lipping.'”
Besides, going commando sounds kind of masculine, she added.
But is it bad for you?
No, she said. Similar to the lack of studies linking undies and illness, there’s not enough research indicating a clear tie between commando-status and better health.
She ultimately implores women just to do what feels most comfortable, as that’s probably a way of your body telling you what’s healthiest.
“If you have an infection, it’s better to air things out,” she said. “Use common sense.”
In the summer, however, she says people with more free time — such as students –often spend that free time having more sex.
“It’s incredibly important to plan ahead,” she cautions. “Like bringing sunscreen or cold water to the beach, you should bring condoms with you.”
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.