Monday, August 31, 2009

Just What IS The 'Nylon Gene', Anyways?...

compliments of

The origin of the name of our blog... Some time back, the founder of ACTIVSKIN, Steve Katz, wrote at length on "The Nylon Gene" for the benefit of Geraden's Legwear Blog . I posted the following updated discussion in March 2009 to explain from whence we took the name of this blog. It's been awhile since the post initially ran, and we've gained many new readers since then. Therefore, for the benefit of more recent readers, I'm posting "What IS the nylon gene?" again: Hope you enjoy...

Do people have a predisposition to legwear?
And what are the ramifications?

There’s probably no way to prove or disprove the first question, but like personal tastes in food, music, or literature, people are different. There’s an old joke that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t...

For the benefit of the first group, we joke that there are two kinds of people in the world: those with the “nylon gene” and those without. Now as far as science has told us, the gene doesn’t really exist of course, and in fact we don’t even know if the love of wearing legwear is hereditary, but it’s a good way to characterize people who like wearing legwear, and have a little fun with it along the way. It’s a way of explaining the enjoyment we feel when we wear tights ourselves or see others wearing them.

Those of us who have the 'nylon gene', which is probably most of the people visiting [Geraden's] web site, enjoy the tactile sensation of soft fabrics like silk, nylon, and satin. The same may be true of visitors to The Nylon Gene blog, but it's also intended for those who've just discovered the men's legwear trend and want more information. Those who don’t have 'the gene' are perfectly comfortable with cotton, linen, polyester, and wool. For women, whether they have it or not, there's no issue at all. They can wear either kinds of fabric with no concern from anyone. For men it can be problematic. Men are supposed to be tough and macho in western society, so they're programmed in their early life not to have a softer side; and they definitely aren’t supposed to like softer, silky fabrics.

And yet, many do. Perhaps in secret, perhaps openly, but they do. Men have, in fact, established a limited beachhead on this side of the 'fabric boundary'. Some guys have taken to silk boxers and bathrobes, and nylon athletic apparel, underwear, and dress socks, for example. These products have been marketed to men for a long enough time to become acceptable.

The problem for many with the 'nylon gene' is that they want to move into territory traditionally reserved for women--at least in recent history. Namely tights (both sheer and opaque). Keep in mind however, that tights for men are nothing new. They were popular in Spain in the 1500s and the fashion was imported to England. Men wore cotton or silk hosiery to show off their legs and to keep warm. Women never showed off their legs until the 20th Century.

So upon closer examination, we see that tights were strictly a male fashion for three centuries, until Victorian fashion changes put men into trousers and somber colors for the next two centuries. When women did start showing their legs, hosiery fulfilled the same function it once had for men--it was made to be seen. Cotton, silk, and later nylon were fabrics of choice. Stockings were held up by garters until the invention of full-length sheer nylon tights in America in the late 1950s.

Men's legs were almost never seen at the time. Keep in mind that men of that era hardly ever wore short pants--they were considered children's clothing until the middle of the 20th Century. And tights or pantyhose were considered a women-only garment until the end of the 20th Century. Socially, therefore, tights and pantyhose were off-limits to men completely. Only cross-dressers and fetishists violated these social constricts, and this was kept hidden from public view. It's no wonder tights for men had taken on such a negative connotation by this time.

However, a curious thing happened in the past 10 years or so. Men who have this 'nylon gene' and secretly wore tights for practical, legitimate reasons started to move into the open with it. Assisted by companies such as ACTIVSKIN--who began actively marketing tights for men--and many advocacy websites, online support groups, and blogs such as this one, men have discovered they are far from alone in this.

It became evident there were literally thousands of men who had been wearing women’s hosiery in private and enjoying the benefits all along. They were wearing for all sorts of reasons. Many discovered the valuable benefits of nylon support hosiery that we now tout on our website. Benefits like warmth-without-bulk; compression to energize muscles; improved blood flow; fatigue prevention; help with prevention of DVT; protection from ticks or chafing associated with wool pants; and many other reasons not even remotely associated with cross-dressing or fetish wearing.

How is this received by wives and girlfriends?

compliments of: e-MANcipate.netAs time goes by many men have tried wearing tights and just decided they are comfortable. Not every male who wears tights has chosen to do so openly. Many who would otherwise do so have experienced resistance from wives or girlfriends, who are reluctant to support it, or may actively discourage it.

There are probably as many reasons for this as there are relationships. One of the most common reasons may be early programming. Because of the era they grew up in, many women are 'programmed' to think of nylon legwear strictly in terms of women's wear. The idea of their man wearing it can't help but conjure up suspicions of cross-dressing in her mind. Her guy may have even made the mistake of wearing them in a romantic setting--thereby cementing in her mind that his purpose for wearing them must have some ulterior sexual overtone to it.

He knows that he wears them for comfort, warmth, compression, or other 'legitimate' reasons, but she still views them through the eyes of her early programming. So it's no wonder she may actually be OK with her man wearing hosiery in private, but is horrified at the thought of him wearing them in public. Her friends and relatives might see and secretly think how 'perverted' (or at least odd) her man is.

Women in this situation may not have been exposed to much of the media attention that has only recently begun to reach a larger percentage of the population. They most likely have not visited ACTIVSKIN's website, The Nylon Gene or any of the advocacy websites that have sprung up. Her friends and relatives may or may not have encountered any of this publicity either. It's possible she has no idea there are thousands and thousands of other men in the world who wear male tights or pantyhose for completely practical, legitimate reasons. Her horizons may be very limited and her reaction is thus quite understandable.

To make matters worse, if she is among the "I hate pantyhose" crowd, she may just not 'get' it that anyone could actually wear them because they LIKE them. When it comes to women's pantyhose in the media, it's almost de rigueur to write about how horribly hot, constraining, or just plain uncomfortable they are--despite the fact that this isn't true of properly sized, higher quality, support pantyhose. In private conversations, there are significant numbers of women who will acknowledge how much they value the benefits of a good pair of support hose. (Hence, the astounding success of Spanx, for instance). It's only very recently that dissenting voices can sometimes be heard in some media circles, but the prevailing mindset among many women is still very anti-pantyhose. Until more women learn to stop purchasing cheap, improperly sized hosiery, they won't discover that quality legwear that fits can be quite comfortable to wear.

What can be done in this situation?

A guy may have started off on the wrong foot and now doesn't have a leg to stand on (no puns intended... of course). Reversing the programming and undoing years of reinforcement may be quite difficult. There are no secret formulae guaranteed to work successfully to change those hearts and minds. Communications and compromise offer the best hope, but no guarantees. Women need to be reminded that for them, wearing hosiery is primarily for appearance and fashion, whereas for most men, it’s primarily for comfort and/or the benefits enumerated above. It’s difficult for many women to accept and really understand this difference. If a man likes to see his woman in hosiery, finds her appearance pleasing, and compliments her, the association between legwear and appearance is reinforced. Furthermore, if she herself doesn’t find wearing hosiery to be comfortable, how readily can she understand or appreciate her man’s claims as to why he wears it?

Sometimes it takes some observational evidence to begin the change of heart and mind necessary for wives and girlfriends to consider their guy's legwear in a new light. It's ironic that many women, in general, don't think negatively of the idea of men wearing legwear. Often, it's only when it comes to their guy wearing it that problems arise. The reaction seems to be centered around fear of what others will think of their guy--and by extension, of them.

Women tend to be very motivated by the issues of security, and 'home and hearth' issues. They may become very concerned if they perceive that these could be threatened. Consequently, if they perceive that their husband or boyfriend could lose social standing, employment position and in general be diminished in status and earning capacity, it could become very upsetting. This explains why women may practice a double standard when it comes to the men's legwear trend. Many don't actually have a big problem with men wearing hosiery--when done in a masculine setting such as we promote here on The Nylon Gene--because they have nothing personal at stake. ...Until the guy is their guy. At that point, they may perceive a risk to their personal livelihood if people react negatively to what he's wearing.

We know that risk to be virtually nil, of course. Most likely when a male wears hosiery in the open (i.e., with shorts), one of two reactions can be expected from people he meets out in public. Either they don't even notice in the first place. Or, they notice briefly before proceeding with what they were doing. In that case, thoughts rarely translate into words, but people generally assume there must be some legitimate reason this person is wearing hosiery. When it comes to friends and acquaintenances, it may seem more difficult because, if they react negatively we have to live with the consequences. The good news here is that we have seen so many anecdotes of how readily people accept their friends' legwear, especially once it's been explained rationally. This is bolstered by my own personal experience since setting out on my career direction as a leading spokesman for the men's legwear trend. My wife and I have received nothing but positive feedback from our friends, family and colleagues. There's no reason to expect anyone else's experience to be any different.

Although there are still some who have yet to encounter the growing media attention on this matter, many have and in sufficient numbers to positively affect people's first reaction to a man wearing hosiery. It no longer runs first to cross-dressing or other unfavorable assumptions. We hope our efforts at ACTIVSKIN and The Nylon Gene--along with many others with the same goals--will continue this change for the better.


Chinese Interest in ActivSkin?

I've noticed that the ACTIVSKIN website has had more than 230 new visitors referred to us in the past month from This site appears to be some sort of Chinese version of or Yahoo Answers. I learned that from using Google translate to get a rough translation of the main page. However, I can't find the question(s) that were posted referring to ACTIVSKIN, ComfiLon, or some other reference to men's legwear that would result in a link to Would one of our Chinese-speaking fans mind providing us with a link to the specific page on which ACTIVSKIN (or similar) was discussed, along with a translation. If it's too lengthy or cumbersome to post as a comment under this post, send it to my email and I'll take care of sharing it with the rest of the readers. Thank you in advance...


Friday, August 28, 2009

Radio Interview w/British Forces Broadcasting Service

Your fearless Nylon Gene blogger just completed taping a radio interview with Ms. Lynne Duffus of BFBS Radio (British Forces Broadcasting Services) about the whole men's tights/pantyhose trend. [See below for the audio download, which I've enhanced with a photo slideshow] We talked about the various reasons that men are wearing them, and even included the military connection. This issue was discussed back in April here on The Nylon Gene, and there was a flurry of media activity back in 2004 on how pantyhose (specifically, ActivSkin) helped keep sand fleas at bay, minimized chafing and blisters on the feet and legs during long marches, etc. The interview seemed to go very well and we had a little fun with it, too...

We taped about 7 or 8 minutes or so of conversation, virtually all of which made it into the final broadcast cut. The interview aired during the second hour of her show on Friday, August 28th, which began at 5:30pm in the UK (five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time). For those who missed the live broadcast, you can listen to it by clicking on the embedded audio player above. There were plenty of lead-in comments during the first hour of the show also. For those interested, you can hear that prior on-air discussion by clicking the embedded audio player below.

This broadcast went out to all of the BFBS member stations, and some of our U.S. military may have also heard it. BFBS Radio is heard in more than 20 countries around the world. The DAB HQ in the UK links with stations in Belize, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Nepal, Northern Ireland and operational areas. Their Middle East programmes are covered from Kuwait and a studio in Afghanistan will be opening soon.


Saturday's All Right for Tights: Men In Tights, Part 2

The West Palm Beach Examiner has published a followup article on men's tights today. Ms. Abby Waters received such a flurry of comments on her earlier article, "C'mon Show Support: Men In Tights" that she has written a second one. This one is called "Saturday's All Right for Tights: Men In Tights, Part 2" In it, she takes to task the people who shoot verbal barbs at the guys who are wearing tights or pantyhose these days, and also compliments those same guys by recognizing the degree of self-confidence they exhibit by being unafraid to wear something that's so out of the ordinary. Please make sure and read the article, and pay your compliments to the author.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

How Can Pantyhose Be Cool & Also Keep You Warm?

I've been asked on several occasions how sheer pantyhose can both keep you warm, yet still be cool enough to keep you from overheating, too. A good question, and one that seems to point out a contradiction in some of the claims made about the benefits of men's pantyhose and tights.

Basically, sheer pantyhose work best when worn under other clothing, such as for hunting or camping in below-freezing temperatures. Opaque tights are a little warmer, and so can more easily keep you warm when worn with shorts. The knitted nylon fabric will trap a thin layer of dead air within the matrix of the material. Because of it's body-hugging characteristic, this insulating layer of air is held securely against the skin, providing an insulating layer. The pink fiberglass insulation in the walls of your house work on the same principal, except on a larger and thicker scale. The outer layer(s) of clothing keep wind from blowing through the nylon and replacing the dead air--which would lower the insulating value considerably and chill the skin.

For runners or cyclists on chillly mornings, when temperatures are above 40 to 45 degrees (F)and not very windy, the pantyhose fabric still provides that same layer of dead air and slightly insulates the skin. In this situation, not much insulation is necessary--just enough to keep the sharp chill off the legs long enough for exercise to elevate body heat. Avoiding that chill on leg muscles can reduce the incidence of cramps.

Shortly after exercise begins, body heat quickly builds up. At that point, the athlete can begin to feel overheated under thicker Under Armor tights or sweatpants. This is why sheer legwear is well-suited to wear with running or cycling shorts on chilly mornings. You know you'll soon be perspiring and the sun will be rising higher in the sky. At that point, perspiration can easily wick away from the skin and evaporate. If you took physics in high school, you'll recall that evaporation of liquids causes a cooling effect.

I've heard anecdotal tales of soldiers in Iraq taking advantage of this scientific fact by wetting their Army socks and tying them to truck mirrors while driving. Even the 130+ degree air moving past the socks causes evaporation, which then cools the socks. Afterwards, they pull on a pair of cool socks and say, "ahhhh..."

To summarize: If you're engaged in athletic activity on Spring or Fall mornings, sheer legwear with shorts is a good bet. As the temperatures drop later in the season (or if you're more sensitive to the cold) you're well advised to switch to opaque tights with shorts, or maybe even under sweatpants.

If you're hunting, it's likely during a cold time of year. You should be wearing either sheer pantyhose or opaque tights under your hunting clothes--not with shorts. Sometimes readers have misunderstood, and failed to realize we are not recommending going hunting out in the dense brush and brambles with short pants and tights/hosiery. They wouldn't last two minutes before being shredded by thorns and branches. For hiking, you can go with shorts if the weather's not too cold, but only if you're not hiking in dense brush. For camping, tights or sheer pantyhose are great as a base layer, and can be worn alone when you get into your sleeping bag at night, depending on the expected low temperature. An added benefit here--and any time you're hunting, hiking or camping--is that ticks can't get beneath the tight-fitting legwear.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Changing Hearts & Minds...

Steve Newman of ActivSkin at outdoor cafe in Columbus' Short North (Style A577 legwear/sheer black)Recently, I replied to a comment with a statement about my basic purpose for this blog, THE NYLON GENE. I thought it would be helpful to post this as a stand-alone article, so all readers might benefit from it. Basically, the observation was made that one of the biggest obstacles to further growth in the men's legwear trend is basic awareness among the general populace that there IS such a thing as men's legwear (tights, pantyhose, mantyhose... whatever we choose to call it). While it is true that general awareness of the fact that significant numbers of men are now wearing pantyhose or tights for practical, mainstream reasons has risen; a great many people on the street are still completely surprised when they learn about it.

I've written elsewhere that, "I'm working to change hearts and minds: from pantyhose to mantyhose." Well, the first step in making that change is raising awareness...

Mantyhose: Already Here To Stay
Sheer black legwear not an unheard of site in Columbus' Short North Area (Steve Newman/ActivSkin)We know there are many men already wearing tights/pantyhose. That's based on increasing ACTIVSKIN sales year after year, despite the recession. Until recently, most of our customers were reluctant to wear them openly or acknowledge it to friends or colleagues. Of course, this presents a marketing difficulty. It's difficult to promote a product that most of your customers won't tell anyone they use, even though they love it. And that gets to the heart of one primary objective for The Nylon Gene, and our other publicity efforts.

Since we have so many satisfied customers--based on an infitesimal percentage of returns--we would like to enlist their aid as a part of our 'volunteer' sales force, by encouraging them to be more willing to wear their legwear in the open, at least occasionally, or acknowledge to their circle of acquaintances the benefits they gain from them. If the people could only see how many guys they pass on a busy street in a given day were actually wearing legwear under their trousers they would be surprised, and this trend would grow at an even faster pace than it already has. That is, at least until it becomes as commonplace as, say, wearing sweatshirts, at which point it would eventually level off.

But, How Many People Really Notice?
Steve Newman of ActivSkin. Surprisingly, many people would not he's wearing legwear (Style A677 Tan)When a man wearing legwear passes by, people on the street are usually not aware for several reasons. The most obvious is because long pants cover them up in most cases. This is unavoidable to a certain extent, because short pants are not considered acceptable attire in many workplaces. The only way it becomes apparent that a guy in your office is wearing legwear under his trousers is if he wears sheer hosiery with no socks. This is becoming more common, however.

Another reason is that it's actually very unlikely for most people to notice someone is wearing tan- or beige-colored hose with shorts. Especially if it's a good approximation of his natural skin tone--and leg hair is either shaved, trimmed close, or fine and light in color. This fact seems hard to accept for the person who's wearing the hose. That's because when you look down at your own legs, there is a certain sheen to the material that makes it more visible to yourself than to others. When others look at your legs, they are looking at a different angle and there is not nearly as much reflected shine to the material.

I can't begin to tell how many times I've been engaged in conversation with someone and when I've happened to make mention of the legwear I'm wearing they express surprise because they had been unable to tell I was wearing it. This has even been the case when they've looked down beforehand expecting me to be wearing it, and thought to themselves, "he's not wearing hose." So, unless a person is distinctly looking for nylon hosiery on the legs of every guy they pass (and how many people do you know who do that?), they will almost assuredly not realize even if they pass by dozens of them.

The foregoing even applies somewhat to the case where he's wearing more noticeable shades of legwear. While less true than when wearing skintone hosiery, people in general don't pay that much attention to what guys are wearing on their legs. I've also had people remark (surprisingly to me) that they hadn't noticed I was wearing legwear even when it was dark brown or sheer black. People are generally too wrapped up in their own schedules and activities to pay that much attention, and besides that they are not attuned to even look for legwear on men because they've not yet heard of it.

Legwear Trend Needs a Spokesman
Which, of course, brings me to one of the primary reasons why I place myself in public settings as I do, and write extensively as an advocate for men's legwear. I've become somewhat of the de facto spokesman for men's legwear issues in the U.S. because of my position and my activities. Chan Kraemer of has asked me to serve as a North American media contact point for all inquiries regarding 'mantyhose.' Media attention serves to bring the existence of this emerging trend to the attention of various groups of men who might benefit from it (athletes, outdoorsmen, leg health interests, etc.) but don't yet know about it. We've seen the number of men wearing legwear grow as awareness grows.

There is another important group of men to whom my publicity activities is directed: those already wearing nylon legwear on a regular basis. We don't know exactly how many there are. Although ACTIVSKIN is by far the leading seller of tights and sheer hose made exclusively for men, and the only one in the U.S., there are several companies overseas that are also in the market. There is also an unknown number of men who may wear women's brands for a variety of reasons (don't like mail-order, want lowest cost regardless of quality, etc.). What we do know is that there are far more men already wearing tights and sheer hose than the public perception would indicate.

Held Back By Lack of Confidence
Steve Newman of ActivSkin (Style A876 opaque black tights)The reason many of them are reluctant to wear legwear openly--either with shorts, or without socks under trousers--is due to fear of criticism from people who've never heard of 'mantyhose' or men's pantyhose, or anything of the sort. They are concerned that people in that group will immediately jump to the erroneous conclusion that they must be a cross dresser or some sort of fetishist for wearing pantyhose, because, "pantyhose are for girls." People who have read news articles, watched TV reports, or seen men's legwear discussed in blogs such as this are much less likely to labor under misplaced misconceptions. The vast majority of people can at least understand the men's legwear concept when it's explained to them in a rational manner. They may not be convinced to adopt it themselves, but they can at least accept the explanation for why a guy might be wearing them under his shorts without harboring less-than-favorable impressions of him.

Making the Case...
Steve Newman of ActivSkin attends a LinkedIn workshop (Style A677/sheer black)We've not had celebrity endorsements of ACTIVSKIN, nor have we actively sought them. However, a very visible example of a 'regular guy' wearing legwear and discussing it in public settings can serve a similar purpose. Therefore, I place myself out there in my community, in the media, and at public events to demonstrate how readily people acclimate to the idea of men's legwear, when it's presented in a legitimate manner. Since I've taken on this public role, I've had so many notes of encouragement, compliments, and other positive feedback from all quarters, and want to share that with my audience of men who are already legwear fans, to offer encouragement. To continue the past movement from 'The Fringe' toward the tipping point of and begin to really break out, it's necessary for guys who are already wearing legwear to step out there and let people see how many of you there really are. As my example is intended to encourage others who are less confident, seeing more men demonstrate their own self-confidence will embolden still others.

We're seeing the beginnings of that already. We get emails and read posts on other forums that tell stories of a new readiness to 'vote with their legs,' as it were. As that continues it will have a domino effect, and we expect to see the men's legwear trend move ever closer to social convention.

YOU Can Help...
Steve encourages men to wear their legwear while running errands, such as the grocery storePlease feel free to post comments telling of when/where you've seen examples of a guy wearing legwear openly while out going about his business. What were the reactions of people around him? Also, help publicize this by posting links on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and elsewhere. Forward to friends who aren't yet aware of the growing men's legwear trend. Talk about it in your circle of friends ("Hey, guess what I just read an online article about?..."). The more places that information like this article appear, the faster public awareness will increase and the sooner men's legwear becomes as normal to see on the streets as short pants. And... most importantly, if you're a man who's already wearing legwear, work up the confidence to share that fact with others around you, wear them with shorts if you like wearing shorts. You'll soon see how positively people will react if you carry yourself well and appear confident in your masculinity.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ACTIVSKIN Introduces New Style

ActivSkin's New Style A560 Full-support Tights for MenACTIVSKIN is pleased to introduce another new product and a totally new concept in men's legwear. Style A560 is now available for immediate shipment. A560 is like no other legwear we know of, and we've sampled a lot of hose in the past 10 years! They are somewhere between opaque tights and sheer pantyhose. The fabric is less transparent than typical pantyhose, yet much more sheer than opaque tights. These are full-support legwear and feel great as they massage your legs all day. When we first tried the prototype shipment, I was very pleased with how well they energized my legs, and I'm sure you'll be glad you tried them as well. You won't want to take them off!

The most noteworthy feature is they're sheer to the waist (STW). Typically, STW pantyhose do not provide good leg support, tear or run easily, and tend to slide down throughout the day*. These are very durable, provide good leg compression, and stay up as well as any control-top legwear. They also have a wide, comfortable waistband and sheer toe (known as 'sandal foot' in women's pantyhose). With such robust fabric, the A560s don't need reinforced toes. I don't think I would be exaggerating at all if I said this is one of our best products yet!

ActivSkin A560 Full-support Tights/ Steve Newman in black hosieryThe A560 fabric has only a moderate degree of shine. Because of the opaqueness of the material over the skin, the Tan-colored variety appears darker than our more sheer products when you put them on. They feature a crotch gusset (a diamond-shaped piece of material to avoid stress concentrations) for strength and longer life. Although STW, the hip and waist area still provides comfortable control to hold up the abs and minimize the flab. A560 comes in five sizes (M, L, XL, XXL, and T) and three colors (TAN, BEIGE, BLACK). The photo at right shows how they'll look in black if you wear them with shorts. It's a sharp look for autmn, as we start to get into those first few chilly mornings.

Best of all is the economical price. Despite generous amount of costly spandex, these are priced at only $11.99. There's no telling how long the introductory price will remain, so hurry and order a few pairs today. You won't regret it. As with all our products, ACTIVSKIN offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, meaning if you purchase and do not like the product it can be returned for a full refund of purchase price within 10 days.

You can check it out at: [SCROLL DOWN TO A560]

TWITTER DISCOUNT: Attention all Twitter users! I've been posting Tweets announcing the new Style A560. Get on Twitter and follow me at 'newmansa' and look for one of my posts. I'm offering an Offer Code that's good for a 10% discount (until Aug. 31st) on any order of three or more products that includes at least one pair of A560.

*NOTE: Tights and pantyhose tend to slide down because the material is stretched when you pull them up to your waist and they want to contract back to their original shape. STW legwear provides very little (beside the waistband) to prevent this. Control-top (CT) pantyhose do more than hold in your stomach. They also squeeze your hips and waist and tend to resist that sliding down tendency. Although they are STW, ACTIVSKIN A560 tights resist sliding down because they fit so snugly against the body.


Monday, August 24, 2009

C'mon, Show Support: Men In Tights

A very positive article appeared on the West Palm Beach Examiner website, entitled, "C'mon, Show Support: Men In Tights". The writer, Ms. Abby Waters, shows herself to be very open-minded with respect to the emerging men's legwear trend. We here at The Nylon Gene are, of course, very familiar with all this ado about legwear, but it is refreshing to see someone not so acclimated take such an accommodating view.

She even goes so far as to include a couple of style tips for guys wearing tights:

1. Darker colors seem to be more flattering. Pairing them with a cable sweater and great loafers or boots would be really great looking.

2. A Crisp cotton short worn out and over the tight is a good look.

She's already received 42 comments (updated as of 8/26), most of which are very positive. Thanks, Abby! Keep up the good work.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Health Fair Notes

Steve Newman manning the ActivSkin tent at Hilliard Health & Fitness Fair

Well, all those involved with Hilliard's Health Fair and Fitness Walk on Saturday the 22nd wish it had been better attended than it was, but it was still beneficial nonetheless. Senior Center organizers were hoping for more than 100 or so attendees this year, but only saw about half that number in this second year of it's existence. As I wrote previously, ActivSkin agreed to participate as a sponsor and we put up a tent and had displays set up, as you can see in the photo.

Our display attracted the attention of all of the attendees, who I had a chance to speak to as they visited and asked questions. One of the remarkable things I noted was how virtually invisible my ActivSkin legwear was to all who stopped to chat with me. As I greeted them and shared information about the emerging men's legwear trend, I would mention how much more comfortable these that I was wearing were than the medical grade compression hosiery often prescribed for more serious leg circulation issues. When I mentioned that I was wearing them right then, without exception they would look down and exclaim that they had not thought I was wearing them. Often this was followed by remarks as to how they had been looking at my legs as they walked up and thinking to themselves that, "he's not wearing them". These folks were very surprised when they learned I did in fact have them on. I was wearing ActivSkin Style A2019 in Tan. This is a full support style that is somewhat dark in color, and not one of our sheerer styles.

The ActivSkin display included brochures, articles, samples and mannequinsI don't typically consider this to be one of the styles that would be so hard to notice on someone, but the experience at the health fair certainly reinforces the notion that guys can wear skin colored ActivSkin legwear and need not be concerned with calling attention to the fact they are wearing it. Many guys are like myself and prefer to wear shorts when possible. So if need to wear support legwear to find relief from leg circulation issues they need not feel they need to give up their shorts in the process.

The attendees all seemed to be quite interested in the men's legwear trend, and most had not heard of it before this. As we find in so many venues, they were fairly open-minded about it all, too. Some even had a little fun with it as well. While the event organizer was holding a microphone for me while I was drawing tickets for the door prizes we gave away (two free pairs of ActivSkin legwear), an older lady who had been by the tent earlier came running up to me. As I looked down in puzzlement, she rubbed her hand up and down my lower leg to prove to herself that I was really wearing them! It was a hoot.

So, while we didn't get the chance to tell hundreds and hundreds of people about ActivSkin and men's legwear in general, we did get to try out our setup for participating in these sort of events in the future, which will make us well prepared for larger ones the next time.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ActivSkin at Health Fair & Fitness Walk

ActivSkin Health Fair BannerFor Nylon Gene readers in the Columbus, Ohio area you'll be able to visit in-person with ACTIVSKIN Marketing Director Steve Newman if you stop by the Health Fair & Fitness Walk sponsored by the Hilliard Senior Center. The Health Fair will be held this Saturday (Aug. 22) from 8:00 to 9:30 am, with the Fitness Walk following immediately afterward. ACTIVSKIN will join other area health-related product and service providers represented at the event...

Poster: Hilliard Health Fair & Fitness WalkLook for our tent, with the banner shown above, and stop to say, "hello." We'll be there to explain the benefits of support legwear for men who begin developing leg circulation problems (cramping, achiness, varicose veins, etc.) as they enter their late 30s and early 40s, and beyond. Visitors can also learn more about the athletic benefits and applications for the warmth-without-bulk our legwear provides. We will have several styles of legwear on hand for on-site sale--a good deal if you don't like to pay shipping costs.

Steve Newman will be there--in legwear, to be sure--to hand out flyers and copies of recent articles written on leg health. If you have questions about how legwear can be of help with your leg problems, need advice on which ACTIVSKIN style would work best for your needs and application, or would like to see how easy they are to wear while going about your daily business, make sure to stop by.

Visitors to the ACTIVSKIN tent will also be given a free chance to win one of two pairs of legwear to be given away as door prizes just prior to the start of the Fitness Walk. Click on the poster image above for more complete details (location, etc.). We hope to see you there!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Field & Stream Magazine: Mantyhose for Hunters

Field & Stream Blog pageField & Stream published an article yesterday on their online edition on use of men's pantyhose by hunters. It's called, "Mantyhose: Would You Wear Them? While the article is not entirely favorable, it's not altogether negative in tone either. The guys who hunt, fish, camp can tend to be a hard sell on this, because of concern over whether it's going to cause them to be perceived as less masculine because they wear pantyhose, even if made for men...

If you read blogs on various hunting/outdoorsman websites, you'll note that the guys involved in the discussion tend to fall into two major groups. Those that will take advantage of whatever works to get the job done, whatever that may be--in this case, wearing pantyhose as a base layer to help keep warm; and those who would never don a pair of nylons in a million years, even if it might mean death or serious injury from hypothermia.

Obviously, I would side with the first group, but that would go without saying wouldn't it? I would suggest that the guys in the first group are probably the more 'manly' of the two. Does that seem contradictory? I don't think so. The reason is that guys who are willing to wear pantyhose under their Carharrts to keep warm--even if there were no such thing as men's pantyhose--are probably more confident in their manhood. They don't feel a need to 'prove' their manhood, or worry about someone mistaking them for a girly-man because of what he's wearing to keep warm. Contrary to some of the comments you might read out there, none of the hunters wearing pantyhose for warmth are going to be doing any 'prancing about' in the woods.

Oftentimes guys that act the most radically macho are actually not very confident in themselves. They feel a need to constantly prove that they're a real man. Even a single lapse of wearing the wrong style of shirt, satiny underwear, or (Heaven forbid) pantyhose, might cause the whole facade to come tumbling down and cause them to be revealed as an imposter. Mind you, I'm talking about what's going on in some guys minds, not reality. The reality is that if you're a guy who's behaved in an authentically masculine manner all along, something like that will not cause everyone to think you're not who you seem to be. But that's the fear in some guys' minds.

One thing we're trying to accomplish at ACTIVSKIN is to continually push back the misconceptions that once surrounded the phenomenon of men wearing pantyhose, so that the guys who genuinely want to wear them for practical, non-sexual reasons can do so without people suspecting the worst of them. When we first started out on this journey, the de facto assumption when one learned that a guy was wearing panthyhose was that he was a closet cross dresser, etc. That's no longer the case, in large part because of the work we have consistently done with the media and our website. Today, it is much more likely that a person will first assume that a guy wearing hose is doing so because of some medical reason, or for athletic benefits. That's obviously much closer to the truth than the former assumptions, although there are still some who may assume the worst. We see that reflected in some of the hunting/fishing/outdoors blog comments I referred to above.

The encouraging part is that there are as likely to be as many commenters who acknowledge that they've worn pantyhose and, by darn, they work for them. As more guys develop the confidence in themselves to own up to it, and let the chips fall where they may, the rest of those hunters will finally lose their old stereotypes and misconceptions. As it said in the article, if the truth be told, there's probably a whole lot more nylon legwear out there under those overalls than anybody's willing to admit.

You can read the full text of the press release here


Monday, August 10, 2009

New Packaging Idea for ActivSkin???...

A little Monday fun: Here's the latest packaging idea for ActivSkin. We'll put them in vending machines in all those businesses where people are on their feet all day long. We'll make a fortune! Yeah, that's the ticket...
Woop new season tights in coffee cups on sale in selfridges o... on Twitpic


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mantyhose from 'The Land Down Under'

ActivSkin: Steve Newman, Teena Collins, Steve KatzLast week, we hosted our visiting Australian ACTIVSKIN distributor, Ms. Teena Collins, in our offices. Teena was in the U.S. on other business, and while on this side of the planet decided to take advantage of an opportunity for us to all get better acquainted face to face. She manages the Australian ACTIVSKIN website, by many in that part of the world (including New Zealand) to order legwear and expedite shipping times...

The Australian ACTIVSKIN store carries all of the same products we carry here in the U.S., with the exception of Gerbe legwear. On occasion, when we receive orders from customers in that part of the world, we will refer them to Teena so they can receive their order sooner. She reciprocates as well, when the occasional order from North America makes its way to her. Since we're all part of the same team, we like to cooperate in a way that will serve our customers the best overall.

We had a very enjoyable visit with Teena and wish her the best when she returns home. If you are reading this from that part of the world and were concerned about shipping costs or times from the U.S., please don't let that dissuade you. Contact Teena at ACTIVSKIN Australia and patronize her store.


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