Field & 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