How do your balls feel? Right now, at this very moment?
I’m not asking metaphorically, as in “Does your boss and/or girlfriend have your balls in a vice?” I’m referring to the actual physical condition of your balls. More specifically, I want to know how comfortable your huevos are inside your pants.
This isn’t some weird fetish thing. I promise. Until recently, I’d never felt the need for a State of the Balls address either. Then I heard that Lululemon was making a pair of pants called the Anti-Ball Crushing (ABC, for short) pants and immediately started thinking about how my family jewels were situated in ever pair of pants, jeans, slacks, britches, trousers, and dungarees that I own.
Aside from some raw, yet-to-be-broken-in denim, it was hard to recall a pair of pants that actually “crushed” my balls. Still, I had to see what the fuss was about. Lululemon claimed that the $128 pants helped account for a 16% rise in sales of its men’s apparel. When I first looked for them on Lululemon’s site, only some obscure sizes were left, further testament to their popularity. Luckily, I was able to use a connection to secure a pair in my size in dark slate, or as the rest of the world knows it, grey. (A recent check back showed a re-up on inventory.)
Putting the pants on for the first time, I was expecting some kind of parting of the heavens epiphany. I thought it would be like the Princess and the Pea, only inverted, where my pea (or peas, in this case) would feel nestled atop a hundred cloud-like mattresses.
That didn’t exactly happen and I didn’t ride a sea plane or go hiking on my way into the office like the guy in the above video. But the pants were really comfortable. Many times throughout the day I found myself taking note of that fact. Perhaps it was the placebo effect, but I kept noticing that my groinal/crotchal region (pardon my scientific terminology) felt liberated. It was a sensation akin to going commando except I had underwear on. Lululemon achieves this by placing an gusseted panel in the crotch to create more room and, similar to the design in pants by Outlier and Levi’s Commuter line.
The sensation wasn’t limited to my midsection. Sitting down, I recognized that the pants stretched without feeling like they were stretching. They lay perfectly over the knee. It’s a characteristic that comes in handy when you’re riding a bike. (Another similarity with Outlier and Levi’s Commuter is that the ABC pants are positioned as ride-to-work attire.)
What I didn’t love is that even though the product description on Lululemon’s website says the pants have a slim fit, they were still a little too baggy for my taste. They also would benefit from more taper below the knee.
Another quibble was that a front coin pocket was too big. Judging from the images on the website, that’s because it isn’t a coin pocket at all, but rather one designed to hold your phone. But the effect was that I kept fishing around in coin/phone pocket and not finding what I was looking for because it was in the main pocket. That flaw was counterbalanced by an excellent rear patch pocket that had a discreet zipper pocket hidden inside. It’s a great solution for bike riders who want to stash their U-lock in their back pocket without worrying that their wallet is going to fall out when they go to lock up their bike.
The material felt similar to the yoga pants that made Lululemon famous (and got them in a little trouble). It’s part of the “athleisure” trend that is everywhere right now. At this rate, it won’t be long before we see performance fabrics incorporated into our napkins. Wearing pants that don’t have that traditional hand feel of cotton takes getting used to for sure, but that’s the trade-off for unlimited range of movement.
On Lululemon’s website, it says, “you’ll want to live in” the ABC pants. That’s overstating things a bit. The function needs a bit more form to become a true everyday wardrobe staple. But if you’re looking for some pants to ride your bike in or play golf in, these are a great bet. Your balls will certainly thank you.