Tuesday, February 28, 2012

De-emphasizing your Junk and other Obvious Reasons to Avoid Wearing Mesh

Mesh shorts are arguably the gold standard of athletic apparel.

As a kiddie you may have donned them along with some shiny cleats, shin guards and a soccer jersey. Or perhaps basketball was your thing and paired with your sweet Jordans were a pair of mesh shorts you preferred on the baggy side to represent. If you were white, upper middle class and from the east coast, you had lacrosse shorts, but you pronounced it "lax" because for some reason that was a thing. For those of us who preferred to spend our time pool side, mesh shorts serve as the perfect cover-up ...super cute when you roll the waist band over a few times too.

It's difficult to find another article of clothing more versatile than the mesh short.

So, for this reason, the practicality and comfort of the mesh short is ingrained in all adults- it's our go-to pant for all things active. We run in them, work out in them, run errands wearing them and even watch sports in them.

It's understandable then, that folks might assume the universality of the mesh short applies to climbing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Climbing introduces the harness (figure A). As you can see over normal pants, it bunches slightly but the general shape of the pants is preserved.

Figure A.

When a harness is paired with mesh shorts however (figure B) a hell of a lot of awkwardness is introduced to the equation. The fabric on the legs gets caught up and forms honey bunches of mesh while a gentleman's man-parts are suddenly and inexplicably exaggerated in an obscene bulge. Not pictured is the rear view, where one of two things may occur. The first of which includes the fabric being shoved forward or down beneath the buttocks forcing the ass to smear against the mesh similar to a fat kid's face against a candy store window. Scenario two would involve the opposite, where the mesh is forced to assemble and hover directly above one's crack and is mushed together to resemble a saggy elephant ass. Without a firm structure, the mesh simply falls prey to the harness's push and pull as you can see below.

Figure B.

In summary, we offer some points worth considering:
  1. Harnesses, by nature, emphasize the "bulge." Best practice suggests wearing clothing that makes it easier to avert the eyes, not harder. This is not unique to climbing either.... think plus sizes and horizontal stripes. Best avoided at all costs.
  2. It's never comfortable having a wedgie. Now imaging having a shorts worth of material all up in there.
  3. Witnessing the act of someone putting a harness on over their mesh shorts is awkward and nerve-wracking for all involved parties, teetering on the brink of disaster.
  4. It's like an eclipse, you know you shouldn't look, but you can't help it... and when you do your eyes burn out of your face.
  5. Climbertoe is the most inconsiderate thing you could ever do to your belayer.

As you can imagine the vast majority of first time offenders usually make it their last, a decision based on sheer discomfort and the hope of salvaging any scraps of dignity. There are a special few however who just can't get enough of the mesh (most likely this guy) and the rest of us just can't figure out why. Are they masochistic? Nostalgic? Maybe they're in denial or simply devout?

Whatever the reason, for the general good, we beg of you to reconsider. Let go of the shorts.


  1. fuck this article.

    pay $10 for gym shorts. make you look at my penis.


  2. You can't tame this camel!

  3. Aint nothing more viscous than a camel spider

    1. camel spider spit is viscous. camel spiders are vicious.

    2. This is a guy that knows his grammar, I like you!

  4. Good article. Nothing outs the n00bs more than mesh shorts, soccer shorts, or 'lax' shorts (fuck you east coast!!)

  5. I'm crying, I'm laughing so hard!

  6. So I got the most interesting call at work the other day from a lady wondering how to prevent her husband's "package" from protruding so far out when he wears his harness. The conversation went as follow.
    Lady: Im I speaking with a belayer?

    Me: Yes this is a belayer how may I help you.

    Lady: This might seem weird but my husband teaches rock climbing for the boy scouts and when he wears his harness it makes his package sick way out. I am really afraid that the size of his package might scare the little boys and offend the parents.

    Me: (clears my throat) well...

    Lady: I've been in to your gym and noticed that when you guys are belaying in the gym your packages dont stick out nearly as much as my husbands. (should I be flattered that someone was checking me out or offended by this comment that she is inferring that I have a small "package")

    Me: (takes a breath trying to get a word in over her fast endless talking. You could tell that the lady was nervous about calling but also very concerned about her husbands offensive "package")

    Lady: I am just curious if you guys have any solutions to this problem?

    Me: Well, the first thing that I would recommend would be to never wear sweatpants or mesh basketball shorts if you are concerned with "package" protrusion. I would recommend wear some stiffer pants like jeans.

    Lady: I think he might have been wearing jeans but I am not sure. Could it have been the way that he was belaying? Do you guys buy special harness to prevent this type of stuff happening? I mean you guys at the gym were barely noticeable and his was about twice the size.

    Me: Well Ma'am, are you sure you are not dealing with a genetic issue here?

    Lady: Uh yes, I dont think it a genetic issues....(pause) actually I can confirm that its not a genetic issues. (pause) So all that you are saying is the only way to deal with this would be to wear stiff pants (I so badly wanted to tell her we sold medical tape behind the counter just for this problem and that taping it to his leg or tucking it back is how we solve this issue)

    Me: Well, that pretty much the only solution that I can come up with for you at the moment.

    Lady: How do yo doing with this being a professional and all or do you just not care? Is it just something you deal with?

    Me: To be honest my main concern is that my package does not get caught between my leg loop and my leg. Also just FYI the harness are not the most flattering on women either. If you ever plan on belaying you might want to avoid wearing tight fitting pants because when you get certain upward forces you get things pulled up into areas that could offend people.

    Lady: Really? Good to know I never really thought of that. So its not just a guy issue.

    Me: No, not really.

    Lady: Ok thank you. You have been really helpful. Hope you have a good evening.

    Me: You too. Bye.

    1. That is amazing. Can whoever posted this send me an e-mail at info@assholeclimbers.com? This might warrant its own post.

    2. The Boy Scouts are so bureaucratic I'm surprised they don't have a dress code for belaying LOL

  7. Good article. Nothing outs the n00bs more than mesh shorts, soccer shorts, or 'lax' shorts (fuck you east coast!!)

  8. It's difficult to find another article of clothing more versatile than the men mesh shorts.

  9. I just love the etiquette and this active wear really impresses me and It seems that this apparel is not only productive but beautifully designed as well.

  10. Huh... Figure two might just be a genetics thing in some cases because I can tell you that jeans look like figure 2 when I climb.

    Shower vs grower I suppose. As long as it doesn't get tucked under a strap I don't care that much.

  11. Laughing out loud - but your post has just put me in a good mood! When you want to climb using a harness, you should be wearing an excellent pair of rock climbing pants, I reckon! Those shorts are hideous, not only for its appearance after the harness has been worn on top, it's just plain inappropriate. Shorts often leaves the knee open for scrapes and bruises. For the best climbing pants, here's a list of best reviews ever: http://myoutdoorslife.com/gear/climbing/best-rock-climbing-pants.html