As Time Goes By – Episode 2: Smugglers or Thongs – That Is The Question

thongkinis vs speedos
In this episode, we examine whether ladies wearing the latest fashion in beachwear (the G-string bikini or thongkini) is any  different from speedos on men and are they acceptable or not. Do these brief swimsuits push the limits of acceptability or is it O.K to wear at the beach?  They certainly have shrunk since the early swimsuits!
Hello there and welcome back to the third episode of ‘Who Would Have Thunk It’.
Some attribute the latest surge of G-strings and thongs to celebrities who wear the swimwear style, including Emily Ratajkowski, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Kate Hudson. The ‘thongkini’ (as it is known) seems to be Hollywood’s swimsuit of choice.  Last month there was controversy on the Gold Coast (one of Australia’s premier beach tourist resorts) because one resident felt there was ‘too much being exposed’ and that they should be banned.

How it started.

There has always been debate over what is and is not appropriate regarding swimwear, especially when it spills off the beach and into shopping areas or restaurants.
Societal attitudes towards fashion and body image are like the sand on a beach -continually shifting with time.  The first bikinis came about in the 1940s amid their own controversy and embraced a more liberated and empowered woman, and I dare say, to the delight of every warm-blooded male.  Since that time, there has always been a wide choice of swimwear available to women, ranging from a more classical one-piece through high-waisted bottoms to the new ‘daring’ G-string thong bikinis.
The thongkini is all the rage among celebrities (of all shapes and sizes) and, as a result, every other female with the confidence to wear one. Social media (so I discovered) is full of commentary on whether it is acceptable to wear this swimwear to the beach and, if so, at what age girls should be allowed to sport one.
Males are also asking the question, if a girl or lady is wearing a thongkini, is it O.K for me to look? (Read on – as Steve Austin, the WWE Wrestler, used to say – hell yeah!!)

Men vs Women

In some societies and cultures, conservative swimwear that covers most of your body is all that is accepted.  Conversely, other cultures thrive on more revealing swimwear options, like bikinis for women, and speedos (or budgie smugglers as they are known in Australia) for men.  Australia is one of those societies and countries.  Surrounded by blue waters and sandy beaches, and blessed with a warm climate, going to the beach or pool is a big part of Aussie culture.  Add to that a population that has a high degree of self-confidence, and what do you expect?
The question is, ” Are speedos or thongkinis pushing the friendship and going too far in terms of exposure?”
When you think about it, you have this small piece of material only a few millimetres thick that separates decency from indecency.  One also needs to look at the practicality of these things.  The G-string bikini seem more suited to sunbaking, and less to go for a swim.  If you see ladies in G-string bikinis in the water at the beach, they go through constant surveillance of whether these small pieces of material are in the right place and whether they have moved.  Given the small degree of latitude available, there is only a small margin before more gets revealed than they might wish.
Fashion advice tells us that is not the case. Those in the know say thongkinis are very comfortable to wear, flattering and show off curves, sexy, stay in place, are easy to take off, and look good on everyone. I agree with some of these points, but I am not sure about some others (they don’t look good on everyone).
And what about men?  These days if you venture to the beach in a pair of speedos for anything except a triathlon or if you are a lifesaver, it is frowned upon.  Who knows, maybe it is because the Speedo took a huge hit in popularity when a former prime minister became renowned for wearing Speedos.  There is a lot to be said for Speedos from a comfort and practicality perspective.  They are far more comfortable when you are swimming and especially when you get out of the water compared to a wet, heavy pair of board shorts (‘boardies’ as they are known) that cling to your legs like some deformed octopus.
Thank goodness males have not decided to go head-to-head with the ladies and adopted the ‘mankini’ that was made famous by Borat.  Anyone would have to draw the line at that!

To Look or Not to Look

So, let’s assume that thongkinis lack practicality as a piece of swimwear, despite what the fashion houses say.  The allure then lies in the ability to make a statement and ‘turn heads.’  The trouble is when males turn to admire a nice body in a brief bikini, many label them as some sort of pervert.  It is not for everyone, and, in my mind, it takes a special kind of person with a high degree of self-confidence and a great body to sport a G-string bikini, whether at the beach or anywhere. Well, at least that is how it should be.  I have to say some people that clearly exude confidence, really should not embrace the thongkini.  (It is like two ferrets trying to get out of a sack in some cases, but there isn’t much of a sack there!).
The real question it would seem to me, is about freedom of expression.  It is a free country (well, at least we assume it is still a free country) and people can express themselves in a multitude of different ways.  Embracing personal style and taste without judgement or constraints is what freedom is all about, isn’t it?
If people feel comfortable in their own skin showing off ‘more than the average bear’, good for them, that is their choice.  We may not understand it, but there are things that we do that others probably don’t understand.  Bottom line (excuse the pun!), if it doesn’t totally show all the ‘girly bits’ or ‘boy bits’, go for it!  If you don’t like it, then don’t look!
Everyone knows what is underneath anyway.  It probably causes some concern for children, but you see just as much, if not more, on the TV these days.
As a final comment, if you think the thongkini is bad, you ain’t seen anything yet because the next fad apparently is a modified version called a ‘T-front thong’.  Haven’t heard of that one?   Whoops, it seems we are out -of time to talk about them.  Mr. Google will answer all your questions, I’m sure. 😊
Who would have thunk it – right?
Hope to see you back next time. Don’t miss out. Stay subscribed and add your thoughts or any comments you have (especially if you have something nice to say!) on the social media links (Linked In or Facebook).

Till next time,



©Copyright C London March 2024

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Calvin London

Calvin runs a boutique consulting company. He is an established author of over 50 publications but started this site to explore the lighter side of life and all the curious things it has to offer. He is developing a career as a freelance writer.