I’m a little unclear why men wear underpants. For any theory I might come up with, there are underpants varieties that undermine it. For instance, perhaps men wear tight briefs in order to support whatever would otherwise be flopping around in there. But then other men wear boxers, which have no such purpose and don’t seem to be much improvement, support-wise, over no underpants at all. Unless it is your habit to wear your pants entirely below your buttocks, in which case your boxers are there to keep you from being permanently banned from public transit.

Do men need to cushion their flopsters? Is it a comfort issue? Is it a matter of avoiding zipper infringement? At a certain long-past time of my life, I was wore a bra for support because it was too painful otherwise, but if that’s a problem with testicles it seems like a major design flaw.

At my age, I feel that whatever is in my underpants should be supporting itself by now and not hanging out in the basement playing video games. So support is not an issue. In fact, my favorite underpants are on the loose side. They make me feel like I lost weight. They still function to run interference with the crotch seam, but really, the reason most women wear underpants is to contain random leakage. Once we’re post-menopausal, when it should no longer be necessary, we’re prone to unscheduled tinkling. If it isn’t one thing, it’s a mutha.

Well, so, I read up. “Some men prefer boxers for ventilation, or to improve their sperm quality.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. It has nothing to do with quality; it’s sperm quantity that improves with boxers. It all has to do with the temperature of the personal portable containment system, a.k.a. the wrinkly duffle. Briefs can keep the fruit of your looms too warm. That’s why the fruits are banging around out there in the first place: if they were jammed up inside, they’d cook the candidates. According to Dr. Grunebaum, the medical director of the WebMD Fertility Center, you should just take off your pants (“when you’re at home,” he adds delicately). “It will not only help reduce testes temperature,” says he, “but it might also turn her on.” Also? It might not.

The same website was compelled to refer to the “diktat of the boxer.” I met someone with a diktat once, but he had to ink it himself. The parlors won’t touch that.

Boxers. It’s a tease. I’m going to take my pants off and then you’ll see—wait a second—more pants! That’s a lot of pants!

The entire issue of sperm count seems to put the lie to the idea that there’s any sperm quality involved. No one’s jurying these suckers. As long as the tadpoles gots their helmets and tails, it’s all about fulfillment, and nobody’s manning the quality desk. A man makes 1500 new spermies every second. The full process of making sperm takes about 64 days, resulting in about 8 billion sperm, or enough to replace every human being on the planet, assuming a willing hostess for that venture can be found, which there can’t. Men with a low sperm count still shoot out at least 25 million of them per load, which purportedly is less than one teaspoon. Which totally does not account for the diameter of the wet spot. Seems to me if you can’t hit an egg with 25 million tries you might be in the wrong locale.

But assuming you are interested in passing on the wonder that is you, you do have to attract a woman in the first place. So briefs might not be the worst idea. At least they give you a place to put the potato.