In Defense Of The Speedo

In Defense Of The Speedo

Speedo, while a brand name of an Australian swimwear company, has become a colloquial term referring to men's swim briefs. In this myTake, I'll be using the term Speedo in this generic colloquial way.

As with the related "tighty whitey," the speedo has become an object of ridicule, particularly in the United States. Contemporary American society has determined it to be "too small, too tight, too European, and/or too gay."

I wholly reject that assessment. The speedo doesn't deserve that type of ridicule. It is superior to the baggy boardshorts that are fashionable today in almost every way, yet men are afraid to wear it for fear of ridicule. Much like other "masculine" standards from the late 20th century/early 21st century, the reasons the speedo have been ridiculed are dated and toxic.

The American stereotype is that men have to cover their upper legs, and women have to show them. The reasoning behind this has way more to do with homophobia than practicality. Men, I'm here to tell you, seeing the upper thigh of another man cannot change your sexual orientation.

I too wore long trunks to the pool in the summer, through the sprinkler in friends back yards, and while swimming at the beach on a local lake. I saw a few boys wear speedos at swimming lessons, and secretly wanted to wear them myself. It took until I was in college to finally order a swim brief (order online of course, how could I dare buy one in Target... that was too public!). I wore them on vacation with my girlfriend. She didn't mind, and I knew no one else there, so I didn't care what they though.

In Defense Of The Speedo

To my surprise, I didn't get any dirty looks, and after the first few minutes strolling down the beach with my girlfriend, I felt confident in my speedo. I don't have ripped abs or a super toned body in general, I'm pretty average. If I can pull it off, I'm confident most men can as well. Now I wear speedo's quite often around people I know (gasp!) and aside from a few jokes, no one has said anything negative about it.

What I Liked About Speedos:

No yards of clingy, wet (sometimes sandy) fabric:

Getting out of the water after swimming in a speedo is miles better than in trunks. I didn't feel like I had to rush to dry off immediately like I did with trunks. The speedo kept my thighs exposed to the sun and air, making them dry out and warm up on their own. I also didn't have to pick and pull fabric that was clinging to my skin.

In Defense Of The Speedo

Speedos dry faster:

Speedos (and other swim briefs) are almost all made of nylon, which will completely dry out while wearing them in the sun. I didn't even need to hit the dingy changing room at the beach before we left, just through my shorts on over the speedo and hopped in an cab. No need to ball up your wet trunks into a bag for the ride home.

Lots of options:

I'm not saying that there isn't variety in the men's swim trunk department, but how many times have you seen pretty much the same Hawaiian flower print trunk on the beach? There's a vast variety of companies out there that sell swim briefs, and there are endless colors and prints out there.

In Defense Of The Speedo

Effect on Swimming:

Anyone who has ever tried to swim quickly in board shorts understands the amount of drag they create. Trunks are also far more likely to be the subject of wardrobe malfunctions while diving or swimming in heavy surf, as there's more surface area to create drag. There is a reason you will never see a professional swimmer in trunks. If you want to swim quickly and unencumbered, wear a speedo!

In Defense Of The Speedo

Beachside Activities:

Want to play some beach volleyball, go for a run, or enjoy some other type of physical activity? Well, not only has your swimwear already dried off, it also provides the same support that briefs do for athletic activity. Speedos get rid of most of the flop and slop that you'd experience in trunks, which can be both painful and unattractive.

In Defense Of The Speedo

No Mesh Liner:

To be fair, by the time I discovered speedos I either bought trunks that came without the mesh or cut the mesh out of my trunks, but speedos are a natural solution to the mesh problem. Sitting on a poolside chair with a mesh liner is a very uncomfortable time, especially if the suit is even slightly damp. The fabric of a speedo is nice and soft, and comfortable to sit on, even right out of the water.

In Defense Of The Speedo

Tan Lines:

If you're like me, not all of your shorts are the same length, and some may be slightly shorter than your fashionable board shorts. You won't have to worry about your tan lines showing in your running shorts if you wear a speedo at the beach.


The speedo, while not universally in favor, is classic, confident, look. I challenge you to find a man on the beach in a speedo that doesn't look confident - you'll have a hard time finding one. I've gotten a few comments from other men along the lines of "I wish I was brave enough..."

Societal reasons to embrace the swim brief:

"Ok, that's great for you, Matchrestore, but why should society in general embrace the brief?"


In many areas of the world, swim trunks are not allowed in public pools, and for good reason. Loose swim trunks collect dirt, debris, lint, etc., making for a dirtier swimming environment. Trunks also are often worn on the way to the pool to avoid changing, meaning other contaminants, are picked up on the way, and objects, such as packs of gum, are often mistakenly left in pockets.

In Defense Of The Speedo

Breaking Gender Norms:

The generally accepted women's swimwear is designed to be revealing, while men's is not. Wearing a speedo cuts against what our culture has gendered as "masculine" and is not what "real" men are supposed to do. I call bullshit on that. Just as we've torn down many gender norms (for the better in my opinion) this too is another one that should fall.



In Defense Of The Speedo
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15Girl Opinion
33Guy Opinion

Most Helpful Girls

  • SarahsSummer
    I can appreciate your love of wearing speedos and agree you must be confident to wear at the beach just as a man must be confident to wear a clown suit at the circus. Forgive me if I giggle when I see you though, just as I would a man in a clown suit at the circus.
    LikeDisagree 6 People
    Is this still revelant?
    Swim trunks are texucilois. If you’re hiking through wet lands and crossing rivers sure. But for swimming I want something that moves with your body. trunks slow you down big tine. Lol I didn’t know guys worry it will turn them gay. Rediculois. 🙄🙄🙄
    Like 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • VIVANT

      lol i want to know what word texucilois was 'supposed' to be ;)

    • You use ridiculous later on, so I assumed you meant ridiculous.

Most Helpful Guy

  • ADFSDF1996
    Here in the states it’s not considered “effeminate” but many people associate the speedo with “exhibitionism” which is why some pools prohibit speedos. However, they do look a lot more comfortable than swimming trunks.
    Like 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I guess that is another issue I should have touched on. I honestly haven't gotten any negative feedback from people that think it's "exhibitionism"

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • LittleSally
    Everyone (men) in Europe wears speedos...
    I don't understand wearing wide capri pants into the sea - it's madness...

    Like 7 People
  • BlueCoyote
    Great take. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Growing up, my dad always wore speedos. He still does. I don't think I've EVER seen him wear anything else for swimming. Although I'm from Europe and there is no such culture against speedos existing as in the US, they have also become less frequent among young people. A lot of young guys like to wear trunks.

    Because of my dad, I never even came on the idea that some people might hate or dislike speedos. It was just kind of a "whatever" thing.
    Personally, I don't wear a speedo for swimming but I wear tight briefs. I feel like that's the best option for me. When I go on beach vacation with my wife, I sometimes wear shorts or (rarely) even trunks. Those are okay for just playing and relaxing in the sea.
    However, here at home, I exclusively go swimming at our local public pool for exercise. Now, I'm not a super fast swimmer but I do want to be efficient. Exercising in trunks is very exhausting and also very annoying. I like my briefs because they make me feel as though I was swimming naked... without actually being naked.
    LikeDisagree 4 People
  • gotc147
    Back in the day when I went swimming a lot more often than I do now I wore a Speedo sometimes just for the fun of it, I was very much one of those "go against the grain" type of people, never got a negative comment.

    These days I haven't been swimming in a very long time, though I do still own a speedo, figure it would be good for evening out tan lines at the very least since I work outside.
    Like 3 People
  • Jon_25
    Good take, and you made some fine, true points. But, I still would much rather not wear a speedo. Trunks are more comfortable, and I would prefer not to show my upper thighs, even if nobody else cares if I do. I don't see why confidence is of any importance. I'm just there to swim. I won't care if other guys wear it though.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
  • Annie_Mosity
    Wear what you like fella, but it isn't going to change the fact it looks gross 90% of the time.

    Of course they're better for swimming though, they're for swimming. Short shorts are just find for swimming too without looking like you're smuggling budgies... But ultimately, it's your body and your choice... Wear what makes you happy!
    LikeDisagree 4 People
  • Kuraj
    This has always been a stunningly baffling issue for me, as a non-American.
    My country is one of the countries where swimming briefs are the established standard, while shorts are the frowned upon alternative, typically associated with little boys and teenagers.

    In fact, most places here ban shorts due to how much water they leave everywhere.
    Like 3 People
    • BlueCoyote

      It's quite similar here in Switzerland. Shorts are generally accepted but trunks have a rather bad reputation. A lot of people here view them as a little "trashy" and "unfashionable" (like going to the opera in a hoody) or "overtly prudish" or, as you have said, "infantile".

      It's funny how different cultures can think so vastly different about one and the same item.

  • jacquesvol
    Good take!
    Board shorts are OK when they're dry, to walk on the promenade, enter a shop or a pub there. To swim they're a misery. When wet on a beach they're even worse.
    I grew up with the Speedo style and I'm not gonna change, except for dry activities.
    In Europe Speedo style is not linked to sexual preference.
    And for those people saying that only young athletes can wear them?
    Well, should only skinny young girls wear bikinis? :-|
    Like 2 People
    • jacquesvol

      I wear swimwear to swim, NOT to seduce or flash teenagers.

    • jacquesvol

      and in pools, shorts get easily dirty, smudging the water

  • Markasaurous
    I live in the U. S not sure about you, California to be specific. Played water polo and swim, and you get used to them. I defiantly prefer them too but most people are self conscious about them and I was too and now a bit too. I stopped so my legs are all pasty again haha.

    Like 1 Person
  • MlleCake
    They are not common in the US, but they look fine to me.
    LikeDisagree 7 People
  • Pamina
    While I personally don't like how they look on guys, I agree that guys (and girls) should be able to wear whatever swimwear they prefer without being stigmatized.
    Like 2 People
  • jogger1613
    I wish American fashion evolved this way. I would wear them in a heartbeat. However, we're not there. I would feel self-conscious wearing them if nobody else did. I like them. I prefer them. But I won't wear them until they become the style.
    Like 1 Person
  • DaxandCarmen
    Its a generation thing. I agree that it is a much superior swim, beach etc wear. I hate board shorts too. Board Shorts suck to wear. I do agree that if you what to wear one you should put in the effort the put your body is good shape.
    Like 1 Person
  • Being_a_good_Indian
    It may be hard to believe that in some countries Speedos do not suggest a social stigma, nor are they seen as being related to one’s sexual orientation. It may be even harder to believe that, in these same countries, sporting your classic board shorts would be considered a tasteless choice.

    If you’re serious about swimming, the excess material in a baggy short will impede your movements in the water. Also, anything that is too long will make your legs appear shorter.

    Interesting Take. Thanks for sharing your Take with GirlsAskGuys Community.

    Like 4 People
  • molonski2
    Two vastly different things.
    Speedos are the obvious choice if you are actually swimming , and its pretty obvious why. Boardies , are completely different just for a social swim , or for just hanging around the beach.
  • Darjeelingjelly
    I think they're hot af and that every guy should own a pair. Just wear them and own it, no one's gonna laugh at you if you're confident about it.
    Like 5 People
  • Hyped_up_on_coffee
    If you look good and feel good in them I say go for it... either way there is still a lot of people I would rather not see wear them
    LikeDisagree 4 People
  • LogicBomber
    I feel that if women can expose as much of their body as possible even when it is absolutely disgusting... men should have every right to wear a cock hammock without issue.
    Like 1 Person
    • ElvenMr

      Maybe it's for trans people?

  • nightdrot
    My girlfriend loves em on a guy, so long as he is in reasonably good shape. Then again, she likes me in my tighty whities more than when I wear boxers - and she hates boxerbriefs. (She calls them a man's long legged panty girdle.)

    For me, when we travel in the Caribbean I wear Speedos and I agree that they are a lot easier to care for. I am in reasonably good shape, and a gal on the beach actually whistled one time. (After that, I was sold.)

    At home I wear traditional trunks. Both are fine, though I also think that Speedos are a bit more comfortable to swim in.
    Like 2 People
  • Yesnomaybe85
    The mighty budgie smuggler.
    My go to.In Defense Of The Speedo
    Like 7 People
  • Curmudgeon
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