Saturday, September 22, 2007

saturday's word: jockstrap

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jok strap

men’s underwear consisting of an elastic waistband, pouch, + two straps that parenthesize but do not conceal the butt

invented in 1874 by c.f. bennett for sharp + smith of chicago, designed for the comfort of male bicycle riders (‘bike jockeys’). (parvo nakacheker of finland, bennett's contemporary, has a competing claim as originator of the jockstrap.) bennett later patented the invention + started his own business, the bike web company (later shortened to bike). health benefits claimed for the jockstrap included cures for erectile dysfunction + insomnia.

in u.s. high schools, jockstraps were required undergarments for boys’ p.e. in the post-jfk era of mandatory gym classes (1960s-70s). seldom washed, they lent locker rooms their distinctive smell.

subsequently, homosexual fetish gear, especially with tube socks in the 1970s clone era

numerous designer jockstraps are available, but the classic remains the gray or white #10 bike jockstrap.

scottish ‘jockey,’ for ‘boy,’ also slang for ‘penis’ + ‘erection,’ derived from ‘john’ = ‘common man’ + ‘strap’

“a fat man in a glitter jockstrap had little eyes flicking in his pillow-creased face, as his booze buddies belched his name in unison from the front tables.”
--katherine dunn, geek love, 1983

synonyms: athletic supporter, basket, dance belt, flopper, jock (ca. 1960s, also slang for ‘male athlete’), jock strap, jotter

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