Bloxers solve a peculiar problem–that of the public erection. Not ill-considered municipal sculptures, but something equally embarrassing: the untimely engorgement of the male member. Bloxers boxer shorts are sewn with a special interior panel that deflects “the dreaded public boner” down and to the side, thus hiding it from view.
The folks behind Bloxers call this panel the “Deflector Shield,” and buyers can pick a model with the shield positioned on the left or the right, depending on to which side the gentleman dresses. The shorts are cotton, and the shield is a nylon/elastane mix.
Is this a joke? No. I asked the appropriately-named Chris Woods, one of the people behind Bloxers, whether they were real. He sent me a picture of a prototype, which looks just real enough, including the shield (Chris asked us not to publish the photo, as it doesn’t show the finished design).
So who will actually buy these things? “From the interest we have gotten, the demographic that has been most enthusiastic about our product has definitely been teenage boys,” says Woods No surprises there. Teenage boyhood provides just the right mix of social awkwardness and unpredictable tumescence to make Bloxers an essential purchase.
“Most of our buyers however, have come from an older demographic mainly buying Bloxers as a funny gag gift for friends, not necessarily to solve a major problem they themselves face,” says Woods.
It’s easy to laugh, but it’s also possible that many people will be–if you’ll pardon the deliberate pun–cock-a-hoop with the Bloxers. And Bloxers certainly aren’t the first functional garment that saves embarrassment or changes the way we show our bodies to the world.
The list is pretty long. Padded training bras for young girls might be the closest-related to Bloxers, but we also have all manner of girdles and pressure garments to hide and reshape fat, or more functional items like Always Discreet for women, pads and underwear which absorb urine leaks.
The one thing that all of these articles have in common is that we don’t like to talk about them. From leak-stoppers through belly-flatteners to Bloxers, we might want their effects, but we don’t want anyone to know about them.
This shame, Woods believes, is what’s behind his Indiegogo campaign’s poor sales (currently at $2,000 of the $20,000 goal). “The teenage boy demographic tends not to buy things themselves but instead they ask their parents to do so for them. Bloxers aren’t exactly something a teenage boy would be comfortable asking their parents to buy.”
To combat poor sales, Woods is trying to get Bloxers stocked in “stores that sell funny gifts.” And this, ironically, may end up making them more available to the teens that need them. Like old folks that buy trekking poles from sports stores instead of walking sticks from, uh, old-people stores, it’ll be a lot less embarrassing for teens to order Bloxers from Amazon than to ask their mom to buy a pair from Indiegogo.