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#1
Old 01-25-2016, 06:19 PM
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Women's underwear - what's the little pocket for?

I was folding some of my wife's underwear this weekend -- as I have nearly every weekend for the last 20+ years -- and discovered something I had never noticed before. In the crotch area of her panties, where they have a little extra cloth sewn in for reinforcement, I noticed that it wasn't sewn shut at the top; it was open like a little pocket. And then, as often happens when you notice something that has been right in front of your face the whole time, I realized that every pair of her panties was like this.

So, what's the little pocket for? It's awfully small. You can't fit much in there. And it doesn't seem like it would be very convenient to get to if you needed to get something out of there. C'mon ladies, fess up, and fight some ignorance here!
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#2
Old 01-25-2016, 06:34 PM
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I've been wearing women's underwear for half a century, and it's been a long time since I had a pair like this.

Condom storage, maybe? Can't think of anything else. Definitely not a pocket for reusable sanitary napkins (which some women do use). That would defeat the whole purpose.
#3
Old 01-25-2016, 06:39 PM
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I don't know, but it might be a good place to store a spare key.

My guess is it is not a pocket, per se, but an extra layer of fabric - something to do with "absorbency" or some such, for non-monthly secretions. Perhaps also to mitigate camel-toe.
#4
Old 01-25-2016, 06:57 PM
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I don't remember ever having a pair with one end left open- but I have had some where the extra strip was only sewn at the sides, not at the top and bottom ( or front and back?). I would assume it cuts the manufacturing cost by a couple of cents.
#5
Old 01-25-2016, 07:55 PM
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Yes, it is an extra layer of fabric and nothing else. A bit of a cushion, you could say, and protection against leaks.
#6
Old 01-25-2016, 08:03 PM
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Some varieties of men's briefs have a similar pocket-like affair. It's really just overlapping fabric that nobody bothered to sew closed.
#7
Old 01-25-2016, 08:24 PM
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When I worked a part time job at Macy's years ago, two salesgirls were in the stockroom with me, showing me their underwear. One was particularly proud of her condom pocket.

Ymmv
#8
Old 01-25-2016, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AncientHumanoid View Post
When I worked a part time job at Macy's years ago, two salesgirls were in the stockroom with me, showing me their underwear. One was particularly proud of her condom pocket.

Ymmv
If keeping a condom in your jeans pocket is a bad idea because body heat will break it down, I shudder to think what keeping a condom in your panties crotch will do, with heat and friction.
#9
Old 01-25-2016, 08:30 PM
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Can you post a picture (ya know, just a generic one from the internet), depending on where it is, it could just be for, um, leakage.

You said it's too small to fit anything in, but my first guess was that these are sports underwear, in which case, that's where the women keep their balls. I learned a long time ago that there's specific undergarments meant to be worn under tennis skirts that have pockets to hold a tennis ball for a second serve.
#10
Old 01-25-2016, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
If keeping a condom in your jeans pocket is a bad idea because body heat will break it down, I shudder to think what keeping a condom in your panties crotch will do, with heat and friction.
While I believe that to be true, I don't think it's the case to keep it in there for a night here and there when you think something might happen. My understanding has always been that it's a bad idea to carry a condom on you (say, in your wallet) as a matter of course, for that reason. Weeks/months/years of carrying it on you can break it down.

If you think you'll be getting some action that night, I think you're okay to carry one in your pocket for a few hours.
#11
Old 01-25-2016, 09:14 PM
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Given that little girl's undies and swimsuits have them, it's definitely not a condom pocket.

It's just an extra layer of fabric placed to absorb any dampness. On non-cotton underwear, it will often be made of cotton, which is a better fabric for that region. Sometimes it is sewn, but usually it's not.
#12
Old 01-25-2016, 09:39 PM
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Funny how an urban legend will show up in the oddest places. I didn't really care what it actually was, merely pleased to be an observer.

What my wife wears now are either basic cotton panties, or flimsy little toys. Haven't checked her swimsuits lately.
#13
Old 01-25-2016, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post

You said it's too small to fit anything in, but my first guess was that these are sports underwear, in which case, that's where the women keep their balls.


x

Last edited by cochrane; 01-25-2016 at 10:08 PM.
#14
Old 01-25-2016, 10:15 PM
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It's just an extra piece in of fabric. I'm not sure I can think of a more awkward, inconvenient place for a pocket. Although I guess it would be a good place to store secret codes or plans if I decided to become a spy.
#15
Old 01-25-2016, 10:25 PM
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Huh. I wear the most basic of cotton underpants (Just my Size or Hanes) and the "pocket" is sewn up. I wasn't even sure what you were talking about until I checked my swimsuit and remembered that they are like that.


Thank you OP for saying "underwear" in the title so I don't have to see the P word.
#16
Old 01-25-2016, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Huh. I wear the most basic of cotton underpants (Just my Size or Hanes) and the "pocket" is sewn up. I wasn't even sure what you were talking about until I checked my swimsuit and remembered that they are like that.


Thank you OP for saying "underwear" in the title so I don't have to see the P word.
Yeah, I was reading thinking, I know I've seen that, but it's not on my underwear, so where...? Oh! Swimsuits, yeah.

So why does cheap underwear sew it up, but not a $60 swimsuit?
#17
Old 01-25-2016, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
Thank you OP for saying "underwear" in the title so I don't have to see the P word.
What's wrong with the P word?
#18
Old 01-25-2016, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
What's wrong with the P word?
::shudder
#19
Old 01-25-2016, 11:45 PM
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Just a piece of absorbent fabric added to the non-absorbent synthetic. Not stitched down on one end, in order to allow it to flex without a seam.
#20
Old 01-26-2016, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Just a piece of absorbent fabric added to the non-absorbent synthetic. Not stitched down on one end, in order to allow it to flex without a seam.
I think this is the most correct answer. If it was sewn at both ends, not only would you have a potentially abrasive seam against a sensitive part of your anatomy, but it would prevent the garment from flexing in that area.
#21
Old 01-26-2016, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Yeah, I was reading thinking, I know I've seen that, but it's not on my underwear, so where...? Oh! Swimsuits, yeah.

So why does cheap underwear sew it up, but not a $60 swimsuit?
And in swimsuits it NEEDS to be sewn up! My kids swim in the ocean and that little un-sewn-up pocket always ends up full of sand. Pain to wash.
#22
Old 01-26-2016, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post

My guess is it is not a pocket, per se, but an extra layer of fabric - something to do with "absorbency" or some such, for non-monthly secretions. Perhaps also to mitigate camel-toe.
That's my theory.

I imagine it's not sewn down on the ends because it doesn't matter to the functioning of the undies. And it's easier to get the fabric to lie flat.
#23
Old 01-26-2016, 10:05 AM
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This guy found a use for the pocket.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZMZfinBisQ8
#24
Old 01-26-2016, 10:47 AM
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When you sew it up, you get a seam across the front. I'm guessing it doesn't look as nice to have a seam in front so they only sew it across the back.

I've heard a few claim that it's a great spot to put in a small vibrator.
#25
Old 01-26-2016, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by racer72 View Post
This guy found a use for the pocket.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZMZfinBisQ8
Well, I guess it's nice to know that psychopaths are finding ways to amuse themselves.
#26
Old 01-26-2016, 11:13 AM
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No idea.

Best Guess: 2 extra rounds?





It's a damn site more effective than a condom with spermicide...
#27
Old 01-26-2016, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I've been wearing women's underwear for half a century, and it's been a long time since I had a pair like this.

Condom storage, maybe? Can't think of anything else. Definitely not a pocket for reusable sanitary napkins (which some women do use). That would defeat the whole purpose.
It would be perfect for that purpose if pads came with "clips" on the back, like the kind pens have for hanging on to your shirt pocket. Clip one on and off you go.
#28
Old 01-26-2016, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
And in swimsuits it NEEDS to be sewn up! My kids swim in the ocean and that little un-sewn-up pocket always ends up full of sand. Pain to wash.
No, it's even worse when it's sewn. Sand makes it's way in anyway and it's almost impossible to get out. Like lobster traps.
#29
Old 01-26-2016, 12:06 PM
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I think this is about lazy/costcutting manufacturing practices. The pocket serves no practical or intended purpose. There's just an extra layer of fabric there, for whatever reasons Dopers upthread have speculated upon. There's also no practical reason to close that seam. It adds time and thread to the manufacturing process. The fabric is basically held in by the crotch and leg seams, so there's no point in sewing a line across the open end. Why take the two extra seconds and why use the two inches of thread? This is most likely sweatshop labor and the company under whose label the panties will be sold will want to pay the least possible amount for their panties. Seconds and inches of thread add up to reduced profit margins.
#30
Old 01-26-2016, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AncientHumanoid View Post
When I worked a part time job at Macy's years ago, two salesgirls were in the stockroom with me, showing me their underwear. One was particularly proud of her condom pocket.

Ymmv
Hey, do you have any contacts in their HR department? I'm thinking of applying for a part time job.
#31
Old 01-26-2016, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
I was folding some of my wife's underwear this weekend -- as I have nearly every weekend for the last 20+ years --
OK.
Is she aware that you do this, or do you wait until she's out of the house?
#32
Old 01-26-2016, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
So, what's the little pocket for? It's awfully small.
It's where the demon should have hiddenm the jewel in Jack Chalker's ...And the Devil Will Drag You Under.
#33
Old 01-26-2016, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
OK.
Is she aware that you do this, or do you wait until she's out of the house?
Ha ha! Yes, she knows... just part of doing the weekly laundry. Although to be honest, she was working on Saturday so I was home alone at the time.
#34
Old 01-26-2016, 04:20 PM
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Huh. I had always assumed it was to hold a sanitary napkin or whatever the technical term for them is. Not underneath, obviously, I just assumed they had a flap that slotted in there or something.
#35
Old 01-26-2016, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
OK.
Is she aware that you do this, or do you wait until she's out of the house?
"Folding" not "fondling"!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manduck View Post
Hey, do you have any contacts in their HR department? I'm thinking of applying for a part time job.
As Underwear Inspector #12?
#36
Old 01-26-2016, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Emiliana View Post
No, it's even worse when it's sewn. Sand makes it's way in anyway and it's almost impossible to get out. Like lobster traps.
If you're getting lobster traps in your swimsuit, I think your problems are more profound than what is or isn't sewn.
#37
Old 01-27-2016, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by fachverwirrt View Post
If you're getting lobster traps in your swimsuit, I think your problems are more profound than what is or isn't sewn.
And I here I thought crabs were bad.
#38
Old 01-28-2016, 12:02 PM
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