A jockstrap (also known as a jock, jock strap, strap, supporter, or athletic supporter) is an undergarment originally designed for supporting the male genitalia during sports or other vigorous physical activity. More recently, 'fashion jockstraps' have become popular as regular underwear worn by men as an alternative to other styles. Jockstraps for athletic purposes are most commonly worn in North America.
A jockstrap consists of a waistband (usually elastic) with a support pouch for the genitalia and two elastic straps affixed to the base of the pouch and to the left and right sides of the waistband at the hip. The pouch can optionally contain an impact resistant cup to protect the testicles and/or the penis from injury. This piece is usually called "the cup" in American sports, and "the box" in British sports, especially cricket. In some types of jockstrap the cup sits in a pocket in the pouch, whereas in other types the pouch shape itself is enough to keep the cup in place.
Fashion jockstraps follow the design of sports models but appear in a variety of colours and fabrics.
In all types of jockstraps, the wearer's buttocks are uncovered. Two strips of elastic band that run from the base of the pouch along the gluteal sulcus to sides of the waistband are always present; they keep the pouch firmly in place. A vertical strip that runs between the buttocks cheeks in the gluteal cleft is present in some models, but is usually absent.
The jockstrap was invented in Chicago in 1874. A Canadian manufacturer improved the jockstrap in 1927 by adding the hard cup.
Fashion jockstraps came up in the 2nd half of the 20th century as an alternative to regular underwear. They provide support to keep the wearer comfortable and the genitals supported and covered, but can be cooler to wear since they allow sweat to evaporate more freely from the uncovered buttock area. 'Jock briefs' are another recent fashion development and are a derivative of the jock strap, having a full brief-like front with an uncovered rear buttock area — a property they share with female thong panties.
Especially during the height of jockstraps, it was common to see the jockstrap's leg straps showing below short gym shorts; the classic 3" waistband showing above shorts, especially in the rear; leg straps through the back of white basketball shorts or baseball and football pants; jocks on the floor, on hooks, or in lockers in the locker room and gym; shorts turned inside-out with the jock still showing, etc.
Jockstraps were required for wrestling, and weigh-ins would be done in only a jock, or in the nude, for the player to make weight.
Jockstraps and spanking
Like any type of underwear, jockstraps can be found an erotic garment. They give the wearer an athletic look and draw a visual focus on the only part of their body that is covered, the genitals. The jockstrap is also an item of fetish wear in its own right.
The jockstrap can be used for protection during corporal punishment, especially when very flexible implements such as tawses or martinets are being used. The tails of these implements could wrap around between the legs and strike the scrotum and testicles. The pouch of the jockstrap keeps these delicate parts out of harm's way.
Jockstrap protects genitals when touching toes.
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