On the Couch with Jasminda


Dear Jasminda,
I’ve started riding a bike to get fit for summer and look good at the beach. At what point is it appropriate to start wearing Lycra?
Yours, Mr RPR, Fingal Bay

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Dear Mr RPR,
I’m going to let you into some secret women’s business. Women rue the day that they ever accepted shapewear into their lives. Shapewear, Mr RP, is the modern-day equivalent of a girdle or corset and it’s designed to pull any woman of any age into the shape they were when they were sixteen.

Now, shapewear works, to a degree. It does indeed ‘pull you in’, but that excess has to go somewhere. I’m a visual person, Mr RP, so I want you to picture a pork sausage where the pork skin has retracted and there’s some gristle and filler and pork extender and a few secret herbs and spices spilling out one end. That’s what excess flab looks and feels like when it has squeezed out the top of shapewear and formed an entirely new body part just below the rib cage. God forbid someone tries to undress you when you are wearing shapewear. They will get far more than they bargained for (not in a good way, Mr RP, not in a good way).

Lycra is the same sort of thing. It’s all about holding you in, and all those bits of yours will compress and spread in some pretty alarming configurations. It’s not pretty. There is an alternative. You can get Lycra bike shorts that have a chamois pad in the ‘saddle’ area, and while this may give you a few more inches of manhood, you’re also going to get a Nicki Minaj arse. Your choice.

Then there’s the smell. Lycra is a synthetic material, so after your 40km ride, you’re going to smell like the aforementioned sausage after it’s been left in the car boot for a week.
I’m just saying this because most Mamils (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) feel the need to stop at a local café after their Lycra ride. The rest of us just want to read the paper and eat some banana bread. We don’t want your smelly Lycra-clad genitals and belly overhang messing with our minds.
There is never a time for middle-aged men to wear Lycra, Mr RP. Never. Be a real man, don’t shave your legs, wear your old ruggers and a ripped flanno shirt, get a mountain bike and show some god-damn dignity.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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