I’ve seen several girls ask this or a similar question on singles forums, and I thought it would make a nice lighthearted yet informative article. There is a movement sweeping across younger women in Western culture, a movement that I’m glad to see happening. Young women are beginning to question the long-standing tradition of wearing a bra. Unlike the ‘bra-burning’ feminists of the mid-20th century, most of today’s young women are not concerned with making a social statement. They’re concerned with comfort and with breast health, considering that more and more evidence is suggesting a connection between bras and unhealthy breasts. I’m a strong advocate for women finding alternatives to bras, and I could write much on breast health concerning the wearing of bras.
But health, science, and logic aside, there is another very real challenge facing young women who have decided to forgo the bra – social reception. And while volumes could be (and have been) written on the reception of women’s breasts in society, let’s focus on a very specific response here: How would I, as a man, respond if I had asked a woman out, and when I came to her door to pick her up, she was dressed sans bra?
Personally, I’d love it. Now get your heads out of the gutter while I explain why. When I see a girl sans bra, I usually respond in one of two ways. Either I’ll think she’s a slob and just doesn’t care about how she dresses, or I’ll think she’s a strong, confident woman. I know – you were probably expecting me to say something like she’s easy, loose, or promiscuous. I can honestly say that out of the many women I’ve seen who were braless in public, I’ve never made presumptions about a woman’s sexuality based solely on whether or not she’s wearing a bra. Never.
So what determines whether I see her as a slob or as a confident woman? It’s in the way she presents herself. Slobs just don’t care, and they don’t make any effort. Think of the types you might see at 1:00AM shopping in the local Walmart. They don’t care what they look like, they don’t care what they do or do not have hanging out of their clothing – they just don’t care.
On the other hand, a confident woman will present herself as such. If she’s taken the time and effort to dress and look presentable, I won’t see her as a slob, even if she decides to leave the bra at home. Think of an outfit – any outfit – that she might normally wear with a bra, then just take the bra out of the picture. There’s nothing slobbish or unkempt about it. Furthermore, it takes a lot of courage and confidence for a woman who cares how she’s perceived to go braless. Hence, I see such a woman as strong and confident in her body, which is very attractive to me and to a lot of other men.
Won’t all eyes be on her chest???
Yes, she’ll draw attention. Breasts draw many forms of attention from both genders. We’re still in that part of the social movement when it’s there but it’s ‘weird.’ Personally, weird doesn’t bother me, and I certainly would not be embarrassed to have a braless woman on my arm for an evening out. I’m a very confident man, however, and I know many other men who would, in fact, be embarrassed. And I know men who would be trying to sneak cowardly peeks all evening…
A few years ago, one of my young friends was waitressing in a local restaurant, and though she had a full-coverage, dark colored uniform blouse that covered all detail, she has a full bust and was obviously braless. At one point when she came near me, I of course looked at her chest, then up to her face, which was anxiously awaiting how I would respond. I didn’t hide the fact that I noticed her chest, and when I made eye contact with her, I just smiled in mature recognition and spoke to her as I always did, which put a beaming smile on her face and a strut in her chest the remainder of the time I spoke with her. Then I noticed the other guys in the area had all noticed her as well, but they were slyly trying to glimpse her from under the brims of ball caps or out of the corners of their eyes (keep in mind that she was entirely covered). It was at that moment when I realized how much I had supported her just by being comfortable and honest with my own response to her and by not making a big deal out of it. And she, in turn, smiled and confidently pushed her chest forward, not in a sexual way (well, maybe just a little haha) but simply because she felt the safe environment I presented to her in the presence of a bunch of gawking goons. I was proud to be that haven for her, just as I would be for a woman on a date.
Would my response to her be completely non-sexual?
Not at all. I have a very strong sexual nature, and though I don’t abuse it, it’s an integral part of who I am. I generate, and often cultivate, sexual tension with women, braless or not. Just like recognizing and appreciating a nice pair of legs or a beautiful head of long hair, I will take notice of her breasts, braless or not. As a man, I’m comfortable and tactful in my sexual responses with women. That may not be the case with guys in general, however, so a girl who wishes to date sans bra should consider the maturity of the guy she’s about to go out with because his support will be important.
But aren’t saggy boobs totally disgusting???
There it is. The question that ALWAYS comes up. It’s because many, if not most, women over the age of 20 have premature sagging issues – arguably as a result of excessive bra wearing, but I digress. To be honest, real women’s breasts are not the airbrushed artificial cones we have shoved in our faces day in and day out in Western culture. Whether women’s breasts are altered with Photoshop, silicone, or a garment, the effect on perception is the same, and the only way to change that perception is for courageous women to be real with their bodies. There are certainly many men and women who are ‘grossed out’ by braless women, and many of them will try to shame those women into conforming. But as for me, no, I don’t think real, natural breasts are disgusting in any way.
And as a side note from a scientist who’s studied breasts for years, going braless is a great way to combat breast sag because the breast’s natural support system (Cooper’s ligaments, if you’re interested) are built on an ‘as needed’ basis. So freely moving and bouncing breasts will stimulate the ligaments to strengthen, creating the natural support and firmness that may never have formed at adolescence because of the artificial support of a bra. Anyway…
So if my date came to the door in a nice outfit but was braless? I’d most likely look her up and down a time or two, give her a compliment on how she looks, take her arm, and walk her to my car for a great evening out. That’s pretty much the same thing I’d do if she was wearing a bra, too.