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Jockstraps and Converse sneakers

jocksnsocks2002

Jocksnsocks2002
In 2011, John A. Tully authored a detailed history of rubber, both naturally exploited and synthetically manufactured, entitled "The Devil's Milk: A Social History of Rubber". Along with Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost" (1998), it is an excellent survey of the world of rubber and the world changed by rubber. Multiple generations around the earth have been raised, clothed, transported, and in countless ways, affected by the use and application of rubber in their lives.

For male American athletes of a particular age, rubber is synonymous with two icons of the locker room: the famous Bike # 10 "Wheel Logo" Athletic Supporter, and the equally famous Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneakers (both low-cut and high-top). For more than a century, the Bike # 10 jockstrap was manufactured in the United States using looms which were each as large as a room, and the material was woven using rubberized cotton strands. The cotton was intended to provide a porous mesh to regulate the heat and humidity around the testicles, thereby decreasing the chances of spermicide, and the rubberized fibers were intended to provide longevity and durability through multiple washing (well, at least for those who laundered their jockstraps regularly). Anyone who has worn the classic Bike jockstrap can confirm that the rubberized cotton garment, when hot and wet, would often only peel off into the shape of a pretzel, and anyone who has worn a classic Bike jockstrap might also confirm that the rubberized cotton emits a distinct odor, whether washed or left for weeks drying on a locker hook.

The Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneaker is a true classic, and has enjoyed immense popularity in its century-long history. Traditionally, the top has been constructed out of heavy-duty sail canvas; purists will insist that only the "natural" color of sail canvas marks a true Converse, but over the decades, the colors have ranged from optical white to jet black, and literally every other color or combination imaginable. The sole of the Converse is constructed out of rubber. Originally, the sole was made using natural rubber exploited from plantation trees, and later was manufactured using synthetic forms of rubber. Like the Bike jockstrap, athletes who wear the Converse "Chuck Taylor" can confirm that after a short time, foot perspiration and the application of body heat combine inside the sneaker with the canvas and padding to emit a unique odor - what many people call a "funky" aroma. The classic metal eyelets sewn into the inside arches were intended to help with the ventilation, but as any athlete could confirm, the success was minimal.

Some Moms, like mine, insisted that in addition to bringing the entire contents of my gym locker home every Friday for the weekend wash, I was also to bring home my sneakers which would be subjected to a separate weekly washing with a scrub brush. Moms are great! Other students somehow managed to avoid that weekly ritual, not only for their gym clothes (another subject!) but also for their sneakers. Very often, the guys who did not wear washed sneakers would taunt other students on Monday at gym by deliberately skidding their dirty soles across the newly washed white canvas of the other guy's sneakers. We all know the type - and we have either been the "skidder" or the "skiddee". Times being as they were, wearing soiled and even ripped "Chucks" was often associated with being "cool".

During the summer, particularly if there were a lake or an ocean nearby, we had another pair of sneakers which we wore to jump into the water, and that pair just sun-dried along the way. The low-cuts were worn for running and for the beach, while the high-tops were worn for playing basketball and for wrestling. The reader has to understand that Nike Air Jordans and ASICS wrestling shoes were a generation away in the future from the time that we were shooting hoops and "rasslin". There are some athletes, coaches and doctors of sports medicine who insist to this day that the Converse sneakers remain the best all-around shoe for all sports, largely because they are designed to be an integral part of the athlete's natural ability, based on his form and reflecting his physique.

The reason for writing this article is to ask the readers a serious and sincere question: What is it (or was it) about the combination of the classic Bike jockstraps and the classic Converse sneakers which has left such an indelible impression upon us and our five senses to this day? The sight of a Bike jockstrap shucked down and sitting atop a pair of Converse sneakers with damp sweat socks often stuffed into the shoes, all tossed into a rusty metal locker. The smell of the rubber materials in the jockstrap and the sneakers, made more pungent after a grueling practice or a month of not having been washed. The touch of a damp jock pouch taking off the clothesline for the second swim of the day, and the squish of the water-logged sneakers to wear while paddling out onto the lake. The sound of jock leg-straps snapping into place, and the sound of shoe laces being tied in a particular custom (around the back of the high-top or double-knotted on the low-cuts). And for a few people (some of you readers, and probably many more "out there"), the taste of the fabric of a Bike jock pouch which escaped laundry duty and the long inhaled whiff from the inside of a Converse just released from a sweaty foot. Could all of this rubber component pervading so many cherished memories really be slandered as "the devil's milk"?

Gentle Reader, take a moment now, and bring forward into your imagination that special boyhood friend of yours, that former U. S. Marine who became the "phys-ed" teacher, that college teammate who wore those sculpted regulation-issue gray sweatpants, that barracks buddy who never quite mastered triangle corners in the sheets, the neighbor across the street whose bare legs were always protruding from underneath the chassis of the car in the driveway, your Dad's good friend whom you called "uncle". Each has a unique look and a unique place in your mind, and perhaps more importantly, in your heart. Imagine for a moment, "that one time when" he stayed late after free-throw basketball on a raining Friday night at the big gym, or that bright sunny Saturday when you two went to the lake house together, or that afternoon when you went over to mow his lawn and he offered you an iced tea, or that long-awaited weekend leave from base. Was he wearing low-cut or high-top sneakers? Did he strap on his jock with the "Bike wheel" facing out or inside? Were his white sweat socks, the ones with the red-and-blue tracer stripes, showing under his cuffed jean pant bottoms? Did the waistband of his jock creep up the back of his swimming trunks while he was sitting cross-legged on the dock?

Can you see the jockstrap and the pair of Converse? Can you recall the distinct aroma, fragrance, smell, odor of the rubberized cotton pouch and waistband, the sail canvas and the rubber soles? Can you remember that irresistible little smirk on his lips and the unspoken "Come on in" welcome in his eyes? I can, and still do.

I know that many of you visit this great website for different reasons. I just want to say that if you have ever experienced that magical combination of wearing a classic Bike # 10 jockstrap and classic Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneakers, and if you have ever shared that magic when seeing that very special friend in your life also wearing the same combination, then I sincerely hope that you have fallen in love for all the right reasons. Perhaps that other person has never known about your feelings. Perhaps you yourself have never been certain about your own feelings. Perhaps you acted on your feelings and unfortunately things did not turn out the way that you had hoped - that particular time. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the guy in the "jock and Chucks" is happily sharing the fullness of life with you today.

In every event, for a special generation of us, "the devil's milk" in rubberized jockstraps and rubber-soled sneakers may have turned out to be one of the most nourishing blessings in our lives.


 

jocksnsocks2002

Jocksnsocks2002
Dear "Strapncap",
Thanks for your reply. I think that for several generations of men, the "combination" is of great importance in our lives. From high school to college, from the military to coaching, and in more recent years, to trying to keep in shape, there are certain traditions which are both cherished from the past and pertinent to our present and healthy well-being.
 

jocksnsocks2002

Jocksnsocks2002
Dear "Magister Ludi",

Thank you for your very kind note. I completely agree about the traditional, "slouching" Wigwam (TM) wool socks. A very special combination indeed.

Your moniker and Hermann Hesse? Or are you a head coach, the master of the games? With respectful curiosity ...
 

Magisterludi92234

Jockstrap Fan
Yes indeed! Herman (the German) Hesse....one of my favs.

I'm saddened that I can't find the Wigwam 100% Wool socks of my high school and college days. What a HOT 🔥 look in low cut, natural canvas Cons and a #3 Bike jock.

Taught bods in the locker with hairy or hairless, muscular asses and bulging pouches everywhere....sigh.
 

Alex Bralmy

Jockstrap lover / Bulge worshiper / Cock sucker
In 2011, John A. Tully authored a detailed history of rubber, both naturally exploited and synthetically manufactured, entitled "The Devil's Milk: A Social History of Rubber". Along with Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost" (1998), it is an excellent survey of the world of rubber and the world changed by rubber. Multiple generations around the earth have been raised, clothed, transported, and in countless ways, affected by the use and application of rubber in their lives.

For male American athletes of a particular age, rubber is synonymous with two icons of the locker room: the famous Bike # 10 "Wheel Logo" Athletic Supporter, and the equally famous Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneakers (both low-cut and high-top). For more than a century, the Bike # 10 jockstrap was manufactured in the United States using looms which were each as large as a room, and the material was woven using rubberized cotton strands. The cotton was intended to provide a porous mesh to regulate the heat and humidity around the testicles, thereby decreasing the chances of spermicide, and the rubberized fibers were intended to provide longevity and durability through multiple washing (well, at least for those who laundered their jockstraps regularly). Anyone who has worn the classic Bike jockstrap can confirm that the rubberized cotton garment, when hot and wet, would often only peel off into the shape of a pretzel, and anyone who has worn a classic Bike jockstrap might also confirm that the rubberized cotton emits a distinct odor, whether washed or left for weeks drying on a locker hook.

The Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneaker is a true classic, and has enjoyed immense popularity in its century-long history. Traditionally, the top has been constructed out of heavy-duty sail canvas; purists will insist that only the "natural" color of sail canvas marks a true Converse, but over the decades, the colors have ranged from optical white to jet black, and literally every other color or combination imaginable. The sole of the Converse is constructed out of rubber. Originally, the sole was made using natural rubber exploited from plantation trees, and later was manufactured using synthetic forms of rubber. Like the Bike jockstrap, athletes who wear the Converse "Chuck Taylor" can confirm that after a short time, foot perspiration and the application of body heat combine inside the sneaker with the canvas and padding to emit a unique odor - what many people call a "funky" aroma. The classic metal eyelets sewn into the inside arches were intended to help with the ventilation, but as any athlete could confirm, the success was minimal.

Some Moms, like mine, insisted that in addition to bringing the entire contents of my gym locker home every Friday for the weekend wash, I was also to bring home my sneakers which would be subjected to a separate weekly washing with a scrub brush. Moms are great! Other students somehow managed to avoid that weekly ritual, not only for their gym clothes (another subject!) but also for their sneakers. Very often, the guys who did not wear washed sneakers would taunt other students on Monday at gym by deliberately skidding their dirty soles across the newly washed white canvas of the other guy's sneakers. We all know the type - and we have either been the "skidder" or the "skiddee". Times being as they were, wearing soiled and even ripped "Chucks" was often associated with being "cool".

During the summer, particularly if there were a lake or an ocean nearby, we had another pair of sneakers which we wore to jump into the water, and that pair just sun-dried along the way. The low-cuts were worn for running and for the beach, while the high-tops were worn for playing basketball and for wrestling. The reader has to understand that Nike Air Jordans and ASICS wrestling shoes were a generation away in the future from the time that we were shooting hoops and "rasslin". There are some athletes, coaches and doctors of sports medicine who insist to this day that the Converse sneakers remain the best all-around shoe for all sports, largely because they are designed to be an integral part of the athlete's natural ability, based on his form and reflecting his physique.

The reason for writing this article is to ask the readers a serious and sincere question: What is it (or was it) about the combination of the classic Bike jockstraps and the classic Converse sneakers which has left such an indelible impression upon us and our five senses to this day? The sight of a Bike jockstrap shucked down and sitting atop a pair of Converse sneakers with damp sweat socks often stuffed into the shoes, all tossed into a rusty metal locker. The smell of the rubber materials in the jockstrap and the sneakers, made more pungent after a grueling practice or a month of not having been washed. The touch of a damp jock pouch taking off the clothesline for the second swim of the day, and the squish of the water-logged sneakers to wear while paddling out onto the lake. The sound of jock leg-straps snapping into place, and the sound of shoe laces being tied in a particular custom (around the back of the high-top or double-knotted on the low-cuts). And for a few people (some of you readers, and probably many more "out there"), the taste of the fabric of a Bike jock pouch which escaped laundry duty and the long inhaled whiff from the inside of a Converse just released from a sweaty foot. Could all of this rubber component pervading so many cherished memories really be slandered as "the devil's milk"?

Gentle Reader, take a moment now, and bring forward into your imagination that special boyhood friend of yours, that former U. S. Marine who became the "phys-ed" teacher, that college teammate who wore those sculpted regulation-issue gray sweatpants, that barracks buddy who never quite mastered triangle corners in the sheets, the neighbor across the street whose bare legs were always protruding from underneath the chassis of the car in the driveway, your Dad's good friend whom you called "uncle". Each has a unique look and a unique place in your mind, and perhaps more importantly, in your heart. Imagine for a moment, "that one time when" he stayed late after free-throw basketball on a raining Friday night at the big gym, or that bright sunny Saturday when you two went to the lake house together, or that afternoon when you went over to mow his lawn and he offered you an iced tea, or that long-awaited weekend leave from base. Was he wearing low-cut or high-top sneakers? Did he strap on his jock with the "Bike wheel" facing out or inside? Were his white sweat socks, the ones with the red-and-blue tracer stripes, showing under his cuffed jean pant bottoms? Did the waistband of his jock creep up the back of his swimming trunks while he was sitting cross-legged on the dock?

Can you see the jockstrap and the pair of Converse? Can you recall the distinct aroma, fragrance, smell, odor of the rubberized cotton pouch and waistband, the sail canvas and the rubber soles? Can you remember that irresistible little smirk on his lips and the unspoken "Come on in" welcome in his eyes? I can, and still do.

I know that many of you visit this great website for different reasons. I just want to say that if you have ever experienced that magical combination of wearing a classic Bike # 10 jockstrap and classic Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneakers, and if you have ever shared that magic when seeing that very special friend in your life also wearing the same combination, then I sincerely hope that you have fallen in love for all the right reasons. Perhaps that other person has never known about your feelings. Perhaps you yourself have never been certain about your own feelings. Perhaps you acted on your feelings and unfortunately things did not turn out the way that you had hoped - that particular time. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the guy in the "jock and Chucks" is happily sharing the fullness of life with you today.

In every event, for a special generation of us, "the devil's milk" in rubberized jockstraps and rubber-soled sneakers may have turned out to be one of the most nourishing blessings in our lives.



Dear Sir- Your reflections strike a deep chord. I too am enamored with this combination (athletic socks and white briefs included here as well), and have been trying to process just what it signifies. I suppose for me it distills down to my youth and the discovery of—and longing for—a masculine collective shareable between generations. I look forward to reading your other posts. With regards, Alex
 

jockbear

Jockstrap Fan
This thread needs pictures. Found this one online.
1640831057976.png
 

Opinionman

Jockstrap Fan
In 2011, John A. Tully authored a detailed history of rubber, both naturally exploited and synthetically manufactured, entitled "The Devil's Milk: A Social History of Rubber". Along with Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost" (1998), it is an excellent survey of the world of rubber and the world changed by rubber. Multiple generations around the earth have been raised, clothed, transported, and in countless ways, affected by the use and application of rubber in their lives.

For male American athletes of a particular age, rubber is synonymous with two icons of the locker room: the famous Bike # 10 "Wheel Logo" Athletic Supporter, and the equally famous Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneakers (both low-cut and high-top). For more than a century, the Bike # 10 jockstrap was manufactured in the United States using looms which were each as large as a room, and the material was woven using rubberized cotton strands. The cotton was intended to provide a porous mesh to regulate the heat and humidity around the testicles, thereby decreasing the chances of spermicide, and the rubberized fibers were intended to provide longevity and durability through multiple washing (well, at least for those who laundered their jockstraps regularly). Anyone who has worn the classic Bike jockstrap can confirm that the rubberized cotton garment, when hot and wet, would often only peel off into the shape of a pretzel, and anyone who has worn a classic Bike jockstrap might also confirm that the rubberized cotton emits a distinct odor, whether washed or left for weeks drying on a locker hook.

The Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneaker is a true classic, and has enjoyed immense popularity in its century-long history. Traditionally, the top has been constructed out of heavy-duty sail canvas; purists will insist that only the "natural" color of sail canvas marks a true Converse, but over the decades, the colors have ranged from optical white to jet black, and literally every other color or combination imaginable. The sole of the Converse is constructed out of rubber. Originally, the sole was made using natural rubber exploited from plantation trees, and later was manufactured using synthetic forms of rubber. Like the Bike jockstrap, athletes who wear the Converse "Chuck Taylor" can confirm that after a short time, foot perspiration and the application of body heat combine inside the sneaker with the canvas and padding to emit a unique odor - what many people call a "funky" aroma. The classic metal eyelets sewn into the inside arches were intended to help with the ventilation, but as any athlete could confirm, the success was minimal.

Some Moms, like mine, insisted that in addition to bringing the entire contents of my gym locker home every Friday for the weekend wash, I was also to bring home my sneakers which would be subjected to a separate weekly washing with a scrub brush. Moms are great! Other students somehow managed to avoid that weekly ritual, not only for their gym clothes (another subject!) but also for their sneakers. Very often, the guys who did not wear washed sneakers would taunt other students on Monday at gym by deliberately skidding their dirty soles across the newly washed white canvas of the other guy's sneakers. We all know the type - and we have either been the "skidder" or the "skiddee". Times being as they were, wearing soiled and even ripped "Chucks" was often associated with being "cool".

During the summer, particularly if there were a lake or an ocean nearby, we had another pair of sneakers which we wore to jump into the water, and that pair just sun-dried along the way. The low-cuts were worn for running and for the beach, while the high-tops were worn for playing basketball and for wrestling. The reader has to understand that Nike Air Jordans and ASICS wrestling shoes were a generation away in the future from the time that we were shooting hoops and "rasslin". There are some athletes, coaches and doctors of sports medicine who insist to this day that the Converse sneakers remain the best all-around shoe for all sports, largely because they are designed to be an integral part of the athlete's natural ability, based on his form and reflecting his physique.

The reason for writing this article is to ask the readers a serious and sincere question: What is it (or was it) about the combination of the classic Bike jockstraps and the classic Converse sneakers which has left such an indelible impression upon us and our five senses to this day? The sight of a Bike jockstrap shucked down and sitting atop a pair of Converse sneakers with damp sweat socks often stuffed into the shoes, all tossed into a rusty metal locker. The smell of the rubber materials in the jockstrap and the sneakers, made more pungent after a grueling practice or a month of not having been washed. The touch of a damp jock pouch taking off the clothesline for the second swim of the day, and the squish of the water-logged sneakers to wear while paddling out onto the lake. The sound of jock leg-straps snapping into place, and the sound of shoe laces being tied in a particular custom (around the back of the high-top or double-knotted on the low-cuts). And for a few people (some of you readers, and probably many more "out there"), the taste of the fabric of a Bike jock pouch which escaped laundry duty and the long inhaled whiff from the inside of a Converse just released from a sweaty foot. Could all of this rubber component pervading so many cherished memories really be slandered as "the devil's milk"?

Gentle Reader, take a moment now, and bring forward into your imagination that special boyhood friend of yours, that former U. S. Marine who became the "phys-ed" teacher, that college teammate who wore those sculpted regulation-issue gray sweatpants, that barracks buddy who never quite mastered triangle corners in the sheets, the neighbor across the street whose bare legs were always protruding from underneath the chassis of the car in the driveway, your Dad's good friend whom you called "uncle". Each has a unique look and a unique place in your mind, and perhaps more importantly, in your heart. Imagine for a moment, "that one time when" he stayed late after free-throw basketball on a raining Friday night at the big gym, or that bright sunny Saturday when you two went to the lake house together, or that afternoon when you went over to mow his lawn and he offered you an iced tea, or that long-awaited weekend leave from base. Was he wearing low-cut or high-top sneakers? Did he strap on his jock with the "Bike wheel" facing out or inside? Were his white sweat socks, the ones with the red-and-blue tracer stripes, showing under his cuffed jean pant bottoms? Did the waistband of his jock creep up the back of his swimming trunks while he was sitting cross-legged on the dock?

Can you see the jockstrap and the pair of Converse? Can you recall the distinct aroma, fragrance, smell, odor of the rubberized cotton pouch and waistband, the sail canvas and the rubber soles? Can you remember that irresistible little smirk on his lips and the unspoken "Come on in" welcome in his eyes? I can, and still do.

I know that many of you visit this great website for different reasons. I just want to say that if you have ever experienced that magical combination of wearing a classic Bike # 10 jockstrap and classic Converse "Chuck Taylor" All-Star sneakers, and if you have ever shared that magic when seeing that very special friend in your life also wearing the same combination, then I sincerely hope that you have fallen in love for all the right reasons. Perhaps that other person has never known about your feelings. Perhaps you yourself have never been certain about your own feelings. Perhaps you acted on your feelings and unfortunately things did not turn out the way that you had hoped - that particular time. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the guy in the "jock and Chucks" is happily sharing the fullness of life with you today.

In every event, for a special generation of us, "the devil's milk" in rubberized jockstraps and rubber-soled sneakers may have turned out to be one of the most nourishing blessings in our lives.


Very impressive comment. I have read "King Leopold's Ghost"! Appalling abuse that was meted out on the natives. Ugh. Human nature....
 
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