I scrolled down the pictures of men's underwear filling the screen, trying to locate the Calvin Klein boxer briefs Jake prefers. If I bought him the wrong ones, he'd wear them once and then that would be it. He'd say they were uncomfortable or they chaffed at his thighs or they rode up into his arse-crack or some such thing. Then they'd be pushed to the back of his underwear drawer never to resurface.
Why weren't you able to sort underwear by style on e-Bay? Why is nothing ever designed to be easy? I glanced down the list on the left of the screen. Size... brand... UK items only...
Oh, here we are. Style. Okay, you can then.
The list refreshed itself and a new set of pictures worked their way down the screen. One of them caught my eye. It seemed as if the guy selling the underwear was modelling the briefs himself and from the thick rod running diagonally up the front of them, it looked as if he'd been in rather a state of excitement when he was doing so.
I clicked on the link and the item listing loaded.
Yes, he was definitely showing off a stiffie. I scrolled along the other photos of him – scallylad1993 – wearing the boxer briefs. In three of him he was sprouting the same very obvious erection. He was clearly flaunting himself for the camera.
Perhaps he was showing how accommodating the underwear was when a well-built guy – and he certainly was a well-built guy – finds himself aroused.
Clicking on the third of the photos, I noticed that he seemed to have dribbled a little precum up near the waistband. There was a small damp patch. Presumably he was planning to wash the underwear before sending them off.
I scrolled further along his photos. In one he was modelling the briefs from behind. I had admit, he had a very nice arse: two nice round buttocks like a pair of juicy globes and a deep, provocative cleft between them. I could see why he was eager to share.
These weren't the sort of underwear which Jake would like, but I glanced at the listing out of curiosity.
"Okay lads. You know the score," it started.
"Here we have a snug-fitting pair of briefs for sale. I wear them for work, for the gym and when I play rugby. Also sleep in them. Possible to customise – feel free to ask :-)"
Underneath, it said: "Private listing. Discretion assured."
Was this what I thought it was?
He'd given his e-mail address and I stared at it, wondering what I would say to him.
Perhaps I had misconstrued the tone of the listing.
The price of the briefs had climbed to just over seventeen pounds and there had been six bids so far with two days to go. Postage was two pounds fifty. It was very steep for a pair of cheap-looking underwear – they looked like they'd once formed part of a value-range five-pack from Primark or Matalan – but the suggestion of possible extras seemed too good to ignore.
I clicked his e-mail address to send him a message. What on earth was I going to say to him?
"Hi there, scallylad1993," I began.
1993? If that was his year of birth, that would make him only slightly older than Jake. A twenty-year-old rugby player with an arse like a pair of cantaloupes. This really was far too good to ignore.
"I saw your listing on e-Bay and like the look of the briefs."
Hmm... how to continue?
"Are you selling the ones you're wearing in the photos? I only ask because if you are, and I win the auction, I wondered if you were going to wash them before you send them."
I sounded like a pervert. I almost certainly was a pervert.
"I'm not too bothered whether or not you do," I went on. "But for the sake of the environment, I don't mind if you don't."
Jesus, it sounded so obvious what I was after, but I couldn't think of how to make it more subtle without running the risk of him missing the point and bunging the things through the washer before he parcelled them up.
Anyway, his listing was worded very suggestively so he was as complicit in this as I was. If it turned out that I had misjudged things and he sent me a new or clean pair of briefs, the details said they were the same size that I normally wear so at least I'd have a new pair of – albeit inordinately expensive – pants to put in my drawer.
I signed the e-mail and sent it; then I noticed that scallylad1993's listing had 'gay interest' flagged in the title. I added those two words to my search to see what would show up. To my surprise, several pages of results appeared with a variety of underwear being modelled, in various states of arousal, by their sellers.
There was quite a racket going on here and, until now, I'd been completely oblivious. Certain men – I assumed it would be men – must find the smell of other guys' underwear to be as arousing as I had in the sports centre changing rooms. My experience of sniffing dirty undies and getting a hard-on from other men's odours must not be as uncommon as I had thought it was.
The sellers had assumed names such as armyboy21 and footieguy_18 and I wondered how accurate such descriptions really were. But even if they were totally fallacious, the photos they had uploaded to accompany their listings were overwhelmingly attractive – not that very much above the waistline was visible in them – and they all had the sort of well-worked backsides that would, I was sure, get guys like me clicking frantically on the 'Bid now' buttons.
Glancing at the wording of the listings, most of them gave the distinct impression that more was being offered than just pairs of underwear. The sellers were careful to couch their descriptions in ambiguous language, no doubt to comply with e-Bay rules, but their meanings were fairly obvious.
"Good for guys like me who get sweaty around the balls," one of them was keen to divulge. "Can wear for three days if wanted," offered another. Some men promoted their underwear as "very absorbent," and one guy described his colourful shorts as "funky".
I messaged a few other sellers – those with the most appealing backsides – along the lines of what I had sent to scallylad1993.
After just a few minutes, when I'd got back to looking for something for Jake, the first response came in. This one was from hung-leeds-lad.
"for the environment – LOL! mate – you can have them however you want them. let me know what you like... ;)"
What did I like? What was he offering?
Again, he wasn't being specific about what exactly my options were.
What should I say?
As I was pondering how to reply to him, another response came in. This time from dirty*shorts.
"never heard that before, m8. nice one :D u want piss, spunk or bum smells? mebe all 3? lol"
So I really was bidding for exactly what I'd suspected.
I added an extra fiver to my bid on dirty*shorts' dirty shorts.===
I told Jake over tea that I'd ordered him a few new packs of his preferred underwear. He looked completely uninterested and then, when his phone abruptly played part of some song I didn't recognise, he picked it up and started fiddling with it.
"You shouldn't do that over a meal, Jake. It's rude," I advised him.
He glared at me, put it back down on the table and got on with eating the barely-edible chilli con carne I'd managed to drum up.
After a swig of from my mug of tea I said, "While I was on e-Bay, I ordered a few packs of underwear for myself as well. Just in case you wonder what all the packages are in the next week or so."
He threw me a glance which showed his total apathy for this subject.
"I don't know what will turn up... some of the stuff on that site is so cheap you never know what you're going to get."
I had visions of Jake coming in from college to find foul-smelling parcels on the doormat with flies buzzing around them. I felt I needed to casually lay the groundwork that I had, in trying to get the cheapest deals, somehow – completely unwittingly, of course – managed to bid on other guys' unwashed underwear. Just so when I eventually had to wonder aloud, 'How on earth did that happen?' it might seem at least half-convincing.
This time, though, Jake didn't even glance up at me.
"So, er... if you see anything weird-looking arriving with the post, it's probably something I've clicked on by mistake," I chuckled, lamely.
"Look," he said. "I need to see if Dan's texted me. I know it's rude and all that, but I'm expecting him to tell me something about tonight."
Was he going somewhere? Did I know about this? I struggled to remember.
"I mean," he went on, "your conversation about pants is fascinating, and don't think I'm not enthralled just because I'm looking at my phone, but I really need to see this."
I smiled, steadfastly refusing to rise to his bait.
"Well, okay. If you must. But don't make a habit of it."
He picked up his phone and started fiddling with it again with one hand while with his other he forked a dollop of chilli sauce into his mouth.===
The first pair arrived nearly a week later. Typical Royal Mail efficiency.
As it happened, by pure coincidence, Jake was due home late on the day they arrived as he was going to the cinema with one of his mates.
I could hardly believe the excitement I felt when I got home and saw the padded envelope on the doormat. Every day since I'd ordered the underwear I'd been arriving home from work with increasing disappointment that nothing had been delivered. I'd been starting to wonder if I'd actually fallen for a scam in ordering non-existent goods about which embarrassment would deter me from raising a complaint.
But here they were at last. The first pair.
Without even pausing to put the kettle on, I threw my jacket over the bannister rail and bounded upstairs to take the packet to my bedroom, feeling like a child with a new toy at Christmas.
Kneeling on the floor next to my bed expectantly, I tore open the envelope and pulled out the note inside.
It was from gymguysam. I wondered if Sam really did go to the gym and work out in the briefs as the name he had chosen suggested or whether, more likely, he sat around all day in them eating crisps and watching Jeremy Kyle, looking forward to making an easy buck from suckers like me on e-Bay. I didn't really mind. As long as they'd been next to his arse it didn't really matter what he'd been doing in them.
"hiya Rob, hope these are ok, I wore them 2 days 4 u, sam"
On the note, there was a fuzzily printed photo of his crotch. He was wearing a pair of briefs – not the ones I had bought – and had his cock and balls pulled out over the waistband. He was semi-hard and, although his length was pretty average, his shaft was impressively wide. His bell-end made a large, fat mound underneath his foreskin, giving his whole cock the appearance of an especially thick drumstick from which the pink slit of his glans was peeping.
I pulled the briefs out from the envelope. He'd very thoughtfully packaged them in a resealable plastic pouch. It was the sort of pouch you sometimes get wet-wipes in to preserve their freshness, but in this case I rather thought freshness was not the priority.
I undid the little plastic zipper and pulled the underwear out from the bag. They were a white pair of slip briefs – some cheap brand – and from the whiff I got as soon as I unfolded them, it was obvious that Sam had been true to his word. These had been well-worn by an owner who had shown only minimal regard for his own cleanliness. The material inside the gusset had a dark yellow patch with a heavy tidemark and a crusty smear near the waistband revealed that Sam had tugged himself off at least once while he'd been wearing them.
I took a tentative sniff and winced at the sharp tang of urine and testosterone. I can't deny that it was an interesting odour – sexually it was very intriguing – but my interest wasn't really focussed on the various liquids that had dribbled from Sam's thick cock.
I turned the briefs around and examined the back of them. They looked largely clean.
I couldn't remember what the deal had been with Sam. When sellers had specifically offered 'arse sweat' or 'butt crack smells' as part of the arrangement, I had readily agreed, but when they had not been forthcoming about such options I had never had the nerve to broach the subject myself. It had seemed too crude to ask them to rub the underwear up and down between their buttocks when they were wearing them and I worried that they might misinterpret my request and do something hideous like wipe their arses on them after going to the toilet.
I raised Sam's briefs to my nose took a sniff of the back of them. He'd definitely worn them – there was a distinct hint of that delicious, raunchy aroma which had so impressed me on the underwear in the sports centre – but the smell was too feeble to be more than faintly arousing. Even cupping them over my nose and inhaling deeply from the very part of them which would have been nestling into his most flavoursome spot produced only a fraction of the excitement I'd experienced with Guy straddling my face.
I threw the briefs back onto the bed and climbed to my feet, dispirited. Thanks very much, Sam, but your underwear didn't hit the mark.
I contemplated having another sniff of the front of them to see if the smell of what had oozed from his cock might elicit at least a little of the reaction I'd been hoping for from his backside, and I must say that I was a little tempted to investigate the bracing bite of his semen, but I was feeling too disappointed and, if I'm honest, a bit peeved that I'd forked out over thirty quid for a pair of cheap and fairly useless briefs.
I put them with the rest of the whites to be laundered later in the week and took the envelope and note back downstairs to be hidden away at the very bottom of the rubbish bin.===
The next day, a second pair arrived. I'd stopped off after work for a game of squash with my mate Steve, so Jake was already home when I got in. It took me some time to be able to sneak the small package upstairs to see what the postman had brought me.
The wait wasn't as agonizing as it would have been if Sam's pair hadn't arrived the day before. This time I was ready for dissatisfaction and the amount of money I had squandered on the packages which were yet to come was starting to seem decidedly foolhardy.
When I eventually tore open the package – this time sellotaped up in thick black plastic – I found a pair of light blue boxer briefs. The strongly acrid waft I got as I pulled them out from their wrapping suggested they were going to elicit a much more favourable reaction than the previous pair.
I read the note: "hi m8. hope all ok. mail me if u want more. ez gavin"
I wondered which emotion 'ez' was supposed to represent. I knew, mainly from Jake's text messages, what symbols like :), ;D and =P meant but 'ez' was a new one on me. I tried looking at it sideways-on. The 'e' must be the eyes, I figured, with one wincing and the other wide open. That would make the 'z' an alarmingly twisted mouth. Perhaps it meant he was having a stroke.
It must be an abbreviation, I decided. Epic something, probably.
I unfolded the briefs on my bed. For some reason, in spite of the undeniably anal reek they were giving off, this wasn't exciting me at all. I couldn't understand why.
There was a slight staleness to the odour of the underwear; the sort of fusty smell you get from a pile of dirty clothes after a few days of waiting to be laundered. It was noticeable but in no way offensive.
So what was I finding so off-putting?
When I'd been messaging these guys and reading their responses, I'd been hugely aroused. Perhaps the sheer seediness of what I'd been doing had proved to be a turn-on.
"u want to sniff my college ass?" I'd been asked by a university student who went by the name of lancaster-kyle.
I'd increased my bid on his boxer shorts and then had written back, my hand squeezing my erection through my trousers: "Very much so, Kyle. Hope it's nice and sweaty!"
"it'll be more than sweaty. i'll make sure of that... >;)"
"Not dirty – I don't like that," I'd added hastily. "Just natural."
"i know what u mean. don't worry. my shorts ll be clean but nice and smelly, just how you like them. full of my manstink ;D"
I'd smiled at 'manstink', rubbing myself through my clothing in anticipation of what he was going to send me. Then I'd added another tenner to my bid just to be on the safe side.
Now, with this guy's dirty boxer briefs in front of me, all the excitement seemed to have evaporated. They were just a pair of soiled underwear from some guy I didn't even know.
It wasn't remotely as erotic as sniffing Steve's boxer shorts in the changing rooms after squash, as I had a few weeks earlier, or the underwear which had belonged to the younger guys while they'd been showering. At least in those cases I'd known the men whose arses I was lusting over – even if I didn't know two them well enough to talk to, at least I knew who they were and what they looked like.
I picked up the boxer briefs and looked at the front of them. As I'd found in Sam's briefs, the front of Gavin's were discoloured with piss and there was a generous deposit of semen which had dried and was a bit flaky. I hadn't asked for those stains from either man, but I figured they must come as a standard part of the package, if you forgive the pun.
I brought the back of the briefs up to my nose and, before I'd even got close to them, found myself staggered at how strong the smell of the guy's bum was on them. It wasn't an unpleasant smell; just surprisingly intense. These briefs had been worn by a guy with a rough, powerful arse which would, I was sure, prove perfect for rimming.
I looked back at the note, trying to remember the messages we'd exchanged. He went by the alias of farmergavin89.
I seemed to recall that Gavin had been the one who'd tried to titillate me by telling me that the vibrations of his tractor made his underwear ride up into his butt-crack. I'd found it a little contrived; like he was playing a part to make the sale.
"i hope u like whiffy underwear..." he'd said, once he'd established that I was more interested in the back of his briefs than the front. "my ass gets hot in my tractor all day... come milking time, it's not too rosy back there."
"If I wanted the smell of roses," I'd remarked, "a farmer's used underwear would be an unlikely item to be bidding on!"
The young farmer – if indeed that's what he was – had liked that and I'd had a 'lol' in return.
So here they were and it seemed he'd been right about how whiffy they were. Perhaps he really had ridden around in his tractor all day with these very boxer briefs chaffing in his arse-crack... perhaps...
I brought them back up to my nose and ventured a sniff at them.
Jesus, they were fierce! They could almost bring tears to my eyes!
The smell was almost offensively sweaty but there was a crude, intensely musky, odour permeating it which was quite fascinating. It was strongest along a line down the middle of the back of the briefs – right between where his buttocks would have been. Around the hem between the back of the thighs, the smell was at its most intoxicating: a rich carnival of the most powerful scents – deeply pungent and deliciously erotic.
Feeling my cock stirring in my trousers, I yanked down my fly and grappled it out through my underwear. It was only just on the aroused side of being limp, but I'd paid good money for these briefs and I was sure as hell going to use them as I'd planned to.
I had the smell of a guy's arse right in front of me – this is what I'd been fantasising about for so long. So why wasn't I sprouting a full-sized stiffie; why weren't my balls gearing up to release my load?
I tried to visualise Gavin the farmer as a youngish bloke – the sort of brawny, rugged guys I sometimes see in front of me on the country roads going about five miles an hour in front of my car when I'm late for a meeting. This underwear certainly had been worn by a working man and one who'd spent long hours with it hitching up into his arse crack. The strong smell of sweat could easily have come from lugging bales of hay onto a truck or whatever else it was that farmers did all day.
I imagined such a bloke on the bed in front of me, facing away with his dirty jeans hitched down and his strong, hairy arse level with my face. His large, plump balls would be dangling down between his muscular thighs and his cock... well... I wasn't too bothered about what his cock would be doing.
I inhaled again from the coarse-smelling rear hem of the boxer briefs. When he'd said he was 'whiffy' he was certainly true to his word.
I imagined I was rimming this bloke as he squatted on my bed, pushing my face between the moist, skunky cheeks of his backside, homing in on the dank, heady opening within. His cleft would be teeming with his wiry hair, feeling coarse and clammy on my nose and bristling against my tongue as I reached out towards his hot, slimy ring.
I stroked my foreskin back and forth, trying to rouse my cock into life but found it curiously unwilling to co-operate.
This just wasn't working for me. It wasn't even fractionally as exciting as I'd expected it to be.
It was titillating to have another man's underwear, his most secret scents, in front of me, but for masturbatory stimulation it had turned out to be deeply unfulfilling. I just couldn't imagine this was an actual person on the bed with me.
In spite of what I'd previously thought about it simply being the smell of another guy which I found arousing, there clearly had to be, in my mind at least, a real and authentic man who was producing the smells for me to be able to fantasize about. I simply didn't know enough about 'Gavin' or whatever his name really was to feel genuinely stimulated by this.
I had at the back of my mind that I had in front of me the underwear of some sweaty old fat bloke who was masquerading under a false identity to give guys like me their cheap (or not so cheap) kicks.
Farmergavin89 could easily be some old weirdo selling off his dirty laundry. Which made me some slightly younger weirdo buying it up to sniff at.
I wondered which of us was the weirder weirdo.
I heard Jake on the stairs and quickly stashed my disobliging member back into my fly and shoved the underwear back into the packet. These were too grim to even make it to the laundry pile but would be hidden away at the bottom of the outside wheelie-bin.
"What are you doing in there?" Jake called in.
"Just trying on these pants I bought from e-Bay," I replied, more breathlessly than I would have liked.
I heard an 'ugh' sound from my son as he made his way to his bedroom.===
The next day when I got home, Jake was dabbing at the carpet in the hallway with some kitchen roll.
He greeted me with a scowl and a curt, "That cat needs putting down."
Sometimes it was like I was still married to his mother.
"Good afternoon to you too, Jake," I said, taking off my jacket and hanging it up. "What did the cat do?"
"He shat on the carpet," he said. "It was disgusting. Just what I want to find when I get home."
Tipple – our ginger cat – was very old. Linda and I had bought him as a kitten before Jake was even born; that's how ancient he was.
"He nearly got it all over a couple of parcels you got in the post," Jake went on. "He did it right next to them."
I suddenly realised that the cat must have sniffed at the odoriferous packets I'd received in the post and got confused about where he was. He must have thought the bawdy smells around the hallway mat meant it was his litter tray.
"He needs putting down," Jake repeated.
"Steady on, Jake," I said. I was rather fond of the old, grumpy cat and was loathe to take him on his final journey to see the vet because of a mistake that wasn't even his own fault. "He just must have got a bit confused."
Jake finished rubbing at the carpet and stood up. "You said when he started having accidents in the house, the most humane thing to do would be to have him put to sleep."
I had said that. I'd said senile cats get distressed about making a mess where they shouldn't and that it would be cruel to go on making them live like that.
"Maybe... er... he smelled something that made him think this was his litter tray," I suggested.
"There was only the post," Jake argued. "A couple of letters and those two parcels for you. Just that e-Bay stuff you were going on about last week. What could have made him think it was his litter tray?"
I shrugged, feeling myself blush. How many more of these wretched parcels were on the way? Was there any way to cancel your orders through e-Bay?
"Maybe it was something we brought in on our shoes, Jake... I don't know. I just think we need to give him at least one more chance."
Poor old sod: his life hanging in the balance over a couple of dirty pairs of skivvies bought on some misguided impulse by his owner.
"He's starting to look a bit scabby," Jake insisted. "And he's got a whiff to him. I could smell it upstairs last night."
He walked into the kitchen and bunged the wodge of kitchen roll into the bin. I followed him through, undoing the top button of my shirt and loosening my tie.
"I hope you're not going to have this attitude about me when I'm getting a bit scabby and have a whiff to me."
Jake grinned over at me. "If those are the warning signs, dad, I might as well get you booked a flight to Switzerland now... one way!"
I smiled at him.
"Seriously, though, Jake," I went on, "I think Tipple needs at least one more chance. He might have just been having a bad day. We all have them."
I certainly did.
Jake nodded. "Well, I'm not cleaning his mess up next time."
"That's fair enough."
I glanced over at the packages which Jake had put on the table. I thought I could detect their odour from where I was standing, but I'm sure that couldn't possibly have been true.
They needed to go in the bin. Unopened, just binned. Right to the bottom.
After that, I'd have to find a way to stop the other ones coming. Perhaps tell the Royal Mail we'd moved house.
"Aren't you going to open them?" Jake asked, grabbing a bottle of coke out of the fridge.
"They're not... er... suitable," I said.
He swallowed a couple of mouthfuls from the bottle. "How do you know?"
I shrugged. "They were all much of a muchness when I ordered them. Same brand, different colours. The ones I looked at last night just weren't... er... up to the job."
"So why did you order so many?"
"They were cheap," I lied. If only: I could have bought half a dozen bottles of very nice Scotch with the money I'd frittered away.
How many more were due to come? There was that bloke who'd claimed he was an athlete, then the one who'd apparently been in the marines. And I'd ordered at least a couple of pairs from the guy who said he'd just come back from –
"What are we having for tea?" Jake asked, his priorities shifting momentarily to more pertinent matters.
I looked in the cupboard. "I dunno... something with pasta, maybe?"
He nodded and walked over to the parcels on the table, eyeing them up. "It seems a waste to throw them away. Do you think I would like them?"
"No," I snapped way too quickly. "I mean... er... you're a lot fussier than I am."
"What style are they?"
Jesus – he was going to be opening the bloody things next. God knows what he'd find smeared all over them.
"Old man style," I said. "The waistband would be high enough to reach your nipples."
He grinned. "Oh right. So why did you order them, then?"
"Er..." I floundered, struggling for an answer. "They looked totally different in the photos."
He chuckled. "Well, that's e-Bay for you..."
After gulping down the last of his coke, he went on, "So why did they send them all in separate packages? Surely it would have been cheaper for them to send them –"
"Look, Jake," I cut in. "As fascinating as it is to talk about pants with you, could we maybe move on to a different conversation?"
He looked over at me and grinned, appreciating the dig.
I grabbed the two packets and stuffed them, unopened, into the bin. The remaining deliveries would be joining them.
"I think we'll just forget all about those. Write them off as an error of judgement."
I'd have to phone the Royal Mail first thing in the morning. Have all post diverted to my work address. On second thoughts, maybe that would bring even more problems.
I'd see if I could hire a private mailbox to have things delivered to. For maybe a month or two. At least until the supply of briefs had abated and the poor old cat had been given a reprieve.===
Next story: Pantomime Cow
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