Today, the thong is known as an undergarment, worn by women and men, to prevent visible panty-lines. But, oh boy, the history of them tell an entirely different story. The stringed underwear, thought to be sexy and arguably uncomfortable, has a history of practicality and a tang of disobedience.

The thong dates thousands of year ago to tribal people and ancient civilization and is considered to be the earliest forms of human clothing. Mostly worn by men, thongs were worn to protect, support, or hide male genitals. The modern thong tells a different story. In 1939, the thong was born when New York City’s then-mayor Fiorella LaGuardia demanded nude dancers to cover up. However, Rudi Gernreich, creator of the first topless bathing suit, is credited for introducing the modern thong in 1974 in response to a ban on nude sunbathing. Eventually, in the 1990s, the thong underwear became popular amongst females.

And as most great products do, they are adaptable to your liking. The thong offers a great amount of variety. With various designs ranging in coverage and material. The diagram charts the common variety of thongs from G-string to even C-string. G-string, originally an undergarment worn by Indian women and a common type of thong, is considered a large part of burlesque shows. The C-string eliminates all panty-lines and stays in place by its flexible wire structure. In between is the T-string, meant to provide no coverage while maintaining basic hygienic functions.

Whether you have decided to embark on the journey of thongs or not, don’t be fast to judge those who do! To me, it’s a sign of creativity and tenacity.