I’ve been converted. I have to admit: I have three outfits on rotation. Four if you count pajamas. For every outfit, I have countless excuses. I’m so busy, I’m not happy with my body, or I’m not ready to go outside of my comfort zone. How can I know my style if I’m still figuring out who I am? All of that fell to pieces when I spoke to Valentine Aseyo, the founder of Matador Meggings.
What Are Matador Meggings?
Valentine’s exuberance hit me like a kick to the crotch (more on that later). I was still blinking a restless 5 hours of sleep out of my eyes when I hopped on a call with him. His energy was like an alarm clock. As he graciously complimented the bedhead I tried to tuck under my baseball cap, I realized I was in for a wake-up call.
Valentine had his own moment of realization when the idea for Matador Meggings came to him. Growing weary after a long career in tech, he decided to make a change and begin his training as a yoga teacher. He even intended to escape to an ashram in India. Tech will do that to you. During his first yoga class, when everyone else was looking inward, Valentine—ever the entrepreneur—was noticing something. He was surrounded by women in yoga pants. It was then he thought to himself, “WTF? Why am I the only one in this room who can’t wear leggings?”
Put simply, Matador Meggings are leggings specifically designed for the male anatomy featuring a no-VPL (visible penis line) modesty pad concealing the groin department, multiple pockets, a t-shirt/towel loop at the back, an inner drawstring, and high-performance sweat-wicking silky fabric. They also offer dozens of bold colors and wild prints!
“People shouldn’t tell your religion by your leggings. Our modesty pad hides Victor’s secret.”
– Valentine Aseyo, Founder of Matador Meggings
What Makes Matador Meggings Different?
Of course, Valentine could wear leggings, but at what cost? The truth is, most leggings aren’t made with people with penises in mind. If you decide to defy expectations and buy from any mega brand, your goods will likely be on display for the world to see.
This brings us to the most important issue of the century: VPL, Visible Penis Line, or the dick print. Don’t get me wrong, Valentine is no prude. As a proud openly gay man, he will gladly espouse the benefits of a VPL. As with most things, however, there is a time and place. According to Valentine, that place is Burning Man, not the yoga class where those ladies haven’t paid to get a show.
More often than not, you’ll want to opt for a healthy cocktail of modesty and pride. Matador Meggings allows men to highlight their family jewels without revealing too much. What sets Matador Meggings apart is their roomy crotch and soft-molded removable cup. This No-VPL Technology™ works to elegantly conceal your junk and give you a perfectly-rounded superhero crotch without sacrificing comfort. It allows you to go to the gym and pick up a protein shake at the local grocery store without traumatizing your older neighbors.
Leggings That Just Make Sense
Matador’s ingenious design doesn’t end there. All pairs offer functional pockets, both with zippers and without, because where do you put your phone and wallet when you’ve ditched your shorts? The clever addition of a towel loop in the back was inspired by long runs on the beach spent gripping a t-shirt. High-tech performance fabrics that wick moisture for those rainy-day workouts. These are men’s leggings on steroids! I’d call them the Swiss Army knife of men’s leggings.
Meggings Inspired By Bullfighters
The inspiration for the brand comes from Spanish bullfighters, hence the name. Something of a fashion history enthusiast, I immediately saw this vision. The edges of fashion history, gender dynamics, and queer theory were jumping out at me like an unfelled seam. The matador costume has stood the test of time. An enduring symbol of masculinity, the uniform was designed to be highly practical without sacrificing any of the flair and embellishment.
That is the balance Matador strikes with its simple, yet elegant design. Reminiscent of horns, two thick stripes curve up and around the calves, then the thighs, and finally cup and lift the butt. In keeping with their roots—and unlike most men’s athletic wear—Matador embraces color and pattern. If vibrant color is good enough for bullfighters, then it is certainly good enough for your average gym rat.
With Thanks to Queer People
Therein lies the beauty of Matador. When I spoke to Valentine about who he envisions wearing his leggings, he said that Matador Meggings are not for only queer people, but they are here thanks to queer people. As an LGBTQ-owned and operated business, he understands that his product has taken on a life of its own.
Not only are they ideal for gay men who want to express themselves through their athletic wear, but they are also great for festivals, parties, and so much more. They bridge the gap between function and fashion and allow the straights to dip their toes into the vast ocean that is gender nonconformity. Matador has a large client base of trans men who also love the additional room his leggings provide in the crotch. The cleverly concealed pouch, not unlike a codpiece, is perfect if you’re used to packing your underwear.
All Bodies Deserve Spandex
Perhaps you’re still skeptical. Maybe, like me, it’s not always easy for you to envision yourself in athletic wear. When you scroll through endless pictures of sculpted bodies, it can be easy to feel like you don’t fit in. Rest assured that Matador Meggings will accentuate your finer assets, no matter what body you have. If you don’t believe me, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can find Matador’s clientele on display on their Bulls of Matador Meggings Instagram account.
The Function You Require, The Form You Desire
As I think of Valentine all those years ago, excitedly pouring over archival images of matadors and frantically cramming bra cups into tights, I am reminded of fashion’s fluidity. The bullfighters of yesterday become the gym rats of tomorrow. As he sets his sights on even more sportswear, including compression shorts, bike gear, and a new line of tops, I feel encouraged by the idea that men’s attitudes are slowly changing.
Mere minutes into my call with Valentine, he asked me if I ever wear leggings. I sheepishly told him I didn’t. “Are you even gay?” he joked. Of course, it was all in good fun, but it stayed with me after the call. As I poured myself a cup of tea I thought about the choices (or lack thereof) I make regarding how I dress. There is no “gay” way to dress, but there is a proud way to dress. A way to express yourself that serves the function you require and the form you desire. It may be a small move but I just picked up my first pair of Matador Meggings. If you’re keeping track, this takes my outfit count to a grand total of four. Five if you count pajamas.
Not sure which pair to pick up for yourself? Consider starting with our picks. I promise, there is something for everyone on this list.
These true starter Navy/Blue Meggings benefit from a pop of color and a sleek design. If you’re making your first foray into meggings, this is the place to start. The blue bull-horn stripes stand out, give these leggings that matador vibe, and can be easily paired with anything in the workout wardrobe.
Gray Camo Meggings
For the more adventurous wearer, I recommend the Gray Camo Meggings. With these, you get to step outside of your comfort zone with a bold print without losing that butch aesthetic. There is more than enough visual interest here to keep people staring for all the right reasons. You can also pair these with your current gym wear, or kick it up a notch with some bold color choices if you’re feeling up to it.
Congratulations! You’ve graduated to pattern and color with the Arrow Meggings. This stunning print will help you stand out in a crowd, exactly as you should. Why not show off your body in a unique print that is perfect for festivals, parties, and the gym? Consider pairing this with the Arrow Tank Top for a coordinated and uniform look.
Our “Bottom” Line (Pun Intended)
If, like me, you’ve been converted, check out Matador’s selection and take your activewear to the next level. They are graciously offering our readers 11% OFF when they use the code “GAYETY.” If you aren’t yet a true convert, order a pair and try them out for yourself. Matador offers 30-day returns and free shipping on any order, regardless of the purchase price. If you’d like to do some more window shopping check out their Instagram—not a single VPL in sight.
In the US, UK, or Canada? Shop Matador Meggings here.
In the EU? Shopping Matador Meggings here.
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