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THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

October 12, 2018

What's the Difference Between an Innie and Outie Belly Button?

Belly buttons. For some men, they're the magic button that immediately signifies fun foreplay is about to begin. They can be kissed, touched, caressed, and tickled. Of course, there's a special place just below the belly button that holds the key to infinite hours of good times, which is perhaps why this mystical body part has so much attraction for some men. There are also plenty of men who have never found anything sexy about belly buttons; in fact, they've probably never put much thought into them at all.

So, for all the guys who find them exciting—and all the fellas who've never paid any attention to them at all—we're bringing a little knowledge to the table about belly buttons. After all, they're just like opinions and another certain body part: everybody's got one.

Why Does Your Belly Button Exist in the First Place?

This is a pretty valid question because, for as long as you can remember, it's just hung out on your stomach. It's never served a purpose to you, barring the occasional gathering of lint or dirt after a long day's work. Whether you're an innie or an outie, your belly button's simply been a decoration that hides beneath your shirt (unless you roll deep in cut-off shirts like Zeke in AT&T Stadium, in which case, everybody you've ever interacted with has probably seen your secret button).

The truth is, once you arrive into this world, your belly button's job is done. It did its work when you were in the womb and will spend the rest of your life being a conversation piece for articles like this one. Your belly button marks the spot where your umbilical cord was attached to your mother's womb. This was your pre-birth feeding tube that sent nutrients and oxygen from your mama to your little baby body while you were busy marinating for nine months or so. 

Everybody knows the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Is it possible this is where that phrase began? We're not ruling it out.

Once you were born, the doc clamped the cord, and some brave soul was tasked with taking surgical scissors to your formal life source. (These people were the original cord cutters, before Netflix and Hulu brought new meaning to the phrase.) For the first few years of your life, the remnants of that important body part dried up and fell off, leaving the mere memory of its existence behind in the form of your belly button.

whats the difference between an innie and outie belly button

How Do Innie and Outie Belly Buttons Come to Be?

Contrary to popular belief, the concave or convex nature of your naval has nothing to do with the amount of skin that was left over after the cord was cut. In fact, most folks are innies. If you're an outie, though, rest assured, there's nothing abnormal about your abdomen (as least as it relates to the status of your stomach knob or hole). Some people have outies because they had extra scar tissue that formed after the cord finally fell off. In some cases, outies occur when the baby develops an umbilical hernia. In these situations, the stomach muscles don't fuse together properly after the cord disappears, creating a space where abdominal tissues poke through and push the button toward an outward-facing design.

If your doctors weren't concerned about this situation many years ago, there's no reason for you to delve into the mystery of your button's being now. It's just another one of the things that makes you you!

Can Innies and Outies Switch Places?

Nearly everyone is born as an outie, since the cord is connected to the outside of your body when you're baking. During your first few weeks, months, or sometimes years of life, your belly button decides on its final destination, determined by the factors discussed above. Most people's buttons invert by age five, but if you're still an outie after age five, that's what you'll be for the rest of your life. Your outie won't invert when you're an adult, nor will your innie suddenly pop out, with one notable exception: pregnant women's innies often turn into outies as their pregnancies progress. Women with innies often see their oven timers pop up around the second or third trimester, right when the uterus begins to put pressure on their bellies, forcing the circle of life to showcase itself on the outside of her body, where once she was receiving the same nutrients she's now sending to her unborn baby. If your partner has experienced a sudden circumstance of an innie-turned-outie, it's completely normal. Most women's belly buttons return to their pre-pregnancy state after the baby is born.

What if You Hate Your Outie?

For starters, never hate being an outie. It's a unique characteristic that makes your pretty awesome, and it can be an icebreaker in otherwise awkward clothes-off conversations. Embrace your outgoing nature, and everything else your body has given you that leans in an outward direction, but if you still insist on de-outie-ing your button, you do have options. Cosmetic surgeons are equipped with the skills necessary to tack down the tissue that forced your button's being into existence in the first place. Mind you, these surgeries can be pretty complicated—and may be fairly pricey—so if you can learn to love your little love knot, you'll save yourself an unnecessary adventure under the knife that could cost you a pretty penny. 

In real life, outies are extraordinary characteristics that you should celebrate as you stand out from the crowd. It's kind of like being a lefty, driving a manual transmission, or wearing orange at a white party: you're you, and that's all there is to it.

difference between an innie and outie belly button

Have You Considered the Cultural Implications of Belly Button Showdowns?

If you're old enough to know about I Dream of Jeannie, you already know what kind of seduction can be aroused from an unexposed naval. Barbara Eden (Jeannie) was the ultimate sex symbol of TV during the late '70s. Fun fact: nobody knew the situation of her belly button because the network emphatically hid her not-made-for-TV whatnots under the cloak of her Jeannie dressings. Go back and watch a few episodes on YouTube. We dare you to find an example of her naval being exposed on national TV!

In other places around the world, the belly button has long been celebrated as an item that should be adored and adorned. In Middle Eastern and Asian cultures, for example, belly buttons are part of everyday art pieces, bringing with them beautiful dances or exaggerated art that place this pivotal body part at the center of the main attraction. 

Pro tip: If you've never tried Indian food, make sure your first experience with naan is served up in a place that provides an authentic experience. Belly dancers are incredible artists who really bring a true sense of genuine culture to the food you'll be eating. It's not just about the food; it's about imbibing in a culture other than your own.

The Hidden Sensuality Behind the Belly Button

This is a shout out to all of our guys who love looking at women's navels. It's not just a weird quirk that makes you wonder what she's working with. There's an actual science behind your affinity for this part of the body. Psychology Today sums it up best with the following quote:

"Evolutionary psychologists believe that all men are instinctively attracted to body orifices, and even though the belly button is not exactly an orifice [despite its collecting lint!], it is still an object of desire. Because of the visual similarity between the belly button and female sexual organs, psychologist Dr. Elmar Basse explained for German Bild that the navel is a “small vagina,” which makes it hard to resist for men."

The belly button also points to a woman's hips and curves, which instinctively tell a man if she's a mate with whom he can partner, even if he doesn't realize he's thinking these things. It all goes back to evolution. Women are attracted to men who smell like they work; men are attracted to women who look like they could bear their children. There's nothing sexist about it. This is the way evolution affects our brains from a scientific point of view. The parts that are most stimulating and sensual to us today were actually the tools our brains involuntarily used to size up potential partners long before Tinder existed.

whats the difference between an innie and outie belly button

Do belly buttons turn you on? Are you into innies or outies? Take a break from work and join in on the conversation by jumping in on the comments section below!

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