Underpants snack. Kelly O

Americans have enjoyed a vast yet mostly silent history with edible underwear. It was invented in 1975, a time of thrusting bodies and glossily lacquered perms and mountains of cocaine. Back then, the original brand, Candy Pants, was rumored to gross $150,000 per month, probably because the panties managed to embody a fantasy so witty and perverse and delightfully bizarre that everyone everywhere utterly bought into it. Still, it's hard to find much information online about the garment apart from the obvious: the wisecracks, the multiple and clearly bullshit stories ending in death-by-suffocation, and the fact that National Edible Underwear Day is fast approaching.

This year, why not surprise your mom with a pair. Several local sex-toy emporiums offer them in a range of styles, each as wildly thrilling as one could ever hope. In Capitol Hill, Castle Megastore's Edible Crotchless Gummy Panties (Watermelon, $7.99) taste like actual candy made from actual sugar. (One serving is 163 calories, according to the nutrition facts.) A dense item with sculptural curves, the underpants resemble a bicycle seat—albeit an especially drooping one. Secured by elastic strips and a black-lace thong, they render a fit so profoundly uncomfortable, it approaches terror.

In Greenwood, the Love Zone's Edible Undies (Strawberry with Chocolate, $5.99) promise to boost sensuousness, taste great, and dissolve in excessive moisture—all while enclosing crucial body parts beneath a shimmering pink rectangle that looks like a plastic medical drip-chamber baggie. Strappy side-ties impart a certain jelled-and-leathery presence, while afterward in your mouth, their residue forms dewy blobs the flavor of raincoats. Greenwood's the Voyeur carries Edible Undies, too (Champagne, $12.95), although theirs feature a heart-shaped back panel, deepening any romantic overtones.

Ballard's Wild at Heart carries Soluble Fantasy Underwear by Petitcherry (Chocolate, $8), a single-use product the consistency of Fruit Roll-Ups, garnished in cut-out hearts, scalloped edges, and a waist ruffle the color of dried blood. The material—a blend of xanthan gums and synthetic gelatins—contains the right amount of firmness but tears pleasantly readily and won't wad itself together when you're easing it on, which is nice. The fun stops abruptly during ingestion, when the G-string's flavor and textures become alarmingly unrecognizable, suggesting some kind of futuristic charred-vinyl substance, yet sweet, and with a breath-strip pastiness. recommended