Thong Bikinis: Meaning, Styles & More

What is a thong bikini?

A thong bikini refers to a revealing two-piece swimsuit consisting of a top and a thong bottom. The defining characteristics of a thong bikini bottom include a very high-cut leg line and a thin strip of fabric that covers the genitals while exposing the buttocks.

The front panel of a thong bikini is a narrow piece of fabric that connects to a thin waistband circling the hips. This front section follows the bikini line just above the genitals, with the fabric widening slightly towards the top to offer more coverage over the mons pubis. The back consists of a thin strip snaking up from the bottom rear to connect with the waistband at the sides, fully revealing the buttock cleavage. The sides are either thin straps several inches long or may incorporate more fabric for additional coverage.

The skimpy fabric leaves little to the imagination, accentuating the curves of the butt and highlighting the crevice between the cheeks. Tan lines are extremely high on the hips and run straight across each cheek, emphasizing their rounded shape.

Different types of thong bikinis

All thong bikini bottoms share the characteristic rear cleavage exposure, but there are variations in side strap configurations and rear coverage create unique styles.


The classic thong bikini style, G-strings offer the least amount of coverage. A simple thin strap runs down the crevice between the buttocks, connecting to a small triangular front piece and thin side straps at the hips. The waistband commonly fastens with side ties for adjustable fits. By using the least amount of fabric, G-strings put the entire butt front and center.


V-string thongs add an extra strip under the rear for a touch more coverage. Rather than one straight back center strap, V-strings incorporate a wider inverted triangle piece. The top angles upward with the point ending mid-cheek, fully revealing the lower curves. V-strings create more defined tan lines highlighting each individual cheek.


T-string thongs expand rear coverage via a T-shaped back panel. The vertical strap runs between the cheeks but connects at the bottom to a narrow horizontal piece rather than tapering to a string. This extra fabric accentuates under curves while still showcasing the upper half in full. T-shapes sometimes fasten at the hips with gold rings or sliders.


C-string thongs skip side straps entirely, relying on an anchored string in back and bottom front closure. A 1-inch band encircles the waist while a curved strap dips down through the butt cheeks to connect the front and back sections. The unique C-shape frame leaves the entire hips and sides exposed for a barely-there look.


Slingshot thong bottoms incorporate fuller side panels bordering the front and rear pieces. Triangle fabric extensions wrap around the outer hips for additional stability and coverage. Though the rear still reveals most of the cheeks, slingshots offer a more secure fit during active wear.

How revealing is a thong bikini?

A thong bikini is an extremely revealing style of swimsuit featuring minimal rear coverage and high leg openings to bare the body. The bottom piece has a thin “thong” strip in the back that passes between the buttocks, often barely wider than a string. This leaves the entire butt cheek exposed except for what the side straps and center panel cover.

The front is also very skimpy, with a tiny triangular panel covering only the pubic region and bikini line area. Some ultra low-rise thong bikini bottoms sit several inches below the navel, allowing display of the lower abdomen and hip bones. The high cut leg openings reach towards the front pelvis, leaving an elongated triangle gap exposing 2 to 8 inches of skin from hip to waist.

A thong bikini puts nearly the full curves of the rear and sharp hip contours completely on display. Only a few square inches of fabric preserve bodily modesty. The style also requires diligent bikini area grooming to avoid visible stubble or bumps. These extremely high skin-to-fabric ratios make thong bikinis the most exposing mainstream swimsuit option.

Pros and cons of thong bikinis

The thong bikini appeals most to exhibitionist personalities craving attention and sexual admiration. Less inhibited women care little how much skin shows. But those prioritizing safety and social norms often view purchasing “dental floss bikinis” crossing indecent lines.


  • Comfort: The lack of fabric eliminates bunching between the buttocks common in fuller coverage bottoms. Less material rubbing also lowers risks of chafing.
  • Flattering silhouette: Displays the entire shape of the rear and elongates the legs without horizontal lines cutting across.
  • Daring styling: Wearing a taboo item reserved for the most bold builds confidence and empowerment.


  • Overexposure risks: Bending over guarantees exposing rear and pelvic anatomy with little fabric to spare. Wind or water easily displaces what coverage remains.
  • Visibility of imperfections: Every skin bump, lesion or hair shows plainly. Meticulous grooming and consistent body maintenance becomes mandatory.
  • Stigma perceptions: Conservative cultures attach prejudicial views assuming loose morals from donning attire seems to invite sexualization.
  • Not suitable for all situations: Many public venues, recreational facilities, theme parks and kid friendly places ban thong swimwear as inappropriate.

Should I wear thong bikinis?

Wearing a thong bikini is ultimately a personal choice that depends on your comfort level with showing more skin publicly. For some women, tiny bottoms give them confidence embracing their curves and sensuality without inhibition. For others, such minimal coverage causes anxiety over what people might see or think. Assessing your lifestyle, priorities and tendency for swimsuit malfunctions will clarify if you should wear a thong bikini.

How should a thong bikini fit?

A properly fitted thong bikini creates a seamless transition between the narrow rear triangle piece and curve of booty cheeks with no horizontal gaps or sagging fabric. The front triangle patch adequately covers the pubic region while side strings prevent creeping inward exposure.

The backside triangle width should fully cover the intergluteal crevice down to the rear opening. Straps hug the curve of the upper hips to eliminate sagging exposure. Minimal to no cheek overhang occurs on sides. The inner edge follows the gluteal fold with no pulling upward into crevices. Front triangle fabric smoothly covers vulva with some tension to avoid flashing glimpses when moving. The top string encircles the waist with comfortable tension – not biting skin but eliminating gaps along the waistband indicating adequate tightness.

How comfortable are thong bikinis to wear?

The comfort level of wearing a thong bikini depends significantly on the specific style and fit, as well as personal preference for minimal rear coverage. Thong bikinis provide little fabric between the legs, with a narrow strip of material that sits high on the hips while exposing nearly the entire butt cheek.

For some wearers, the thin strip offers comfort benefits:

Greater range of motion: The lack of fabric creates unrestricted freedom to walk, bend, stretch, and move vigorously without bunching or restriction. This allows staying active while looking stylish.

Avoid visible panty lines (VPLs): The thinness eliminates underwear lines under tight clothing. No need to worry about visible seams or edges protruding under curve-hugging dresses or pants.

However, for other wearers, a thong bikini causes discomfort:

Chafing and friction issues: Constant motion coupled with minimal barrier between skin and fabric leads to chafing along inner thigh creases and between butt cheeks. Extended wear may cause skin irritation.

Requires adjustments: The back strip tends to shift while moving, requiring periodic re-positioning to avoid overexposure. Unexpected drafts risk revealing too much.

Vulnerable feeling: The significant exposure leaves wearers feeling physically and emotionally exposed. The lack of security makes some constantly anxious about wardrobe malfunctions.

Difficulties with bathroom use: Using restrooms requires fully removing the bottoms rather than just pulling fabric aside. This causes awkwardness and sanitation concerns.

Not suitable for all body types: Curvier figures with fuller hips and rears often have difficulty fitting into a thong’s narrow strip. This leads to uncomfortable tightness prone to cutting into skin.

Difference between a thong bikini and a Brazilian bikini

Rear coverage

  • Thong bikinis feature only a single thin vertical piece of fabric covering the anus and genitals, leaving the entire butt cheek exposed. Just thin side straps cross the upper hips.
  • Brazilian bikini bottoms have slightly more coverage in back. The fabric shape resembles a “V”, with the point dipping down to cover only the anus region. This leaves most of cheeks revealed except for upper inner curved areas.

Tan lines

  • A properly worn thong leaves no visible tan lines across the butt cheeks. Only thin streaks along the hips and lower sides occur.
  • Brazilian bikini tan lines have a distinct upside-down “V” shape following back coverage reaching upwards across a small section of each cheek.

Leg height

  • Thong fabric extends straight across the hip bones, not ascending higher onto legs.
  • Many Brazilian bikini styles have a high-cut leg, angling sharply upward across thighs to expose more lower butt cheek.

Front coverage

  • Thongs offer minimal frontal coverage with more exposure of the bikini line region. Brazilian styles provide more fabric to conceal the mons pubis.

Side strap width

  • On thongs, straps crossing the hips tend to be thinner since more tension pulls them inward.
  • Brazilians allow slightly wider sides that don’t dig in as sharply since more back fabric counteracts tension.

Difference between a thong bikini and a G-string bikini

Back coverage shape

  • The thong’s rear center fabric is a straight slim rectangle.
  • G-string’s back strip of fabric connects to straps at a centered point, coming to one narrowed piece rather than separate sides.

Side strap design

  • Thong straps extend from front and back panels to wrap all the way around the waist.
  • On a G-string, straps start as center back strips narrowing into strings tied at the hips rather than fully encircling the waist.

Leg height

  • Thong cuts predominantly sit low on hips and straight across the leg.
  • G-strings often incorporate a high-cut leg line angling sharply upward across front of thigh.

Frontal fabric coverage

  • Thongs offer slightly more coverage across front of bikini region.
  • G-string’s front triangle narrows significantly, sometimes to a thin extended string above genitals.

Extent of exposure

  • Thongs reveal entire rear yet leave a slim barrier of coverage.
  • G-strings take exposure further by removing nearly all barrier fabrication in both front and back.

What are some good places to shop for thong bikinis?

Online boutiques like Beach Bunny Swimwear, Nasty Gal, Banana Moon and Frankies bikinis offer curated edits of influencer-approved thong bikini styles almost impossible to find elsewhere. Alongside their own house label designs, these e-commerce destinations host guest collections showcasing up-and-coming indie brands unavailable in big box stores. Shopping online provides flexibility to filter by size, color, fabric and coverage to refine the selection process without wasting time searching racks in person.

How do you style a thong bikini?

For women hoping to enhance their rear assets, flaunting curvature below should pair with a more modest bikini top. Structured longline styles, high necklines with thick shoulder straps and ruched underwire cups balance the overt skin exposure happening from the waist down in a thong bikini.

Alternatively, small busted ladies can embrace the scintillating aesthetic full on by coupling a triangle sliding halter top with the backless bottoms. Let the thin straps highlight collar bones and a petite bustline to maintain continuity of revealing lines both above and below.

When wearing a thong bikini, typically less is more regarding accessories. Stick to body chains, stacked bangles or chandelier earrings that graze the shoulders. These dazzling accents play up sunkissed skin against minimal tan lines without competing visually. Leave thick belly chains and chunky layers better suited for standard bikini cuts instead.

If covering up between activities, opt for sheer options like crochet kimonos, embroidered caftans and lace tees. These light layers obscure glimpses while still allowing the vibrant thong bikini print or texture below to peek through. Also consider the venue when selecting complementary pieces. Uber glam pool parties call for metallic lamé sarongs and platform slides while a day at the beach demands effortless cotton tanks and leather flip flops.

Can I wear a thong bikini if I have tan lines?

For tan lines crossing the booty specifically, a thong cut actually minimizes the appearance of any uneven pigmentation thanks to so little coverage.

Pattern-mixing tops and bottoms camouflages distinct tan borders across the torso. Pair solid color bottoms with a bandeau splashed in a tropical print or combine a vibrant underwire top with basic black thong. Mismatched patterns and colors splinter the eye’s focus, diminishing noticeability of tan lines.

Flaunting unique tan lines adds sizzle to vacation looks so have fun showing them off. Because a thong bikini already pushes exposure boundaries, imperfect tans simply accentuate the carefree, sun-drenched vibe. To play up the contrast, add metallic temporary tattoos crossing color borders.

When tan lines really bother, strategic accessories like belts, sarongs and shrugs draw attention upwards away from problem areas. A bright sarong tied around the hips masks borders on the booty and waist. Stacked bangles snaking up the forearm shift eyes from the thighs. And an ornate headband or wide-brim hat steals focus from the shoulders or décolletage to the face instead. With creative styling, you can absolutely rock an itsy bitsy thong bikini flaunting killer tan lines all over.

Sophia is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers pop culture, gender, media, history, and plus-size fashion. With her keen eye for detail and a unique perspective, Sophia's writing captures the essence of the world around us, bringing it to life through her words.

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