I can’t be impartial when it comes to manscaping. I hate it. I believe that shaving one’s chest is tantamount to treason against masculinity! But I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I will shave my balls on occasion, so I guess I’m not 100 percent against it. It’s a difficult topic. Some gay men remove chest hair so that they will look younger, or they want to show off their pecs. I even had one ex-boyfriend who shaved his chest because his father, whom he despised, had a hairy chest and he didn’t want to be like him in any way.
So, how much body hair is too much? Can you get off on a guy with a full pelt of back hair? Doesn’t a shaved chest make you look younger? What about Olympic swimmers? Don’t they have to remove excess hair in order to increase their slipperiness in the water? Where to draw the razor line?
As usual, when I have conflicting opinions within myself, I look to others. So I sent out a brief questionnaire to my pundits. I decided to include some straight women, and even a trans voice, because I don’t think manscaping is important to just men. Here’s what some other people had to say on the topic.
“I'm not a fan of the hairless look,” says Richard Ryder. “But trimming is nice. It's not the ’70s. There's a reason the 'crotch fro' never caught on. As for me, I'm like everyone. If I've got company coming over, I like to tidy up.
“I got my back waxed to promote a ProudFm advertiser,” he continues. “Now I can't even tell you how hairy my back is. I haven't seen it. We are like strangers in the night. But, for the promotion, I figured my back would be the easiest. I figured wrong. When the technician has to pin your neck down with her foot before she pulls, you're in trouble. It made that scene from The 40 Year Old Virgin look like a foot tickling. I've never felt such pain. If I'd had state secrets, I would have given them up immediately! And that was just the first strip. I have a big back. There were at least 10! At one point I was praying to black out. It was sore for a few days, but once the throbbing went down, all my shirts felt like silk! It was fabulous! Until it started growing in.”
If waxing sounds like medieval torture, what about removing hair chemically? Raymond Helkio offers up some advice. “The first time I manscaped was to get a handle on my happy trail which had become the river rapids, overflowing into and beyond my belly button. I smeared Veet (a No Name brand) from belly button down to the top of my Bermuda Triangle. I wandered around the house waiting for the product to do its thing and then I jumped in the shower to notice that gravity had pulled a lot of the Veet into my crotch and now there was nothing more than a few patches of mangled hair. Really grotesque stuff. I had to finish the job and so I spent the better part of six weeks completely hairless, which turned out to be a very liberating experience. But don’t use hair removal products like Neet on your ballsack. Trust me, just don’t do it. (Neet for Men is bullshit, it’s the same thing but in a handsome container and costs more, so just buy No Name.) Use these products at least 24 hours in advance of going out. There's nothing more putrid than the smell of chemically burnt hair.”
“I prefer the illusion of au naturel,” writes Brock Hessel. “Once I was handcuffed by a guy I was dating and he buzzed every inch off. It was hot, but when he started cutting my hair like a young Justin Bieber, I was a little creeped out. I think he wanted me to appear as if I was barely legal although I was 26 at the time.”
So gay men, as usual, seem to want it both ways. But what about straight women. They have to fuck hairy dudes. Is that what they want?
“Most men I know take the time to trim the nest, with my husband going that extra mile and shaving his balls, bless his chivalrous, horny heart,” declares Samantha Bennet. “I have never had the dubious pleasure of a romp with a hirsute He, though I am willing to consider the possibility that my initial feelings of discombobulation formed from the unfamiliar could give way to hairy abandon.”
“I prefer light body hair,” says Amy J Lester. “But I'm not offended by severe body hair, and on a sexy enough body it's not important. Unless someone is offensively hairy, I prefer natural to manscaping. The worst thing I've ever heard is a man who shaves his entire body and then expects a woman to do the same thing.”
And finally, a trans voice. Mandy Goodhandy has run several businesses that involved male nudity, so she would have a definite opinion. “Personally from a visual point of view, I am fine with hairy or smooth men. But if I had the option I would prefer them to be clean shaven around the penis and ass. After all, picking hair out of your teeth is not a fun activity.” And she closes with an even more significant point: “In my experience I have never heard a hetrosexual/bi male say they like their women hairy.”
So in summary, excessive hair on the back or balls (or on women) is for fetish types. Most people prefer these to be groomed. Most men lovers are willing to entertain some chest and belly hair, unless they are into their men looking like boy band singers or Olympic swimmers. But if you hate your chest hair, and go to great lengths to peel it off, you should probably be reading some other columnist. Because this gay blogger likes his men hairy. They remind me more of pets that way, and everyone loves petting a cat or a dog.