Us gay men have never felt weird about getting a facial or using multiple hair products, but now there’s a new area of grooming to consider: Body grooming, or ‘manscaping,’ has become a phenomenon among men who want to look and feel their best.
But before you go crazy with the razor, consider what the man you get naked in front of is going to think about your strategic shaving. With regard to body hair, the line between sexy and scary is very thin indeed. Here is a queer guide to male body hair yes’s and no’s.
YES — Trim armpit hair
The first do of our male body hair yes’s and no’s concerns the fact that most men have hair under their arms and we queerfolk expect and accept it. This doesn’t mean that you should let your armpit hair turn into an unkempt jungle, though. Keep your underarm hair trimmed to a reasonable length. It will not only look better this way, but you’ll also notice that you’ll sweat less and therefore smell better.
NO — DO not shave armpits bare
As stated above, gay men expect to see hair beneath a man’s arms. It’s probably not going to be the first thing we notice, but we’ll eventually realise that you have no hair under your arms and we’re bound to question your masculinity because of it. So, unless you’re a male model (or professional wrestler), keep some hair under there.
YES — Groom chest hair
Plenty of people like to see some hair on a man’s chest, but quite a few prefer to avoid the fuzzy carpet variety. Thinning out your chest hair is a good idea, but leave some hair for us to run our fingers through. On the other hand, there are some people who like a perfectly hairless chest. If you’re going to go with this option, be sure to shave regularly as the bristly stubble length will be uncomfortable for you and unappealing for them.
NO — Do not go Brazilian or bare everywhere
It might be OK once in a while for something different, but a man who constantly removes every hair from his genital area will be seen by others as either sex-obsessed or incredibly vain.
The only men who should ever consider going completely hairless over their entire bodies are competitive bikers or swimmers. If it’s not done for the purposes of increased speed, it’s just kind of weird. If you do plan to get rid of the hair on your torso and genitals, you might as well go all the way and shave your legs too (two hairy stalks under your smooth, shaved body would look ridiculous).
YES — Get rid of shoulder and back hair
Most queer folk agree that hair on your back or shoulders is unsightly at best. There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why we’ll run our fingers wantonly through your chest hair and recoil disgustedly at your back hair — but… that’s just the way it is. Do yourself a favor and get rid of all the hair back there.
YES — Keep it trimmed down there
Just as you appreciate a clean field of play when you go down on your boyfriend, so will he be pleased to see a well-groomed area around your genitals. Anything that will make him more willing and enthusiastic to visit your nether regions should be done consistently. So keep it neatly trimmed down there. Keeping your pubic hair under control also helps to make you look bigger and controls unpleasant odors.
NO — Don’t shave patterns
Unless it’s for the purposes of a joke and is going to be immediately shaved after the laughter dies down, men should never shave any of their hair into patterns of any kind. This applies especially to pubic hair. You don’t need to point your man in the right direction with arrows, triangles or lightning bolts shaved into your pubes. He should know where he’s going. A simple undisturbed treasure trail will do if you really want to orient him to the right body part.
Even if you do make a grooming faux pas and your boyfriend can’t look at you without laughing, remember that hair grows back and you’ll get back to normal soon.