Friday, January 31, 2014

Manscaping - More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

Hair, hair everywhere. What's a man to do?

For as long as there have been humans, there has been an abundance of hair. On heads, on chests, on arms and legs, and yes....down there.

I must include a disclaimer here so that I don't get a bunch of hate mail over this post, and/or totally gross out family members. If you don't want to read about sex, penises, balls, happy trails, vagazzling, tweezing, waxing, chafing or rubbing, stop reading now. I mean it. Like right now.

Last chance.

I'm not kidding. Go.
Okay, now that we're done with warnings and disclaimers, let's get on with the business of the day, manscaping.

This topic came to me as a request from a fan. Someone I have known, quite literally, forever. He's a dude that needs some questions answered. He knows that I can't refuse a challenge, so here we are.

Since at least 4000 BC, people have been removing hair from their bodies. Razors were invented sometime around 3000 BC. Prior to that hairs were plucked out using shells. (I'll just let you think about how awesome of a process that must have been for a moment.)

Facial hair is the hair most commonly and historically removed for men, leg and underarm hair for women, though some cultures have long dictated the removal of pubic hair for women. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, if you search bikini waxing on Wikipedia, there are pictures. I've linked it here for ease of use. You are welcome.

Though the removal of pubic hair is nothing new, the widespread societal expectation of female removal is something fairly recent, at least in this country. Sex and the City didn't just bring back day drinking, it urged women everywhere to get their tingly bits waxed.

And the world rejoiced.

It's a trend that hasn't seemed to let up, though every so often there are stories that pop up alleging that waxing is on the way out, that women are embracing their pubes again, that the moral center of the nation is encouraging growing it long and strong to rebel against the horrors of porn. And so on and so forth. Then vagazzling becomes a thing a few weeks later and we all realize we're still going to be shaving for a while.

So, women have been doing it a long time...what about the men? They've come over to the smooth side too.


I could get into a lengthy explanation about chest hair or leg hair or any other hair, but we all know that's not why you're here. You're here for the naughty bits. Unless you are a porn star, swimmer, model, elite cyclist or runner....you probably aren't shaving your entire body bald because you have to. You're shaving it either because you want to or because someone told you it looked good.

Little secret here. Ready? Most women I know actually like chest hair as long as it's not unwieldy and doesn't fan out too far or stick our of the top of your shirt. Feel free to trim it up, but don't shave it all off. (Also, feel free to discuss among friends, ask your significant other what they prefer, choose to ignore them if you like to be a bear, whatever....however you get your freak on, I'm good with it.) Whatever you do, leave a trace of the happy trail. Please.

Don't do this.
In researching this post, I've been fortunate to have many male friends willing to tell me their stories. Some go full 70's bush, refusing to shave anything below the neck. Some use clippers to tame their body hair, but refuse to shave with an actual razor. Some trim pubic hair only, leaving the chest hair alone. Some were even kind enough to tell me they shave the pubic hair on top but leave the ball hair alone. And then there were the bald boys who go for it all, clippers first, then razors.

Every guy does it a little differently, and they all have slightly different reasons.

Some started during puberty or very shortly thereafter. More than a few started in college. Some started at the request of a significant other. One guy I know started when he found his first gray pube. True damn story.

My only word of caution is this, ladies....if you have been married a long time and your husband has been hairy the whole time, then suddenly decides to shave his balls, worry. Middle aged men don't often just wake up one day and start doing this unless there's a reason, at least not from the stories people have told me.

What are the reasons for a guy to shave his junk? (for the love of all that is right and just in this world, if you are related to me and haven't left yet, go now)

  1. Sex. Really, this is the main reason. Let's just be honest about that. I don't have a penis, but I can tell you that sensations are heightened in the nethers when hairless. I assume it would be the same for a dude.
  2. Oral Sex. It's just better. And your partner is probably more willing to go there if things are tidy. No one likes getting hair in their teeth. Cough. Cough.
  3. Illusions. There is a thing, referred to as the "optical inch", reasoning goes a bit like this: if the bush is trimmed back a little, the trunk seems longer and thicker. 
  4. Cleanliness. Hair hangs on to sweat, and let's get one thing clear: balls sweat a lot. Sweat stinks. Less hair, less place for sweat to fester - less smell.
  5. Looks. You know you've stood in front of a mirror and admired it. If you say you haven't, you're lying. If you are a guy and try to tell me you haven't at least attempted a helicopter, I'm never believing another word you say.
  6. Because someone asked you to. Okay, so maybe this should be the main reason.
     
In talking to guys about this and doing research online, I've come to learn that there are some rules about this. 
  1. First rule of manscaping is that no one talks about manscaping, but most guys do at least a little bit of it. If you don't, high five for keeping it real, man. Everyone else, you know what I'm talking about here. Unless you are waxing your friend's chest because he lost a bet...then everyone knows.
  2. Prep work is everything. You don't just grab the razor you use to shave your face, with that dull old blade, take a look at your junk and get to getting. NO. YOU DO NOT. You get another set of instruments, and don't go cheap. If you have clippers, you have two clippers. If you have razors, there is one for the face and one for the junk. Label them. Or just know which is which. In a pinch you might use just the one, but face first. Always face first.
    Always have two. Always.
  3. Shaving your balls the first time has to be terrifying. Like skydiving terrifying. I can't decide which would be worse personally...having something with a running motor that close to your junk or sweeping a super sharp razor along your man bits. I don't know how you guys decide which way to go, and honestly I don't want to know. I just say that whatever you do is your choice. If you're new, here's a tutorial. 
  4. Location, location, location. You do not shave your balls when staying at someone else's house. You do not shave your balls on an uncovered floor. You do not shave your balls with your girlfriend/wife's razor. You may shave your balls in a hotel bathroom. You may shave your balls over the toilet as long as you dust the bowl off afterwards. 
  5. Timing is everything. Got kids? Do not shave your balls when there is any chance they could walk in on you. Just shave when everyone else is somewhere else. You do not want a five year old walking in while you've got a knife to the boys. If you have a lock, use it. After you check to make sure it works 385 times, of course. Turn on some music. Light some candles. Experiment with crouching positions. This is going to take a while, especially the first time.
  6. Sharp, clean and moist. Unless you are just clipping and trimming, you need to pay attention to skin care. New sharp razors are the only way to go. Aftershave will burn like a motherfucker (not that I'd have experience with that or anything), but a nice soothing lotion will help. Cold water will help close up pores after shaving too. I could tell you to shave with the grain, but you're not going to listen. Air it out afterwards. How you go about doing that is up to you.
  7. Maintenance is key. Stay on top of it and it will get easier to manage. Any woman will tell you this.
  8. Clean up after yourself. You just removed the hair equivalent of a small dead animal. Pick it up. All of it. Even the little guys. For the love. 
Courtesy of my good friend, also possible story contributor, The Musings of Munch, an earworm for you, sung to the tune of Miley Cyrus' Hoedown Throwdown. Wax it, shave it, epilate it.

5 comments:

  1. Bwahahaha..... Oh my God, that was so worth the wait. Fricking hilarious. I'm honored to be part of those, but people should know I did not request this. 1st rule of Manscaping... We don't talk about Manscaping

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  2. This would be a fantastic tutorial if I wasn't laughing so hard.

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  3. Thanks! I've been doing this for years (Reasons 1-5), but every once and a while you need to hear that you're not the only one (even as a gay man). I use a razor with just some soap once a week in the shower. Trimmers for the rest of the body.

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  4. Enjoyed the profile and want to give you some more vital information. As a male who manscapes I find that it is important for comfort to leave some hair on the scrotum. This creates an important space between the scrotum and the inner thigh so to that "the stick" does not occur. Since as you mentioned, there is a lot of sweat down there it becomes extremely uncomfortable to have to keep peeling ones sac off of ones thigh. So leaving a little fuzz goes a long way. As for the rest, take it all off!!! Most women and men love it that way!! Cheers and keep the articles cumming!!

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  5. Oh my gosh this means so much to me. I hate my scrotum right now as it starts to grow hair

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