Love In The Age Of Manscaping.

Are men ready to lose their beloved plumage?

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Courtesy of Dreamstime

“I let it fly in the breeze and get caught in trees, a home for the fleas in my hair” The Cowsills, Hair

There was a time when hair was the subject of songs and even a musical. Those “flaxen, waxen” locks were like an allegory of freedom, a unifying force of the sexes. The only Battle of The Sexes we ever had was over shampoo.

Hitchhiking out west one time in the 60s, a couple of rednecks pulled over in their pickup and yelled, “We’ll take the girl.” When they saw we were both guys, they muttered, “When are we gonna learn?” and drove off.

Things have gotten a lot more complicated since then. Hair doesn’t unify us anymore. Now it’s a question of shaving it, plucking it or even electrolysis-ing it. If your woman wants you smooth, be prepared for all three.

All you can do is scream out “Please don’t turn me into Mr. Bigglesworth!” — like she gives a rat’s ass about Dr. Evil’s cat.

She might even decide to do it herself, which takes on a frightening ceremony similar to deforestation. Actually, not similar, it is deforestation.

First a path is cleared, like a hydro line going through a northern wood. Then comes the clearing of debris. All you can do is scream out “Please don’t turn me into Mr. Bigglesworth!” — like she gives a rat’s ass about Dr. Evil’s cat.

Before you know it, you’ve got a turkey neck rising uneasily above what looks like a string purse. You’re clean as a whistle, emasculated, a “dude-shaped topiary,” as one journalist called it.

And don’t think for one minute you’re alone. Cosmopolitan published a story claiming that 95 percent of men now trim or shave their body hair, either willingly or at the hands of an emasculating partner.

As the same journalist pointed out, “Body hair is one of the secondary sex characteristics of being a man, so why would anyone want to eradicate it?”

You could say God gave us body hair so we wouldn’t look like hairless cats.

Well, that’s the interesting thing. Some women want men with less hair and some don’t. They’re equally divided on the subject. So are men, for that matter. Hair is either a defining part of who we are, or it’s an encumbrance.

So, okay, a little deforestation does make junk look bigger — but resembling a Ken doll isn’t every guy’s — or woman’s — idea of manly. Unless you’re buffed like Mark Wahlberg, all manscaping does is turn you into Mr. Bigglesworth. You could say God gave us body hair so we wouldn’t look like hairless cats.

“ — not that I support killing deer.” Brianna, 25

But, like I’ve indicated, there’s a clear division on this subject. Some men want to look like men, others don’t want sex to turn into a hunting expedition.

“Navigating the hair on a guy’s body is kind of like going hunting,” Brianna, 25, explained. “Do you want to walk through an overgrown, dirty forest with lots of weeds trying to find a deer? No — you’d like a nice, tidy forest with flowers, that smells nice and has paths that you can easily maneuver through — not that I support killing deer.”

Interestingly, nobody in the Cosmopolitan study was against trimming as long as it’s “well tended.” Furry and stubble are two different things. Women don’t mind a little roughage, but they aren’t crazy about giving head to a cactus.

As fallen_angel pointed out in AskMen Reader, “I’m a fan of shaved also. Less hair more head!!”

Which leads us back to the question of whether you want manscaping or not. If you’re leaving it up to your partner, she’s going to work to her preference, meaning it could be a light trim, or it could be full “back, sack and crack” grooming. On the other hand, laying down some perimeters could result in both of you being happy.

Just as women don’t like going down on a cactus, they aren’t crazy about tonguing a sea urchin, either.

So let’s look at those perimeters and see how much you really need — or want — to cast off in a pinch:

Facial Hair: Nobody’s crazy about a mess of patchy whiskers, whether you’re trying to look like Wolverine or not. Either keep some level of organized whisker growth or get rid of it. Just as women don’t like going down on a cactus, they aren’t crazy about tonguing a sea urchin, either.

Chest and Stomach: If hair takes up 40% of your body, it’s time to manscape. Think of the aerodynamics of a car. You want the wind to glide over you. Same with women. If they can’t glide over you, you’re essentially a Volkswagen.

The Groin: This causes all men to cross their legs. Our nether regions are sacred territory. With a little coaxing, though, men can be convinced to reduce the “wreath of pubes.”

One final piece of advice is given by Bella Pope on lovespanky.com: “If you are a man who is manscaping any region of your body other than the ones listed, we have a response just for you: don’t.”

As Neil Diamond once wrote: “The shaving razor’s cold and it stings.”

I’m not exactly sure what regions she’s talking about. I thought I’d covered everything worth mentioning. If there are other regions of manscaping you want to discuss, talk to Bella. My legs have been crossed all morning.

As Neil Diamond once wrote: “The shaving razor’s cold and it stings.”

Robert Cormack is a freelance copywriter, novelist, children’s book author and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press for more details.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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