Is everyone "manscaping"?

A man who finds denuded nethers "nasty and weird" wonders if it's actually something "normal guys" are doing now

Published October 28, 2011 12:01AM (EDT)

It seems like hairlessness down there is the norm now with women, right? But what about men? The waxed landing strip on porn dudes is so obviously nasty and weird, but, as a man, even partially shaved or overly trimmed man parts squick me out. Is this something normal guys are actually doing now?

Hairless is the norm with women? Au contraire, sir. Last year a study out of the Kinsey Institute found that there is "no one dominant pubic hair style" among women. Young ladies are far more likely to have experimented with different degrees of deforestation but most women have "at least some pubic hair on the genitals." Given the regrowth rate, the researchers amusingly concluded that "pubic hair 'style' may be a malleable concept" (for some reason, this just conjures in my mind an image of a merkin Mohawk). But I digress. You're interested in male pubic hair – in an intellectual, socio-cultural sense, of course – so, let's move along.

Personally, I was ready to declare that male waxing had jumped the shark when Christopher Hitchens wrote in 2007 about getting a Brazilian in Vanity Fair. But the trend stories about this growing demand persist. A "growing demand," however, does not mean this is something most "guys are actually doing now" -- just that more guys are doing it than before. In general it's easy to see evidence of the rise of "metrosexual" upkeep: Beauty salons are increasingly offering all kinds of services to men, and some just-for-men operations have popped up. There's also a growing market for "manscaping" products – for everything from back shaving to chest waxing (which I have passionately protested). Classic men's brands have begun aggressively marketing body shavers -- Phillips, for example, launched the website, which features a game in which you guide an avatar by the name of "Willy" through a jungle -- subtle, eh? On the flip side, traditionally female brands like Nair and Veet have developed lines spec...

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By Tracy Clark-Flory

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