The slightly unsettling term “manscaping” has been around for a while, and it’s no secret that women prefer it when dudes keep certain body hair in check (no one wants to see a luxurious coif shooting out of your nose, pal). But these days, guys are worrying about their grooming habits more than ever. The New York Times recently reported on the rising number of dudes getting bikini waxes, and the new movie Mansome is about how much more dudes are paying attention to their looks.
But how much is too much? The thought of getting waxed alongside my boyfriend really, really grosses me out — so that’s too much for me. In fact, I think the best way to define “too much” is by asking women for their opinions; after all, you don’t worry about the hair on yours shoulders because you think your bros will be grossed out by it. So I asked women to weight in. Read on to find out which parts of your body you should maintain and which ones you should leave well enough alone.
If there’s enough fuzz back there for her to hold onto, the general consensus amongst womankind appears to be, “Ew!” That said, it would also be wise to keep your appointment with Svetlana the Waxist under wraps. “If a dude has a grody, hairy back, I’d want him to take care of it, but I wouldn’t want to actually know that he waxes it,” says Karen, one of the many chicks I talked to about this very subject. You know how you’d prefer women didn’t burp or fart around you to maintain the illusion that we’re all a bunch of gasless fembots? We don’t want to know you get your back waxed to maintain the illusion that you’re a rough-and-tumble mountain man … who just happens to have a hairless back.
The feminization of dudes seems like it’s at an all time high right now — you guys are downward dogging next to us in yoga class and flanking us in the pedicure chair. And while we appreciate a zen dude with not-nasty feet, at the end of the day, we still want to feel like we’re crawling into bed with a man. And chest hair is the ultimate indicator of manhood. “As long as it’s not a magic carpet, I like the feeling of a little hair against my cheek when I rest my head on a man’s bare chest,” says Erica. So don’t let Svetlana near your pecs, and if you require a little tidying, use trimmers to tame the beast.
Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you Brazilian waxes are awful. (My waxist gives me a hug to try and comfort me at the end of my appointments, no lie.) So as much as I would like to even the playing field and have you suffer as well, the truth is that women not in porn flicks usually find it extremely disturbing when a dude’s area is completely bald. “Shaving or waxing the pubes completely is unacceptable,” says Allison. “It makes me think he’s trying too hard or is a weirdo who loves staring at his naked crotch.” However, wild bush is just as unacceptable, so use trimmers or a scissors — just be careful with that thing — to keep the jewels neat and trim.
There is a reason Bradley Cooper did a whole lot of nothing for us in Wedding Crashers, then invaded our dreams after the Hangover — dude was rocking some seriously sexy facial scruff when he hung out with the Wolfpack. “My fiancé has to shave during the week for work, but he takes a break from it on the weekends.” says Jennifer. “By Sunday night I want to jump him.” Full-blown Zach Galifianakis beard is more of an acquired taste, but a two- or three-day-old stubble is the ultimate lady-nip.
YOUR ARMS AND LEGS
“I would find it very, very odd if a guy waxed his arms and legs and wasn’t a cyclist or a swimmer,” Mary tells me. And even then, it’d be kind of odd. So unless you’re competing in London this summer, don’t do it.