Where have all the hairy men gone?
Alexander Skarsgård in True Blood.
‘My friend hasn’t slept with a man with pubic hair for over five years,’ my mate Fiona says over lunch.
It’s enough to make a boring married gal like me gag on her ham and cheese toastie.
Casting my mind back to my dating days, only one of my lovers used his Gillette five blade on his gonads. While at the time it occurred to me that it gave a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘lubricating strip’, I just figured he was a bit odd and left it at that. I would have given him more credit if I’d realised that he was a trailblazer for the Manscaping Movement currently infiltrating our bedrooms.
Channing Tatum in the new movie Magic Mike.
A girl like me, born in the 1970s when VFL footballers like Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico defended Hawthorn’s midfield with their chest hair, could not have foreseen that our men would be ordering a ‘brozillian’ with the same ease as a pie with sauce. Or, to use the terminology for the epilation of the male buttocks, testicles and shaft from some of our more refined establishments, an ‘intimate wax’.
Perhaps it’s just me, but with a name like that, it ought to come with a happy ending.
A quick Google search on the term ‘he-wax’ reveals that men are being spun the same lies as women when it comes to the joys of having each hair ripped out at the roots.
‘Some men don't even know we've started,’ says one website about their $130 male Brazilian. ‘We find that most turn out pleasantly surprise to discover that it is not a big deal after all.’
That’s almost as ridiculous as the old Epilady commercials were we were told that not only was hair removal pain-free, it was also fun. It’s a lie that women are disabused of early. We all know that hair removal hurts like hell but it doesn’t deter us from expensive, inconvenient and never-ending hair removal sessions.
I’m sure that when our great feminist foremothers fought for equality, a mutual obligation to wax our genitals was not what they had it mind.
But what does it say about our culture when men are becoming just acquainted with hot wax as women?
Psychology professors Linda Smolak and Sarah K. Murnen surveyed 148 female and 76 male US undergraduate students about the presence, frequency of, and reasons for pubic hair removal.
Published in the Sex Roles journal in 2011, the good professors — who surely are in line for a Nobel gong for their work on hirsute trends — found that while a similar number of men and women removed their pubic hair (65 per cent of the women and 63 per cent of the men), the motivations for removal differed.
Women were motivated to defuzz because they felt it was expected of them and they believed it would make them sexier. By contrast men who tended their downstairs gardens were motivated by the pursuit of masculinity.
Or, to use more precise technical language than the professors, men who opted to wax their mops were hoping to that their cocks looked bigger.
The prevalence of manscaping is perhaps one more way in which the aesthetic standards of the porn industry is shaping mainstream culture. No doubt soon, preferring men with hair — ie in their normal state — will come to be seen as a fetish to be included in the next book by E L James.
Obviously we’ll need to wait for futher academic research to confirm whether or not the absense or presence of hair enhances the perception of penis proportions, but what is not beyond doubt is that testicles look like raw chicken skin whether they've been plucked or not.
Kasey Edwards is the best-selling author of 4 books 30-Something and Over It, 30-Something and The Clock is Ticking, OMG! That's Not My Husband, and OMG! That's Not My Child.