I’ve been hooking up online since my college years in the early-to-mid nineteen-eighties, when I used the school’s mainframe mail system to make advances to guys. I was on the so-archaic-it-hurts Prodigy network when it was first released, surfing its message boards with a 1200-baud modem (and scoring anonymous dick the afternoon I made my account). I cruised through AOL and eWorld and local freenets and dial-in bulletin boards until the advent of the world-wide web. Then lived through gay.com during its heyday and its myriad successors since.
And I still think I’ve never seen a stranger fad than the no-baldies craze of the early nineties.
Oh, fads in looks come and go. But during my America Online days, back around 1993 or so, the in-look for men involved hair. Lots of hair. Guys wanted other guys with big, lush, New Kids on the Block ‘dos. Do you have all your hair? would be the most common question I’d get then. These days, it’s an odd enough question that one would suspect the person asking it of being some kind of fetishist—but no, back then it was common enough that it would be asked with all the usual interrogatory questions. Age? Weight? Location? You got all your hair?
The question was one of those that would make me shake my head and mentally classify the guy asking it as an assmunch of the highest degree—the kind of man who was looking for the most spurious of reasons not to meet people, whether it was scaling in a pound over his absolute weight limit, or being 37 in a room full of under-twenties, or having skin that was too dark or a forehead that was too high.
And then all of a sudden that criterion vanished. Movie stars started to crop their hair very, very close, or shave their heads altogether. The shaved head became macho, sexy, accepted. By the late nineties, I never heard anyone asking about hair again.
Atop one’s head, anyway. Over the last few years I’ve seen a lot of men commenting about each other’s pubes online. And it ain’t always pretty.
The push for manscaping has swung from one extreme to the other in my lifetime. In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, I never heard of anyone taking a razor to their pubes. It simply wasn’t done, not even by the most depraved of sex hounds—in my parts of the country, at least. It wasn’t until the nineties that it even occurred to me that such a thing could be done, and it wasn’t until the first decade of the new millennium that I was trimming myself regularly.
Part of the change, of course, I think can be attributed to porn. Cheap, easily-distributed porn that could be viewed at home, whether on a VHS machine or a DVD player or on the net, made a lot of things more popular, and manscaping was one of them. Trimmed sacs show up more cleanly on camera; it’s easier to see how big a dick is when it isn’t surrounded by a thick thatch. I think trimming reached a critical mass in the public consciousness in the Queer Eye days, when a squadron of gay guys would tell their straighter brethren that cleaning up body hair was perfectly acceptable.
Now it seems that a shorn crotch is de rigueur in certain circles; I’ve read cries of disgust online when guys present photos of a perfectly normal bush, almost as if someone had pooped on their Papis.. To listen to this crowd, you’d think man’s natural state was to look like a bunch of prepubescent boys, and any hirsute display is some kind of throwback to abnormality, if not to Neanderthal man.
I’m curious about what my readers think and do with their body hair. Do you trim? Leave it natural? Or do something in between? And what do you use to do it?
I tend to fall in the latter camp. I often like the feel of my nuts when they’re smooth; I like to keep my bush present, but trimmed low. In the past I’ve used a regular razor to keep everything in check. Once (and never again, after a light burn that left me walking bow-legged for four days) I used a chemical exfoliant. But these days I have an electric body hair trimmer that’s easy to use and keep clean, and which denudes my sac without nicks or abrasions.
I think my dick looks better in photographs when I’ve trimmed the pubes down some—but I have no desire whatsoever to eradicate them altogether.
Let me know what you do in the comments—and more importantly, what you prefer on another guy. Does body hair make as much of a difference to you as it seems to for so many?