To Manscape Or Not?


Before the turn of the century, most men didn’t pay any attention whatsoever to the hair below their necks. Unless you had an embarrassingly furry back or you were a swimmer or a cyclist or something like that, shaving anything besides your face just wasn’t something you ever seriously considered. Hell, grooming in general came with all sorts of masculine dos and don’ts. There were things that men did and there were things that women did, and there was very little overlap. I remember this really great Carl’s Jr. TV spot from about ten years ago where a guy was so manly that he’d rather shave dry than use his girlfriend’s stuff, just because it came out of a pink can.

But times have changed. Thanks to the metrosexual revolution, nowadays, extensive grooming is not only acceptable, it’s expected. For better or worse, men are smoother and cleaner looking than ever before. And it seems to me that like so many things guys take a serious interest in, it all started with the balls.

Shaving your balls has become about as common a part of the showering routine as using conditioner. It’s absolutely amazing how fast it caught on, too. As soon as word got out that it made your dick look bigger, ball-shaving became an overnight sensation. Men across America decided to come to terms with their Lorena Bobbitt-induced fears and started taking razor blades to their scrotums in search of bigger-looking packages. It worked, too. And not only that, the response from the ladies to our smooth, shiny nutsacks was pretty positive, too. So the trend became cemented into our culture. It’s kinda surreal, really. When I was a kid, we couldn’t wait to get our pubes because it made us feel like men. Today’s kids can’t wait to get them so they can start shaving them off, I guess.

Anyway, pretty soon after that, everything was fair game, which makes perfect sense. Once you’ve shaved your balls, it’s pretty hard to establish and follow any realistic limits. So hairless chests and armpits soon started popping up like wildfire at all the beaches and pools. Unfortunately, so did the nasty red rash of razor burn. There was no choice but to turn to waxing and hair removal creams, products that were once the sole province of women.

And once you cross over and start using something that’s made for a woman, even if it is strong enough for a man, it’s a slippery slope. The door opened to a whole lot of stuff that men used to draw the line at—spray tans, manicured eyebrows, facial masks, etc. It’s kind of mind-blowing to consider that while over the past several decades, women have made huge strides towards reaching equality with men, and now that they’ve almost caught us, we’re starting to feel the need to make ourselves pretty. It’s like we started running in the opposite direction. Maybe our future is total androgyny.

I don’t know. If you’re one of these guys who does all this stuff, I’m not judging or anything—I’ve experimented with varying degrees of manscaping myself. I’m just saying that it’s hard to imagine some of the men we hold up as paragons of masculinity standing in the shower and lifting up their nuts so they can shave their taints all nice and baby-smooth. But who knows? Maybe that’s exactly what they were doing.