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Sex and the UniverCity: Finding the middle ground when manscaping

By Alyssa Carroll
On March 24, 2010

Seven years after we were all first introduced to the new wave of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" metrosexual grooming habits, men both gay and straight alike seem to have gotten the idea. A few eyebrow plucks here and there? Sure. Shampoo and conditioner instead of a bar of soap? Yeah, that works, too. But when passing through the mysterious forest of manscaping below the chin, things get a little furry.

"A 2005 study published in the journal Sex Roles found that 63.6 percent of 118 men at the University of South Florida said they trimmed or removed body hair to be hygienic and attractive," according to

Distinguishing the appropriate line between Chewbacca and porn star can be difficult, and every style has both benefits and disadvantages. Go too bare, and the chest-hair-loving girls cringe. Get too hairy and lose the affections of another group. 

So what are some of the benefits to those who dare to bare?

In the words of the Gillette video "Go Further With the World of Body Shaving" on YouTube,  "wherever there's no underbrush the tree looks taller."  Though perhaps not an appealing look to all, the male member does in fact appear larger when not hidden by the Chia pet in your pants. 

Another benefit is a general improvement in odor when hair is removed. Dirt, oil and sweat all become trapped in body hair, so removing it can leave skin cleaner, longer.
But baring all takes guts and may look a little unusual.

Many women prefer the hairy lumberjack types with an abundant chest forest, and a bare Ed Hardy type may not cut it.  Masculinity is often associated with hair and removing it can be misconstrued as conceited or carry the stigma of being a wimp.

To try and find the middle ground on your mane, follow a few simple guidelines.

First and foremost, never attempt to wax yourself.  The skin is far too sensitive and thin and will only lead you to some serious pain and embarrassment.

Another good idea: avoid the zig-zags, hearts and "40-Year-Old Virgin" styles.  While a giant unicorn on your chest might sound funny and cute, there's nothing magical about razor burn and in-grown hair.

In the end, what's hair today may be gone tomorrow, so play around and find out what you like best. Grow a bush, shave it off or trim a glorious whale topiary.  Whatever works for you.

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