Body grooming, or what’s sometimes unflatteringly called manscaping. If you ask the Merriam-Webster Dictionary they’ll tell you it’s: “the trimming or shaving of a man’s body hair so as to enhance his appearance.”. Essentially it’s the art of treating your hirsute hills with the same care that a golf course groundskeeper does his greens.
But with more than half of Dutch men shaving more than just their face. And more than 60% of our German speaking customers taking their razor below the neck you probably already knew that. In fact the chances are high that you’re already manicuring your manly physique. A little trim here, a lot of trim there. And you’re left with a rolling hills that would make even the most stoney-faced groundskeeper shed a tear of joy.
And while we know that you’re keeping yourself as trim as a PGA Tour course for your own benefit. We wanted to get the fairer sex’s take on this razor exploration. In our ongoing series, What she said, we explore what the ladies think of how you spend your bathroom time.
So let’s start with the obvious question: do women want their man to groom their body hair? In a word: Yes. Most of the women we spoke to preferred some degree of trimming. In a choice between hairy or smooth one third of the women surveyed preferred their partner smooth. With the rest giving variations of: I prefer a mix of smooth and trimmed.
This falls in line with research by a team in Lafayette College. Whose research suggested that both men and women perceive less body hair as more attractive. Although the research only focused on college age men and women. (This being the group that college based researchers have plentiful access to.)
What was interesting about this research was that women weren’t aware of what men found attractive. They guessed that men prefer a hairier figure. This contradicts with the results which found that both men and women found less body hair more attractive
Where razor’s dare.
But what about where you take your razor, do female folk have a preference about that? We asked our study participants where men should always shave and where they should never shave.
The number one place men should always shave, drumroll please… was their back. This was pretty universal across our group. Coming in joint second were the armpits and balls. This is an interesting cross section given that in another research paper on male depilation –that’s fancy talk for hair removal– the authors found that more than 85% of the men in their study shaved their chest and abdomen. With less than 30% shaving their back or armpits.
The lack of back grooming might be accounted for by the fact it’s not something you can readily see in the mirror, unlike your chest and stomach. Or, regardless of how flexible you are, it’s not the easiest place to shave. For a quick back shaving tip, attach your razor to a selfie stick. It will give you more reach and stop the owner using it in public. Win, win!
In the places where men should never shave: arms, hands and legs, were all singled out as no-go zones for a bit of manscapery. These aren’t areas that men normally shave unless you’re particularly hairy, or you’re a competitor in the swimming, cycling or bodybuilding worlds.
Does hair make the man?
We also talked to our survey participants about their perceptions of masculinity about body grooming. Similar to the answers in What she said…about skincare, body grooming was seen as a positive. The women saw it a sign of maturity. And an indication of a man who takes pride in himself and his appearance. They didn’t address the idea of masculinity directly. But when you consult the research on the matter, there’s evidence that taming your body hair is a sign of masculinity. (The caveat for this research is that it looks at how male body grooming is presented in men’s lifestyle magazines. So probably isn’t representative of men as a whole. )
While it’s all well and good asking women what they think of all the trimming and shearing that you do. It’s more important what you think about your body hair. It’s nice to see that in Boldking’s own research, the vast majority shave for their own comfort and pleasure. So if you don’t shave your body hair keep not doing it, and if it’s something you do for yourself it’s nice to know that it is appreciated by the opposite sex.
Whenever your razor takes you: You do you!
Inspired to shave something you’ve never shaved before? Then check out our shaving tips. They’ve got the skinny on the best ways to take your razor on a tour of your highways and byways.
- How to shave your face…and not like grandad
- Body grooming even if you’re as hairy as a werewolf
- How to shave your head…from balding to baldy
- How to shave your balls…keep ‘em warm
- Razor burn – soothe and avoid those painful polka dots
- How to shave your chest…mind the nips