by Seth Elliott
I blame Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch for most of my early manscaping mishaps as a young man. The sweaty, muscled beats pulsing from MTV sent signals to men everywhere that to be sexy a man needed to be hairless. Even in junior high the young gay in me fixated on the rapper’s pulsing dance anthem and his hairless physique.
These signals prevailed throughout popular culture for a decade before trends returned to a more natural look. Lucky are today’s gay youth that the scales have tipped back over time. I wouldn’t wish my seventh-grade Nair debacle, or the conversation with my mom that followed, on any teen. I have no idea what I was thinking since short shorts weren’t even in style for men then. These days from twink to bear and every imaginable animal in between, the manscaping trends vary as much as we do.
Tom of Finland characters, on the other side of the scale, inspire pride in a furry chest and all its masculine glory. After all, it’s not something you can obtain, it’s something you must be blessed with. If you have it, then flaunt it, but remember to do it with some style. The tease of a well-groomed chest peeking through the collar of a V-neck summer T-shirt can be enough to drive some men wild.
Leaving the top couple buttons undone on your favorite tousled button up with the sleeves rolled can set the hipsters’ hearts on fire when paired with a perfectly fitted jean. When done right, the prowess of a great chest-of-hair can be both chic, masculine and will make men growl. However, the bigger the chesticles and the more fur they are covered with, the less cleavage you should display to the general populace. A deep V-neck cut to the bottom of the pecs can make the most masculine muscle boy look like an off-duty mime on steroids.
All manes need to be tamed on occasion, so for that there is nothing better than the “O Baby” by Oster. A close friend and salon owner recommended it for beard trimming and with a wink swore, “It is nearly impossible to nick oneself anywhere with this trimmer.” I can tell you from personal experience he was correct.
When taming the fur on different parts of the body, avoid creating sharp lines that cut across the body’s natural curves. Instead use the natural lines of the muscles as a stopping or starting point.
If you are particularly hairy and trimming to a very short length, switch to the next longest guard and fade from the other side of the muscle line. This method keeps your manscaping looking natural no matter what length your shorts are or what cut of shirt you are wearing out on the town. It also keeps the most intense manscaping job from looking like overtwisted eyebrows. On the subject of eyebrows, you should have two, but overshaped ones will just make you look like an off-duty drag queen. The best rule of thumb is to keep it looking natural, and a little too much is always a better look than a little overdone.
It is summer, and everyone wants to look hot at pools and the parties. Want to flash your abs you have toiled over all year but don’t want to lose that Tom Selleck charm either? A simple trim from under the pecs to below the belt is perfectly acceptable. Just be sure to avoid the ridiculous overshaped happy trail. It’s the mullet of manscaping and not a good look to sport in any pool party pictures splashed across social media.
Many who work on that summer body all year long prefer the hairless route. Any gym rat will tell you this can be a daunting task. Shaving the 200-pound body of a grown man can be both time consuming and cost a small fortune in Gillette Mach4 blades. However, a tight, lightweight knit shirt stretched across a swollen physique without the stubble trapped beneath is sure to turn heads all summer long.
Many of our fine young twink brethren prefer the hairless path, too. Guys with smaller frames and hairless bodies can easily get away with deeper V-necks and more exposed skin.
The ways to go hairless are countless and ever changing. Waxing works great on smaller areas, lasts longer than shaving, and can even decrease the density of hair over time. Find an aesthetician you love and treat them well considering the things you might be asking them to wax. Never skimp on a tip for someone in charge of your manzilian service since your life, or at least your social life, is in their hands.
Laser hair removal is by far the most permanent method but it will not work for all skin and hair types. For those that qualify the advances in technology have been vast. No longer do you need a high pain threshold or an entire afternoon to get the results you desire. The permanent results are achieved over time but are well worth the dedication.
Any method you choose will at some point result in skin irritation, razor bumps or ingrown hairs. For that there is one product you must try. Tend Skin solution works anywhere on your body, on most skin types, and gets results quicker than anything else you will try. It is not an inexpensive fix but purchase it once and you will never mind the price tag again. This product can keep the most sensitive skin from your inner thighs, your chest, the back of your neck and shoulders clear from unsightly blemishes. Such irritations can ruin the best laid plans to wear that perfect pair of scandalous swim trunks to the beach or your favorite skank top out on the town.
Oddly enough there is much less to recommend to our lesbian sisters. The main points to make are just the basics. Keep your eyebrows a pair and keep your mustache nonexistent. Armpit grooming is a personal choice until you bring them out in public. If you love to wear a summer dress or you feel like sporting a tank top to the club please keep them in check. Other than that, just groom the rest however it keeps that special women in your life happy.
As far as the landscape design down south goes, everyone has their own preferred layout. “Do unto others as you would have done to you,” – the golden rule works here, too, and is an easy way to display field standards. As adults, you never want to look as if you haven’t hit puberty but remember, “Nobody doesn’t like a clean plate,” as my laser hair removal technician loves to remind me.