Dear Richard: A Hairy Situation
I'm 21 and a naturally hairy guy. I've just started dating and noticed that a lot of guys either clip their chest hair or wax it off. They also pluck their eyebrows, clip their leg hair, and shave their privates. I've never done that, but I recently had two hookups where my body hair was mentioned.
One guy looked at me naked and said, "Wow, you sure are hairy!" like he was totally shocked, and another asked if I ever considered trimming my chest hair. I don't see myself as looking like Chewbacca; I've got thick brown chest and body hair, I have to shave my face every day, but my back is barren.
So if I'm into the Abercrombie, all-American looking guy who's pretty smooth, and I'm not at all attracted to bears, does this mean I have to shave? Is shaving an unspoken prerequisite for meeting the guys I like?
Gay men go through hair phases every couple years. In the 1990s it was all about trimming, shaving or waxing the legs, chest, back, and holes. Then in the 2000s there was a rise in hair popularity. I suspect these trends are often inspired by porn: In the '90s the clipped Falcon and All Worlds models were all the rage, while a decade later the rougher Raging Stallion and Titan model took center stage. Perhaps now with the popularity of sites like Randy Blue, Corbin Fisher and Sean Cody, gays are returning to the buff bare body look.
Whatever the reasons, what matters is adopting the look that makes you feel attractive. Forget what gay guys say to you—especially young single ones—because they're an insecure bunch. They often say bitchy things, or things that sound bitchy but aren't intended to be mean, because your look is flying in the face of conventionality. Some may even secretly envy you and that response is a defense mechanism. This is one reason why gays keep so many therapists employed.
That being said, good grooming is always a good idea. Most guys don't like looking at your crotch and mistaking it for a bird in a nest with two small eggs. So if things start getting out of bounds, you may want to invest in clippers and trim it down. I'm not a fan of bare shaving due to the ingrown hairs that come afterward (unless, of course, it's for some kind of kinky sex game, in which case it's totally amazing), but clipping neatly is always a good look. Some men clip their crotch hair to make their junk look bigger, while others like their hard-earned abs to stand out more so they trim the belly and chest. Give it a try and see how it looks on you. If you like it—great! If not, the hair will grow back within a week or two and no one will care.
With all this comes a warning: While you probably don't want a caterpillar crawling across your brow, some homos can go too far. Highly sculpted eyebrows should only be seen on drag queens, so if you're going to pluck make sure it looks natural. A good gay hair dresser will help you out.
Ultimately, body hair doesn't matter as much as your attitude. I have tackled many a hairy beast because that man owned and loved his look, and I've had the same experience with clipped men and guys who are naturally smooth. So find your look, change it up however often you want, but whatever you do own your look and any guy—from Abercrombie stud to adorable otter to burly bear—is going to come knocking down your door.
Dear Richard is not a medical doctor, a licensed psychiatrist, a counselor, a reverend, or a rabbi. He has not been evaluated by the FDA, the CDC, or the BBC, and his words are not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The information is for educational purposes only and it not intended to serve as medical advice. Dear Richard does, however, love hearing from you and answering your questions. Leave a comment or send him an e-mail.