Shaving off all bodily fuzz may get cyclists and swimmers results, but would it do the same for your love life? And while beards are still in (regardless of the ‘peak beard’ myth), do ladies prefer a smoother look elsewhere?
Hair removal – especially ‘down there’ – can be a slippery slope to nicked nutsacks and burnt ends (not the BBQ type), so it pays to be a man with a plan. Before you end up in A&E thanks to a shower accident, we did a survey of 100 real women to find out what they really want.
Pogonophile or not, unless follically challenged, chances are there’s at least some hair on your face. While the majority of women asked like this, their comments spoke volumes as to just what those hairs on your chinny chin chin should entail.
“Nothing longer than 1cm,” said one respondent, “I don’t want it to tickle when kissing or damage my make-up.”
“Plus stubble gives men the appearance of having better bone structure,” added another.
These findings are backed up by science. A 2008 study by researchers Neave & Shields found that women like hair, but not too much, with stubble ranking as the most attractive facial foliage.
The overwhelming majority also favour a beard that’s well cared for. “If you’ve left it to go hard and wiry, keep it away from me. But I love a soft bit of stubble, it’s manly, but it won’t leave me with a rash.”
Don’t throw away all clippers just yet, mind. The desired hair has strict parameters on where it is allowed to appear. “Just because you’ve got a beard doesn’t mean you’re allowed nose hair or, god forbid, ear hair. That just looks unkempt.” You’ve been told.
(Related: The Ultimate Guide To Stubble)
Even if switched on enough to keep your boat and your ballsack tame (never with the same razor), most guys forget the inbetween. Fortunately, most women prefer the natural look, but again, it’s not without its strict rules and regulations.
“I don’t want a man who looks like a little boy,” said one participant. “I don’t want them to have got rid of all body hair, or it feels a bit like being with a Ken doll – and not in a sexy way.”
The majority of women favour the middle ground between hairless and hirsute. “A couple of centimetres of natural looking growth on the chest, armpits and legs is a good middle ground.” If blessed with the curly chest of a seventies porn star, either trim it or at least let the unsuspecting viewer know beforehand.
At the other end of the spectrum, the handful of women that are into manscaping are really, really into it. “I prefer a full blown waxed look. I’m into the TOWIE vibe and it would ruin it if he just had some hairy dad chest hiding his six pack.” Pick your tribe and groom your follicles accordingly.
(Related: The Ultimate Manscaping Guide)
Neave & Shields’ study found that almost no women (two in 1,500) rated a total clean shave as the most attractive pubic hair style. And it turns out that not much has changed in the intermittent decade.
“I don’t believe anybody wants to be faced with a massive bush,” one pointed out. “I take care of myself down there, so I expect him to do the same – especially if he wants me to actually touch it.”
These words echoed across most of our feedback, with three-quarters of women saying they’d appreciate at least a slight scissor trim before a rumble in the jungle.
As for the lone female who wanted her man to dare to bare? “I’d always go for a clean shave for one reason – a tree looks bigger in a field than it does in a forest.”
(Related: The Below The Belt Grooming Guide)
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