Another hairy question

Clay has been naked twice now in Fast Lane, but I’ve never mentioned anything about him having hair anywhere on his body, except for his head.

Mistake? Or shrewd maneuver? I mean, would readers rather I be specific, or let their imaginations run wild?

Mary Jo and I saw a play called Bombshells, in which a woman reads from a romance novel about a man taking his shirt off to reveal a “glade of hair on his chest.” Squirming in her chair, the character repeats “glade” several times, saying it from way down in her throat and drawing out the vowel.

In other words, body hair good.

Then there’s that commercial where a woman watches a slide show on the laptop of a guy sleeping in the seat next to her on a plane—until a shot with his shirt off reveals a wolfmanlike mat of fur that causes her to close the computer.

In other words, body hair bad.

And then the woman on the other opens the laptop top back up so she can revel in the man’s flocculent studliness.

Body hair good again.

On the web, though, the opinion seems to be that only an ogreish lout who aims to send sensitive ladies screaming from the boudoir would allow even a single follicle to go unshorn.

An article puts it like this: “A woman’s body is a playground of softness and smoothness, so don’t you think she’ll appreciate the same on you?”

Hmmm. If it’s softness and smoothness like a woman’s she prefers, wouldn’t she be better off frolicking with Freda than Fredo?

A site called Campus Men, which sports the clever “Advice for Men” as its tagline, gets downright nasty: “Older guys are still stuck in the era of Playboy…When they grew up, the only hair a man shaved was on top of his head. However, the average college student has been shaving his balls since high school.”

If that’s not proof enough of the righteousness of this trend, the site offers this as a clincher: “Howard Stern frequently talks about how he shaves his nuts.”

Howard Stern: Role model and arbiter of good taste.

The bottom line in most of these articles—some of which just happen to direct you to “men’s grooming products” you can buy—is that the modern chick digs a fellah who’s shaven as clean as a six-year-old boy. Especially you-know-where.

Can Armageddon come soon? Please?

At any rate, my opinion doesn’t really matter. I gotta go with what readers will want. So I’m counting on you, ManWARriors. Check out the poll way down at the bottom of the page and let me know if I should make Clay a bear, a baby seal…or something in between.

4 thoughts on “Another hairy question”

  1. I was at a workshop given by Jenny Crusie awhile back where she brought this up. She once wrote a character with a mustache (back in the days when Magnum set the bar, I think) and she said she got negative feedback about it. Her favorite comment was from a reader who said in HER book (in her head) the hero had no facial hair.

    Personally, I like goatees, chest hair (not back hair), etc. but I have friends who prefer NO hair – not on the chest, not on the face and, for some friends, not on the head.

    Because it's so personal, I think people will imagine what they like if you leave them space to do so. You can put in a word or two to point them in the right direction without going into a lot of detail.

  2. We had a discussion about this issue in a sexual tension workshop I took last year. I think the consensus was half of the women in the class preferred smooth as opposed to hairy, and hairy refers to chest hair…not hirsute cavemen or Sasquatch's cousin.

    I've sent "personal trimmers" to members of the military (guys of course) in care packages. I didn't ask what they needed them for, but I assumed since they only had a chance to shower once a week, their need for "man-scaping" was associated with maintaining hygiene in the field.
    I'm not big on hair. Good grooming is key.

    Enjoy your blog! (sorry about reposting..had some typos in the first post.)

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