How Important is Man-Scaping?

Originally appeared at She Said He Said

Dear Sexes:  How manicured do I need to keep my private area?  I like when the girls I hook up with are trim down there, but I’m a man so it’s alright for me to have a little bit of jungle, right?

She Said:  I’m gonna tell it to you straight: girls don’t want to see your Bro-Bush any more than you want to see a Vajungle. You gotta keep your business tight down there, and for all the same reasons we do! First and foremost, hair retains odors. Second, no one wants a long-curly stuck in the mouth. Third, I don’t want to look at you and be reminded of the 1970’s porn I once accidentally saw and have tried bleaching from my memory to no avail.

I’ll be very specific. Take your little trimmer (go to a beauty supply store and ask for The Peanut) and take the hair down to a length where it’s long enough to be soft (no stubble, please!), but not so long as to curl up and actually touch the shaft of your penis. No longer than two centimeters.

He Said: Embrace your sexuality! Don’t be afraid of a little manicure every now and then.  Plus, it makes you a good host. You wouldn’t throw a party with a messy house would you?  Seriously though, my friend and I discussed this very subject once, and we came up with the perfect manicuring project for maximizing “that area” (sure to wow any visitors to your pants).

All you have to do is follow these simple instructions: Step 1. – Shave the pubes. This gives the appearance of a lengthier shaft. Thumbs up! Step 2. – Take your favorite food (coloring) and paint horizontal stripes along your shaft, from base to tip. As we all know, horizontal stripes give the illusion of a much more girth (and you now have a giant candy cane in your pants – everyone loves candy!). Just kidding!

Honestly though, I’ve never had the balls to try the manicure makeover, but I swear that’s just because I’ve never budgeted for a second hair trimmer. And yes, if you’re trimming down there, you should have a trimmer that you don’t use on your face.


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 Photo courtesy of AngryJulieMonday

About She Said He Said

Eli and Josie, friends since college, realized how lucky they were to have one another—an honest friend of the opposite sex who tells it like it is. They wanted to share that with the world and so was born.


  1. My fiancée and I both shave everything down below because we find that smooth skin enhances the experience of both giving and receiving oral sex.

    However, I see why people are opposed to it. My great-grandmother never shaved her legs, but on the rare day I don’t shave and then forget and wear a skirt, I feel ashamed of my body and afraid of judgment. So I can see how the line from “this is a grooming option” to “do this or you are disgusting” can be pretty short.

  2. Full disclosure: I’m an exceptionally hair dude. I don’t have a “happy trail” — I have a freeway. I manscape semi-regularly, but I don’t need to. My girlfriend enjoys my back and body hair. That said though, I grew up in Southern California where beach bodies were the ideal, and men with hairy chests were considered “gross”. But men with hairy backs? Not even on the social radar. It kinda makes me insecure about my self-image with having so much body hair, although most of the men in my family do.

    But I also do it nowadays because it feels… cleaner, to be trimmed — not shaved! — and my clothes fit better too. However I usually only manscape when the weather is right, otherwise I kinda grow a “winter coat” when it’s cold, haha.

    Anyhoo, I enjoyed the article, and highly recommend a little trimming if you want to encourage/spice up your sex life.

    • I’m not particularly picky about my partner’s shaving habits as long as the hygiene is going good. But shaved or not I expect decent hygiene. And if you’re not keeping the pubes under control I will do what I have to do to dislodge them from my teeth (even if that means taking a break from something more engaging to do so). But I really don’t particularly care as a female about manscaping (other than a strong preference to not deal with stubble).

      As a female I like to keep myself shaved for the simple reason that I don’t like to mess around too much in the shower. I’m a naturally hairy person too. It’s an all or nothing deal for me. I’m not going to center any strips or make any shapes. I’m going to take 2 seconds and take it all off and call it good. I feel cleaner and better about myself that way.

      So I guess from my point of view a dude can do what he’s going to do and what makes himself comfortable as long he’s clean. I really don’t care.

  3. I have to say, I do not “get” the whole wax and trim thing. Natural is my ideal whether that’s around body hair or fresh natural body odor or the natural aging process of wrinkles and gray/white/silver hair.

    People have a right to do with their bodies what they wish, I readily grant that. But most of these trends seem to take one toward appearing pre-puberty and I shudder at that. I also don’t like to think of the hours and money people can spend tweezing and tweaking. I’d much rather they spend their time and money doing some good in the world.

    To each his/her own but I want to put in my plug for not pressuring men to chop away at their secondary sex characteristics.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      But most of these trends seem to take one toward appearing pre-puberty and I shudder at that.

      God I wish we could retire this argument.
      Do you know who’s attracted to prepubescent kids? Pedophiles.
      Do you know who’s not attracted to prepubescent kids? Everybody else.

      To somehow raise the specter of pedophilia because of a personal grooming preference is to me the equivalent of comparing people to brutal dictators. It’s a backhanded attempt at character assassination and dismissal of an argument by appealing to our natural revulsion toward child molestation.

      Pubic hair is by no means the only secondary sexual characteristic of women or men. Furthermore, people have a range of preferences for how they want their partner groomed, from completely bare, to leaving some amount of topiary (sculpted or not), to full on Tasmanian wild lands bush. That one’s tastes trend towards the less hirsute end of the spectrum does not imply that one’s tastes also trend to the “child porn” end of another spectrum.

      • Nick, thanks for arguing against nothing I said. I said people have the right to do with their bodies what they will and that the hairless look reminds me of pre-puberty and that I have a visceral reaction to it.

        You mentioned pedophilia, brutal dictators, character assassination, and arguments.

  4. What is with the anti-grooming crowd? Many people don’t like body hair. If you enjoy looking like a yeti, more power to you. If you don’t, also fine. It really is a matter of preference. With all the people talking about how important natural is… do you shave your face? I mean, it isn’t natural to shave your facial hair, but I assume that you don’t look like Gandalf.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Yeah, my whole thing in answering was that he wants a girl to be neat and trim, but doesn’t want to do it himself!

      If he were like, “I like the natural look, I enjoy the full hairiness of a woman, and I like to be au-natural my self” I’d be like, “Yeah, dude, rock on with your bad self!”

      • Bad logic. Does your man shave his arm pits? You don’t need to like on yourself what you like on the people you are sleeping with.

        • Valter Viglietti says:

          Talking about (female) arm pits shaving, I totally don’t get it. 😕
          Why are women required to shave there? When has this fashion showed up?

          Regarding pubic hair, I like them (female) trimmed and neat.
          I never did it on my own body, yes, but nobody has ever asked me to do it as well. If a partner would like that, I’d have no problem whatsoever.

          In the end, I think relationships are getting more and more complicated. :roll:

          • I think because female clothing tends to show those areas where hair can grow, certain dresses show the underarms, bikini lines, etc. Also body hair is seen as quite masculine these days.

        • Lolabunny says:

          I don’t know if it’s “bad logic” or not, but it’s double standards most men feel entitled to, don’t feel any trace of shame about and just keep reinforcing “I like myself all hairy and ~natural~ because I’m MANLY and that’s what being a man is about but I EXPECT my woman to be ~feminine~ which means clean shaven (because grown up females have to hair or something like that)!” Oh, what a easy life, uh, hairy dude? Pathetic.

  5. Actually, that’s not 100% true. My mom shaved her legs and my dad was clean-shaven until the ’70s. But their parents? Nah.

  6. It wasn’t all that long ago that women didn’t bother. It didn’t occur to people from my parents’ generation, male or female, or they felt they had more important things to do with their time and money.

  7. “’70s porn”, old Sophia Loren movies – hair goes in and out of style. I don’t always watch The Most Interesting Man in the World, but when I do, I prefer his take on manscaping.

    I dislike stubble and generally prefer the natural look. Call me Mr. Conservative, but guys spending time on waxing and shaving probably means we’ve jumped the shark as a nation.

    • Question: how’s that any different to women spending time on waxing and shaving?

      • Lolabunny says:

        Muuuuuch different, because women should do anythinggg to please the straight male gaaaaze and never complain about it. Now men should punich women by being ugly, hairy pigs.

  8. Move Jagger says:

    Hospital ORs should be sterile. Everything else, is up to your taste.

  9. …and this is what you get from a generation growing up on the internet and learning their sexuality from porn.

  10. Shaved is a recipe for stubble and razor rash and pimples caused by ingrown hairs from the hair curling in on itself. Shave bumps are not just for the facial area; curly hair is curly hair. A trim however makes it pleasant for guests in the area. Lovely to look at; nice to touch, natural but odor free. If the experience is nice for guests they will be willing to return often.

  11. i either trim, or use hair removal cream on the balls and the shaft (1.5 inches of pubic hair on the shaft – thanks doc, for mutilating my penis. two thumbs up) .
    for me, i feel cleaner.

    apart from genital hair my brother has no body hair.
    my brother dislikes being hairless, as i think he feels body hair is manly.
    i wish we could swap bodies, as i have moderate leg and chest hair – which i hate, as i prefer the smooth marbled look and think that body hair makes humans look like half-chimpanzees.

  12. Trimming should be a must. Generally speaking, I’d like it trimmed and neat. Shaved would be quite nice, but I expect trimmed. Besides, I don’t think it’s fair for a man to expect a woman to shave but think it’s okay to let his bush go without a pruning. Trim it please, at the least, especially if you expect your woman to shave or wax.

    • Lolabunny says:

      He should wax as well if he really expects her to feel pain (and the risks shaving/waxing your pubes brings) for his selfish tastes.

  13. Body hair is really quite gross. I don’t shave, but I would should the woman I were with want it, and I expect them to be, at worst cleaned up with just a little patch of hair, preferably completely shaven. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is desirable.

  14. You IDIOTS says:

    We are HUMAN beings. Odor is natural, pubic hair is natural. Get back to your humanity.

    • Nick, mostly says:

      Clothes and computers are unnatural, yet you’ve made a comment on an internet post using the latter while wearing the former. The naturalistic fallacy is a favorite weapon of people who wish to denigrate others for choices that are contrary to their own. It’s your body, do what you want to do with it. If you have preferences for what your sex partner does with theirs, I assume that’s between the two of you and none of my business.

  15. AnonymousDog says:

    I don’t shave. And I don’t expect women to, either.

  16. I’m glad someone asked this.. I was kinda wondering about it


  1. […] The Good Men Project has a hilarious, candid piece on manscaping. To groom or not to groom, that is the question. […]

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