Manscaping: The rapidly rising trend in male body-hair removal in order to draw attention away from your other masculine shortcomings ~ The Douche-Bag Encyclopedia
Dear God, Why?
Occasionally I am subjected to the kinds of terrible advice that will cruise straight by my better judgement and, after a sudden and unprompted sneak attack that will see it infiltrate the depths of my brain unchecked, pass itself off as a good idea before I've even had time to blink and say, "Wha..."
One such gem was recently bestowed upon me through glossy pink lips and a seductive stare in the form of the words, "Woman don't like chest-hair. Trust me. You should totally shave your chest!" Okay, so I lied about the pink lips and the seductive stare, having garnered said advice from a columnist (slash "expert" slash making-things-up-as-they-go) type of personality on a popular grooming site for men. This was obviously a less popular website than anything even remotely porn-tastic, though more popular than, say, a men's site about finding Jesus and applying His word to your trade as a porcupine salesman.
Another thing I happened to lie about was that I ended up being "subjected" to this advice as though against my will by a Nazi dominatrix which, as appealling as that might actually sound when I really think about it, is something you've no doubt seen through by now and have already filed this article under pretty-boy went looking for said advice. Which would be totally true. The pretty-boy part, I mean. And the other part too.
Apparently a woman will know within the first 5 seconds of meeting you whether you have a filthy chest-carpet or not. And they're very good at it...
The point is that after much internal debate and many hours in the gym, this guy I know (okay, it's me) decided it would be a good idea to rid his (my) chest of all hair. Especially those longer ones that seem to surround the nipples in a pube-orific aura like one of those retro starburst wall clocks. Yes, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Take a look at your nips right now. It's okay, go ahead. People do it all the time. Now... see those horrendous pubes surrounding your beautifully circular nipples so perfectly centered on each of your sweaty man-boobs? That's what I'm talking about. It's pretty gross, right? In fact it's almost as gross as you having just fiddled with those very hairs with your fingers to see how long they were. Save your denial, I know what you did.
Nothing says "I'm fucking awesome" like one of these on your wall. Except maybe anything else.
NOTE TO ALL MEN: Women are tougher than you can possibly imagine. Waxing truly IS incredibly painful. And they do it over and again. On purpose. For fun.
This is why people go to professional salons in order to subject themeselves to this ridiculous torture. But for the purposes of this article I am going to assume that you're all as dumb as me and that should you ever decide to go through with this method of hair-removal, you intend to take the DIY approach (which isn't necessarily such a bad idea, since you're going to be crying a lot). Kind of like taking the DIY approach to testicular surgery using a rubber mallet and a seagull: You simply do not know what you're doing...
There are so many products and brands available for this kind of thing, even out where I live in the middle of goddamned nowhere. And, more importantly, they're all relatively cheap. I therefore slightly increased my awesome knowledge of everything in the world by reading up on the best techniques for utilizing the most effective brands on the market. The universally accepted technique seemed to boil down to four basic steps:
1) Warm the wax sufficiently.
2) Apply the wax to your hairy self.
3) Smooth a wax strip over the warm wax and gently rub it in the direction of the hair-growth, and...
4) Rip the strip off as quickly as possible and against the grain of your hair.
Easy, right? Why on earth would so many women complain about this? Because they're weak, that's why. But we're men! We can handle this sort of shit. Hand me that wax, bitch...
Don't be fooled, you actually have to be Han Solo to look this fucking unfazed by the chunk of hair she just ripped from over your heart.
Where It All Went Wrong
I went to the store and, after preparing a suitable excuse for holding a rosy red box with the words fragrant and essence written all over it in the most gay fonts ever devised, just in case one of my friends happened to bust me, I settled on a popular brand and went home to prove how manly I could be about the whole thing. What's that you say? Pain? Please, I eat pain in my sleep! Okay, that makes absolutely no sense at all, but you understand my attitude towards the impending waxing session I had planned for myself.
General advocates of waxing and grooming and all of that cuddly nonsense us real men have no place involving ourselves in whatsoever will often suggest that prior to going all baboon with the wax, it's a great idea to test it on a small area first. This will allow you to gauge the effectiveness of the method as well as give you a little practice before the main event. It will also allow you to test for any oversensitivity or allergic reaction(s) of your skin. A smart idea, that. I guess I should have pursued it.
Instead I decided to "test" it by applying a complete two-inch wide wax strip of about six inches in length down the side of my tummy and right beside my navel. I rubbed it down as instructed on the gloriously loud little box this product of Hell came in, laughed in the face of danger and complaining women everywhere, and ripped that sucker off.
A few moments later when I was done screaming like a panicked choir-boy in the Church of St. Sodomite and managed to uncurl myself from the foetal position on my bathroom floor, I wiped the tears from my eyes, got to my feet, took a deep breath and removed my quivering hands from the wound they now covered. I then observed the results.
What the fancy little box had failed spectacularly to tell me was that there would be blood. Little droplets of it forming where the wax had obviously pulled my fucking skin off! I'm sure that's some kind of insider's joke at the wax factory. I can just picture the overweight execs sitting around the boardroom at Camp Satan and chuckling over Manuel's suggestion that we leave that part about the blood out of the warning label completely, muwaahahaha! Nor did it happen to mention that your first attempt would most likely not get all of the hairs, but that it was a sort of hit-or-miss affair and that it would almost certainly come off in fucking patches. Meaning that I would have to wax that same stinging, burning, rectangle of demon pain all over again. And then move on to the rest of my chest for more of this fucking horseshit. Not likely.
I took one look at my nipples and knew for a fact that I would lose them to this whole brilliant scheme of mine, finding them stuck to the underside of the wax strip that covered them moments before I yanked it off and once again screamed so loudly my neighbors would arm themselves out of fear of me coming over to their house once I'd finished raping the peacock I'd obviously locked in my bathroom. Because that's what it'd sound like, escalating in pitch with every strip.
If you absolutely have to be as awesome as me, then by all means attempt to follow the instructions included with any one of the many DIY waxing kits available. It'll be fun. For me. When you tell me about how well it all turned out for you. But if you're serious about ridding your chest/ back/ shoulders/ groin/ grandmother of hair (because apparently it's what the ladies expect these days) then GO. TO. A. PROFESSIONAL. Someone who can, at the very least, show you how to do it properly and teach you how to prevent yourself from experiencing a mountain of discomfort. This also has the added bonus of your possibly meeting hot salon girls. Seriously, only hot girls work in these places. And if you're worried about your boner, don't. It'll disappear the very second that first strip is yanked from your chest and you attempt to stifle your girly screams.
Salon girls: They all look like this. Trust me, this is a genuinely plagiarized photo of a genuinely fake salon.
Obviously there are many other common methods out there. Such as hair removal creams (the solution I finally settled on and actually managed to get some good results out of) and laser treatments and good old reliable shaving. Which comes with good old reliable ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Don't get me wrong though, men successfully utilize any and all of these methods all the time (just check out most of the guys in the gym or at the beach... um, in a platonic way, I mean, so as not to seem gay. Unless you are gay, in which case you already know what I'm talking about) All of these methods do work, but you have first got to know what you are doing. Get proper advice from people who already handle hair removal succesfully (salon workers, steroid jockeys, your mom).
What initially made waxing seem like the best option for me was the so called fact that it pulls your hairs out at the roots. Opposed to shaving or hair removal creams that basically crop the hair at skin level. The waxed hair therefore grows back as fine, soft strands that cause no irritation and, best of all, take weeks to re-grow whereas the cropped hairs grow back as sharp stubble and may begin testing your patience as soon as the very next day already.
Also, once you've settled on a method, it would be wise to first practice on a small patch of hair somewhere easily accessible. Like that patch of hair on your hideous Hobbit-foot. That's a good start. Then once you've truly mastered whatever technique will work for your obviously pretentious and incredibly vain self, and once you've found that you've encountered no negative side effects, then go ahead and apply it all over your hairy chest.
Congratulations, you've now achieved an entirely new level of douche-baggery. I'm so proud of you...