The Hair Down There

11.13.2006

By Mike Albo

Not like I have been sleeping around or looking at a lot of Internet porn or anything, but what is up with the trend of having your pubic area look like a racing stripe? From my perspective it seems like a huge number of young gay boys are shaving as if they were women in a Vixen porn video shoot, buzz-cutting until they are baby smooth or depilating their down-there hair into creative shapes like arrows, lightning bolts, or just a little fuzz-spot like a plucked eyebrow.
Actually, come to think of it, the trend seemed to start up top with eyebrows. I first noticed the strangely plucked gay trend in 2003 when the sadistic reality show Boy Meets Boy premiered. Watery, insecure James had to choose a mate from among 15 gay and secretly straight men. They all wore flip-flops, Hollister surf wear, and tiny, maintained eyebrows. Then, when Desperate Housewives star Jesse Metcalfe became the country's hunk obsession in 2004 and everyone was going gaga over his body, I couldn't get over the architectural wax job above his eyes. It looked as if he had two exotic caterpillars on his forehead.
I should have known it wouldn't stop there. Now it's as if this tweezery trend has migrated south. All you have to do is look online or go to a gay bar where go-go boys dangle their wares at you from bar tops and you will find hundreds of examples of the manicured man-lawn.
I suppose in this era when you can see so many naked bodies around you all the time, the obssessiveness with a trimmed crotch is a given. To succeed in this profile-as-person culture, where everyone has to advertise themselves to be noticed, men present their members with gourmet flair'their pubic hair becomes a topiary garnish, like their genital area is going to be on the cover of Everyday Food.
It seems like a cosmetic version of the gay debate. Whether you are naturally hairy or smooth or patchy, why not embrace this? What is more beautiful than someone who has a kind of organic hotness? Aren't we as gay people supposed to promote loving who we are? Why can't we just be? Does anyone else think a monobrow is sexy?
Of course this argument falls apart when one considers the clearly unwanted, treatable natural aspects of our bodies, like warts or pimples or scars. Or, on the other end of the spectrum of attraction, how a rancid inky sleeve tattoo on a rangy guy (or girl) is so hugely hot. (Well, it turns me on.)
It's at this moment that I fear I am a stubborn holdout during some unstoppable cultural shift. Like a baby boomer who can't seem to appreciate the Mohawk or a geriatric Southerner who still disapproves of miscegenation, I just do not have the ability to see the allure of a boy whose stubby, coiffed pubic hair resembles an Oral-B toothbrush. I feel so hairy.

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