While the new Baywatch has given us colossally rippling abs, all the male characters seem to be missing one key component: chest hair. Now you might argue “lifeguards need minimal water resistance,” to which I’d refer you to the original 1990s Baywatch, where David Hasselhoff sports a full chest of hair yet manages to save plenty of hot women in slow-motion. Zac Efron and The Rock aside, can you name one current box-office star rocking full fur in 2017? Even Hugh Jackman’s Logan is completely hairless, and he’s literally playing a wolverine. Hell, between all 13 season of The Bachelorette, I’ve only counted 10 chest hairs and four pubes.
As always, the gay community is lightyears ahead in celebrating the natural male form, with entire subcultures dedicated to worshipping a full pelt. From bears to otters to wolves to pups, if you wanna party with some fur, there’s a cruise ship on its way to the Bahamas that’s got you covered.
Feminism can’t mean women get to rock a full bush while demanding unreasonable standards of hairlessness from men.
I first realized I had a thing for body hair when, at 10 years old, I discovered The Joy of Sex on my grandparent’s bookshelf. Apparently the 1970s were all about hair-specific sex play. In fact, The Joy of Sex included an entire manual on licking hairy armpits. Fast forward and I’ve since spent the majority of my adult life deeply enjoying men with hairy chests. I love a coy tuft peaking out of an Hawaiian shirt in the summer and a thick pelt to keep me warm in the winter. And in the off-seasons? Well, I need something to hold onto during sex so I don’t slip off and crash into my nightstand. (Honestly, at five feet tall, there’s a real chance of this happening.)
But sadly it seems as though I’m in the minority, at least among my circle of cis-het lady friends (that’s straight women born with female genitalia, for those who have yet to catch up to the terminology) and despite the rise of lumbersexuals. Popular culture seems to have brainwashed men and women into thinking manscaping is still a must. But the truth is that feminism can’t mean women get to rock a full bush while demanding unreasonable standards of hairlessness from men.
Side note: I am and will always be team Your Body, Your Choice. If you want to shave those balls, live your best life. But for the dudes who’ve become beholden to over-grooming, I’m here to say, it’s okay. Grow that shit out. And for any woman new to the warm world of body hair, I say, dip your toes in. The water’s just fine.
Now if you’ve been conditioned to only enjoy hairlessness, it can be a bit of a jolt to start loving fuzz, so I recommend both clean-shaven men and the women who love them to start slowly and work your way up through the three levels of embracing full fuzz, which I’ve so kindly provided below.
LEVEL 1: TRIMMED CHEST HAIR
It’s different for every man, but within a month or so, you can probably go from shaven to peach fuzz. The only thing you have to do is… absolutely nothing. Just set a timer and wait for your hair to grow. I recommend accessorizing with a nice gold necklace to really make those curls pop. As for the ladies, this is a great way to introduce yourself to the glory of fur. Encourage your man’s new bod-coif with some light petting and spoil him with a new deep V-neck.
LEVEL 2: HEAVY BACK HAIR
Or as I like to call it, a “Hair-Cape.” Think Nathan Lane in The Birdcage. This is a good moment to point out that not every man can grow hair and if that’s you, you’re perfect as you are. But if you’ve been asking your roommate to shave your back since college, stop and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results. I personally prefer shoulder hair because I can grip onto your “Fur-Reins” and we can go on sexy adventures together. Meow!
LEVEL 3: FULL PELT
A Full Pelt is when your head hair connects connects to your shoulder hair connects to your back hair connects to your butt hair, in one unbroken coat. Level 3 is expert-level fur-worship and not for the faint of heart. It’s like having a boyfriend and dating a very large animal all at once. I’ve only met a few Full Pelts in my life, but I’ve been absolutely inspired by their body positivity. As a disclaimer: most men can’t naturally grow a Full Pelt, so this only applies to a select few of you. But if you’re sick of spending hundreds of bucks shaving, waxing or lasering your entire body, you can stop right now. Because when my heater’s broken in the dead of January, the man I really want by my side is you.
So get to growing, gents! Don’t let unreasonable beauty standards stop you from loving what the good Lord gave ya.