David and Jessie do a monthly date to get waxed. At 5 p.m. they hit up happy hour for a margarita. Then they drive over to the wax salon at 6 p.m. Relaxed bodies and brains ready them for their appointments. Jessie gets a Brazilian bikini wax in one room; David does his back and shoulders in another. They are done by 6:45, home by 7, and eagerly ripping each other’s clothes off by 7:01.
“I encouraged David to start manscaping,” Jessie admits. “But now he’s hooked. I suppose the post-wax blow job certainly helps too!” In a society that currently asserts that back hair is not sexy, many men are starting to manscape — reducing unsightly body hair with trimmers, razors and wax for a more groomed appearance. Yes, even in Boulder.
Brian, a 32-year-old triathlete, admits, “I’m used to shaving my legs for swimming and biking. Letting the razor wander to other areas was easy. And excellent for my sex life with my wife. After I shave, we slip around like velvet.”
Though not a competitive Boulder athlete, Dan, 45, states, “I shave both balls and pubes because I like my women to as well. It would be a double standard if I didn’t.”
Max, a 25-year-old rock climber, states, “I don’t shave anything at all. It feels pre-pubescent.” To him, his body and facial hair signify a rugged sex appeal, and keep him warm in winter.
Brian, Dan and Max reflect on how manscaping can define the type of masculinity a man subscribes to. Dan feels that modern men must take care of themselves if they are going to attract and keep a partner. Yet he has lived in Boulder a long time.
“In this town, my beard is super-important to me, but so is my beard trimmer,” he says.
The question becomes, what’s acceptable hair and what’s not? When it comes to manscaping, the general consensus is to wax the back, but keep the beard; shave the scrotum, but trim the happy trail. It doesn’t hurt that manscaping enhances muscular definition and makes the penis appear larger.
Think of a redwood above treeline.
While the beard trimmer is many a man’s best friend, others prefer to have a professional do the dirty work. Noreen, a cerologist (waxing specialist) waxes just as many men as women.
“Metro men often come in for a more stylized wax,” she says. “Mountain men tend to come in to keep the beard and neckline trim.”
She notes that Boulder’s athletic scene accounts for a huge portion of the business, including whole-body waxing of arms, underarms, legs, back and chest. Other men wax for anniversaries and special occasions. And a smaller portion of men get waxed for their drag-queen shows or cross-dressing fun.
While shaving cuts hair off at the skin, creating a faster and more concentrated re-growth, waxing pulls the hair from the root, allowing it to grow back slower and finer. Men can do a bikini wax (removal of pubic hair that sticks out of the briefs), or a Brazilian bikini (removal of all pubic hair on the pubic mound and surrounding areas; includes butt crack, but no shaft or scrotum). The penis shaft and scrotum have a thin and stretchy skin that is too sensitive for wax or creams. Hair in these areas is best removed with razors or trimmers.
Usually if a man trims, shaves, or waxes, so does his partner. Betsy, Max’s girlfriend, supports his abstinence from manscaping. “I like a fully natural look. Body hair separates men from boys, and I like men — hairy and wild.”
Gloria is a 24 year-old CU grad student originally from Los Angeles. She prefers a more metro-mountain look. “My man needs to be well-maintained — thick but sculpted eyebrows, trimmed and suitable face stubble, tidy arms and legs, and zero hair on the chest, back and below the belt.”
And then there is Sally, a 43-yearold Boulder native who states, “I like my men like I like my trails — rugged but not overgrown.”
Metro and mountain men alike, what matters most is when you look in the mirror and like what you see. Plus, you won’t complain if your partner also likes how you feel when sliding into the sleeping bag with you.
Jenni Skyler, PhD, is a sex therapist and board-certified sexologist. She runs The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, www. theintimacyinstitute.org