Since the dawn of metrosexuality and the entrance of manscaping as a legitimate term in our language, this moment has been inevitable. Guys getting waxed "down there" has finally become a trend, and business is booming as men discover the joys of having hot wax swabbed all over your genitals and the subsequent rush of having said wax ripped off with alarming force, freeing the tiny hairs from their shafts and momentarily knocking your soul loose from its moorings. So what can we expect now that there'll be no more beating around the man bush? So, so much—maybe even a little too much.
If you care to know what exactly "down there" hair care involves, it's basically just like what we women do, removing either all or some of the hair in the most painful way possible. Who, exactly, is subjecting themselves to this? Guys of all kinds, if you believe the New York Times:
"What we're finding is, it's everybody," said Mike Indursky, the president of the Bliss chain of spas, which offers a men's Brazilian called the Ultimate He-Wax for $125. "It's the gay community, it's the straight community, it's very conservative guys, it's very liberal guys. All different age groups are coming in. It's much, much bigger than we ever thought."
LITERALLY EVERYBODY. I challenge you to find even one man that's still walking around without a waxed package. (Santa Claus doesn't count.) So, why don't we hear from a convert to the cult of clean living:
Evan Scott, 32, a music producer who lives in Murray Hill, has been getting a more-basic bikini wax for about two years. "I like to represent myself in a certain way, from no clothes to fully buttoned up, and I think that this is an extension of my overall presentation," he said. Noting the prevalence of bikini waxes among women, Mr. Scott also suggested that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. "If I have that expectation of someone else, I probably would want to return the favor," he said.
So now we're waxing as part of managing our own personal brand? Very cool. The sentiment about wanting to "return the favor" seems well-intentioned, but I don't think anyone would hold it against you for not ripping your pubic hair out before a date. Just as one hopes you would not hold it against a woman for not buying into the Waxing Industrial Complex.
Actually, when you really get down to it, for many guys it's probably less about seeking waxing equality with women than it is about creating a useful optical illusion:
Some men think there's an added perk of getting a Brazilian: an enlarging effect for the main attraction. "It accentuates it, because there's nothing to obscure the, you know, implement down there," said Ramon Padilla, the director of Strip: Ministry of Waxing, a salon in SoHo, which charges $85 for a so-called Boyzilian.
Boyzillian, heh. Wait, implement? You can smear melted wax on someone's anus, but you cannot refer to a penis directly by its given name? Interesting. Of course, this trend isn't just about looks; it's also about feelings. According to Bliss Spa's Indursky, guys get addicted to the confidence it gives them:
Guys try it and look and go, "It's better than the mess I had down there," and it is. You feel more confident. It actually makes you feel more masculine, instead of less masculine, to get waxed.
Wax on, wax off. Meh. Enough with all of this masculine positivity and boosting of confidence—let's get into the dark truth about this waxing trend. What's really driving this? Well, if we are to believe Ramon Padilla of Strip, it's not about masculinity at all. Dun, dun, dun! It's actually about a kind of emasculation, he says:
The vast majority say they're doing it because their wife or their girlfriend told them to do it," he said. "The wives bring them," saying "If I'm going to do it, you better do it as well."
It was the Wife in the Bathroom with the Epilator! You know wives, always expecting physical perfection from our husbands and equal participation in every personal care category. It's why we insist that our men wear panty liners for a few days out of the month. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, without exception.
But, seriously, gents. Don't even try to stick this on us. If you want to shave or wax or pluck (ahh!) your man bits to within an inch of their life, you go right ahead. But don't do it on our account. A little trimming now and then wouldn't kill you, but most of us are just fine with being able to see the tree for the forest… Ugh, you get it.
Listen, If you do dare to go bare, be sure to take good care of your freshly denuded skin because ingrown hairs are a bitch. You might even consider going one step further and doing a little redecoration. Wait, everybody grab your eyeballs so you can rip them right out immediately after reading this:
[Face to Face] salon offers a full Brazilian called South of the Border for $70, along with partial treatments. Also on its menu is something called "pejazzling," in which crystals in patterns like stars and dolphins are affixed on newly defuzzed skin.
[Insert as many "no's" here as there are hairs being pulled off during the South of the Border treatment.] Seriously, no. There are a lot of things this world can withstand—earthquakes, wars, famine, Celine Dion—but a rhinestone dolphin pejazzled on your ding-dong is just not one of them.
A He-Wax for Him [New York Times]
Image via olly/Shutterstock.