Body hair is a natural phenomenon for men. However the remarkable thing is that women are capable of coming up with a whole range of reactions when they see a guy with his shirt off. Here are a few thoughts on whether women like hairy chests in men or go for the uber smooth look.
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The first point about how women perceive men with body hair is that it is bound to differ from one individual to another. Some women may find a hairy chest really sexy in probably a caveman kind of way and the thought of running their fingers through all that thick foliage may send shivers through their spine. On the other hand some may prefer guys with only limited patches, here and there. Still others may find body hair way too gross and like the male chest to be smooth - perhaps the less to interfere with the loving, the better.
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The next thing about hairy male chests is that there are various degrees of hairiness. Some guys may have thick and dark hair curling out of every pore and weaving together across the entire surface of the skin so that only the palms, soles of the feet and certain areas of the face are naturally hairless. It may be difficult for many women to accept this degree of hairiness in a partner but who knows, there may be some out there for whom it can act like a turn-on. At the other extreme of the scale of hairy men are those with completely smooth chests – some of them may be naturally so while others, most notably athletes, may have got it done artificially. However the majority of the male species seems to fall somewhere in between, with hair on their bodies growing in patches, like a map of fuzzy continents and peninsulas across their length and breadth.
How a man looks with a hairy chest also depends on whether he can carry it off. Some like the male television stars of the 70s looked really sexy with the little bit of hair, peeking out from beneath their shirts. Remember Sir Sean Connery, the ultimate Bond, cavorting with femme fatales and not afraid to show off a nice hairy chest. Fast forward from that to the present Bond, Daniel Craig whose also has the body of an Adonis and yet is waxed to within an inch of his life, witness the scene from Casino Royale where he emerges from the waves in a gender reversal of the famous Ursula Andress scene in yet another Sean Connery Bond movie Dr. No.
Actually it was with the rise of the metrosexual man in the 1990s that the debate on whether women liked hairy or clean-shaven chests came up. Male grooming around this time expanded beyond the daily shaving routine to encompass facials, manicures and pedicures as well as removing body hair. British footballer and style icon David Beckham represented this trend with this carefully groomed looks and smooth-chested photo on the cover of fashion magazine Vanity Fair. While women welcomed the arrival of the metro male who gave personal grooming a whole new meaning and indicated a generation of men more in touch with their ‘feminine’ side, the attitude seems to have fallen out of favor now. A recent report in the online version of the British Daily Mail mentions how most women are going back to ‘real’ looking men instead of those who sport a clean-shaven chest. The report, based on a survey commissioned by Sound Asleep and carried out by OnePoll.com, took the responses of 3000 British women into account.
Finally whether or not women dig hair on a man’s chest would vastly depend on how well-groomed the guy is. It is a good idea to keep the chest hair trimmed if one is naturally prone to a thick crop of hair but be sure to leave enough on so that your partner is able to run her fingers through. On the other hand, shaving it off completely may appeal to some women while others may find it too ‘metro’. Besides, a completely clean look is a high-maintenance affair since a bristly stubble will not only spoil the look but be rather uncomfortable for your partner in case she decides to get cozy with you. So whatever style you settle on, make sure that you look neat since there is little that is as sexy on a man as a well-groomed appearance.
While it is women who have traditionally been at the receiving end of unrealistic body images constructed by the media, the concern with body hair or muscular body type are growing instances of men too being bombarded with unfair physical ideals. The result is that like women, men are also getting increasingly insecure about their bodies. Ultimately the only solution is to go a little easier on each other. And while there is no need to refrain from admiring a nice physique, the part of the chest that women should focus on is underneath all that hair anyway!