Follicular Madness

As someone who rocks a beard, and has had bedroom-related insecurities about said beard, April Smear’s LAist anti-beard screed hit a soft spot. Until I realized the porn industry was the cause of my discomfort, then I just got mad:

Also, if I’m expected to have a trimmed or shaved puss, a guy can at least extend the same courtesy and have a shaved face. Truly, if a woman grew an Amazonian Forest below, most men these days would have a problem with it. And you know it. And before you lie, ask yourself when the last time you saw an Amazonian Forest on any of the women you gawk at in your men’s magazines and in your porn.

Horrible porn industry beauty standards: not just for women anymore! Clearly a hair double standard does exist, but it has nothing to do with beards (since sexual dimorphism should probably be discounted as a form of inequality). Sans-bush fashion made the leap from video to suburb among the female set some while ago (with what prevalence? I know of no study.), but men have thus far been spared; the male beauty standard remains less prescriptive than its sister. So the real argumet of the essay should be that what’s good for the chick, is good for the cock.

Of course, what we should be talking about how this whole hairless fetish is a creepy manifestation of body-hating (note: the fetish, not every individual instance of the practice), which is particularly visible in this passage:

If I wanted to smell that aroma, I wouldn’t be with a man.

That aroma being…your own body? The idea that “Great sex involves sweat, spit, and other bodily fluid,” but only on the part of the other person has problems. You’re denying your own body’s reality; requiring that it remain (or at least that you experience it as) a pristine, aroma-free object during sex. You’re saying the only reason you’re with a man is because you’re uncomfortable with your own body. That’s bad.

Of course, the exact same thinking is used in male rationalizations for demanding that women clearcut their “Amazon Forest” (which is a rather unfortunate metaphor, given the many creatures that call the forest home), with the added bonus of patriarchal power.

Really, we just all need to stop learning abut sex from porn. Especially dudes, seeing as you drive the mainstream pornography market. And nobody better come after my beard.

Update: An appropriately themed video by Rilo Kiley:

2 comments to Follicular Madness

  • Jeeez, how weird people are getting when it comes to matters of hair and scent.

    Since the ick factor, smell-wise, comes into play (so to speak) when bacteria feed on accumulated sweat and oil (etc.), I’d ask those who fret about smell: Don’t you take showers every so often? Soap and water is an amazing combination.

    Beyond that, we’re supposed to employ all five senses, including–and sometimes especially– the powerful olfactory one, in matters sensual and sexual. And in matters maternal, too: I once read about a study that confirmed that almost all mothers, within hours of giving birth and holding their newborns, can be blindfolded and still pick out their own babies from a selection of proffered infants simply by sniffing their little heads.

    As for the Brazilian craze, hell, I live in Florida, where swimsuits are practically office wear and everyone is bikini-line conscious. Still, it strikes me as kind of creepy to hot-wax and rip out every last bit in order to look like a little girl or a porn star. Plus, the regrowth itchiness would be pretty off-putting, both for the waxee and the people who have to watch her scratch herself like a Major League baseball player.

    Beards? Like everything else to do with our looks, they are totally hot when sported by the right guy with the right attitude. I’m visualizing a few particular friends right now, in fact. Mmmm. Then there is this one dude who really should reconsider: I think he’s going for a Guinness Book of World Records mention. That, or living in a house without mirrors.

  • That mother baby-scent selection thing is crazy. I’m a little creeped out by the (oft untamped) power of our more chemical-reaction-based senses. Somehow they seem more animalistic, somewhat threatening to free will. (The pheromones made me do it…) But good for when it’s time to play memory with identical babies…

    As for the swimsuit-wear grooming? I hail from LA, so as you know, we aren’t image conscious at all. Not that I want to be competitive about messed up beauty standards in out respective towns. The mainstream in both is fairly problematic.

    Also: “Mmmm.”? Litbrit! This is a family blog.

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