When I came out at age 15, I was already shaving. It was worse than a wispy boy 'stache--I'd been fighting full-on face beard since middle school. I possessed the feminine mannerisms of a boy touched with homosexuality, yet my body wanted to be a burly man at a young age.
At this time I was, of course, looking at gay porn online. I was among the first generation of gay kids to have the internet and a plethora of naughty videos to watch and share; the web profoundly shaped my perception of the ideal gay man. The young men I saw in porn back then were so vanilla--clean-shaven, lightly defined pecks, and never more than a tuft of hair between their chest. It was the turn of the millennium and the Queer Eye guys were plucking every man in sight--hair wasn't en vogue at all--and I felt profoundly out of place. I was so green and gay; I thought the models in porn, Calvin Klein ads, and Degrassi were the pinnacle of male perfection. I thought body hair was completely unappealing and unacceptable forever. When I came out I had a beard (eliminated daily by razor), just a small bit of chest hair, a happy trail, and pubic hair I cut back with craft scissors. I hoped this was the peak of my burliness.
But soon into my junior year of high school, my perineum started to fill in with threads of fine, dark hair. I was alarmed at first by the crunchy friction I felt between my legs as I walked through the halls. I convinced myself everyone else could hear the hair whooshing together in my boxers. That same year my chest started to fill in with dark, thick hair. Soon my tricep area exploded with its own brambly nest too. I felt like I was growing into wolfman, and I was terrified that no man would ever love me because of it.
I knew chest hair was, within reason, desirable in a man. The models in the porn occasionally had chest hair, but they were otherwise bare. These macho men, with their tufts of hair outlining perfectly defined pecs, were always the tops. The bottoms were, of course, plucked bare. I was fine with having chest hair, but I was not sure I could ever become the strapping studs I idolized in Sean Cody, Bel Ami, and Freshmen.
During senior year, my butt cheeks started to fill in with dark, downy hair, and I became very alarmed. In all the images of men I had seen, nobody ever had a hairy ass. It was something signifying old, gross men who played on bowling leagues and did not know what a cocktail was. A hairy ass was not something for me, and it was not who I wanted to grow into.
So I shaved my my ass completely when I was 17. I was smart enough to use my good Gillette Mach 3, but I did not expect I would go through an entire pack of blades. It was not just cheeks--low back, perinieum, inner thigh, and a few other areas I didn't know had hair.
The sheer logistics of annihilating every hair particle proved tricky. With the help of a Clinique folding mirror-comb and years of teenage yoga, I fully manboyscaped in 90 minutes. I felt liberated; finally I was the Apollonian perfection I sought. I moisturized my now-smooth bum with my favorite Banana Boat vitamin-e cream, and I looked forward to seeing myself in the mirror as I dressed for school.
The next day felt amazing--I no longer crinkled as I walked! I even wore cargo shorts with no boxers to enjoy my airy crotch. With my perfectly smooth behind and my hairy chest, I finally felt like a hot man (despite the baby fat coating my yoga-stretched muscles). This felt right. I felt happy.
This joy lasted a week before I noticed all the little hairs returning back to their posts. They weren't the downy hairs I trimmed off though; these new hairs felt like hard beard stubble. I was surprised they came back so soon, and I didn't expect them to feel so angry. The hair between my legs now felt like sandpaper, and not even my silk boxers felt good against my stubbly ass.
Rather than shave again, I gave up. I endured a month of itchy hair regrowth, and by Thanksgiving of senior year I was back to my hairy self. Just to say "thank you," my body rewarded me with even more hair--this time on my stomach. My perfect happy trail became a happy parking lot, and I gave in to my burliness. At age 18, I decided my body hair was here to stay.
As I've aged and my body hair has evened out, I've found that porn has also caught up to my body. With the growth of online niche porn, gay boys can now lust after men of all body types. We're in a pro-beard, anti-trim bubble right now for men, and I'm greatly enjoying it. The time will surely come when hair and beards for men goes out of fashion again. But for right now, my naturally hairy body is back in style. I'm glad my teenage self had the sense to accept the man he was growing into.