Generally before I make any decisions in life, I ask myself one important question: What Would Ryan Lochte Do? Then I ask myself how I can update that joke to include someone more relevant but equally frivolously so. All I know is this: Ryan Lochte knows that the key to success is shaving his nards.
As an early bloomer, I've always been self-conscious about body hair. Puberty was frightening to me growing up, to the extent that I had some denial that I would even go through it. Not only did puberty strike me as a "loss of innocence," but the idea of some unknown yogurty substance shooting out of my peen was scary as shit. And when puberty would come, I assumed it'd all happen at once. I'd wake up from a dream where I was banging The Secret World of Alex Mack only to discover I now had a full beard and a hyper-tolerance to lactose:
So when I started growing pubic hair in 4th grade, I was mortified. I was nine-years-old. NINE! Every conversation with my parents and every sex-ed classes I had taken spoke of puberty as something that happened around age 13. None of it made sense, but thankfully I had my sweet, sweet hormone milk to comfort me.
I remember the moment when I had to clearly confront the pubic hair issue, and how embarrassing it was. My family had gone on vacation to Hawaii, and my dad and I were supposed to change into our swimsuits in the hotel bathroom while my mom and sister changed out in the hotel room. I told my dad I'd wait until he was done, which confused him. It was never a big deal for us to change in the same room. The truth was I didn't want him to know I had begun to grow pubic hair. I felt ashamed about the changes I was going through -- that they were happening so much earlier than I had been told. I believed I must have somehow done something shameful to bring them about. Like some sort of pubic chia pet that fed on sin.
Soon after the pubic hair came, so too did the nipple hair. Oh god did the nipple hair come. By 6th Grade I had developed quite lengthy nipple hair. Like 4-inch long nipple hair. The thing is there wasn't hair anywhere else on my chest, so it basically looked like I was sporting a pair of hairy titty tassles. Once Physical Education became mandatory in school, the daily dread of having to change my shirt with the other boys was nerve-racking. I don't even think any of them had hair follicles below their ears. As we'd change, I'd hold the outgoing shirt against my chest, blocking the view of the other kids as I tried my best to maneuver the Roy Cloud Thunderbolts shirt into place. Days when the shirt would slip, my classmates would snicker and make comments.
After months of feeling like the only one with nappy tit floss (incidentally also the name of my blues singer alter-ego), I decided to take matters into my own hands. My own, retarded, tweezer-wielding hands. Because when you think, 'What's the least painful way to remove nipple hair?' plucking them with pliers from the Swiss Army knife your grandpa gave you is the first thing that comes to mind. And at age 11, I was officially a manscaper.
But it didn't end with the nipples (areolas to be fair). I remember freshmen year of high school, sitting in our English class's discussion group, when Anna told Kevin that he had "really great eyebrows." She then turned to look at mine, and an awkward silence fell. That night I immediately began tweezing my eyebrows.
Fear that I was too-hairy only continued to grow. I was on the football team, and almost none of my teammates had the amount of hair I had on my legs and arms. Internet video porn was just starting to pick up steam, and the images blasted nightly into my eye-holes showed dudes who were completely hairless from the neck down. Girls in my class would even comment on my "werewolf hands."
I didn't even have particularly thick hair, it was just long and there was a lot of it. A day arrived when my actual pubic hair could be stretched longer than my dick, and I knew something had to go.
[Caption: When you're the only one with facial hair you try to find ways to blend in.]
"How To Shave Balls and Influence People" wasn't part of our high school reading curriculum, so instead I learned by trial-and-electric trimmer snag. I tried everything: Nair, roll-on wax and eventually laser. Depilatories seemed like a wonderful option, until I realized that the same Drano-like chemicals designed to melt hair away had a similar effect on my dick. And the Nad's lady always annoyed me for trying to hock a product that espoused to be different than waxing, even though it was exactly the same. To be fair though, this woman used to be a Koala:
When I went in for my laser hair-removal appointment, it turned out my doctor was the mom of one of my football teammates. "You're like the 12th guy I've seen from the team this year, " she said. I laughed, secretly relieved.
The funny thing is that all the while I was having these fits over what my body hair looked like, I wasn't having sex. So why did it really matter what my nipples, legs and balls looked like? Maybe it wasn't about others knowing. Maybe it was just the knowledge which I kept to myself that gave me a silent confidence with others.
Some people consider manscaping to be emasculating or weird. Yet most men shave their facial hair regularly, which itself came into being as part of a cultural zeitgeist and a fuckton of advertising.
But once I started having sex, I realized that there are all sorts of practical applications to having your pubes look like that of an 8-year-old; namely not having your junk look like that of an 8-year-old. They say to keep your hair short if it's thinning -- well this is kind of like that, except instead of making your hair look fuller, we're talking about your dong. Trimming your pubic hair is an excellent way of letting the important parts stand out.
But there's a bigger reason I'm an advocate of both men and women trimming their pubes: courtesy for their partner. The last thing I want when I'm going down on a lady is to end up flossing with her vag hair, or worse, stopping the act to cough and shove my finger back in my throat while playing "pubic hair or popcorn kernel." If you're like me, you like to really get in there when you're going down on someone, and all hair does is obstruct both the view of where I'm trying to go and lessen the actual sensation upon the genitals. It's like getting a massage with a hair peacoat on.
Some will argue that pubes are designed to trap pheromones that help attract a partner, and we shouldn't mask nature's smell. That's why I don't use deodorant or wipe. Because nature.
Ultimately, do what you want and what you're comfortable with. But I proudly manscape. After all, it's the most hydrodynamic way to swim through pussy. AMIRITE??? And that's what Ryan Lochte would do. **Shouts JEAAAAHHH while helicoptering t-shirt above head and ATVing into tree.**