Manscaping down for hygiene reasons and better sex
- Survey by Gillette found one in five men has admitted to groin grooming
- ‘When there’s no underbush the tree looks taller’ ad has 6.5 million views
- Experts say it is fuelled by more pressure on men to look after themselves
- But men justify it with more ‘masculine responses’ like it making sex better
Pressure about appearance has led to rise in the number of men ‘groin grooming’ (file photo)
It started with the face, moved onto the chest and now the trend of manscaping is heading even further south.
Once the preserve of females, keeping body hair trim and tidy is proving increasingly popular with men.
While the closely manicured chests of celebrities including David Beckham and Daniel Craig have encouraged the rise in chest hair removal, a recent survey by Gillette revealed that one in five men like to look after down below, too.
What was once the preserve of the more vain, metropolitan man, male pubic hair removal is becoming increasingly mainstream.
So why are men paying more attention to the appearance of the nether regions?
They would have you believe it is all about having ‘better sex’ or only fair if they expect girlfriends to do it.
But advertisers are heaping on the pressure and exploiting male insecurities to encourage them to spend their cash on anything from hair loss creams to genital enhancement products, promising to improve size.
Dr Matthew Hall, research associate in social psychology at Lancaster University, who has carried out various studies on metro-sexuality, believes there is more pressure than ever on male appearance.
He told MailOnline the trend of male grooming has evolved since the 1980s with factors like the rise of men’s magazines, equality and feminism and pressure from the gay movement, all playing a part.
The shift has made it more acceptable for men to take an interest in their own personal appearance, although, he added, it is often given a ‘masculine’ twist to make it more acceptable.
‘Men are now under a lot of pressure to look after themselves and to present themselves better,’ he told MailOnline.
‘You only have to look at the supermarket aisles to see the amount of products for me. Men much prefer going shopping now then they ever have done.
‘It’s not that men haven’t been doing things with themselves in the past, as they have.
‘I think what is different about the current climate is very consumerist and capitalist which puts more pressure on men to do something.’
Dr Hall researched into why more men than ever are paying close attention to their pubic hair to enhance their self image – and his research is published in the journal Sexualities.
He studied responses to an advert by Gillette which carried the catchy slogan ‘when there’s no underbush the tree looks taller’.
The YouTube video has been viewed more than 6.5 million times and evoked hundreds of comments on the subject.
But interestingly, no men admitted to doing it to enhance the size of their penis – despite a previous study finding almost two-thirds of men were unhappy about their genitals.
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Researchers said men justified shaving their nether regions saying it was better for sex and more hygienic
Celebrities like David Beckham (L) and Daniel Craig (R)have contributed towards the manscaping boo
Instead, reasons including for ‘better sex’ and ‘good hygiene,’ were the most popular, the study found.
Dr Hall said it suggested men were giving deliberately ‘masculine’ responses to avoid being associated with a traditionally feminine pastime.
‘If you do these kinds of things you risk being called effeminate or gay. You have to do it in a more masculine way to avoid these labels,’ he said.
He said that while sales of lip serums, ‘manscara’ and ‘guy liner’ has tripled in the last decade – men still buy it online as it is more discreet.
The advert plays on these insecurities by luring men in on the suggestion that trimming can enhance how the penis looks.
It starts by saying that ‘Taking care of the hair down there, certainly has its benefits. You might say when the here’s no underbrush the tree looks taller.’
The video then talks men through the process, to avoid putting their ‘equipment at risk.’
Dr Hall said that there was no doubt that the number of men taking part in groin grooming was on the rise, adding it was likely to continue.
‘I think the trend is set to continue. The trend has been growing, even in more extreme forms like appearance-related cosmetics,’ he said.
‘I think it is much more popular and also much more widespread. It cuts across socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and age groups.’
Experts studied responses to a video showing men how to shave their private areas and found none would admit to doing it to make it look bigger but said it was more hygienic and led to better sex (file photo)