When I joined the British TA infantry back in the late 90s (bit of a long story) and had my medical the (woman) doctor asked a topless me: ‘Do you shave your chest?’ It was still verboten back then to be gay and in the army so I hurriedly said: ‘Er, yes. I do bodybuilding and it shows off the muscle definition better.’
‘Hmm’, she said, sounding unconvinced, and made a note in her file.
How things have changed in the intervening fifteen years. I suspect that Army doctor now quizzes recruits if they DON’T shave their chests, so widespread is body shaving/waxing with young men today. The Bootnecks posing in the recent Royal Marine charity calendar above don’t appear to have an undepilated pumped pectoral between them.
Why do so many men shave their chests now? Because, as I told the sceptical Army doctor, it shows off muscle definition. That’s to say: it shows off. Now that metrosexuality is pretty much ‘normal’, young men think nothing of wanting to be sexy, to be hot. To be PORNO. And what’s the point of going to the gym religiously and spending a fortune on supplements if the world and your mates can’t see the melony fruits of your labours? So scrape that chest fur off, guys! Tits out for the… lads.
Even as they cultivate fashion beards as adorable male accessories men are saving their razors for their chests, abs – and wedding tackle. They want their assets to be easily scoped. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because no one seems to be listening: men are eagerly objectifying themselves. They want us, all of us, male and female, to see their ‘meat’. And want it.
Despite the ascendency of hairless male chests for several years now those smooth chests on the British Lions squad enjoying a group swim on the beach recently caused a stir in some circles. Perhaps because rugby used to be a sport for hairy beer monsters and ‘real men’. But since it went ‘pro’ a while back that has all changed. ‘Rugby player build’ used to be a personal ad euphemism for ‘a bit fat’ but now it tends to mean ‘ripped to buggery’ – professional rugby players are living the Men’s Health dream with their own personal dieticians, fitness trainers and masseurs. Look at how much the England rugby strip has changed in the last decade. It used to flap around in the wind, shapelessly. Now it’s like something a male stripper might wear – towards the end of his act.
And of course some of the tastier and tartier ‘pro’ rugby players have been appearing naked, shaved and oiled for years in the high production low morals Dieux du Stade sporno calendars bought by gay men, straight women – and gay men again.
Though many gays themselves have been re-fetishing chest hair lately, to the point where hirsuteness is now apparently akin to gay godliness. In fact, many gay men seem to want to present themselves as the hairy beer monster real men rugger buggers of yesteryear. The ones that used to chase them down the street.
I still remember the horror of my gay host on a visit to LA a few years back, exclaiming: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!” when he saw me apply a Bic razor to my chest. “No gay man in this town shaves his chest any more!”
But as a hopeless, helpless fan of smooth, classical muscle myself, I’m praying that this is one gay trend that straight men don’t get around to copying.
I don’t necessarily find it attractive in all males to remove all of their body hair.Some of it in some people. On the other hand some men give me an uncanny feeling (especially with shaven legs and armpits) that I’m encountering a femme fatale, not a male. With some men I am attracted to a proper smattering of body hair- especially on the legs; hair all over(e.g.)back : gives a gorilla effect
But where, when talking about same sex scoping, does lust end and envy begin? Or vice versa? In my experience, straight male penis envy is real – and very, very lustful.
I don’t think most gays think about straight men’s homoerotics. I think most gays think of straight men who have an interest in or responsiveness to homoerotics as simply ‘closet gay’.
When it comes to the point, every attractive, stylish woman I know will admit that she doesn’t dress provocatively for men, but rather for other women. Does this mean they’re all crypto-lesbians? Hardly. It’s how they establish their position in the pecking order.
Much as gays would love to think that something covertly homoerotic is going on with those Mens Fitness acolytes who spend three hours a day at the gym and another two at personal landscaping, I suspect something a size 2 and Manolo Blahniks is going on here: they’re not inciting lust in (most) of their fellow men but rather envy.
I have a hairy chest. I like it. And would never shave it. 🙂
Yes. And arms, pits, legs, etc. But not with the aim of looking anything like those guys.
Totally agree with you Mark about men objectifying themselves. All you have to do is look at ‘guyswithiphones’ to see it. Mostly, it’s built men, but a healthy dose of real men are pictured too. What absolutely floors me, is the expression on their posed faces and the comments they engender. Famous actors, models, you name it, that I would think would get tired of being photographed, happily click away in varying states of dress. Et tu, Narcissus?