Sex Talk: Hairy vs. Smooth

Some guys think hairy is hot, while other men clearly do not. “I’ve learned,” says one thoroughly hirsute dude, “that my abundant body hair is an absolute disqualifier for some prospective tricks. To others, though, it’s total catnip.”

Sure, any physical feature, from big feet to blue eyes, will have its fans and detractors, but hairiness seems to be particularly polarizing. A perusal of online personal ads will find a goodly number that demand “smooth only,” while others seek only hyper-follicular fellows.

There are hair fanciers who focus in on specific body parts, like treasure trails, fuzzy legs, or hairy butts. “Give me a buddy with bushy pubes and pits, and I’m happy,” one such fan confesses.

Then there are fur fetishists who like hair everywhere. One of them says, “I really love lots of body hair, not just on the chest and legs, but on the butt, back, shoulders, all over. To me, it just shouts out masculinity.” He’s not alone; Bears are a whole subculture that celebrates chunky, hirsute, all-male males. Our fur fetishist rhetorically asks, “Who wants a guy who’s smooth as a girl?”

Well, plenty of men, it turns out. For some dudes, even a smattering of strands is too much. “When I touch skin, I want it to be silky,” says one such seeker of smoothies. “I like my guy to be totally shaved. To me, body hair seems sloppy, even kind of dirty and gross.”

It might be more than just a matter of aesthetics. Body hair’s a marker of maturity, too. Sure, there are very hairy 18-year-olds, but in general, fur increases with age. So those who get turned on by twink-type young men tend to prefer smooth torsos. Likewise, those who go for femmy guys are likely to like them fur-free. There can be racial overtones, too. East Asians tend to be very smooth, for instance, while South Asians do not. For some who fetishize—or just prefer—certain ethnicities, hair, or the lack of it, can be a prominent part of the package.

There are even fads in body hair. Back in the 1970s, for example, mainstream gay porn featured plenty of hairy dudes. Now? Not so many. It’s often not a matter of casting, but rather of shaving. “Actually, it’s kind of creepy to fire up a porn video and see all these pre-pubescent-looking guys,” complains our fur fan. “I know that the actors are of age, but even so…”

It is, of course, easier to get rid of body hair than to amplify it, and growing numbers of men are shaving or undergoing electrolysis. De-furring does have some definite pluses: It can unveil a gym-goer’s hard-won pecs, and no hair down below will make a dingus look longer. Not everyone fully defoliates, though. Rather than a total shave job, many men choose a hair-shortening trim. “When I’m in the locker room I always notice how many more men groom their pubes now than did just a few years back,” one exercise addict says. “Even straight guys trim their crotches, and since I’m a bush-fancier, that’s a bit of a bummer. On the other hand, they’re letting the rest of us know that they care about how their bodies look, and that can be kind of sexy.”

Sometimes shaving goes beyond grooming and becomes outright erotic. Explains an observer of the kink community, “Body shaving scenes are hot for some men because they serve as sexy unveilings, whereby the skin becomes bared and more sensitive to the touch. But don’t forget the story of Samson. Since body hair says ‘masculine,’ shave scenes can also be read as power play, as coded castration rituals.”

Perhaps one’s preferences hearken back to a yen for that thick-pelted gym coach, or a crush on a smooth-skinned merman on the swim team. One need not get quite so Freudian, though; it can just be a matter of “I like what I like.” In any case, as our observer points out, “Hair preferences are a lot more benign than exclusions based on race, age, or body type. I doubt that hearing ‘You’re too smooth for me’ has made many men feel very bad about themselves.”

So whether you prefer romping in a luxuriant forest of fur or sliding smoothly across bare skin, if you keep in mind that there’s a real person underneath, you and your frisky fellow will both have a fine old time.

Simon Sheppard is the editor of Leathermen and Homosex: Sixty Years of Gay Erotica, and the author of Sex Parties 101, Kinkorama, and In Deep: Erotic Stories, and can be reached at [email protected]. Visit Simon at

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