Life beyond style

Let’s be honest: you’re thinking about shaving your balls. Or if you weren’t before, you are now. Or maybe now you’re thinking of my balls. Shaving my balls? No, that’s too weird. But seriously, dude, you’ve got balls on the brain.

So let’s shave ‘em. Manscaping is unfortunately a word now. We have the marketing teams behind electric trimmers and the lexical hellscape that is the internet to thank for that. There’s also the neologism “spornosexual” that suggests a recent shift in how men perform their gender. It’s not so much acceptable to trim your tanned, ripped bod as positively encouraged. I mean, we’ve now all got legs like prized hams and arms like big, muscly legs, right?

Of course we haven’t. But advertising says we do and that hair on those rippling torsos is unacceptable. So let’s carry on living in this cyclical prison of self-objectifying misery and denial and shave everything with reckless abandon. Any decision to do otherwise is surely just the prisoner rattling his cage.

1) Prime your body

The first time I decided to trim my body hair I, for a time, demurred. It feels wrong, right? But then I looked at my Conan the Barbarian poster and cried for 45 minutes then got to it. Now, here’s what I learned: like with shaving your face, it’s important to soften all hairs to make them more amenable to their imminent destruction. So use an exfoliating shower gel first, like Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Scrub.

Or a cheaper one like The Body Shop’s Olive Body Scrub. Both are good.

2) Trim your body

After capitulating to the paradoxical pressures of modern masculinity, I stepped up to the plate. (Or sink. Better to step up to the sink. Hair gets fucking everywhere). You can perform this near-Satanic ritual with a body-specific trimmer, but I think you’re then feeding the bastards who’ve propagated this hairless-body misery. Instead, the best product for the job IMHO is Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide Styler.

It’s small. Which is useful for step three. You’re not going for stubble here – you’ll look like a plucked bird. Keep the head on the trimmer and leave hair around 2-3mm long.

3) Going down under

This is where the ProGlide really comes into its own. Shaving below the belt with some titanium, barbershop-quality trimmer is about as good for your health as kidnapping Liam Neeson’s daughter, and I’m not coming to sew you back together afterward. Use common sense here, and the plastic head, to avoid castration. Again, stubble = bad. 2-3mm at least but I’d err on the side of caution and leave more. You’re not a porn star.

4) Hair after care

Shorter hair tends to be more bristly, so you can, if you want, apply a body moisturizer or a specific hair-softening cream. I’d recommend Kiehl’s Creme de Corps.

But not too much or you’ll leave the house looking like someone put a baby in the microwave. But good for you; you’ve manscaped (done a manscape? become a manscaper? OH I DON’T KNOW I FUCKING HATE MYSELF).

If none of the above works you can always try singeing the hair off your balls.*

*Highsnobiety does not endorse setting fire to your genitalia.

Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week.
– Alex Harris

Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom Service.

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