Q&A with J: What about “Manscaping”?

Today’s question recently came into my inbox, and I really wanted to cover it because I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this subject with hubbies in mind:

I am about to get married and my fiancé and I had briefly talked about shaving down there. I already do but he is asking me whether I prefer he does or not. I told him I would but then I thought about if it might be painful when the hair reaches that prickly stage where it’s still too short to shave. What do you think? 

Blog post title + illustration of clippers

I’ve written about my own awkward experience of going bare down there and my takeaways. And I recommend listening to our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast episode on “Tending the Garden,” which covers private area grooming for the ladies.

But what about the gents? Do we wives have thoughts about what the “happy trail” leads to? Is it better to have a wild, untamed jungle? Or a freshly landscaped garden? Should we have any say?

Actually, I love the questioner’s attitude of them talking about their preferences and being willing to accommodate one another. It’s your body, so you get to do what you want with it. However, 1 Corinthians 7:4 says that we yield our bodies to one another in marriage: “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.”

Quick reminder: This does not mean that one spouse does all the yielding while the other does all the demanding. Or that the balance is 80-20 or 70-30. It may not always be 50-50 — if you’re expecting that in marriage, you’ll be disappointed — but there should be mutuality in yielding to one another.

Consequently, it’s a great idea to ask what your husband likes and for him to ask what you like when it comes to personal grooming. And if it’s something that you’re willing to do or simply to try, go for it.

Now what about “manscaping” — a man removing or trimming hair?

I can’t find hard and fast statistics, but many surveys I saw online indicated that a majority of men manscape, at least somewhat. That involves anything from total removal of pubic hair to a mild trim to keep things neat. Both for aesthetics and for convenience, some husbands and wives appreciate these areas being manscaped.

The questioner specifically asked: “it might be painful when the hair reaches that prickly stage where it’s still too short to shave. What do you think?” Well, I think it’s hair on your body and will feel just like hair on your body feels when it grows back. The only additional aspect is the high sensitivity of that area of your body. However it feels to you to shave down here is likely about how it feels to him.

But for the reason you mention, and for the reason that masculinity is often linked with some hairiness, far fewer men shave it all off than women do. Men are much more likely to clip and trim the area.

What you two decide to do is all up to you. I don’t see any biblical issues involved in whether you shave a little, a lot, or none at all.

From a practical viewpoint, it’s often easier to make changes in smaller steps. Going from deep shag carpet to smooth-shined floor is quite a leap! In the marriage bed generally, It’s often more reasonable to ask for a stretch in the comfort zone. If he hasn’t manscaped before, you might be better off asking your fiancé to just tidy up down there before your wedding night.

He might want to do more, and that’s fine. But if you’re worried about him feeling physically uncomfortable, start smaller. He can always trim more, but you can’t put cut hair back.

Just like for women, there are “hairstyles” for men down there. These, of course, get named differently by various websites, but essentially they’re:

  • completely bare
  • small “landing strip”
  • a triangle shape
  • a “mustache” look with pubic hair just above the penis
  • a close-cut grooming
  • a longer, basic trim
  • au naturel — that is, all the hair you came with

There are also different parts that can be shaved. While hair on the penis shaft isn’t typically a big issue, the shaft can still be shaved to make sure it’s smooth. More importantly, though, is the area around the penis and the testicles.

There are also good ways and bad ways to groom down there. (He really doesn’t want to nick anything important in that area, right?) Encourage him to make sure he has the right tools — a good set of clippers with plenty of settings, a quality razor, and shaving cream or lotion. From the bit of research I did, it seems that clippers work better in area around his penis and on his penis, but a razor is more precise with the testicles.

But hey, I don’t own the equipment, so I’m hoping some of my male readers will chime in on this one and give some helpful tips. (Without too much personal info, guys, please.)

And since you’re getting married soon, how about checking out my other posts on the wedding night and honeymoon:

Wedding Night Sex
Preparing for the Wedding Night
What Should a Groom Know about His Wedding Night?
What I Wish I’d Known before the Wedding Night
What to Pack for Your Honeymoon or Vacation

And you could always pick up a copy of my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, that has lots of great tips for wives married one day or many decades. Congratulations and many blessings to you both!

CLICK COVER TO CHECK OUT OR BUY!

41 thoughts on “Q&A with J: What about “Manscaping”?

  1. Brian

    I definitely have some thoughts on this. First, I typically have no hair at all in the groin area, or I let it grow to the stage where it’s just past the prickly length (for me that’s about 1/8 inch). I love it and it’s so much better for almost everything I do, whether it be working out, sex, or just walking around.

    First off, if this is the first time having sex (hopefully it is since it’s the wedding night), I do not recommend shaving everything off. It’s too risky and shaving that area takes practice to get good at it. A nice in the public area can make the honeymoon very painful. [J’s note: I think he meant “nick in the pubic area.”] But even if you don’t cut yourself, if you don’t do it right you will most likely experience shaving bumps which are not conducive to long sessions of sex.

    If you are going to shave, here are the lessons I’ve learned:
    1) First use clippers/trimmers to shave the hair down as far as you can get it. Take your time because if the hair is very long clippers have a way of pulling the hair if your try to do it too fast.
    2) Take a shower or bath while you are shaving to warm up the skin. You are much less likely to cut yourself or develop ingrown hairs if you warm up the skin first.
    3) Use a high quality razor, and try to use one that is brand new or close to brand new. You want it sharp as possible.
    4) Try To shave over the same area as few times as possible. The one place I have the hardest time getting smooth is right at the base of the penis. The best way I’ve found is to grab the penis and pull down, which raises that skin at the base just a little.
    5) Use lotion to moisturize the areas you just shaved immediately after you finish. The day after you shave, exfoliate the area (men can find products specifically for shaving bumps, and these are usually exfoliating products). This will greatly reduce the chance of ingrown hairs.

    Reply
  2. Ron

    Several years ago, I was compelled to shave everything from pits to knees due to an occupational hazard. My bride said she missed the chest hair that she loves, but with everything gone in the southern hemisphere, she said I look like a little boy. That was something of a turn off to both of us. Based on that, we decided that maybe I ought not to shave down there. That’s what works for us

    Reply
  3. libl

    Hubby has asked me if I want him ‘scaped. No!! I hate body hair on myself, but I love the contrast between us…his hairy body and my smooth. It seems to amplify the masculine and feminine differences between us.

    Now, if he wanted to manscape for himself, so be it. I won’t stop him. I think this whole his body is mine, my body is his gets way out of hand. We are still individuals and have to live in our own skin. If I prefer tampons, I shouldn’t have to bow to a husband who insists I only use pads. If I love beards and hubby finds them uncomfortable to wear and maintain, he shouldn’t have to grow one.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      I think that if something is uncomfortable to you once you try it and you don’t think you can get used to it, you should tell your spouse how it makes you feel and let them decide. My opinion is that if my wife wants me to shave or groom in a way and insists on it because it truly makes her happy then there’s nothing I won’t do. My body belongs to her.

      Likewise I would expect the same treatment. If I love the complete smoothness of her being completely shaved then I would love it if she does that for me. If she told me that shaving causes her irritation, I would ask her to do it only intermittently as a special treat.

      Reply
  4. Johanna Galyen

    This was a fun (and informational) post! 🙂 I agree with “Brian”, if this is the first time, then now is probably not the best to attempt man-scaping, because neither of them really know what they like and what they don’t. And doing it wrong, can result in some rather unpleasant cuts & sensations, red bumps, and dreaded in-grown hairs.

    After being married almost 15 years, trimming the really long areas is all I want him to do. Like with an electric razor with a 3/4 inch guard on it. That way, the hair is never super short. Because, if they get too short, then the hair becomes sharp and can be painful for me (I’m rather a sensitive woman down there) and I don’t want to feel the prickles against my body or face.

    A word of painful caution as well, for the first 2 months of our marriage, my husband had to shave twice a day on his face. When he would kiss me passionately with his 5 o’clock shadow, it really made my face & chin area very sore until those areas got used to heavier kissing. So just a tidbit to keep in mind – if you have soft delicate skin and your husband has a heavy/thick hair, it will take a while to get used to.

    Johanna

    Reply
    1. Rose

      Agree about the beard 😂 we didn’t think of shaving twice daily, I just got him to grow it out so it was less itchy but man I had a “beardless” rash on our honeymoon. The stubble of hair growing back on him down there I thought would be an issue but hasn’t been for the most part thankfully. Hubby has shaved once as an experiment and I think we’re going to do a similar trim as maintenance.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        And now, I’m trying to figure out how to say something helpful without being TMI. Okay, putting it as delicately as I can, various facial hair lengths can also provide various sensations during oral activities. Just an FYI. (How did I do?)

        Reply
  5. Ben

    Both shave it all. We use coconut oil as extra lubricant…. let’s just say soft smooth pubic skin against my wife adds stimulation at just the right spot….

    Reply
  6. Cassi B

    I agree with so many of these comments. My hubby can manscape if he wants, but I prefer he doesn’t. Like others, I feel he looks like a little boy. I love hairy men, and it is a major turn off for me when he does shave.

    Another thing to think of for the first time is maintenance as to avoid ingrown hairs or boils. If he wants to try, he needs to be cautious.

    Reply
  7. Kay

    Hubby and I prefer not to go completely bare; we haven’t figured out how to do so without horrific razor burn, plus it is SO much maintenance. We both use a bikini trimmer to keep things short, less than half an inch, because we like it out of the way during oral sex. But as commenters have said, now may not be the right time. The first time I trimmed I was not used to how much more of me would be exposed, and it was very intense. Not in a good way. Especially if you’re just starting having sex, that extra buffer from pubic hair may be welcome so she doesn’t get too sore when starting out.

    Reply
  8. Mitch

    I’ve manscaped since I was in high school 20+ years ago. I’ve always used a good set of clippers with the #1 guard. I work outdoors in the Texas heat and even though baby powder and Vaseline are my friends, a razor shave isn’t all that comfortable. Plus I have groomed hair on the rest of my body so the razor shave just doesn’t look right. My wife likes that I keep it tidy and she does the same. I don’t have a preference how her honey pot is groomed as long as it looks like she tends to it.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    I never heard of shaving “down there” for male or female until 35 years of marriage. Neither of us can imagine why anyone would do this except if the couple engages in oral sex. Since we don’t do oral, we see no need to shave. Perhaps this is a generational thing…

    Reply
    1. Brian

      If both of you are completely bare and smooth, it feels completely different. I love it. But yes, for oral sex it’s amazing.

      Reply
  10. J.J. Weir

    In my manscaping experience, there is indeed a certain level of grow back that annoys my wife, in certain from behind positions. The little hairs poke into her dairyaire and cause discomfort. So for us it is either let it grow to a comfortable, not sticking straight out length, or clean shaving.

    I started shaving after reading an article that stated shaving my man bits would encourage more oral sex. Has not worked for me, but I don’t give up the idea that it will work eventually. It’s only been once in 11 years of marriage.

    Reply
  11. B

    Maybe it’s cause I’m old (almost 42! Yikes!! That’s hard to type!!)

    But anyway, when did this become such a big thing? For women, sure, but for guys? I’ve heard the word but I always thought it was kind of a joking around thing. I am pretty sure my husband has never done this. We’ve never even talked about it.

    My, how times have changed! What an interesting discussion. (And Yet I feel a tiny bit embarrassed having read it!) 😜😜😜

    Reply
    1. C

      Ummmm, I’m 42. I don’t think that’s old! I know about manscaping but the idea doesn’t appeal to me. Like previous comments, I prefer the contrast.

      And I don’t go completely bare because we decided that it looked too little girl like. #creepy

      Reply
        1. Brian

          42 isn’t old at all. Also, I don’t think it makes you look like a little girl to go bare, any more than a man shaving his face makes him look like a little boy because he has no facial hair. I know this is a total preference thing but to me there just isn’t anything sexually appealing to see nothing but hair in the pubic area. There’s just something completely exhilarating about seeing everything unhindered by hair for me.

          Reply
  12. Andrew

    My wife and I have been married for ~14 years. For about the first decade we were both totally natural. Eventually I got up the nerve to ask her if should would consider shaving. She researched a bit and ended up decided to wax instead. For the last several years she’s been going to get a full Brazilian about every other month. That means, sometimes she’s completely bare and sometimes she has almost ~1/2” of fuzz.

    After a few months of her waxing, I decided to try manscaping. We have clippers and I tried them above my penis but the gaps in the extensions and the loose folds of my scrotum were a bit too scary for me. After a few rounds with uncomfortable stubble, I eventually settled on using a cartridge-type razor to do my whole pubic area down to my perineum. At this point, I clean up the boys once a week in the shower and my shaft and pubic bone area every 3-4 days.

    I love being mostly hairless. My wife is fine with it, but she’s mostly just happy that it isn’t super long. She’d be totally fine with me just keeping it neatly trimmed.

    For your scenario, I think I agree with many of the others, for the honeymoon he may be better off just trimming to start. One thing for him to be aware of if you’re headed somewhere warm, he may want to invest in a powder for his boys (I like one called “Fresh Balls”). In warmer weather, without hair down there, the boys can sometimes chafe.

    Reply
  13. Tony

    It helps with condom use. It can be pretty painful to get a hair caught in a condom. So if that is your method of birth control, cutting the hair shorter can help prevent that painful situation.

    Reply
  14. PB

    I’m 42. Wife’s 36. We’ve been going bare down there for all 14 years of our marriage. We found it dramatically heightens sensation, and makes oral far more pleasant and fun… We tried not shaving for awhile, but went back to shaving after not enjoying it as much.

    Reply
  15. Philip

    I have been married for 41 years and have been shaving pubic hair, penis and testicles for about the last 10 years. My hair begins to grow back after 2 days and my wife does not like me being prickly, so I keep shaving regularly.

    I have been waxed several times and yes it is painful for a few minutes but the result (for me!) is really worth it smooth for over 2 weeks. I agree with comments I love being smooth. However my wife has never trimmed hers so we are different!

    Thanks for being willing to raise and discuss the topic!

    Reply
  16. Katie

    My husband and I also talked about this before getting married (7 years ago) and we both decided to shave it all for our wedding night. I like how clean it looks and it makes it nicer for OS. I think having hair in my mouth would be a total turn off for me and I bet it would for him too! Plus, I have heard hair can keep “smells” (I heard it from my brother as the reason why he shaves under his arms). So I just think it’s more clean, “smell-less” and appealing with no hair down there.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Interesting. I’ve never noticed an issue with hair and smells, as long as you clean that too. But I understand your choice. I will say that the younger generation seems to have a belief that the lack of hair is hygienically better, but that area is not unclean — hair removal is mostly a matter of convenience and preference.

      Reply
  17. Mike

    My wife and I have been married 53 years next Monday. I did not shave until about 2 years ago. My wife does not trim, but after we started oral I decided to trim. She was getting some hair in her mouth, and I felt bad about that.

    I tried several shavers that nicked me, the pain and blood were not good. Then I saw a shaver at Costco that had several heads and guards. I bought it for $35 and it has made all the difference. I can get in all the folds and crevices without pain and blood. I keep the hair between 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch. That is soft enough not to scratch or poke my wife.

    Reply
  18. Mark

    It is a preference thing for sure,, not for everyone.

    My wife and I has been married for 37 years and our intimacy is better than ever and it has been pretty spectacular for the last 25 years, since I discovered a book written by a woman about intimacy.

    About 3 years we mutually decided to get everything waxed by an esthetician as we had heard that the sensations of intimacy were enhanced. We found out later that it was confirmed. But I also discovered that it was easier from a personal hygiene stand point especially underneath the testicles and near the anal area.

    The esthetician did leave a very small patch of 5 hairs at the base of the shaft as a tickler for my wife’s clitoris whenever I insert “him” all the way. We then to make love in a gentle motionless way as my wife gently presses her clitoris against which slowly elevates her arousal at a very high level which eventually stimulates both an intense clitoral and vaginal climax at the same time.

    My wife and I look at one another’s intimate area like they are eye candy.

    Reply
  19. Mark

    J,

    I’d also like to share something else about intimacy that has added a lot of spice into our marriage. I’m sharing this, because I’m keeping in mind that most who read and share on your site are married and are mature enough that what goes inside the 4 walls of a bedroom of a married couple can actually be more exciting.

    We have a nice headboard and shelving at the head of our bed. With dome lighting that can be dimmed down enough to add to the sensual ambiance at night when we are making love.

    Against the back of shelving area is a designer mirror that she can look into while she is on top, watching herself jiggle a little or my hands cupping her breasts’ but also when she is underneath, I can see the reflection of her pretty toes slightly elevated in the air.

    At age 57, surprisingly, it never gets old, It is like we are looking into a big screen and she is the star, if that makes sense. It feels, romantic, sexy, sensual, erotic and even naughty in a fun way.

    Reply
  20. Rob

    We’ve been married for almost 32 years. In our first year of marriage, I had hernia surgery, and back in those days, they shaved the entire area (at least my doctor wanted me shaved), and even though the surgery wasn’t really all that close to my scrotum, the nurse shaved it.

    During the coming weeks following the surgery, I really found the hair growth annoying, so I started shaving at that point, and I haven’t looked back. At that point I would shave about once a week.

    Now, 31 years into shaving, I now shave daily, keeping the hair growth at the minimum, shaving my scrotum, shaft, taint, and the area of my thighs just beyond the folds of my legs, along with just above my penis. My wife prefers me smooth.

    She even started shaving for our 10th anniversary, and has pretty much remained bare ever since, but she shaves maybe weekly.

    I will say this, it is so much better for oral sex.

    Also, great blog, just found it today! My wife and I, along with another couple from church, run a class for newly weds, and it would be great to share this site with them!

    Reply
  21. Pingback: Cleanliness is Oral Sex Friendliness | Intimacy in Marriage

  22. Dan

    Soft wax is best, no discomfort immediately afterwards, and less hair grows back each time. Once every 2-3 months is a very worthwhile investment.

    Reply

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