Should I wax my chest?
January 27, 2006 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Should I wax my chest?

My girlfriend wants me to remove my chest hair as she thinks its attractive.... what should I do? Should I go along with this or keep my hairy chest. If I do decide to comply how far down should I wax? I need some advice other than her (obviously biased) opinion!
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (44 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why would our opinion matter more than hers?

But, since you care, I say just try it. If you don't like it, the hair will grow back.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:35 PM on January 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

If she likes it then yes, wax. I would imagine anything that gets your girl going is a good thing. You could also try shaving but that's more involved and you have to worry about constant stubble.
posted by puke & cry at 8:42 PM on January 27, 2006

I think every guy ought to give waxing at least one shot in his life.

Also, you know, if you do it, I bet she'll be grateful. Really grateful. She'll probably let you know that, too.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:43 PM on January 27, 2006

Did you see "The 40 Year Old Virgin"?
posted by smackfu at 8:51 PM on January 27, 2006

You should totally watch the 40-Year Old Virgin before you go for your waxing appointment. :-) Ok, maybe don't.

I have a love/hate relationship with wax. I think it is one of the most painful and miserable experiences that there is, but at the same time, I love how it feels afterwards. Now, I've never waxed my chest considering that I'm a girl & don't have chest hair, but that just seems like a huge area to get waxed. It will probably hurt a lot, especially the first time.

So, if you actually want to do it & give it a shot, I say go for it. What have you got to lose?

But at the same time, I really can't imagine being *asked* to get waxed by a significant other. I would never suggest to my fiance that he wax his chest - it hurts and I'm certainly not going to make him feel obligated to go through that shit for my own personal satisfaction. And I would be really pissed off if he expected or insisted that I did some painful grooming procedure that I wasn't already planning to do.
posted by tastybrains at 8:56 PM on January 27, 2006

I wouldn't do it, depending on how hairy you are. If you're pretty hairy, having your chest waxed would be a nightmare.
posted by Justinian at 8:59 PM on January 27, 2006

I like chest hair on a guy. You can grab it for more torque.

However, if your girlfriend likes the smooth chest, I'd say do it for her- once. If she expects you to do it on a regular basis for her, I'd say that's crossing a line, much like tastybrains said.
posted by Meredith at 9:15 PM on January 27, 2006

posted by Nelson at 9:36 PM on January 27, 2006

Couldn't you try Nair first? Waxing is soooooo painful, a depilatory is at least a tear-free test drive. If you do decide to go for it, go to a professional lest you think about using a do-it-yourself kit. I have yet to meet a guy with the balls to pull their own strips, or a girl with the stomach for pulling their boyfriend's strips once they start squealing!
posted by gatorae at 9:37 PM on January 27, 2006

I dunno.

But, let me say, don't shave. I tried that on a whim once. I just looked at my chest hair and decided to shave it off in the shower. (yeah, I'm weird).

Oh man, was that a bad idea. It itched like mad for weeks as it was growing back. Yuck! And made my skin break out. I guess it might have gotten better if I kept at, but man it sucked.

So wax or nothing, don't do shave. (Although, to be completely honest, waxing sounds like torture on an area as big as the chest. For a small area like a crotch, it's a few pulls. Not at all pleasant [so my wife tells me], but fairly short lived. Your chest? That'd be like twenty strips of wax, if you are hairy. Ouch!)
posted by teece at 9:45 PM on January 27, 2006

Please don't form your opinion from a shitty comedy movie.
posted by puke & cry at 9:52 PM on January 27, 2006

In this case, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Which means do it, dude. Totally.

I am speaking as a guy with a moderately hairy chest who would definitely wax if the S.O. asked me to.
posted by rossination at 10:12 PM on January 27, 2006

Oh, and re: how far down to wax: I'd leave the circle of hair around your belly button and the connected happy trail.
posted by rossination at 10:13 PM on January 27, 2006

My wife says men are supposed to have hairy chests. Hairless chests are for women and little boys.
posted by codswallop at 10:13 PM on January 27, 2006

You could just take out the ol' Wahl clipper set and take it down to 1/8" or something. Nothing like compromise to make a relationship work. . .
posted by BrandonAbell at 10:15 PM on January 27, 2006

It'll grow back. Chalk it up as gaining life experience.

I'd prefer to be in a relationship where each grooms to the desires of the other, than one where suggestions like "I'd find it really hot if you..." generally went unheeded, or were considered to cross the line. :-)

How far = as far as she wants, unless the discomfort causes you to call an early halt :)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:26 PM on January 27, 2006

I would avoid Nair. It can give you what feels like a sunburn if you use it improperly (which is easy to do) , or if you have sensitive skin.

The waxing will hurt. A lot. And in a way that you might not be prepared for entirely. If you think this is an ok thing, sure, do it. But have her pay for it, as it will be pricey.
posted by oflinkey at 10:29 PM on January 27, 2006

Unless your chest looks like Robin Williams', please don't wax it. If your lady can't handle a few naturally occuring hairs, she's gonna have issues with many other things too.

Just FYI from a chick who regularly gets Brazilians — it doesn't hurt that much. Really, it doesn't. It hurts, but within 20 seconds the pain is completely gone. If you wax and decide you like it, regular upkeep will cause it to hurt even less. Seriously, it DOES NOT HURT THAT BAD. Even on your most personal woman center, the pain is minor.

Also, in terms of time and upkeep and overall hairlessness, waxing is way better than Nair or shaving.

But I still say no, don't do it. I like my men, well, manly — not manicured.
posted by Brittanie at 11:00 PM on January 27, 2006

Don't do it.
posted by spork at 11:33 PM on January 27, 2006

I would say do it, especially if you're the type of guy who would be squicked out if your SO quit doing any hair-removal procedures that she does. Anyone who's expecting someone else to do something for them should know exactly what that something is if they get an opportunity to find out, I think.

Get waxed at a salon. Very important - before you go, take 2 ibuprofen.

A benefit of waxing is that your hair will grow back more sparsely each time you do it. With shaving, it will appear the opposite due to the way the hair is sliced.
posted by hazyjane at 1:12 AM on January 28, 2006

As a man with a hairy chest (though not near Robin Williams), having once had a girlfriend who suggested shaving, waxing, or whatever to have a smooth chest....I have to say, don't do it. Do it once, for her, if she insists. Before you go, explain that you are doing it for her. After you get back, be a baby and complain that it was an awful experince. Then spend the next month or two having great sex as she gets horny when she sees your boyish chest.

Then...don't do it again. If she gets annoyed, let her know that you would like to be accepted for who you are, and not how your chest looks. If she still insists, drop her like a hot potato, because she's not worth it.

On another odd note, I'd say have her do it for you. If she's able to finish even though your screaming bloody murder and getting all teary eyed, and has a smile on her face afterwards, again, drop her like a hot potato.

I really wonder about this question. I felt rather self-concious and hurt when I was asked. If she's unattracted to your hairy chest, then perhaps she needs to find another man. If you don't feel at all odd about this question, then consider using the above recommendations. Otherwise, I might seriously rethink your priorities.
posted by Phynix at 3:55 AM on January 28, 2006

Do you want to wax your chest?

Is a hairy chest a deal-breaker for her, regarding your relationship? If so, perhaps she should find a man who already waxes his chest.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 5:04 AM on January 28, 2006

If you do it, make sure you come up with a similar suggestion for her.
posted by wackybrit at 5:06 AM on January 28, 2006

I'd prefer to be in a relationship where each grooms to the desires of the other

I'd prefer a relationship where each accepts the other, just as they are.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:37 AM on January 28, 2006

Hey, James Bond has chest hair. ;)
posted by madman at 5:41 AM on January 28, 2006

On any and all issues regarding hair, the lady is always right.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:47 AM on January 28, 2006

Something relevant to the 40-Year-Old Virgin cites is that Steve Carrell said it did indeed hurt just as much as the character depicts it. (He actually had it yanked when you see it in the movie; it is not makeup.)
posted by WCityMike at 7:15 AM on January 28, 2006

If your lady can't handle a few naturally occuring hairs, she's gonna have issues with many other things too.

Just FYI from a chick who regularly gets Brazilians —

huh? if you can't handle a few naturally occuring hairs...

seriously, do it or don't do it according to your personal aesthetic preferences and those of people whose opinions matter to you, but it's worth watching out for double standards. If you expect your lady to remove hair or you appreciate it when she does it, then the reverse shouldn't be upsetting; if you really don't want to get rid of the chest hair, just check that you're accommodating about whatever naturally occurring hairs the girlfriend may prefer not to address.

I am lazy about body hair that women are traditionally expected to remove, but would put more effort into it if it were requested by a partner. To me chest hair seems about the same as leg hair on a woman, which is to say, it's a bit more attractive without, but it's kind of a pain to deal with, so it's forgivable not to bother... but if someone really wanted it, I'd be a good sport about it.
posted by mdn at 8:09 AM on January 28, 2006

Don't do it.

Various cultural influences have already turned women into walking neurotics who are constantly attending to their beauty regimen. The same cultural forces are trying to get men to fall into the same trap. We, men and women, would all be happier if we just accepted our natural appearance instead of spending obscene amounts of time, money and energy trying to alter major features.

That said, reasonable requests should be followed. Does she like a particular kind of facial hair? Shave a accordingly. Same for hair style. Does she like a particular kind of cologne or fashion? Next time you are buying something keep her preferences in mind. (Don't buy stuff just for her, wait until you would normally buy something.)

In other words feel free to modify your routine to suit her tastes, but don't adopt new and exhorbitant behaviors.
posted by oddman at 9:14 AM on January 28, 2006

To address a point made by mdn:

While men should certainly avoid endorsing double standards, I'm not sure that shaving legs is equivalent to waxing chests. A women can take care of her legs by taking an extra long shower a couple of times a week. (Yes, this is a generalization. No, I've never shaved my legs.) Waxing a man's chest involves about a couple of hours of drive, waiting, waxing time; is way more painful than the occasional razor cut; and costs a heck of a lot more.

It seems like a double standard, but really the amount of trouble and work make it two significantly different, and non-equivalent, endeavors. It's not really a double standard at all. (Caveat: if you ask your girlfriend to engage in elaborate, expensive and painful hair grooming regimens, then you don't have a leg to stand on.)
posted by oddman at 9:22 AM on January 28, 2006

Do it at least once, it doesn't hurt much at all. As for people who haven't done it and are seriously citing "The Forty Year Old Virgin" as a reason not to, you need to get out of the house more often.
posted by 517 at 10:10 AM on January 28, 2006

oddman- most women who are seriously into hair removal wax their legs (and their bikini area and their underarms), so it is a pretty good comparison.
posted by fshgrl at 12:03 PM on January 28, 2006

For an interesting look at double standards, compare the responses in this thread to the responses to the neighboring thread about the guy who wants his wife to dress sexier.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:01 PM on January 28, 2006

double standards

not really comparable Afroblanco. He wanted his wife to dress sexier for the other guys at her work. This girlfriend wants her guy to do something sexy for her. Reasonable compromises for sexual reasons within the privacy of a relationship are healthy -- doing it to extend the relationship sexuality to others outside the relationship is inappropriate.
posted by dness2 at 1:18 PM on January 28, 2006

Of course I bow to the greater experience of the women in this thread vis-a-vis normal feminine waxing. My point was that male waxing is not equivalent to female shaving (which is what I thought mdn was also comparing). I clarify my earlier caveat, I agree that the waxing mentioned by fshgrl would be equivalent to a hairy guy waxing his chest.

Anonymous, if your girlfriend waxes as extensively as that, then her asking you to wax is just asking you to do as much as she does, this seems perfectly fair. If she doesn't wax that much, then it seems that she is asking you to do things she doesn't. Is that unfair? It could be, depends on how equal the rest of your relationship is.

I wouldn't do it.
posted by oddman at 1:35 PM on January 28, 2006

dness2 - see my response here.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:45 PM on January 28, 2006

Well, I've just come from a backwaxing. I had a very hairy back and with regular waxing the hair grows back less and less and therefore the whole procedure hurts less. Initially though it was very painful and I understand that chest waxing hurts even more. Both are large areas, but the chest is, according to my 'waxer', more sensitive. I get my back waxed because I want to, my wife likes me with a hairless back, but has never made me or even asked me to do it. Judging by my experience, I wouldn't get my chest waxed, as I don't think the pain is worth it, but maybe its one of those things that you should try...
posted by ob at 2:07 PM on January 28, 2006

Afroblanco -- your question is valid, and my take would be that the answer depends on for whom the appearance change is being made (and how drastic the change). In that case I would say it wasn't reasonable, since the change was for the purpose of impressing others. Almost (but not exactly) like pimping out someone. In this case the change is to please the special someone in a private way. And my response is that these kind of appearance changes can be a benign and fun treat within the give and take of a relationship. As a one-off thing (as it were) or for birthdays or holidays, there's no principle lost by changing one's appearance just to please a partner. In fact it's a sweet sacrifice.
Now, if it becomes mandatory or expected, then the present aspect is lost and it's not so benign. And of course, this present is a bit painful so that must be weighed, but it's not a request for surgery or something.
It's the "Game" part of Dan Savage's GGG, which I wholly agree with.
posted by dness2 at 7:55 AM on January 29, 2006

Well, you probably know whether you want to do it or not, regardless of what people say here, but, if you want advice on how far you should go, I would recommend going all the way down the treasure trail to above your pubes.
posted by mattindy77 at 8:35 AM on January 29, 2006

My point was that male waxing is not equivalent to female shaving

a large portion of women remove leg/cunt hair by waxing. One could opt to shave one's chest as well (I did not specify method above). Shaving has many downsides that cause people to pay money & undergo pain to remove hair in another manner. If shaving were so simple & pleasant, why would any females wax?
posted by mdn at 1:51 PM on January 30, 2006

I never said shaving was easy (though most men shave most days, so I do have experience with that; it's not exactly the hardest thing on earth) what I said was that it is easier, faster, and less painful than waxing. I stand by this claim.

Now some women (and men) may have extenuating circumstances that make waxing effectively better than shaving but these are odd ducks indeed. Normally when giving advice one doesn't just assume that the recipient of the advice falls at the extreme of the spectrum for the field being discussed. Further, while it is true that many women have good reasons for preferring waxing to shaving those reasons may not apply to men. For example, I couldn't care less about having stubble the day I leave for a month long beach vacation.

I felt I was honest when I admitted that it was my assumption that you were speaking of shaving, mdn. You weren't, fine, but it's not clear from your post what kind of hair removal you were thinking about, and I think it is relevant to the problem. I do not think that all kinds of hair removal are equivalent. I was addressing your point about double standards, shaving was just a convenient, and topical, example. You'll notice that in the next paragraph I agree that if anonymous is asking a lot from his girlfriend, then he should suck it up and wax his chest.
My point was, and has been, that he shouldn't just assume that he is endorsing a double standard by refusing to wax.
posted by oddman at 2:56 PM on January 30, 2006

make waxing effectively better than shaving but these are odd ducks indeed.

they're not odd ducks in NYC...
I dunno, shaving facial hair is different because stubble is generally considered a bonus - men want the hair to come back stronger & give 'em a sexy five o'clock shadow, whereas for ladies, getting thicker, scratchier leg/etc hair starts to seem kinda sisyphean, y'know? also, razor burn is really unpleasant in some areas.
not nec disagreeing with yr assessment; just kinda feel like guys don't appreciate what a pain body hair removal for women is. But, I have sometimes imagined that I'd suffer if I had to shave my face everyday too, so maybe I'm just a lazy person more than anything :).
posted by mdn at 3:41 PM on January 30, 2006

If shaving were so simple & pleasant, why would any females wax?

Waxing (removing the root) gets you smoother and lasts longer than shaving (cutting the hair at the skin).

Waxing can be a social occasion. I know that sounds weird, but it certainly is around here.

A professional waxer reaches places that you just can't.
posted by booksandlibretti at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2006

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