From one fit guy to another, we need to take a moment to discuss your boys.
If you're trying your damnedest to live up to that one-two punch of "trains like a beast" and "looks great naked," your body is feeling the stress down below. During one part of the day, your boys are getting boiled alive in the gym or on the field of play. During another, they're subjected to your amateur attempts at "manscaping."
These two priorities don't have to conflict with one another, but alas, they often do. The result is that tell-tale itch when you really don't want it, or living in the middle of a stanky bog—or rather, have one live in the middle of you.
Here's how to solve two of the biggest problems that plague the tender parts of today's male athletes. Put them behind you, and get on with your life!
Problem 1: The Shaver's Shuffle
You've seen that guy sitting uncomfortably in a meeting, shifting back and forth. Maybe he's nervous about the big presentation...or maybe he's suffering the consequences of a hack job "down there."
Left to grow wild, pubic hair can get outright gnarly. And while plenty of men think just going natural is "cool," there are some purely egotistical considerations to keep in mind:
- For the hairier among us, the thicket can actually start to encroach on those lower "man abs" you've been struggling to build.
- The longer the hair, the smaller your manhood appears in comparison. Why hide in the hedge?
Of course, it's up to you if you want to trim a little, a lot, or go full-bore and full-bare—although you should probably consider your partner's preferences too. Research published in 2015 in "The Journal of Sexual Medicine" from Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion—yes, a bona fide university studies this stuff—revealed that 24 percent of women surveyed preferred a pubic-hair-free partner, while 26 percent liked it trimmed but not completely removed. Just sayin'.
Of course, you should also consider that pubes have a purpose. First and foremost, they reduce the friction caused by skin-on-skin contact. So if you're going to shave—or even trim—you need to do it right. Otherwise, you'll be itching for days afterward, especially if you also happen to be doing squats, lunges, or, well, pretty much any other physical activity.
If you're going to make the leap into tending your crop, here are two rules to guide you:
Clean up what you're going to mow down. You should always trim or shave right after a shower. If you're accustomed to plain old soap, consider a specially formulated product like Chassis' Premium Men's 5-in-1 Shower Primer.
What's 5-in-1? It checks all the right boxes for what you want in a product like this. Not only does it deep clean, it eliminates odor, moisturizes that sensitive skin down there, and—mucho important for trimming—reduces friction and softens body hair. Chassis Shower Primer is an easy way to keep the skin flute in tune.
If you're going all the way, shave wisely. Don't just whip out any old blade and give yourself your own home version of the "Boyzilian." First, trim down the area with scissors and a comb, or use an electric trimmer to cut the hair back to a quarter of an inch or less. Then, use a quality shave gel and a new, clean razor. A used razor could cause irritation, and a duller blade means more passes, creating more chances for hacks and nicks. Yikes.
Just like on your face, shave in the same direction of the hair growth, not against it. When it comes to wrinkled skin, use your free hand to pull the skin tighter rather than just four-wheeling over the ruts.
Most important of all, be patient through the whole process. There are jobs you can rush in life and get away with it, but this damned sure isn't one of them.
Problem 2: The Sweat Swamp
If you train hard, you know this particular horror. Sweat and heat build up in those tight quarters, and suddenly every little hair feels like it's been dipped in glue, chafing your thighs and ripping the living hell out of your poor boys.
That's the worst-case scenario. The best-case is still a nasty, smelly, toxic brew that's no fun for you or anyone else who has to live near your parts.
You're an active dude. Sweat is just part of the equation. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to keep your moneymaker fresh, clean, and functional when you're working out or playing the field:
Settle your own "boxers versus briefs" debate. While there are different varieties, from the tighty-whitey brief to the classic boxer, the boxer brief, and the low-cut bikini brief, the debate revolves essentially around this: How much do you like to be hugged, and how much do you like to hang free?
Despite what you've heard in the locker room, there's no clear connection between tighter underwear and lower sperm count. That means the choice really comes down to comfort. Some guys prefer the loose fit of boxers when running, playing sports, or working out. (Guilty.) Others feel better with the sergeant resting snugly in a supportive hammock.
No matter which you ultimately go for, remember that fabric matters. Moisture-wicking varieties of polyester or Lycra will breathe and wick moisture. There's nothing wrong with cotton per se, but consider bringing a second pair so you don't have to wring out the used ones before heading back to work.
Powder up! Guys have been using talcum powder for generations as part of their after-shower ritual, but it's far from ideal. Why? Where to begin? The smell is somewhere between a baby and a grandfather, two highly unappetizing extremes. Plus, the stuff just doesn't last—except for those little doughy leftover bits, which last too long.
How about an expertly-designed product for men that lasts longer than just a simple talc? Chassis makes a premium men's powder to provide all-day protection against sweat, odor, and chafing. It includes baking soda, known for its powerful odor-neutralizing effects, and no talcum powder.
Two Less Things to Worry About
It's easy to convince yourself that these discomforts are just part of being a man. We're really good at telling ourselves that, right? But the truth is that you have a choice. Take these two problems off your plate, and you'll have more bandwidth to devote to what really matters.
- Butler, S. M., Smith, N. K., Collazo, E., Caltabiano, L., & Herbenick, D. (2015). Pubic hair preferences, reasons for removal, and associated genital symptoms: comparisons between men and women. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12(1), 48-58.