It happens each year like clockwork. When the leaves change colors and hoodies and light jackets are replaced with thicker, warmer winter coats, razors and hair removal products are pushed to the backburner. This is No Shave November.
Alternative Spring Break is hosting for the second year in a row the no shave competition. Participants were asked to show up in the union “clean and shaven” last Thursday to take before photos of either their faces (the beard category) or their legs. It cost $5 to enter, and the money raised was donated to Habitat for Humanity.
But while November has been long-revered as the no shave month, it’s common knowledge that not everyone keeps a hairless canvas throughout the other 11 months of the year. In fact, I was initially asked to do this column by two gentlemen with rather substantial amounts of facial hair; I’m talking full-on William Fitzsimmons beards—those bad boys take well over 30 days to accomplish.
Before I go any further, let me say that I have never been physically intimate with a guy (or gal) with a significant amount of facial hair, but that’s not because I am necessarily opposed to it. I just haven’t had the opportunity yet. That being said, I did, in fact, interview both men with beards and women and men who’ve either dated or slept with men with beards.
The most important thing men should keep in mind if they have beards or are thinking about growing one is that you’ve got to keep that sucker clean. I may not have ever been with a man with a beard, but I have had plenty of guy friends with one—let me tell you, a smelly beard is not a sexy beard. Of course, preferences will vary from person to person; that’s a no-brainer. Someone might find beards and/or facial hair in general physically appealing, while for others it’s a turn-off. Either way, you’ve got to remember that no one, regardless of their preference, is going to be attracted to badly groomed patch of hair that smells like a dirty armpit…and in some cases, a fishery.
Mary McDaniel, assistant director of Health Services, validated the importance of a clean beard, which can be accomplished by shampooing it with a mild shampoo.
“Some use conditioner as well, but blow-dryers are probably best avoided (because they are too drying to the skin),” McDaniel said.
It depends on how full or long your beard is, but it’s probably also a good idea to comb it, or something along those lines, to keep it looking neat and not like you’re harboring a nest of baby birds.
When it comes to being physically intimate, you’re going to get mixed reactions from your partners. Most of the students I talked to said kissing isn’t usually a problem unless the facial hair is at the “prickly-sharp” phase, in which case, it can be kind of painful. I’d suggest either keeping your face totally shaven or staying off the tonsil hockey until it’s grown out a bit more. When it gets a little longer, it can also get a little softer, which is a pleasant surprise for everyone and can make for an erotically unique experience, like an unexpected sensation.
I also asked students how facial hair affects oral sex. One female student said she enjoys the extra stimulus facial hair can provide, but in her experience, her male partners often get tuckered out quicker because they tend to use their neck muscles more; more chin action is incorporated. Facial hair can also provide an extra little tickling sensation, which apparently feels amazing on your genitals. And remember, if you are going down south with an arsenal of hairy soldiers, again, this is more than enough reason to make sure you properly and thoroughly clean up afterward.
As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to all aspects of facial hair. If you’re looking to spice up your love life this month or if you just want to try something different, I wholeheartedly encourage you to take part in No Shave November because you never know what doors your hairiness might open. And who knows—you may just find you have a new fetish.