My Boyfriend Is Turned Off By My Hairy Legs.

I’m 25 and have been dating a man who is 34 for the last 1.5 years. There is a lot to like about him – he’s smart, kind, caring, and dependable. He is almost the elusive ‘alpha male nerd’. He likes taking charge and being ‘the man’ in the relationship, but he is also sensitive and loves to spend hours reading on the couch next to me. We have a lot of shared interests and generally get on like pals. He constantly tells me how beautiful I am, and how amazing he thinks I am as a person. But here is the caveat:

He is repulsed by my leg hair. I’ve never been one to shave or wax my legs very consistently. Over the winter I’ve been known to go for 6 months without grooming. But last year decided that this whole hairless thing was kind of silly (and kind of sexist…not anyone’s fault just the jolly old patriarchy and all) and definitely not worth the time and money it took to keep my legs smooth.

My boyfriend was not pleased about this. All of a sudden the man who told me he couldn’t stop loving me even if I gained a hundred pounds and wanted to have sex twice a day now doesn’t have much interest in having sex with me at all. He told me recently he doesn’t even like cuddling anymore because he can feel the hair. Yet he is still happy to accept oral sex from me…

So I know this could technically be exchanged for any other body part. What if my boyfriend didn’t like my short hair cut or my pubic hair, etc. But leg/armpit hair seems to be unique. It is such a widespread and visible practice that I think many men just automatically associate furry legs as manly, and assume that all girls magic themselves hairless without much effort. My boyfriend has said he’s tried to get over this but can’t.

I am at a loss for what to do. On the one hand, even though the thought of having to groom all over for the rest of my life seems terrible, it’s not the worst compromise to make for an otherwise great man. On the other hand I’ve found something that makes me feel great about my body. I know it sounds crazy but not shaving has made me feel more powerful, more human, and oddly more feminine. And something feels kind of gross about taking the razor to that for a man.

But I know you like numbers, and I know that more men are going to find smooth legs attractive than men who will find hairy legs attractive. But I also know there is a fair amount of men who don’t really care.

At the moment I’m feeling really hurt and unattractive and that’s not how one hopes to feel in a lifelong partnership. Yet I know he feels hurt too. Even though we’ve had long conversations about my reasons for doing it and how I don’t mind doing for him occasionally but not every day and how I want to find other ways to be ‘sexy’, he still feels like this is a really easy and nice thing I could do for him. Though when I asked him to shave his legs for a month just to see what it was like, he refused. I feel especially hurt because I’ve accepted him for exactly who he is, and have never asked him to change anything about himself (appearance or otherwise). He’s average height, a bit overweight and balding. But I chose to get over those things because he’s an otherwise great guy and I’m still sexually attracted to him as a whole. I am a 25 year old yoga instructor. I don’t mean to sound conceited but I know I look pretty fab. Yet he can’t get over a bit of body hair…

So what do I do? Do I get over it and just shave my legs or risk losing this relationship as well as potential future partners who will be grossed out by my leg hair?

Or do I leave the relationship letting him find a new pair of legs, and moving on to hairier pastures?

Sincerely,
Kayla (aka Chewbacca)

I’m somewhat surprised that I haven’t been asked this question before, and somewhat surprised that I don’t have a ready-made answer.

Your boyfriend isn’t asking you to undergo a personality transplant. He’s asking you to something you’ve done before, something you did before you met him, something that is widely accepted as standard practice for women.

But your question is so well-written, Kayla, that it seems like you’ve already thought of this from most angles. First:

It is such a widespread and visible practice that I think many men just automatically associate furry legs as manly, and assume that all girls magic themselves hairless without much effort. My boyfriend has said he’s tried to get over this but can’t.

You kind of nailed it right there.

I can see why it’s frustrating to you, but attraction is not something you can logic your way into. It’s why you can’t force yourself to be attracted to the nice guy who brings you flowers on the first date, or force yourself to be attracted to the bland CPA who will probably make a good husband for someone, just not you.

We can go back and forth and negotiate WHY you’re not attracted to him – and while we may even make some headway in figuring it out, what does it change?

Unless the CPA were to undergo a personality transplant, you’re still not going to be attracted to him.

And that’s where your situation is different. Your boyfriend isn’t asking you to undergo a personality transplant. He’s not asking you to try polyamory. He’s not asking you to quit being a yoga instructor and get a desk job.

He’s asking you to do something you’ve done before, something you did before you met him, something that is widely accepted as standard practice for women.

Here’s an entire New York Magazine article about it from last summer.

So you can blame the patriarchy and choose to rebel against it.

Or you can shave your legs and armpits like 90+% of the population, because it will mean that your boyfriend remains attracted to you.

I know that sounds insensitive – like I’m putting his needs before yours.

I’m not. I’m acknowledging what you wrote.

On the one hand, even though the thought of having to groom all over for the rest of my life seems terrible, it’s not the worst compromise to make for an otherwise great man.

You gain far more from a lifetime with this man than you lose in the 10 minutes a week you spend shaving.

This is really what it comes down to. Your issue is body hair. Other couples may quibble about money or fitness or cleanliness or family.

But it’s all the same question: Would I rather compromise to make my partner happy, or would I rather find a different partner?

No one in the world can answer that for you. But I would suggest, given how hard it is to find the “elusive alpha male nerd”, that you gain far more from a lifetime with this man than you lose in the 10 minutes a week you spend shaving.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Sonia

    I feel this way about beards (and any manicured facial hair, like moustaches or goatees).
    I’d go for a short, chubby, bald man who’s almost always clean-shaven (a little stubble’s okay, though) than a hot guy with a beard. I don’t like the way it looks. I don’t like the way it feels. It ruins kissing for me – one of life’s greatest pleasures. I love touching, nuzzling and kissing a man’s face, and want to be able to get up close and personal with his skin.
    This was an issue with one boyfriend in particular. I thought we’d compromised by agreeing stubble was okay. But as our relationship progressed, he was really resentful that he couldn’t have a beard. It was probably one of the reasons he disappeared. I felt terrible about not being able to accept him beard and all, but I just couldn’t. And he wasn’t willing to meet me in the middle with the stubble – he really wanted to have a beard. As petty as it sounds, it turns out we weren’t a match. Attraction is important. And I agree with Evan – you need to figure out whether or not it’s a compromise you’re willing to make.

    1. 1.1
      Scott

      This is how it is.  People are allowed to do whatever they want: shave whatever, or not shave at all.

       

      And we all have the ability to make our own personal choices.  I won’t date a chick with a mustache or hairy armpits.  You won’t date a dude with a beard.  There is nothing wrong with these standards.  It’s just personal preference.

       

      I have a beard, and we wouldn’t work.  That’s okay.  If you don’t follow your  standards, your relationships will never work out.

       

      I’m a firm believer that people have the right to do whatever they want, but people also have the right to judge who they want in a relationship, on the physical, emotional, and personality.

      1. 1.1.1
        Josh K.

        This is how it is: If you have a mustache, you have no reason to only want a woman with no mustache. If you don’t shave your armpits, you should be able to also accept a woman with hairy armpits.

        Hypocrisy is one of the worse things in the world.

      2. 1.1.2
        TK

        Lol…….I find women with hairy armpits hot. Although whether a woman has hairy armpits or not doesn’t matter.

  2. 2
    CaliforniaGirl

    Just do a laser – problem solved. 🙂

  3. 3
    BeenThruTheWars

    Exactly as California Girl said. If what you object to is the act of shaving and the time it takes, but are willing to have smooth legs all the time, then have some laser treatments. Most good dermatologists now do this in their office; it will take a few treatments to get it all, because of hair follicle growth cycles. And there may be some followup treatments a ways down the road, as shut-down follicles start producing hair again. But as cosmetic procedures go, it’s remarkably little money, hassle and down time for a lifetime of ditching your razor.

    If this is really about some bigger issue (not feeling loved for who you are, or whatever), then laser hair removal won’t solve the problem. Only you can decide that.

    1. 3.1
      Henriette

      For many women, laser hair removal doesn’t work.  It has best results on pale-skinned people with dark hair.

    2. 3.2
      Chaka

      What Henriette said. 

      Speaking from personal experience ~ Laser hair removal is NOT inexepensive.  It is time consuming.  It is a bit painful, though not excruciating.  I am average pale skin with dark brown hair.  For me — after oh, probably $1,100+ in laser treatments (at a dermatologist’s office), ultimately NOTHING about the hair growth, speed of growth, number of hairs, density or anything else changed. Complete waste of money.  If I ever considered “permanent” hair removal again, I’d go with electrolysis.

      1. 3.2.1
        Cora

        I have a $200 laser hair removal system at home…it isn’t too time consuming at all – definitely zero pain – and it WORKS! 🙂 I haven’t needed to replace the bulb or anything yet. The one I use is called Silk’n SensEpil – only buy direct from their site as there are counterfeits on amazon. It didn’t take that many sessions for mine to stop growing back in…just an option anyway!

    3. 3.3
      BeenThruTheWars

      Depends where you go. I went to Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow about ten years ago and did my bikini area and underarms. The hair is gone and never came back. Total bill around $300. It wasn’t painful at all, there’s just a little *shock!* feeling for an instant. I don’t know if that chain is still around which is why I recommended dermatologists, which will be more expensive. I am fair skinned and dark haired, however darker women CAN get a good result with laser hair removal; it just might take them more visits. They are coming out with new lasers all the time and it’s worth a phone call to find out more.

      1. 3.3.1
        Nicole

        The topic isn’t hair removal but as a dark-skinned black woman who had some laser hair removal, no it doesn’t take more treatments. It really just depends on the person and their hair.
        The price is definitely getting lower as it becomes more common, so she might be able to find a good deal on it if she really wants a permanent solution.

  4. 4
    W

    Just shave your legs you lazy girl, sheesh.

    1. 4.1
      Isobel

      I don’t shave.

      I am certainly not lazy. 

      1. 4.1.1
        W

        You are.  He should dump you and get out of this mess asap.  What girl doesn’t shave her legs?  He can tell all his buddies, “yeah, I dumped Isobel because she didn’t shave her legs at all”… then they tell all their friends and girlfriends and you turn into that magical gorilla you always wanted to be!  

        1. Isobel

          I am not the OP.

          And you know what? I don’t care what any of my exes say about me. When you grow up, you’ll find that is a good way to be. 

        2. Josh K.

          Well, then so are most men. Lazy and gorillas. She isn’t alone in that. 🙂

        3. A

          What if some girls are just comfortable in their own skin and decided not to shave because they love their body just the way it is? What if you said “I dumped her because she has embraced her insecurity.” Doesn’t that make you sound like a judgemental ass? Open your mind a bit.

    2. 4.2
      Pat

      Well, he’s overweight and balding at 25 and she’s chosen to accept him.  She’s a good looking yoga instructor and if he can’t tolerate her body in it’s natural state, maybe she should dump him?

      1. 4.2.1
        Clare

        He is 34.

        Nobody’s body is in their “natural state” any more, whatever that means… where do you draw the line? Should we not take baths and brush our teeth any more? 

        1. pat

          Oops, I stand corrected – he’s 34, she’s 25.  He can let himself go, but she’s not allowed to.  Now I’m up to speed.

        2. Jenine

          Please don’t compare shaving body hair to basic hygiene. There is NOTHING dirty about body hair, regardless of what society tells us (and why is it only dirty on women, hmmmm?) COME ON, ladies! Realize that this is a personal choice and all of the negativity I’m seeing is disgusting. If a woman doesn’t want to shave, she shouldn’t. But Sonia’s comment at the top is what this is all about: compromise. If the OP thinks she can do this, then fine. But at the same time, she’s only 25. She has time to find a man who doesn’t care about her body hair (and from personal experience I know they exist)

        3. Clare

          Gosh you ladies are really quite vociferous about a topic that is light hearted, if anything.

           

          No, body hair is not “dirty”, I never said it was. And many, many men shave their facial hair so this is not just a women thing. I cannot believe how this topic is being turned into a weapon for gender war when really, it is just about personal choice and what other people find attractive.

           

          My original point is that no one’s body is in their natural state any more (note: I did not say that natural is dirty. It is just natural.) We all wash our hair, brush our teeth, shave, wax, colour our hair, pluck, paint our nails… whatever, take your pick. My point is we all use some form of enhancements. A large part of the reason we do this is to be attractive and/or tolerable to other people. You can decide where you draw the line in what you are willing to do, and other people can draw the line in what they’re willing to accept. It really is that simple.

        4. Josh K.

          @Claire

          “No, body hair is not “dirty”, I never said it was.
          People only said that because you brought hygiene when everyone was taking about hair. 😉
          “And many, many men shave their facial hair so this is not just a women thing.”
          Men are still “allowed” to have beards. It’s socially acceptable. Now women with mustaches… not even men who doesn’t shave their faces would want them.
          “I cannot believe how this topic is being turned into a weapon for gender war when really, it is just about personal choice and what other people find attractive.”
          Gender war? People are talking about a hypocritical double standard that is alive for years now. It’s not just about what people find attractive.

          “You can decide where you draw the line in what you are willing to do, and other people can draw the line in what they’re willing to accept. It really is that simple.”
          I wish it was that simple. But most people who doesn’t fit the “standard” suffer. I bet you fit in and feel attracted only to people who also fit in, so congrats, I guess. But that’s not that easy for many.
          And many, probably most men, are hypocrites. They only accept women with no body hair, but would not accept to shave den if their women preferred that way. They turn down women only because… they are women! Only because of their sexual maturity, only because they are adults and have hair. Most women would NEVER do that to men.

      2. 4.2.2
        Nicole

        He has a good point, though. She started off  by having shaved legs and she switched it up on him. Is it really fair of her to suddenly switch it up on him? No.

        1. Sonia

          What should she do if he ever switched it up on her by getting fatter or balder? Or jobless, or sick. Leave him as soon as possible?

  5. 5
    Henriette

    Only the letter writer can know what’s right for her.  In her shoes, I would end things with the boyfriend and move on.   I don’t think he’s a bad guy  ~ he sounds lovely ~ but this doesn’t seem to be an issue just about leg shaving but rather about her core values: her version of feminism, body autonomy, etc. 
    I can’t imagine that a good-looking, 25 year-old yoga instructor will have any difficulty attracting numerous suitors.  And I agree with Evan that the 20s are about learning (this includes defining and honing one’s own values) so I’d suggest she get back out there and continue to explore before settling down.

  6. 6
    Isobel

    Nope. I’d have to walk away.

    This is not about hairy legs, it’s about acceptance and compromise. Neither party is accepting, nor able to compromise. One of them could shrug and drop the matter, in the belief that legs shaved or not is such an insignificant issue and not worth getting upset about. But, neither can do this, as the hairy leg stuff represents something deeper in each of them. They either commit to exploring and understanding what is really going on, or they stay with the non-shaving as being the main problem.

    I write as someone who has not shaved her legs, or armpits, for 20 years. 

    1. 6.1
      MikeTO

      Most guy won’t care if a woman walks.  No more nagging, no more arguments.  Please walk because women are doing men a big favour.  Men are expected to shave their face on a daily basis and yet women don’t even want to shave their legs?

      1. 6.1.1
        Holly

        For a woman, shaving is a lot more work. Men take 5 minutes to shave one small part of their body in the morning. Women, in contrast, shave two legs, their underarms and their bikini area. Even if she doesn’t have to shave every day, that’s still really time-consuming. Not to mention the contortionist actions we must learn to use to shave effectively.

        1. fitblondebrit

          It takes 5 minutes to shave your legs and arm pits. In the shower, every few days, or so.. And hair removing cream, on the bikini area..  

        2. MikeTO

          It takes me about 10 minutes to shave. I use safety razors which take longer however I get a close shave. Within 12 hours hair is already growing back fast. Also the hair is thicker on my face than it is on my legs not that I shave my legs.

      2. 6.1.2
        Jenine

        Men AREN’T expected to shave their face on a daily basis. Beards are trendy now. I see tons of men walking around with giant beards that they obviously aren’t shaving and are clearly not groomed.

         

      3. 6.1.3
        Josh K.

        Most men actually care when a woman walks. Even when she has much more deeper problems than just “nagging” or arguments, but actually violence, his misogyny, his cheating, him ringing STD home. Women have it much worse, but they aren’t whining over here like vitimcs like you are right now. Women make themselves the biggest favor not even getting close to pseudo-men like you, who are unfortunately a big part. 😉

        And you are wrong, or just a liar. Men are NOT expected to shave their faces. Having a beard is socially acepptable. MOST women accept men with beards. Most preffer it not to be that long, but still – we can have it!
        Now, not even said men with beards would want a woman with a little mustache…big hypocrites.

        And you should compare body ahir to body hair. Both genders have it. If a men is haity, what he has to say about anyone else’s body hair?
        Still, most preffer being sexist and will only accept women with no body hair, but would not accept to shave even if their women preferred that way. They turn down women only because… they are women! Only because of their sexual maturity, only because they are adults and have hair. Most women would NEVER do that to men, and you know it. Most women like it and accept their men’s sexual maturity and body hair.

  7. 7
    Katie

    Maybe this is way too simple, but can’t you just shave sometimes?  Like, shave in the summer, but not in the winter?  Or shave for special dates/occasions, but not all the time?  That way you’re both happy some of the time and you’re both putting up with something you’d rather not some of the time to make the other happy…

    I hate shaving too (just because I’m lazy), but when I’m in relationships I wave smooth legs around sometimes and say, ‘Feel, I shaved!’ and then if on another day when we’re getting physical I happen to be hairy, well tough, because I’m smooth sometimes.   

    I do think it’s kind of harsh of him to completely refuse to try shaving his own legs and I do think he’s being a bit mean to you, but also I think you’re being a bit stubborn too in refusing to shave at all ever anymore.  As someone who is currently single and not feeling emotionally up to starting anything new yet, being with something more or less okay sounds way too precious to me to give up for something as compromise-able on as leg shaving!  If you shave sometimes, he’ll be happy and it will grow back!  If he expects you to shave ALL the time, then that’s another matter, but there’s a LOT of middle ground between never shaving and never having any hair at all!  

  8. 8
    Dora

    OMG… IS NOT ABOUT HIM – IS ABOUT SELF RESPECT AND FEEL GOOD.. YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE NOT FEELING TO GOOD WITH HAIRY LEGS- THAT FOR YOU MAKE IT A ISSUE. I may not shave when I am alone,but if I go to dates or whatever – I do pull my hair out – makes ME feel better and more beautiful.
    Hey,imagine another thing – would you feel attracted to your boyfriend,if he consistently farts in your face..? I can tell you that as much as I could “love” my man,if he is Inconsiderate and farts or burbs in my face constantly and does Not take any notice from my ask him to stop this ,because is Revolting thing to do in public… than I will not be attracted to him either and will slowly poison our connection and all,because he would be totally Inconsiderate to me and totally Uncompromising too…
    Like some one said above – Just bloody plack your hairs and do not be Lazy.To small of a price to pay for Happy relationship.,Because here is you being inconsiderate…also stubborn and Not feminine.

  9. 9
    Mike

    OMG – Isobel… seriously?   Like Mark said, you CANNOT logic away basic human likes and dislikes.   My guess is that if she had not been shaving when they met, then they would not be at this place now.   I get your argument about compromise and acceptance but some things are more instinctual than that.   Having him compromise and accept is just going to eat away at him.   Having him shave his legs may show him it’s a PITA to do but then, what sacrifices does he make for her?

    Given where she’s coming from, I’ll go out on a limb and say they should separate too… but not for the reasons given in the comments.  For me, with my partner, if something as trivial as hairy legs could cause her to send an email to Evan, then there are bigger issues.  It’s been twisted from “I don’t want the hassle of shaving my legs” to “he doesn’t unconditional love and accept me”… yeah right.  I’m sure he still loves her, he’s just turned off by the hairy legs and yes, sex is an important part of a relationship and gee…let’s throw that out the window because I don’t want to spend 10 minutes twice a week shaving my legs.  

    Sigh… he should leave her.  there’s give and take in all relationships and this is an asinine one.   For her, it’s an inconvenience, for him it’s having lessened attraction to his possible true love.  For her, it’s a chore. For him, it’s a gut reaction.    If she’s turned off because he’s gained weight then she should discuss and he should take action on that… otherwise the same issue – he doesn’t care enough to look his best for his partner *when it matters* and *when it’s within reason* (ie. don’t ask your partner to get DD implants – that’s your problem).

    I will never understand how people can let their egos ruin otherwise perfect relationships….

     

    1. 9.1
      Pat

      I agree with you, but I really wish more regular, average (beta) guys would take more effort in maintaining their appearances for their women.  Women have eyes, too!  

      1. 9.1.1
        Mike

        Pat – I agree completely!  The whole alpha/beta mindset got me thinking about what traits make for a good partner and I guess that’s what Evan advocates here – with a lot of common sense thrown in :-).   As opposed to holding out for the alpha or hoping to find a good enough beta (and I’m talking both on the male and female side here), I think you look for:
        – someone who has self-confidence but is not arrogant or dismissive
        – is willing to continually work at the relationship but not obsess about it
        – is willing to compromise but also maintain their boundaries
        – maintains their own life and interests but shares their life with you without losing themselves

        i’m sure there’s a ton more… you just got me thinking about the true qualities of a good partner and how it straddles the alpha/beta terminology.

         

        1. pat

          I didn’t really mean to go into alpha/beta territory.  I just meant that “regular guys” can stand to work on their appearance a little, too.  Many of my friends and I like “regular” guys with all the qualities you’ve mentioned, but they neglect to physically maintain themselves, while we women bend over backwards to maintain ourselves.  We really do have eyes!  We really do use them!  We’d love to see our men hit the gym, dress a little nicer, get a more modern haircut, etc.  I’m not really sure why so many men neglect that, but implicitly expect it of us.

          The reason why I said “beta” is to contrast “alpha” guys, who already actively work on their physical attractiveness (as well as their other attributes).  They usually know how to dress themselves and work out, etc.

      2. 9.1.2
        MikeTO

        Beta/Alpha males is determined by women not by what they do. Also an so called alpha male is disposable, I would never want to be the so called alpha male.

    2. 9.2
      Jamie

      You’re right and you’re wrong. Not being attracted to hairy legs is a gut reaction for most men. However it isn’t instinctual. It’s a result of socialization that sets an expectation that women will have shaved legs. It wasn’t commonplace for women to shave until the early 20th century (maybe late 19th). Prior to that, it was perfectly normal for women to be hairy and men weren’t turned off  by hair. However, in current times many guys are turned off by body hair on women.

      Well, admittedly, a person’s sexual preferences/expectations being influenced by socialization can be considered instinctual to a point. However, the issue of hairy legs on women being a turn off in and of itself isn’t instinctual. If the social norms were reversed (smooth legs for men and hairy for women) than Kayla’s boyfriend would most likely be ‘instinctively’ turned off if she shaved her legs. 

      1. 9.2.1
        em

        people in the middle east and Mediterranean have been practicing body hair removal for centuries, even if the Gilette corporation wasn’t around.

  10. 10
    Lovecoffee

    i don’t usually posts, most lurk here, but this post is beyond ridiculous. Seriously?? Contemplating breaking up with a great guy because she doesn’t want to bother with some self-grooming ? And why stop at legs, if that’s the question (to groom or not to groom?) How about makeup, deodorant, etc?  Those are also things you do to keep being attractive…. on the other hand, this question could have  ONLY come from a 25-year old ,who really doesnt know (yet) what’s important in relationship and what’s not. Also, being a foreigner, I have a personal perspective on this:  a question like that would have NEVER come from a European woman, because taking Care of your body and looking attractive is as implied as brushing your teeth daily. 

    1. 10.1
      Gem

      To be clear, her boyfriend is also overweight, but the OP has accepted that as part of the package. At 25, she has also accepted his baldness, which is something the average 25-year-old has yet to consider amongst potential partners. I’m her age, and personally, I think she’s fairly generous with her physical standards for men.
       
      Otherwise, she seems like an active, fit woman, who has stronger beliefs about keeping the body hair. She doesn’t sound like a lazy woman, and this is coming from someone who’s lazier about shaving her legs during the winter months. 😛 You’re making a lot of assumptions about the OP.

    2. 10.2
      Henriette

      @LoveCoffee: what a rude and dismissive post!  In case you missed it, the letter writer is a pretty young yoga instructor; she certainly takes care of her body and looks attractive.  However, her beauty ideal includes unshaven legs while her boyfriend’s ideal does not.  Besides, as Mike and Isobel have pointed out, in comments above, this issue is “bigger” than simply not wanting to make an effort to shave her legs.
       
      I lived in Europe for much of my life and while I certainly didn’t find European women more appealing than those in North America.  I know we’re supposed to find Vanessa Paradis’s brown, ill-spaced teeth; subsisting on cigarettes and black coffee to keep off the pounds; all the plastic surgery (italy and greece have both far surpassed any country in the Americas ~ yes, even Venezuela! ~ for per capita cosmetic procedures) the epitome of chic and sophistication.  Funny: the divorce rate is no lower in Europe than in the US so clearly all the plucking and primping and desperation doesn’t lead to happier couplings than in places where women feel less pressure to conform to a uniform standard of  “taking care of your body” and “looking attractive.” 
       

      1. 10.2.1
        pat

        Wonderful comment.

    3. 10.3
      blanche

      @LoveCoffee, As I read your post, I could feel the rage rise up inside me,your sexist and very much ‘Programmed’ Barbie doll aesthetics which you put apon a woman is just disgusting.I am a dark haired Spanish woman for 31 years old, I have been in a committed RESPECTFUL relationship for the last 5 years.I never shave my armpits,I shave my legs once a week, I have hair on other parts of my body which is visible, but I guess I am lucky to be in a mutually loving relationship,highly sexually fulfilling and I have never had an partners impose their sexist standards of beauty apon me, because I am me, we are all unique,beautiful and sexy in our own ways.Please get out of here if you are trying to make a huge generalisation upon Mediterranean  woman because you are wrong,lets see some stats for that?I am stunned by the shallowness…….maybe you should leave that book alone,and get back in the kitchen.

    4. 10.4
      Louise

      I completely disagree! I’m French and have lived in the US for many years. I can tell you that disgust towards bodily manifestations is much stronger in America. Hair, smells,… Everything has to be tamed and groomed.

      I have never shaved my legs in my life. It’s never ever been a problem for any man I’ve been with.. Admittedly, I’m blonde-ish so it helps I guess.

      But I’m so surprised you say that! You must be eastern European. 😉

  11. 11
    Sophia

    I’m actually surprised how some women can create an issue out of nowhere. As a girl myself I can tell fury legs and armpits are gross and getting sweatty and smelly the way faster. Go and do laser if it’s such a concern for you or become a lonely cave woman, whatever suits you better

  12. 12
    Jasmina

    I am an Ameriacan woman,born in Europe and I believe grooming is extremely important not
    only to attract a man, but to keep  him as well for many years. Divorce often happens when
    women let themselves go – putting weight on, not shaving, not dressing and keeping them-
    selves pretty for their men and MEN ARE VISUAL. I personally would never accept a man
    with facial hair, facial hair is not just a turn -off for me, it makes me extremely nauseated to
    a point of vomiting, if a man with facial hair approaches me. So I completely understand
    where the boyfriend is coming from. As Evan said wisely it is a small price to pay to keep
    such a great man. Also I would recommend waxing. I’ve been doing it for many years every
    40 days and the hair grows very thin. 

  13. 13
    Jasmine

    I think a woman can be feminine with shaved or unshaved legs, but it’s a different way of being feminine, I see it as more earthy. I dont think it’s fair to tell a lover you can’t be turned off by one or the other, or equate one or the other with respecting your strength as a woman. Frankly it sounds like a power play.

  14. 14
    JB

    All I know as a man in his 50’s legs and armpits must be shaven but I certainly prefer a full “70’s” bush. Thank god my girl has one and she has no problem keeping it. So were very happy! 🙂

  15. 15
    Katt

    It’s rather annoying when a partner starts whining about something that was never a problem before. There is something more going on here than mere leg hair – as if that matters at the end of the day. 
    I think the OP needs to look further into this and ask, is this just about leg hair or is something else bothering him. Why the big deal about leg hair now after 1.5 years together. Maybe there is something medical going on with the boyfriend that he doesn’t want to talk about so he’s making it all about the OP.  

  16. 16
    Iris

    I am from a European country – seems to me that the removal of body hair is not as widespread or as compulsory as it seems in the US. Over the years, I’ve had phases of both shaving and non-shaving and am currently sporting a trimmed (not completely shaven) bush. Either way, it’s never been an issue with partners – some expressed a preference, but none came as far as insisting that I do or do not shave. 

    To me Evan slightly misses the point of the LW: in grooming, she makes an effort to change her appearance to please her partner. This is of course completely okay, but takes a lot of time if done on a continuous basis. Her partner, in turn, does not seem equally willing to put in the time to become more attractive to her. So where’s the compromise here?

    My solution would be as follows: calculate the time per week LW spends on shaving. One hour, two hours, as the case may be. Then sit down with your partner and make clear to him that this is the time you willingly invest to become more attractive to him. Then ask your partner if he would be equally willing to put in a comparable amount of time per week to become more attractive to her, for example by joining a gym to get rid of his paunch.

    See how he reacts. If he refuses outright, it seems to me that he is not a man to go the extra mile to please his partner, while expecting her to do just that. 

    1. 16.1
      Another European

      Extremely reasonable suggestion. Also I see red flags in the letter which have nothing to do with body hair. “He told me recently he doesn’t even like cuddling anymore because he can feel the hair. Yet he is still happy to accept oral sex from me…:
      Why would any self-respecting woman perform oral sex on a man who proclaims not to be attracted to her and won’t even cuddle?
      BTW I happen to be a European, and have lived and
      worked in several EU countries (UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark France). Only in Italy and France do women regularly shave or otherwise eliminate leg hair. In other countries quite a few of them only do so in the summer or for a seaside holiday. 

      1. 16.1.1
        Sunflower

        Exactly!  He can’t stand to be near her hairy legs unless he’s getting a blow job.  Wow!  Poster is young and has a lot of growing and life to live obviously.  I’ve always been a strong believer in living and let live and who you are in your 20s and who you are in your 50s can be two entirely different people.  Just follow your heart and instincts.    

    2. 16.2
      fitblondebrit

      It takes 3-5 minutes…in the shower, twice a week..That’s it. If the OP doesn’t want to invest 10 minutes a week.. Then maybe she should just move on..

  17. 17
    shoegal

    I love my bf to bits but honestly if he starts showing up on dates now wearing a full face of makeup I would be turned off too. Yes, who says makeup is for women only? And if all the eyeliner, lipstick and mascara make him feel empowered then all the power to him, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be turned off by that. Many men feel the same about women with hairy legs. Just shave/ wax/ pluck already girl.

    1. 17.1
      Britt

      I think you hit the nail on the head with “if he starts showing up”…thats where the issue seems to lie to me.

      Has the OP always (since they met, at least) gone unshaven for so long? From the letter, it seems like she used to only do the “bear winter”, if you will. If he could deal with that, then isnt that the compromise right there? Stick with your whole “not gonna shave over winter” schtick, and shave the other 6mos of the year.

      If you (the OP) started the relationship with non-hairy legs/armpits, then YOU’RE the one who changed the stakes, and I dont think that’s fair to say he’s unloving and uncompromising when he didnt think he was dating an au naturel lady to begin with. 

            

      1. 17.1.1
        Josh K.

        Most people change in a relationship. Some get fatter, some skinnier, everyone gets wrinkles, white hair, people age, etc.

        If someone isn’t attracted to the one they LOVE anymore only because the person is… an adult, and just like any other adult they have body hair… they aren’t worth it. Even less when said person IS A HAIRY PERSON HIMSELF and also won’t shave for his partner… while also being fat and balding.
        They will dump you if you get sick one day and you can’t shave. They will dump you if you get cancer and your hair fall off.

    2. 17.2
      Josh K.

      So you are also sexist. If you like make-up and wear it, nothing wrong with your man wearing it as well. 😉

      And why should she shave if HE doesn’t want to dot he same for her? Women are the only ones who should give now? Maybe in country it’s like that…?

  18. 18
    kk

    She can choose to leave the relationship over the issue of hairy legs (how dark and thick is it))?   But before that, she should get a better idea on how much the next guys she meets to date will also be turned off by that.

  19. 19
    mara

    I lasered it all off:   BEST. IDEA. EVER !!
    Have him pay for the laser: you will look perfect forever, he pays the bill, everyone is happy !

  20. 20
    Shepherd

    As a part time stripper who often works with very hairy legs and armpits as well as bushy pubic hair, I must say that I bank out every night I work no matter what condition my body hair is in. I’ve had only one guy ever say anything negative about it and I was like dude, there’s a million hairless girls in here, go get one of them! As soon as I walked away, he was begging for me to come back. 
     
    That being said, my boyfriend prefers a certain amount of hairlessness. I go through phases where I’ll shave for a couple months then stop for like four to six months. I shave for him on special occasions or to surprise him. But if he couldn’t handle my penchant for my body hair? I’d dump him because my body hair is part of my personality and there are PLENTY of guys who don’t give two shits.

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