My Boyfriend Is Turned Off By My Hairy Legs.

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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. 41
    Elle

    The OP writes: “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 …Yet he can’t get over a bit of body hair… ” I know someone who has always loved eating  cooked spinach. On the other hand, eating cooked spinach has always made me gag. I am  repulsed by  the  sight of it, the texture of it in my mouth, and the taste of it. Why is that? Why do two human beings have such  completely different responses to a sensory experience? Can I “get over” my aversion to cooked spinach? Not in a million years.  But life would be so much easier if we all could always “get over” the little and not so little things that prevent us from being attracted to someone.  So why can’t the OP’s boyfriend just “get over” a bit of body hair?  He can’t because he can’t. It’s the way he is wired.   Why does someone  love the color blue and  dislike the color red? Why does one person love ballroom dancing and another person hate it?  Why can one person listen to rap music for hours and another person be unable to stand even five minutes of it? We can drive ourselves crazy with asking why. It just is. Some preferences can and will change over time and in different circumstances. But we have to recognize and accept that there are some  things we will always dislike.  No matter how much  we may want to change, or try to change,  certain preferences  for another person,  there are situations where it simply can’t be done.  It’s not a question of  unwillingness, i.e. won’t change it, but ability, i.e. can’t change it.

    1. 41.1
      SFitz

      You’re my hero.

  2. 42
    Amy

    I have only read about half the comments so I don’t know whether this has been said, but some guys LOVE hairy hippie girls. Like, it’s a porn genre. She should be who she is and find some groovy earthy guy who is into it. Lots of fish in the sea when you’re a 25-year old hottie.

  3. 43
    Emily

    Once again, Evan gives terrible advice.   “That’s right – be a good girl, suck it up and go along with the status-quo.   Otherwise, men won’t love you.”    What a bunch of nonsense! There are plenty of enlightened, feminist men who are a-ok with women not shaving their legs.    So, find one of those men.   Dump anyone else.   There is no reason for a woman to settle for a man who gets squicked out by the fact that adult women have body hair.  

    If he can’t accept the reality that women have body hair too, then he’s a big baby with unrealistic expectations.    She needs to find someone more mature and more accepting-of-reality.    Yes, it’s much easier to dump an otherwise-perfect guy than it is to spend the rest of your life with a man who feels grossed-out by the physical features of an adult human body.   If he can’t accept your body as it naturally is, then he’s not a perfect guy.   To me, this would be a red flag.     

    Evan, you seem to have this idea that the women reading this blog are just-so-terribly-desperate that anyone should do, and they should be willing to make compromises, demand less and settle for less in order to nab a guy.   After all, nobody wants an older woman! Older women should happily accept whatever they can manage to get.    This advice is horribly insulting to women, and it also doesn’t match up with what I see in actual reality with my own two eyes.   

    Evan,   our culture of catering-to-male-whims can be fought. It should be fought.   Good people who claim to have womens’ best-interests at heart should actively fight it.    “Fighting the patriarchy” will not lessen a woman’s chances of finding a good mate because there are plenty of men do care about what’s best for women.   If a man is not enlightened enough to “fight the patriarchy” side-by-side with his partner, then he’s actually not really worth dating at all.

    Why are you telling women to shave their legs and go-along-with-the-status quo in order to nab loser guys who aren’t even worth their time?   Women need to ditch these losers.

    1. 43.1
      Karmic Equation

      What you seem blind to Emily, is that when you’re espousing that men are wrong/immature for not accepting women’s choices (e.g., body hair vs no body hair) you’re implicitly stating that women are entitled to do and want whatever she wants, but men are not entitled to want whatever he wants. Using your logic that means you’re just as immature as the men you judge.
        
      OP changed the game once she “caught” her man. Now she’s expecting him to go along with whatever she wants and he has no say. Or rather, per you, whatever he says that’s counter to what she wants makes him an immature man.
        
      You’re wrong. Once someone changes the rules, the person who didn’t agree to the rule change is not wrong or immature. They are entitled to feel angry and cheated.
        
      If the guy dated her and made her his girlfriend when she was hairy and then she has a right to be angry because HE changed the rules after she became the gf. In this case SHE changed the rules. NO ONE should change the rules in a relationship without discussion. Especially on something that has impact on attraction.
        
      If you dated a clean-shaven man with a full head of hair and became his girlfriend with him looking that way. And a year later he decides to shave off his eyebrows and all his body hair but grow an Amish beard, you’re saying you’ll be ok with that? I sincerly doubt it. I’ll bet you’d nag and/or withhold sex until he shaved again and grew back his eyebrows and head hair, at the very least.
        
      I’ve certainly done it. A bf shaved his beard. He was good looking with the beard, but kind of ugly without it (he had a weak chin which the beard hid) — so I was NOT at all attracted to him until he grew his beard back. There was little to no sex during that grow-back time.
        
      Be real. Attraction IS visual both to men and women. There is no right or wrong to attraction. However, there is a right or wrong to changing rules mid-stream. LW is guilty of that.

      1. 43.1.1
        Fiona

        We’re all mammals and we all have hair. It’s fine for OP’s bf to have a preference and to tell her that, even to make a request. But to actually refuse sex if she doesn’t shave her legs? That’s ridiculous!

        My BF grew a beard about a year ago. I don’t like it, never have (he was clean shaven for years). I told him I’d rather he not grow a beard, but it’s his body and he can do what he wants. I still kiss him, cuddle him, have sex with him.

        In a real long term relationship, looks are going to change to some agree. Look at a picture of Meryl Streep when she was 25. She looks different now–still gorgeous, but different. A guy who refuses sex over unshaved legs is not a guy who is going to accept OP as she ages.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Fiona – with all due respect I must disagree with your statement

          “A guy who refuses sex over unshaved legs is not a guy who is going to accept OP as she ages.”

          Aging is a natural gradual process, not an intentional act. Both parties are gradually aging, so after 40 years of marriage, even if one is younger and one has aged more slowly, they are both going to look considerably older than they did as newlyweds.

          This hairy leg thing from the OP, seems more about her digging in her heels and thumbing her nose at society and gender conventions. If she was hairy legged when she met him that would be different, but the whole tone of her post seems to be “I am woman hear me roar” and she just wants a chorus of “You go girl !”. She talks about how she “over looked” his baldness and over weight. I somehow think she’s not quite “over looked” these things. Maybe this is her subtle “revenge”.

          But comments about how leg shaving is “sexist” and she feels so empowered, just makes me think this about more than it costing too much time and money to shave her legs. Also, her request that HE shave his legs for a month sounds like a power play on her part. Gosh, I’m glad he didn’t ask her wear sexy lingerie. Would she tell HIM to wear high heels and a garter belt to see how HE liked it ?

          This sounds like she’d rather be right than happy.

          Or maybe she’s just not that into him, and by doing something that makes her “unattractive” to him, she can get him to end the relationship, or can feel justified to end relationship because he didn’t accept her as is.

          I don’t think it is so much that he is “refusing” to have sex with her, but he’s no longer attracted to her. In fact, she has stated that he is repulsed by her leg hair. What if she decided it was empowering to stop wearing deodorant ? Would he be a bad guy if that turned him off and he couldn’t feel attracted ?

          Yes, it is only societal conditioning that makes hairless legs and underarms sexy to men. But it is also societal conditioning that says men don’t wear make up. If a man of mine decided that he was a heterosexual cross dresser, and that it felt empowering to him, would I be wrong if I refused to make love to him with his blue eye shadow, frosted pink lips and Marilyn Monroe wig ? I couldn’t have sex with a cross dresser, not to punish him for his kink, or to be “withholding” sex, but I just would be repulsed.

          I don’t fault people for not having sex with people they find repulsive, or even with someone to whom they aren’t remotely attracted .

          JM2C, YMMV.

        2. Gem

          @SparklingEmerald: I’m hearing the power-play issue pop up again, but perhaps, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the conflict of interest is more simple.

          She embraced the idea of accepting a non-mainstream man (appearance-wise) in return for more suitable personality. “Pretty fab”, 25-year-old yoga instructors don’t need to date balding, overweight men. Lots of fit, young men want to date her type.

          “All of a sudden the man who told [the OP] he couldn’t stop loving [her] even if [she] gained a hundred pounds,” stopped short at her furry legs.

          Wanting a partner to return that same opinion is not unreasonable. She’s finding out his physical tastes are more conventional than desired, and she’s disappointed.

          But I also think the OP’s post calls for more understanding that attraction cannot be FORCED. My attraction just dies at the thought of making love to overweight, balding, or very hairy men. I can’t help it, but I let all my partners know that weight & hair affects my attraction to someone. In return, they let me know what they need too. If my partner needs to loose the extra weight, I wouldn’t hesitate to join their health regimen so they don’t feel alone. So far, no problems! Win-win. I feel bad that her boyfriend left her to adjust to these standards all by herself. He doesn’t need to shave, but couldn’t he do something else towards his appearance to please her?

          In a way, both Kayla and her boyfriend are right.

          That’s where the OP needs to make a choice though. If she wants to date the “elusive alpha male nerd[s]”, they may be the type who needs a woman to shave their legs. But she’s not wrong in wanting someone who’s more willing to compromise, if it means her giving up something which makes her feel sexually empowered.

          However, if Kayla decides to fully embrace her own vision of beauty, she does need to be more open to dating different types of personalities. Someone in her position (pretty fab, young and fit) can certainly do it. The question is though… is Kayla confident enough to present herself as a woman who believes in furry legs? That’s something only Kayla can answer.

          At the bottom-line, if Kayla feels she needs to present herself as the hairless type attract the men she’s attracted to, then that’s her answer.

        3. SparklingEmerald

          Gem said “25-year-old yoga instructors don’t need to date balding, overweight men. Lots of fit, young men want to date her type.”

          If the pretty fab yoga instructor wasn’t attracted to a balding overweight man, she shouldn’t have gotten involved with him. She should find a fit young man, and not try to turn him into a woman. (which is what she did when she told him to shave his legs for a month) To “settle” for someone who isn’t your type, and then try to even the score by doing something to make yourself less attractive to him is unacceptable. That may not have been her initial reason for going hairy, but it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that many man are repulsed by leg or underarm hair.

          He was overwieght when they met. Accept him or don’t get involved.

          If she was hairy legged when they met, I would say the same about him.

          SHE’s the one who changed and she’s expecting him to force himself to be attracted to a change SHE made, and a change that is almost universally unattractive to men.

          People (male or female) who intentionally make changes to their appearance that are widely known to be sexual repellants should not play the victim when their partner no longer feels attracted to them.

          My guess (and it’s just a guess, as I don’t know the OP) is that she’s really not that attracted to him. That she even mentioned his balding and overweight is my first clue. That she say’s she “embraced” it is my second clue. On some level she’s trying to “even the score” by making herself less attractive to see if he’ll reciprocate by “embracing” her empowered hairy self.

          If she’s not attracted to a slightly overweight bald type, she should find a young fit type instead. I bet she wouldn’t DREAM of going hairy if she had the young firm stud she feels she deserves.

          Something else I thought of, to him, it may have looked like she figured she “had” him, and now she could just let herself go. When a romantic partner starts neglecting their grooming that’s what it may look like to their partner.

      2. 43.1.2
        Brenda

        My boyfriend is a very handsome man and if he chose to grow an Amish beard and shave his head/eyebrows, he would be less physically appealing to me. But of course I would still love him and be attracted to him. Why? Because he’s an amazing person who makes me feel amazing. It sounds like Karmic Equation is the kind of girl who only dates people for their looks. When your desire for someone is 100% rooted in their appearance — as in, there is literally NOTHING else about them that you find sexy — the relationship really won’t last long.

  4. 44
    Jamie

    First I’d like to say, it takes more than 10 minutes a week for a woman to shave if she does so properly.

    That being said, I agree (with some reservations) with Evan’s general conclusion (shave your legs) but disagree on how he arrived at the answer. For me it has more to do with expectations set in the relationship and not cultural norms.

    Personally, I expect any partner I have to continue with the same hygienic body care routine that he participated in when we first started dating and expect most people feel the same way. For example, I strongly dislike facial hair and men who have long hair. As a result of that preference, I date clean-shaven men who keep their hair short. If I were dating a guy and he suddenly decided to stop shaving and grow his hair out, I would have a problem with that and it may result in a loss of sexual desire depending on the severity. At this juncture, I would feel like he should shave and/or get a haircut because that was the expectation set when the relationship was established.  

    However, if I had started dating a guy who was shaggy and/or told me from the start that he dislikes shaving and will probably stop shaving at some point and I proceeded to try to convince him to start shaving than I can’t get upset if my attempts fall flat.

    I have the same opinion on the shaving legs dilemma. She entered the relationship shaving her legs so it’s not surprising he would expect that practice to continue. If she was unshaven when they entered a relationship and he then tried to convince her to shave I’d be singing a different tune. However, that isn’t the case.

    All that being said, I find it silly a relationship that’s been ongoing for quite some time would end over something like this. As indicated by Evan, it’s true that the letter writer, Kayla, is potentially letting a relationship slip away over some leg hair. On the other hand, her boyfriend is doing the same thing. If the relationship ends over something as trivial as hair than I question whether it’s a relationship that’s going to last for the long haul even with smooth legs.  

  5. 45
    Jenn

    Wow, this seems almost like a silly reason to break-up. I mean, no one is going to find anyone that they can 100% agree on everything with. If two people cannot come to an agreement or compromise on an issue like shaving legs–what about when issues arise such as where to live, how to spend money, how many children to have, how to raise the children, in-laws and parents?? Yes, there are men out there who will not mind if their woman shaves or not–there are plenty of countries where women do not shave at all! But, as a woman in the USA, you have to consider how many men and what type of men in this country will be accepting of this? (And the truth is, some of these men who are not accepting of YOU not shaving, may be accepting of it on a foreign woman because they don’t shave where she is from, but they may not like it). Personally, I can understand that it could turn off my guy to the point of no sex,and therefore would make the effort to be attractive to him…..BUT, he seems somewhat unwilling to compromise as well–I cannot be sure if it is simply because he is truly SO turned of by the hair that he cannot help it, or he is also difficult to get along with….either one could be the case.

    Relationships ARE sexual though, and I see nothing wrong with both partners indulging in the other’s sexual desires or being sexually attractive to the other–if that means wearing particular outfits, make-up styles, ambience of the room, particular bedding, candles, taking care to have soft skin( I know of women whose men have terrible hands from work and they give them special lotions and encourage them to wear work-gloves!), SHAVING…whatever 🙂

  6. 46
    Stephanie

    I’m amazed by how many people are getting all hung up on the time issue, while totally ignoring what seems to me like a much deeper and more important side of the situation.

    For those of you who are talking about how lazy it is not to spend 10 minutes shaving your legs, did you totally miss the part where she said “not shaving has made me feel more powerful, more human, and oddly more feminine?” This isn’t just about time or laziness. This is about her feeling good in her own skin.

    If feeling powerful, human and feminine in her own body, and wanting to be seen as sexy and desirable in her natural state, is more important to her than a relationship, that’s a perfectly valid stance to take. If she doesn’t want to stay in a relationship where her natural, default state is so repulsive to her partner that he won’t even cuddle her, she has every right to make that decision.

    Same for men. If having a beard makes them feel manly, attractive, or whatever else it makes them feel, and if they feel like shaving is an act of removing a part of themselves that they like in order to feel artificially more acceptable, they should seek a partner who likes that aspect of them.

    I think it’s all a matter of how important it is to you. If you don’t care whether you’re hairy or not, by all means, shave if (s)he wants you to. But if the state of your body has a strong effect on your emotional state, then it’s something you can’t just ignore, and shouldn’t change for a person who can’t accept it. Especially not if that person isn’t willing to do the same for you. The fact that he insists that she shave her legs forever, yet won’t do it himself for even a month, seems intensely hypocritical to me, and is not a sign of a supportive person who would meet her halfway.

    If I were the OP, that’s a red flag I’d definitely keep an eye on. Where else is he making demands, but refusing to make compromises himself? If this is a pattern, then it may be a blessing in disguise that the leg issue brought it to the surface.

  7. 47
    David

    This is so much BS it’s making my head spin. I’m a middle eastern dude, and let me tell you, I get HAIRY! And I don’t mean stubble hairy, or the little fine hairs that grow on a woman’s thighs / calves. I’m talking, I can totally braid this ish if I wanted to.

    About once a month, I trim my entire body. I’m talkin, trim my chest, shave my back and trim my manhood. Firstly, I’m doing it because I think I look better and it’s more hygienic, but I also do it because my girlfriend likes less hair from time-to-time. All these girls talking about how their legs “take forever” to shave. Try doing your WHOLE body!

    This whole feminism thing has gotten out of hand. Sure I can try to find a girlfriend who doesn’t mind my hair, but to be frank, I’m willing to make the compromise to keep the person I love in my life. It’s that simple! Go shave your damn legs. Really, it’s not all that bad.

  8. 48
    twinkle

    I understand a bit of where Kayla’s coming from. She wants to be herself. A few mths I ago, a guy I was dating (now my bf) requested I paint my nails—in fact, he offered to bring me to the salon, so it wouldn’t even have cost me much effort–and I said I wasn’t willing to do that. It’s not just my preference for being low-maintenance, but I’m a bit OCD and don’t want chemicals on my hands. I stuck to my preference, and I guess he accepted that since we’re exclusive now. (Btw he’s a v attractive guy, and I wish more women understood that u don’t have to try so hard to transform into Miss Conventionally-Perfect to be attractive to attractive men, but that’s a different story.)

    So I semi-understand this. She feels good this way–and frankly I think more highly of her than I do of very high-maintenance women who need 10 beauty appointments a month to feel presentable.

    But Evan is right when he says this is “something you did before you met him”. She says she wasn’t that consistent about it, esp in the winter, but she wasn’t this..um..fuzzy back then either, lol. I guess he feels a bit cheated. And it’s not just about the hair, but the skin tends to feel less smooth when a woman’s legs aren’t hairless. And smooth legs are nice! (to me). I know I’m one to talk when I refused to paint my nails, maybe it’s unfair, but I think she should shave her legs if she loves this man…Sorry Kayla! I really do know how u feel. :p

    1. 48.1
      onlyonetime

      Twinkle, you are the one to give advice! Weren’t you the one who refused to paint your nails because you are OCD? What if the OP is also OCD and doesn’t like the smell of shaving cream or the sight of razor blades near her skin?
      I think she should stick to her guns the way you did,right?
      In your own words, I wish more women understood that u don’t have to try so hard to transform into Miss Conventionally-Perfect to be attractive to attractive men.

  9. 49
    B. J.

    I’ve been reading all of the comments about the significance of hairy legs before and after a relationship has been established, and it’s beginning to dawn on me that this conflict has nothing at all to do with whether or not Kayla has smooth legs. Because of the lack of agreement from either of the partners, it might be that this is an excuse to slyly slip out of the relationship without actually making a definite statement about a separation, since it appears to be the one, single disagreement that has so little chance of reaching mutual accord. Perhaps Kayla’s feelings about feeling “empowered” when she stopped shaving her legs has some kind of subtle downside that is not being freely addressed. I wonder whether anyone else has some doubts about the actual cause of this problem.

  10. 50
    SparklingEmerald

    This part sticks out for me . . . when the OP says this about shaving “and definitely not worth the time and money it took to keep my legs smooth.”

    How often do women on this blog talk about how they want a man who will make an effort for
    them ? How often do women on this blog want a man to show his interest by investing time and money in the relationship ? Since the OP says he’s an “alpha nerd” who likes to take charge and be the man, I’m guessing he is putting time, money and effort into this relationship. Not only are the hairy legs a turn off for him, but I think it must have been a blow to his psyche to know that his girlfriend thinks he is “definitely not worth the time and money”.

    I really can’t cross reference every commenter in this discussion for who is dissing the man for not finding her hairy legs sexy, and for feeling hurt that she doesn’t think he’s worth the effort or money to adopt culturally normal grooming standards. But I do wonder how many of the women making her boyfriend the bad guy here, have ever whined about a man not willing to put time, effort or money into pleasing them.

    I’m half Italian, so I have to shave my legs from the knees down DAILY, unless I won’t be with my boyfriend AND I’ll be wearing slacks, a long skirt or opaque tights. Razor blades aren’t THAT expensive, and in the shower the shaving thing takes less than ten minutes. I can take care of everything between my navel and knees by getting professionally waxed every 6 to 8 weeks. It’s a bit of an expense, but well worth it.

    Ladies, if you want a man who will put time, money and effort into a relationship, isn’t it only fair that you respond in kind, in ways that he will appreciate ?

  11. 51
    Kathleen

    Nair. Just nair. I hate shaving too. My ex got over the seldom shaving thing, but that took a while. Nair and clean razors get expensive. Plus I just hate the act of doing it. I eventually told him, that instead of complaining, he could have tried to come up with solutions to my issues with shaving. Buying me Nair, or helping me put it on, or keeping me company while I do it because it’s boring as heck.

    If something is important to me, I try to find solutions. If it’s not, I can learn to put up with the circumstances.

  12. 52
    Adam

    I don’t understand the problem. Just shave your legs. About a year and a half ago, I was significantly overweight. I was quite obese. So I decided to get into the habit of having a better diet and exercising more and lost the excess weight. This process is certainly harder than simply shaving once a week, I don’t see why you can’t make this small concession to make your man happy.

    I personally am not attracted to women who don’t shave their legs and arms. I’m sorry, this is a negative in my book. I don’t see why, if you really loved him, it would be too much trouble to simply shave.

  13. 53
    jlb

    I’m personally getting pretty sick and tired of society telling women what they should look like and what they should be doing with there bodies. Men continue to get a free ticket in not taking care of themselves and i’ve been told by a handful of men that men age better than women! Despite the fact that when men age they go bald and look like they’re pregnant 12 months out of the year. After women give birth they are constantly pressured into loosing “the baby weight” you see it in magazines in check out counters constantly. Whats going on here is that you have a fat bald old fart telling his young fit girlfriend how he wants her to be despite of his lack of being able to take care of his physical appearance. Lets just call it for what it is here! If she loves him and wants to stay with him then they should come to a compromise and agree on both of them taking better care when it comes to their appearance. Meaning she gets rid of the hair and he hits the gym and hard! If he thinks hes above that dump the Narcissist and make a stand for women that continuously have to conform to what a man wants us to be and look like. PLUS!! For some reason it always seems to be the people who arrent in the position to judge (ugly, fat, bald, old) who are judging so let them know that !! 🙂

    1. 53.1
      JennLee

      Men do not get a free pass.   Some just think they do.   I see a lot of angst and hyperbole in your post.   I hope you are just venting because if this is truly how you see things, you need to look around a little more closely.

      I’m personally getting pretty sick and tired of society telling women what they should look like and what they should be doing with there bodies. Men continue to get a free ticket in not taking care of themselves and i’ve been told by a handful of men that men age better than women! Despite the fact that when men age they go bald and look like they’re pregnant 12 months out of the year.

      No, they don’t get a free pass.   And somebody recently posted peer reviewed research that showed that about an equal number of men and women fall outside of the healthy weight guidelines.   However, they were not equally distributed in the overweight and obese categories.   Men were more likely to be in the overweight category while women were more likely to be in the obese category.   And as for going bald, both men and women have their crosses to bear as we age.   Cellulite, spider veins, thinning lips, and the list goes on.

       

      I do agree that she can use this to get a compromise out of him.   She shaves, he starts working out, and eating healthier.

       

      If he thinks hes above that dump the Narcissist and make a stand for women that continuously have to conform to what a man wants us to be and look like.

      Victim complexes aren’t very attractive.   Once again, men also have to conform just as much as women do.   Some just seem to be in denial over it, and often they end up with no girlfriend as a result.   What men don’t have is the ability to fool the us by using make-up.   That’s our advantage alone.

       

      PLUS!! For some reason it always seems to be the people who arrent in the position to judge (ugly, fat, bald, old) who are judging so let them know that !!

      All people judge, and if you think that statement you made, you need to find out why.   Maybe you see it this way because the truly great looking guys are never made to judge you.   Maybe the guys in your life, the men who approach you and date you, are not the cream of the crop.   Maybe the best looking guys in your life are in a position where they can make comforting statements to you because they don’t have to back them up.   But trust me on this, better looking men are MORE judgmental on average because they can be.   Just as the same is true with us women.

       

      I remember an example of this when those to Marines asked Justin and Mila to go to the Marine Ball with them.   I thought the girl was reasonably cute, and made a comment along those lines, but a really good looking guy who was a friend of one of my boyfriend’s friends (very good looking) said, “She’s a pug.”   As in the little dog that looks cute from a distance, but up close isn’t really so cute.   Like or not, the better looking people are, the higher their standards of beauty typically are, which is only logical.

       

      Really it comes down to who they tend to be able to date.   If a man, through good looks or wealth, is constantly able to date women who are 9s and 10s, he will never see a woman who makes his heart do flip flops in a woman who is an 8 or below.   And the same holds true for women.

       

       

  14. 54
    Sasha

    Kayla is being hypocritical. Its ok for her to want an  alpha  male  nerd, a guy with certain masculine characteristics in other words. However, it’s “sexist” if her SO wants a woman with feminine hygiene. That’s hypocrisy. Evan, I think you let her off too easy.

  15. 55
    Jenai

    I’m a little surprised that nobody has commented on how extreme and a little immature it is of the boyfriend to stop being affectionate and making love to a woman he is supposed to “love” all because she has hair on her legs?? What’s up with that?

    Do we not see the mans behavior as childish and immature in his reaction to her not wanting to shave her legs?? I’m quite sure he knew early on in their dating relationship that she was not a woman who shaved her legs often. He still chose to date this woman. I’m thinking there are many wonderful important and meaningful qualities she has, that not shaving her legs would overshadow those things.

    Do we think this is ok how her boyfriend is reacting to   her simply not doing something she doesn’t want to do? What about him compromising?

    I believe this will possibly set the stage for this woman always compromising her wants, needs and desires for this man in their future.

    This is part of the root of the problem of why people get divorced. One person almost always ends up being the one to concede and compromise. At some point they get tired of it. The other person begins to feel a sense of entitlement, as if they’re owed these compromises. They get comfortable and never feel the need to compromise or concede, ever. It can quickly turn into a situation where you give a person an inch or 2, and they want, and take  miles.

    To me this is a red flag if this guy is making this big of a deal about a woman he claims to love not shaving her legs as much as he wants her to.

    Men can be too unreasonable with things like this. They have no idea what it takes, and the time, effort, and sometimes pain to look like these perfect Barbie dolls for them.

    Not to mention, many women complain that their husbands/sig others don’t even notice what they do. So whats the point??

    To deny a person u say u love and care about physical touch, physical love, and affection is pretty extreme and childish imo.

    If I was this woman I would do some serious probing and ask this guy some direct questions like: why does this mean so much to you? What disgust you about hair on a womans legs? What if I bleached the hair so it’s not noticeable? Or to soften it?

    Would you honestly throw away all that we have and what we’ve built because I have hair on my legs? What if it irritated my skin and/or gave me a rash to shave my legs, would you still insist on it? Would you not care about the consequences of me shaving my legs? She needs to determine just how deep this guys love is.

    Cause if people are incapable of loving one another unconditionally to some extent, the relationship is destined for failure at some point. Because there are conditions to the love. And as soon as the conditions are not met, somebody is walking out the door.

    1. 55.1
      Joek

      She consciously chose to make herself unattractive to him – so he’s supposed to just “get over” his lack of attraction.

       

      Sparkling Emerald has covered this ad-nauseam. She unilaterally changed, and expected him to just go along with it. He didn’t, so now she’s crying “he’s immature”, when the reality is more like she’s acting immaturely.

       

      As SE said, how would she feel is he suddenly started wearing heavy makeup because “it felt more authentic” to him – would she still find him attractive and have sex with him?

  16. 56
    Jo

    This thread is heartbreaking to me. I also haven’t shaved my legs in over 20 years and I’ve never been with a man who had a problem with it. For me it’s a deeply symbolic act. It is my daily insurgency against the patriarchy, the patriarchy that dehumanizes all of us, men and women alike. The hair on my legs and under my armpits stands for liberation.

    Men are “attracted” to hairless legs because they remind them of porn stars and prepubescent girls. Young girls don’t have hair on their legs and under their armpits. Grown up women do. It’s not the same as men and beards because men truly do have a widely accepted cultural choice, whereas women with hair get called unclean and ungroomed cavepeople.

    Leg shaving is widely practiced and expected in our culture because SEXISM is widely practiced and expected. When our culture finally prioritizes women’s (and men’s) humanity over their objectification, hairy legs won’t matter. We women have to make the choices that challenge these assumptions in order for that to ever happen. Men have to be willing to reach for what’s beneath the hairy legs to find the human woman inside, as well as his own humanity inside, (which sexism done such a good job at taking away from him.)

    Also contrary to popular belief, I believe that we can change our attractions. The culture trains us to be attracted to certain things, and we can untrain ourselves with awareness and curiosity. On the first date with my current partner I was not initially attracted to him. But he was so right on in every other way, so we hung out and got to KNOW each other, and now I’m wildly attracted to him, even though his physical description doesn’t fit my “attraction” meter.

    If Kayla’s partner truly loves and is committed to being with HER, the hairy legs won’t matter. He’ll respect and honor her empowered choice and celebrate her gorgeous humanness. There’s clearly something deeper going on here, and he’s pinning it on the hairy legs. Not her job to shave them for him.

    1. 56.1
      Joek

      “Men are “attracted” to hairless legs because they remind them of porn stars and prepubescent girls.”

       

      Wow, just, wow. Nice projection of your issues.

       

      You’re the one with issues about “patriarchy” and feel a need to “rebel”.   Other people just like what they like. And has been pointed out before, men and women have been shaving since the Egyptians…so long before any of this other BS.

       

      Good luck waiting for humanity to stop objectifying the human form. It hasn’t changed since the Greeks made statues some 5000 years ago…

    2. 56.2
      Buck25

      Jo,

      The problem here isn’t hairy legs. The problem here, isn’t “average height, slightly overweight and balding”.   The problem is changing the rules, after you got the relationship. That’s exactly what happened here. The guy was attractive enough for her to want a relationship with him, and want it enough to shave her legs to attract him. Now that she has him, all of a sudden, she decided it’s “empowering” not to shave her legs anymore, and unilaterally decides not to. When the guy rightly complains that SHE unilaterally changed (and apparently asked her nicely to go back to shaving her legs (oh gee, what a horrible imposition-takes what, five minutes in the shower?), THEN his “average height, balding and slightly overweight” self suddenly becomes   “unattractive” to her? I call bullshit; just a convenient rationalization for acting like a spoiled brat.   This girl (I refuse to dignify her immaturity and rather strident ideological feminism by referring to her as a woman; what I see, is an adolescent child having a temper tantrum because she changed the rules in the middle of the game, and it didn’t go over well), is trashing her relationship by making a great fuss over nothing; If a man can get up and shave every morning, (and if necessary, shave again in the evening, so as not to scratch his woman’s sensitive skin-I do), then she can damn well shave, wax, use depilatory creme, whatever; sounds like a fair trade-off to me).

      The problem here is not hairy legs, or average, balding and slightly overweight; the problem is militant, strident, ideological feminism. Newsflash for you, Jo, that’s just plain ugly on any woman, no matter how she looks otherwise. Reminds me of the feminist crazies who slapped me for opening doors for them back in the seventies. I despise that attitude with every fiber of my being, and so do most men. I’ve read a ton of it on this blog, and now, I’m finally going to respond. I don’t dislike women, but I do dislike that kind of misandry, and I’m not shy about pointing it out when I see it.

      It is one thing to want equal opportunity (if equally qualified), to want to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace, to want equal justice under the law, and an equal right to vote and hold office. I support those ideals; there’s no legitimate reason not to. However, the desire to have all the privileges of men, without the responsibilities that go with some of them, being openly contemptuous of men and their desires, expecting men to be sensitive to your every need, while you ignore theirs at your whim, trying to re-make men in the supposed perfection of your own image, and and a completely gynocentric line of thinking and behavior, is more than a bridge too far. You want a war between the sexes on that line, I can assure you that I, and I think a majority of real  men (not feminized, weak, emasculated, sensitive, metrosexual, New Age “Beta Boys”), will give it to you, tooth and claw, until hell freezes over. I don’t like some of the extremism of the MRA crowd, but I’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them on that one!

      I suggest, that if Kayla’s behavior here is your definition of female “empowerment”, she needs to leave a relationship like hers forthwith, and go find some compliant little wuss that she can control (she can go on to the next one, after she gets bored with that). Her guy deserves better, (like a real woman who still understands how to be soft, feminine, loving, and appreciative in a relationship, instead of picking pointless fights for the sake of her overblown Uber-feminist ego!)

       

  17. 57
    John

    All good, lasting relationships involve compromise, and agreements.   Neither party gets things 100% their way.   That’s what this article is about.

    1. 57.1
      Christine

      Well said–it’s all about making compromises to make the relationship work. It’s about learning to distinguish the “small stuff” you can compromise over, and the “big stuff” you can’t.

      Him being a “smart, kind, caring and dependable” man is the “big stuff” I think she should focus more on, than shaving legs.   As a mid-30s woman, I can vouch that finding a guy like that gets harder as you get older (not impossible because I managed to do it, but it was a very arduous journey to find him).   I just hope she doesn’t break up with him, then later regrets that she gave up a great guy over such a little thing!

       

       

       

  18. 58
    Lorianne

    He can be fat and bald but she has to be perfectly hairless?   I would have walked a LONG time ago. I don’t shave and any man who doesn’t like it can lump it. When men start grooming themselves, then I’ll start. Until then, they can eff themselves.

    1. 58.1
      Russell

      Most men do groom themselves.   They cut their hair, and shave their beards and mustaches.   There are even guys who groom other body hair.   But your response could be better because the issue is not tit for tat.   A man shouldn’t have to shave his legs to want her to shave hers.   The issue is does she want something similar in return, and will he agree to it.   If my woman said she wants me to groom and area of hair, I probably would.

       

      Also, you have to understand that in the U.S., shaved legs IS a beauty standard.   Like it or not, that is true.   If you are going to marry an American man, or even a Canadian, etc.. then you have to understand this.   Don’t shave your legs to get the man, then act like it is an issue a few years later.   The same goes for the man.   If he likes wearing a beard, but she hates beards, don’t shave until you’ve been married for a few years, and then act like it isn’t fair that she doesn’t want him to grow a beard.   I have no sympathy for her because I seriously doubt that she entered the relationship not knowing his preference.   However, if he entered the relationship and ignored unshaved legs, then it is not right for him to make an issue of it later.   it is however his right to not like unshaved legs.   I can tell you that with the way we grow up with this being a beauty standard that unshaved legs literally look gross to us.

  19. 59
    NewlyMarriedWoman

    Agree with those who say this is about more than shaving. It’s about the inability to problem solve, to protect each other, to have the other’s back.   His loss of attraction for her also probably has a little to more to do with her belligerent edict giving than just the hairiness alone.

    A loss of attraction is a serious problem in a relationship and it should have gotten her attention right away as something to fix if she could because she wants to be desired by her partner and she wants her partner to feel happy. That’s what love is. You care about the other’s well-being and, no, attraction can not be “logicked.” If it could, we would have a very different world.

    Feminism or self-actualization does not mean that your needs or whims or caprices get priority at the expense of others. It means you get a fair chance WITH others.

    Doing something that gets your partner revved up should be a joy for both partners. Turning your partner’s libido into a battleground seems the height of folly where everybody loses. (wouldn’t she like to do something more than give bjs once in awhile? she’s willing to sacrifice her own satisfaction out of what? anger? righteousness?)

    She exhibits no compassion for the hard-wiring of his “on” switch or even for his coming to manhood in a society that “conditioned” him to have a particular preference.   So it appears her top value in this situation is to “win.” That is the path to an unhappy relationship if they stay together or the path to a breakup.

    She should free him up to find a woman who will value his libido and revel in sharing it and prioritize coming to a common solution during conflict rather than “winning.”

    Also — look at ancient statues and paintings from Greece. The beautiful women have varying figures, but you don’t often see hairy armpits or “furry” legs. Plenty of evidence humans have been removing hair for thousands of years. Intensifying the polarity of the sexes through grooming is nothing new nor “bad.”

     

     

     

     

     

  20. 60
    Mary

    This is shocking to read the responses to say the least, along with Evan’s response which comes as no surprise to me reading earlier posts !

    The man refuses to get physical but he accepts her bj where she gets no pleasure ! You are not attractive, so no sex for you ! I’m attractive to you ( despite my flaws which don’t turn you off ), so you owe me a BJ ?   Wow & she goes with that !

    No man who’s man enough & loves a woman would put her in a position where the receiver of pleasure is ONLY him   !!!   What’s wrong with you ladies out   there overlooking this ? If your man for whatever reason ( you got a little fat or have cellulite or whatever – don’t tell me all you bashing this girl have zero body issues ) said, I’m not attracted to you but hey I want to be pleased ‘coz I’m attractive ( even if it’s fat, bald & wrinkled ). How would that make you feel ?

    Sure shaving legs is something she can manage but also not getting fat & not having cellulite, but from time to time we all deal with some issues we could have managed but didn’t. The point is for whatever reason it happens – is the man putting his pleasure alone first while refusing your’s ? He has no bloody right in any universe for that.

    I don’t understand how Evan could overlook this red flag that’s glaringly evident being a dating coach himself.

    If he’s not attracted to her, he can move his fat body & bald head off from her, not ask her to give pleasure while he’s not in a position to give her the same.

    This is the deeper problem than hair on legs !   For the right guy, shaving may not be a big deal. But no girl should bother about shaving herself for a sick guy like this one !   It would be a good riddance to get rid of selfish guys like this !

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