boys shaving their legs?!?!

This is the first thread I’ve started on the SDMB, so let’s see how this takes…
I’m a high school science teacher in California. The other day I’m discussing with my physical science class how drag and friction create forces that can slow a racer down, and that swimmers, runners and cyclists will shave their legs and other body hair to shave-off a few milliseconds from their race times. To my utter bewilderment, several of my male students admit that they shave their legs, despite the fact that they don’t play sports that might benfit from it. I ask them why they do it, and they just give me that “I dunno…'cause everyone else does it…and, uhhh…'cause it’s hecka-cool!” A survey of other classes at my school and of teachers at other schools reveals that this male-shaving-leg fad is rather wide-spread in this area. I had knee surgery 10 years ago and had to have my leg shaved, and it itched like hell…I can’t understand why anyone would willing go through that unless they really had to.

So, I gotta, ask: Why and how does a fad like this get started? Has the body piercing/tattoo/weird hair thing become so passe that they need some new outlet for self-expression?

And, just how wide-spread is this? Has anyone else outside of N. California heard of this, or am I just so obliviously out of touch with men’s fashion trends?

ummm. I know one doper who does it, but he’s in NorCal. He claims it’s cause he bikes but we all know that’s a lie.

I dont shave my legs due to the tabboo associated with male leg shaving, however I would if it weren’t for the fact that the hair would grow back rough and not baby soft like it currently is.

On other arenas however, I shave under my arms and trim the pubic region considerably. I also shave my abdomen, nipple region, and chest completely.


Because it is more comfortable for me to have shaved underarms…it really is. It’s easier to clean, easier to put on deodorant, and it looks much better in my opinion.

Why the close trim on the crotch area? Same reasons…easier to keep clean, more visibly appealing, and it keeps the hair out of the way when the SO is…well…anyway.

Why the chest, etc.? Because I hate the appearance of hair on my chest and stomach. That so called “lucky trail” that all men have…I hate that thing and shave it clean bi-weekly.

Those are my reasons.

I may shave the legs someday, but probably not likely…just seems like its too much of a hassle. I have considered Laser hair removal, but when I do that it will be on my entire buttocks and anal region, and probably my face as well.

I absolutely detest shaving…but I hate facial hair, and really can’t stand body hair much at all period. The buttocks region just blows my mind…why the hell do we men have hair on our ass?

It boggles the mind…


SkySlash- OK, I can see those as being some valid reasons as to why a guy would shave parts of his body. I myself am of the rather hirsute-all-over variety, and it is literally a pain-in-the-butt sometimes to have so much hair down there…and getting deodorant onto my underarms past all that hair can be a hassle.

But, these are ninth-grade boys I’m talking about. They don’t have much body hair to begin with. I’m kinda baffled about the psychology behind why they’d do such a thing…has someone decreed hairy legs to be un-sexy?


When I was in middle and high school, I knew a lot of boys who shaved their legs.

Of course, they were all on swim teams…

Well, it might work for swimmers, but i strongly doubt the whole runner/biker aero advantage. Based on what i’ve read, the aerodynamic advantage to a cyclist with shaved legs is next to none. There are other advantages, though: not as painful when you crash, easier to clean road rash, easier to massage, etc.

Being a cyclist myself, i’ve shaved a few times. Quite frankly, the reason i did it was to feel like a “real cyclist”. I enjoyed the look and feel, but found it to be more trouble than it’s worth. I didn’t know any non-cyclists or non-swimmers that did it.

I know two guys (17 and 18) who got their legs waxed. Both of them did it as a dare, but they both admitted afterwards that they liked the silky feel. One of them now keeps his legs smooth by waxing and exfoliating regularly.

I know a lot of girls who find smooth-shaven legs to be more aesthetically pleasing - and nicer to touch. I don’t see anything wrong with guys wanting to shave; maybe they like the feel of the wind on their bare skin. :wink:

Woohh! This is the first time I’v heard of it stochastic so your not alone.

[hijack] Personally I prefer hairy men :smiley: My hubbies hairy all over and I find it darn sexy! :wink: just my opinion of course, but I dont think I would find a smooth legged man much of a turn on.[/hijack]

Just thought I would add that I’m in Scotland, maybe shaving off any hairy bits here would be rather pointless cause we need something to keep out the cold. :smiley:

When I was a wee lad & just starting to sprout hair, my first reaction was Yuck what’s that? Shave it off! Shave it off!!.

But then it quicky became apparent that the hair was growing faster than the Gillette company could make razors so I gave up & accepted it. I get compliments on my furry gams but personally I would rather be smooth if I had the choice. I also prefer smooth legged men.

And no I’m not going to get laser hair removal, not at $400 per square inch anyway.

I just wish it would become socialy acceptable for women not to shave their legs. It’s the middle of winter, no one sees my legs but me and the girls in the bathroom, and they give me the dirtiest looks! :frowning:

relic_11 - Be a rebel! Join me!! I avoid shaving my legs as often as possible. It does help that most of the hairs are fair, but I figger if hubby doesn’t mind, I’m not going to mess with it. My 15 y/o shaves almost daily - she doesn’t like the feel of stubble - but I expect she’ll get over it one day.
I certainly don’t pretend to speak for womankind, but I’d rather spend my life doing stuff other than fussing with the way I look. If it’s beyond bathing and brushing my teeth, it’s not worth it to me.

I cycled competitively for many years, and the aero thing is a red herring. Everyone takes a tumble now and again, and hair will rip your flesh off when it meets the road. Smooth skin slides more (and there’s less infection when the skin heals).

The real reason why pros do it however is because it cools the muscles more quickly = cooling by evaporation. Overly hot muscles are not as efficient and produce less power = you’re gonna hit the wall or bonk or lose the sprint to the line. They also shave their arms to help with the cooling. I shave patches now because I have this eczema-type problem that the hair exacerbates.

However, before I became a rider or had eczema, I first shaved my legs when I was about 9 years old just because I had seen my Mum do it. Can’t say I ever did the armpits though…

Lion Killer

FairyChatMom, my kindred! Seriously, if I’m wearing long pants and no one’s going to see my legs, what’s the point?

Sorry for the hijack, guys!

Hey oldie! I know that doper, too!

Demo shaves his legs during the summer, he even had them professionally waxed before we went to Mexico. He just likes the way his legs look without the hair(and according to him, this is why most cyclists/swimmers do it, pure vanity, they got nice muscles, they wanna show 'em off.) I gotta admit, it is pretty sexy, but then, his legs are sexy with hair as well. I suppose I’m biased.

He also trims his armpit hair and umm, well, other areas.

I know he thinks about shaving his chest, he has the tiniest patch of hair, dead center, that I find painfully sexy. I don’t want him to shave it, I love it.

I can definitely see why guys would shave their underarm hair (for hygenic and aesthetic reasons), but leg ahir…

I just don’t know. It’s such a pain to do it anyway. To each his own, I suppose!

fairychatmom and relic_11

I haven’t shaved my legs for about 9 years (I’m a 30 YO female) – and yes I get a lot of strange looks and for the first two years my mom refused to sit next to me at the beach (hahaha) but I’m way too lazy to shave my legs every other day. When I first stopped shaving it was to make a statement against unwritten rules that this society has for women… However, now because of doctors orders (long story!)I can no longer shave under my arms either which is really driving me crazy. I’m slowly getting use to it – although I still sneak in a light shave every few weeks. :slight_smile:

Kind of sounds like you have major issues with hair. I hope you seek help soon. :slight_smile:

Now I’m not really sure why I replied to this post. Sorry about the hijack (isn’t that suppose to be hi opal?)

Thanks for the input, folks! I’m sorta glad it’s not considered quite as weird as I had feared. I don’t want to worsen the inferiority complex my poor little freshmen suffer by having leg shaving be an issue for them.

Re: the hair ripping skin off in a cycling crash. I have a friend that got knocked off his bike by a drunk driver…ugly, uuuugly what happened to his hairy bare legs. <shudder>

Yep, psy’s got it right with me. First of all, shaving leg hair may reduce your wind resistance by a very fractional amount and I wouldn’t see a reason for anyone other than cyclists in a velodrome, who reduce ALL the other wind resistance factors. In cycling, it’s become a tradition. One big reason is what SkySlash mentioned: cleanliness. You get a lot of road dirt, grease and gunk on your legs when you ride and it’s easier to clean off. I think the biggest two factors are comfort and vanity, though, for cyclists at least. When you ride a few thousand miles a year, you develop great looking legs. They get tanner and look better shaved. It’s common in bodybuilding to shave body hair, too, for the same reason. I like how it feels, too. It’s just so much of a pain I don’t bother with it during the winter. Waxing was not too painful, but not worth the cost of getting it done or effort of doing it yourself. Plus, I’ve found the hair grows back just as fast. It’s only smoother for the first few days.

Sky… If you show up on Saturday, I think I might break down giggling.

Now for the TMI section of this post:
As for hair on guys in general, I don’t like hairy [re: furry] guys, but chest hair doesn’t bother me too much if it’s short. Below the waist, I trim regularly, legs included. Now I know most guys like women to be trimmed and neat, not necessarily shaved; but if a guy is going to actually insist that I keep myself super-trimmed, I’m going to insist that he trim also. Women don’t like hair in their teeth any more than guys do. Unfortuantely, I once had to refuse to shave for over a month and a half to make that point to an ex. He conceded, trimmed, and :eek: found that being trimmed looked and felt better. Who’d a thunk it?