In today’s installment of “surprising things that turn a woman on”: Nipple hair. A new Australian study finds that ladies dig men with just a little hair on their chests and areolas.
The researchers photographed men who had varying degrees of body hair, first in their natural state, then clean shaven. In an online survey, women were shown two of the photos at a time and picked the one they thought was more attractive.
The women deemed guys with “light” body hair—a smattering of strands across the chest and below the belly button—the best looking, followed by clean-shaven men and guys with “very light” body hair, then guys with medium and heavy fur.
Women tend to be attracted to “intermediate levels of masculinity,” says Tamsin Saxton, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Northumbria University. A little body hair is a signal of manliness, but people may unconsciously perceive guys with heavy hair as aggressive or domineering.
Trends may also help explain why women like body hair on the lighter side, Saxton says.
People tend to be drawn to styles they’re familiar with. (See: 70s pornstashes, 19th-century mutton chops.) As manscaping has risen over the last decade, women’s preferences for a more groomed torso may have grown as well. Of course, some women (and gay men) still love a lush, furry chest, so no pressure to tame your mane if that’s not your thing.
But if you want to take it down a notch, just trim your torso hair with clippers with a #1 guard, says Craig Whitely, Hollywood’s leading expert on all things male grooming. Move the clippers downward, in the direction your hair grows, as you mow, Whitely says.
This should leave about three quarters an inch of fuzz. Any shorter, he says, and you might cause skin irritation.