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For gay people – who so often become fashion designers, performers, photographers or interior decorators – the artistic urge is irresistible.  It is the art that rises from adversity.  Gay men can take any ugly thing and find the beauty in it: queer literature is tortured and dark, the gayborhood always forms out of the run-down part of town, and the sexy, slutty fag hag with the dark lipstick actually played tuba in high school.

If the world is a gay man’s canvas, ready to be made exquisite, the most convenient corner of it is his own pubic hair. It is a wild, unruly wilderness that must be tamed with shears, like a lush tree that becomes a topiary.  As a gay man sculpts the hair on his body, he molds it into an expression of where he is in his life and his manhood, conveying sentiments ranging from restrained ferocity to relational politeness.  Find a gay man who has not trimmed his bush and you will have seen a man who has not fulfilled his awesome creative potential.

There are many sculpting options to choose from, and each reflects a different personality.  The masculine gay man will lightly thin his body hair, cutting each filament down in length and plucking out unruly ones, meanwhile attempting to make it appear as though it has not been trimmed at all.  The bodybuilders and the jocks will more thoroughly work over their bodies; they will polish their bellies and necks but leave thinned tufts of hair between their pectoral muscles, or will shave their chests and narrow the happy trail, but leave certain patches in place to emphasize that yes, they have passed puberty.

For some, though, it all must go.  These are the shavers.  They are the gay world’s eternal children; forever youthful, forever androgynous.  For them, even pubic hair is purged from the body like vermin, leaving the skin as it was at 6 years old.  These men can be certain that their sexual partners are either extremely kinky or extremely creeped out.  You will find them at 18-and-up nights at the alcohol-free gay clubs wearing low-rise jeans that expose tattooed punk stars and awkward tan lines showing exactly where the hair once was.

Manscaping is one of the things that is usually put off by people in relationships, and done in a flurry during the hours before a first date.  It is one of the main reasons why a single gay man’s shower drain clogs about  eight times as often as anyone else’s, and why their roommates hesitate before letting them borrow their “good sewing scissors.”  They may fear not; the gay man is extremely prudent during the trimming process, as one faulty snip could have him singing soprano for the rest of his life.

Stuff Gay People Like (SGPL: ABOUT) is a regular column. Visit the Facebook Page.