April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re grabbing it right by the balls. Every day for the entire month, we will be publishing a new story aimed at getting men to better consider — and cherish — their family jewels in hopes of helping prevent a diagnosis that, if caught early enough, shouldn’t prove fatal. Read everything here.
“I never liked the hair on my dick,” explains Jared, a 36-year-old operations manager in New York. And so, when he learned that he could eliminate his pubes forever, he called around to a few different places to see if they could help him. This was back in 2017, two years before the New York Post published the first trend piece on how more men were using laser-hair removal on their nether regions. The tabloid referred to the burgeoning practice as “the male Brazilian — or cheekily referred to as the ‘brozilian’ or ‘mankini’ — and the treatment area includes the base of the penis, the shaft, the testicles and the perianal area, namely the butt crack.”
“It was awkward, for sure,” Jared says of his brozilian. “There was a young woman working the laser, and she had me lay down, completely naked except for a towel around my upper body, which, what’s the point? Then she got all up in there.” She did so first by asking him to reach behind and stretch his butt cheeks open. After that, it was onto some “weird, very exposed positions.”
The procedure itself uses a concentrated beam of light that’s absorbed by the pigment in the pubic hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the hair follicles that prevents — or at the very least, delays — future hair growth.
Jared explains that he’s always been a really hairy guy “down below,” which was “ridiculously uncomfortable” and “unhygienic.” The first claim may be true, but science begs to differ with the latter. “Pubic hair acts like a protective buffer, reducing friction during sex and other activities,” per Healthline. Not to mention, pubes trap dirt, debris and potentially harmful microorganisms.
As is the case with most guys who opt for laser-hair removal, it took five sessions over a 10-month period to get rid of what Jared says is the majority of his pubic hair. “I left my bush, but I cleared the hair away from my penis, got rid of the hair on my scrotum and near my butthole,” he says. “It’s so much more comfortable, and I look bigger and better. There are a few straggler hairs left, but they aren’t even thick or dark.”
For Mark, a 27-year-old software engineer whose first treatment was in early 2017, it required “about 10 to 12 treatments with a follow-up appointment every eight months or so thereafter,” he says. “Each session is about 15 to 20 minutes in total.” His only regret is not having done it sooner. “I did it because my partner preferred no pubic hair and shaving my balls was getting annoying — regrowth, stubble and constant maintenance,” he explains. “Laser-hair removal seemed like a more efficient way to keep things neat and tidy.”
As for pain, Mark likens the sensation to tiny pin-pricks. “It hurts a little, but the pain only lasts for a second or two,” he tells me. “Each subsequent visit will hurt less because the thick hair hurts the most and that’s the first to go. It’s a manageable pain to say the least.” Afterward, too, your skin might feel a bit raw for a couple of hours. “But after a day or two, the pain goes away,” Mark continues.
Jared, who also lasered the hair on his back, reiterates what the nurse who zapped his pubes told him: The pain is relative to the number of nerve endings. “The middle of my back really hurt,” he says. “My shoulders — not so much. My scrotum — essentially painless.”
In fact, the biggest pain point might be the cost. In 2017, Mark paid $150 per treatment, which according to Angel Skin, a hair removal center, is about the same as they charge today. “For one session, it’s $155,” an employee tells me. “For three sessions, it’s $418, and for six sessions, it’s $790.”
But according to Jared, you can’t put a price on confidence. Or as he puts it, “Yesterday my girlfriend gave me a blow job. She even sucked on my balls, which was something she didn’t used to like because I was either hairy or prickly. I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t want to put a cactus in my mouth either.”