By Patrick F. Cannon
(Some readers may find this article offensive. They are thus warned and may wish to check out the Hallmark Channel for something more wholesome.)
I was watching a rerun of Law and Order on We-Tv the other day (it also regularly appears on BBC America and the Sundance Channel in case you’re desperate for good courtroom drama), when it was interrupted by a commercial for a product I was until then unaware of – the Ballsy trimmer. The quite attractive young lady spokesperson was quite open about the trimmer’s purpose; it was, as she so delicately put it, meant to remove unwanted hair from a man’s “balls.”
Many of my readers, I am sure, will have led rather sheltered lives, so I will attempt, with as much discretion as I can, to provide a more scientific definition of what is actually meant by “balls.” It describes the basic shape of a man’s testicles, which hang below the penis and are protected by a sac called the scrotum. The testes themselves are what produce sperm and testosterone. Needless to say, they have a role to play in the survival of our species. While all this may be news to you, younger generations are taught all of this in preschool.
As it happens, both the male and female genitalia are usually covered with what is known as pubic hair. It is actually there as a protective barrier. Unfortunately, as bathing suits and ladies undies became skimpier, it was thought to be unsightly, so the practice of at least trimming that part that showed above the top of the bikini bottom became common. Eventually, many women decided to go all the way and do away with the hair entirely. As usual, an internet search provided me with more information than I needed (or wanted) on this trend. Oh, and that some men eventually joined the hairless horde.
Ballsy also has an extensive web site. In addition to their groundbreaking trimmers, they also sell a wide variety of “personal hygiene” products. Of course, such products for women have been advertised for quite a few years. These ads have been so discrete that it’s not always clear just what the products are for. At any rate, one is used to advertisements for women’s hygiene and beauty products. The airwaves are full of ads for hair dye, face creams, wrinkle minimizers, perfumes, and make up of a bewildering variety.
For a man’s genitals, Ballsy provides not only its trimmer, but these other essential products: “Ball Wash” (Nuts, Butt and Body Wash); “Sack Spray” (Neutralizes Odor); and “Nut Rub” (Solid Cologne). By the way, I didn’t make any of this up. It’s all on their web site.
Now it’s true that men of means and/or unusual sexual proclivities have, in certain historic periods, been just as vain as women; perhaps even more so. By the time I came along, however, I can’t recall my father ever using anything but deodorant and after shave. He also used shaving cream. As for me, I also use deodorant, but manage to shave with regular face soap as lather, and haven’t used after shave for some 50 years. I confess I do use a moisturizer on my face, as my skin has gotten drier as I’ve aged.
I should have seen this trend coming when ads for male perfumes began appearing during the holiday season. Seeing an opportunity, brands such as Chanel and Christian Dior entered the market with male scents. Chanel has Blue de Chanel and Egoiste; Dior offers Sauvage and Homme. A 3.5 oz. spray bottle of any of them will set a fellow back about $140.00. By the way, the men who appear in these ads all seem muscular, pouty, and with no visible body hair.
In contrast, the male models who appear in magazine fashion spreads all seem to be suffering from malnutrition (as do the women); and are wearing clothes that they must have bought when they were four inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. Did I mention the tattoos?
To me, the ideal man has always been Gary Cooper. Would he wear perfume and be a regular Ballsy customer? The man who faced the bad guys in High Noon? Who would rather spend his time hunting and fishing? Who rarely wore a suit, but when he did, it fit? Not on your life. After all, what’s wrong with the daily use of simple soap and water?
Copyright 2022, Patrick F. Cannon