I find hairy guys attractive. I’m turned on by hairy guys. Bears. I’m into bears.

Perhaps not the most shocking revelation, but my tastes and turn-ons have been changing as I get older. I’m evolving.

For many years, my idealised image of the sexy gay man that I was aspiring to have sex with has been a guy that’s gym-toned and incredibly sleek and smooth.

Following the principle that you should always dress like the guy that you want to go home with, I’ve spent countless hours and invested a lot of money in waxing, shaving, laser-ing, and applying depilatory creams to the nooks, crannies, and crevices of my body to remove any sign of unwanted and ‘unattractive’ hair. Trimming, tweezing, plucking — doing my best to live up to the aspirational ideal. If you’re as hairy as me, then that can be quite a challenge.

As the years have passed, there’s been a bit of sea-change in my sexual fantasies — the guys that I’m drooling over are hairy.

Joe Mangienello? Hot. Hugh Jackman? Hot. The muscle-bear guy at my gym who I always try and run into in the sauna? Hot hot hot.

You could argue that I’m just projecting a sexual fantasy that means that I can cut-back on the man-scaping. I’m not going to try and dispute that.

Always keen to talk about sexual desire and erotic fantasies, I took to the couch of Nicholas Rose — a counsellor that specialises in working with gay men — and asked him to explain why our sexual turn-ons change over time.

‘The things we perceive as sexually attractive will be influenced by a whole range of factors — our first loves, previous experiences, our fantasies, as well as more external information such as fashion, cultural and societal norms, and what our families and friends are doing and talking about.’
‘As fashions change, then the things that we look for are likely to change. What’s likely to be more fixed is what we want from others in relation to personality — for example quiet or outgoing, thoughtful or spontaneous, energetic or reflective’.

Sometimes when you see couples together and they seem quite different, almost opposites, I wonder if what we find sexually attractive in others is in some way a projection of what we feel is lacking in ourselves? Rose doesn’t see any problem with this:

‘Why wouldn’t we want to be with someone who has attributes that we feel we are lacking? Our relationships provide us with an opportunity to learn about ourselves, and it’s a really healthy way to discover how wrong our judgements and generalisations can be.’

My other theory is that there’s some sort of psychological link between being hairy and being strong and masculine — I put this to Rose:

‘History has given us many heroic figures where hair has been a central part of masculinity — for example the biblical figure of Samson. It’s so deeply entrenched in our historical psyche that it’s almost genetic. Of course, we also know that there are strong and masculine men who aren’t hairy, so until science proves that hairy men are stronger and more masculine, being hairy is likely to go in and out of fashion.’

Obviously, it’s horses for courses — if smooth and hairless rocks your boat, then all power to you. But since embracing my inner-bear and cutting back on the man-scaping, I’m feeling a lot more relaxed about things, and I’ve got a lot more time on my hands to watch Hugh Jackman movies.