I Am a Straight Guy Who Loves MamperingDo you know what mampering is?

Before I turned 16, my personal care regime was quite simple. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and not much else.

But as I grew into those teenage years, I became more conscious of my body — or at least, I wanted girls to become more conscious of my body.

So I started put some effort into mampering – that is, man pampering.

Becoming a ‘Mamperer'

Hair gel for spiked tips, Clearasil for zits. Personal care was becoming time-consuming and fairly expensive. It ain’t easy bein’ clean.

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Eventually, Walmart's personal care aisles were not enough for me. As I grew older, I began seeing a dermatologist for my acne. This lead to semi-regular acne-oriented facials.

I sliced my foot (well, my toe) jumping off a tractor when I was 18. It led to an infection. A few months after, I began getting semi-regular pedicures.

Turns out, many men get pedicures for health reasons.

When I got to college, I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. Then I got braces. Straightening teeth is an expensive proposition, no matter your gender.

Not long ago, I was punched in the face. Long story. Not many women get that lucky! It resulted in a blood vessel bursting under my right eye. I’ve had to get it lasered four times at $90 a zap. I’ll be making another appointment soon.

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Why I Mamper

Now, I’ve always been a little particular about things. But I’m especially particular about personal care for a few reasons:

  1. I like being healthy and happy with myself.
  2. Girlfriends appreciate it.

I am a bit more particular than some men. A few years ago, I moved into a house where I shared a bathroom with another guy. Where I had my cabinet full of stuff, with my electric toothbrush charging on the counter, he had nearly nothing.

He had a toothbrush in a coffee mug. That’s it. I don’t know how he was able to spend 30 minutes in the bathroom each morning, or if he even had toothpaste. I hope he didn’t use mine.

His sister came over soon after I moved in. She apparently looked in our bathroom and assumed I was gay. So clearly I’m a little more into personal care than most straight men.

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In Defense of Mampering

But I don’t think my spending is that far from average. In fact, it’s probably below average, since I’m good at shopping. Okay, I just reread that last sentence. To balance out my bathroom and shopping sentences, also know that I’ve torn apart the engine in my car and put it back together and I hunt deer.

See? I’m manly. Moving on.

If I want to feel good about myself and be successful at dating, spending a healthy amount on personal care is necessary.

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It’s the 21st century. Long gone are the days of the cowboy where men showered once a season and shaved even less.

As I grow older, I seem to spend more and more on personal care items. I’m even considering getting a massage. I hear they can be amazing.

The amount we spend on our personal care is a reflection of how much we care about our lives. When I think about it, this spending category is all about caring for myself. Getting rid of acne boosted my self-esteem — a key component to having a mentally healthy life. I got braces mainly so I wouldn’t have to get dentures someday.

My motivation behind getting a massage is to reduce stress. It’s bizarre how humans find it easy to spend tons of money on things, but perhaps not enough on themselves. My wakeup call was when I realized I spent more time and effort making my car look nice and run well than I did by making myself look and feel good. That didn’t make much sense to me.

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Mampering is a very real thing, even if my dictionary puts a squiggly red line under the word. Gay, straight, bisexual — you name it — mampering should happen. That is, unless you’re a child. Or my former roommate.