Nail Polish and Men

Odd title…

Well, since it interests me, I thought I would write a few things about the mysteries of why men (most men anyway) like nail polish. 

 Okay, let’s clarify this a bit.  Most men like admiring nail polish on women, but there is another side to the story (isn’t that always the case?).  Men like the way it looks because the colors are intrigueing and bright or deeply mysterious, and always glossy.  Think about it, men spend a lot of time waxing and polishing their cars – they know how to notice and appreciate a great finish!

 Now, about men and nail polish.  Well, being a guy, I know first-hand that there are a larger percentage of guys that actually have a desire to have their nails painted than most people ever know about.  There are many more guys walking around with their toenails painted than anyone really suspects, but because you can’t see their nicely pedicured feet, you simply don’t know about it.  There are even more guys that want this, but have not been properly ‘introduced’ to the art yet, and are afraid to go there by themselves.  Somehow, our scociety has labeled this as “unmanly” for some odd reason, but those who dare to try it are amply rewarded.  Trust me on this one.

Some women are insightful enough to understand this and have created the opportunity to uncover that sleeping desire in their male friend(s) by taking the liberty to paint his nails for him.  Sometimes (actually, more often than not), he is introduced to this treat by his girl friend as he is sleeping.  Other times, when she is being more playful and convincing (which she is a master of) she will simply talk him into it.   Check out this story for an excellent illustration: http://darcy.gatefiction.com/misty/footsie.html.  There is sometimes a bet involved (stacked in her favor of course) that he loses, just to make it interesting for her.  In the end, he actually ends up liking it in a weird sort-of way.

 Wait a second!  Why is it weird?  Who declared that a simple thing like nail polish should only be for women?  It was probably a female because they know how good it feels to have nicely painted nails, and they don’t want to share that with men.  Whatever the case, as more guys are being ‘treated’ to this delightful experience, they are discovering that it can be quite stylish and satisfying.

 In order to make this really work for a guy though, his nails really need to be properly prepared.  This involves the typical (for a gal anyway) regime of cleaning, shaping and buffing so that his nails are neat and look worthy of calling attention to them.

Let’s talk about color selection, because that makes a big difference in how the effect is received.  Guys don’t typically wear girly colors.  The bright, feminine colors just don’t look that great on guys.  So, pinks are out (even though gals seem to think it’s rather fun to paint their guy’s nails pink for some odd reason).  Browns, silvers, grays, blues (not baby blue, but darker ones), and even maroon for some reason look okay and even pretty good on guys.  Black can be classy in some cases, but for the most part, guys don’t look that great in black unless the rest of their outfit matches (with a black tux on New Year’s Eve, maybe).

 Okay, we’ve explored the idea of guys wearing polish, but what are the rules?  Well, it’s pretty simple; if it feels good – do it!  In other words, if the guy is comfortable with wearing colors, then it’s probably just fine.  It’s a confidence thing.  If he’s secure in his masculinity, then there is nothing to fear.   It’s just a new experience the first time, that’s all.

 Wearing polish on one’s fingers does have a few requirements though.  The nails need to be properly prepared so they look neat and presentable (see above).  And, guy’s nails should not be too long, just a bit of the white part showing, but not beyond the end of the finger.  Case in point: ever seen a girl with short painted finger nails?  They look like a guys, right?   Okay, point made.   And, a guy has to be aware of the social environment where his nails will be seen.  Since it’s not widely accepted for guys to wear their finger nails painted (unless at a posh party or event), then he needs to understand that he may unintentially alienate others with this practise.

Now, a guy has a lot more latitude with wearing his toenails painted because he can choose by who and when they are seen.  And, because toes are not that exciting when natural, even having them cleaned, nicely shaped and buffed is such a great improvement that it may even take the place of wearing any polish at all.  But, if he is interested in a little excitement and admiration, then color is a means to dress up those toes!

Once again, use your head about color selection.  Your girl friend or SO can be of great help here (if you can trust her…).  She will know what looks good and compliments your feet, and what makes you look like a tart.  There are no clear-cut rules here.  Even red can look good on some guys – but you have to have the feet for it.  Typically, stick to the more natural colors like tans, light gold, light silver, and even french if the white tips are not too bright.  As I mentioned in another post, I tend to like maroon on my toes.  I guess it may have something to do with it being the first color my toes were ever painted by a mischevious girl friend while I was sleeping.   And, it looks pretty decent on my feet when they are tanned and in sandals.  Your mileage and tastes may vary.

 Here’s the payoff guys.  This is from my own experience, so it’s verified.  Gals love it!  They come up to me and tell me so.  Some ask why I wear my toes painted and when I tell them that my g/f did it, they smile and say “cool” or “I like that”.  They almost always ask me the name of the color, I guess because either they want to try it themselves, or maybe they are thinking like my g/f and they have a plan…  Either way, it’s pretty cool to have complete strangers come up and ask about it.  It’s kind of like an ice-breaker of sorts because I doubt if many of these gals woulds have approached me out of the blue otherwise.  I have never received any negative feedback from women (a few odd looks from guys, though). 

 Okay, I guess that’s enough.  You should be able to make up your own mind.  Do you or don’t you?  In my opinion, nail polish adds character, sets you apart from the norm, and is darn fun to wear!

 Not entirely what you expected?   Well, hey, it got you thinking anyway!   Please feel free to comment, pro or con.   I’m pretty open-minded and I welcome what you have to say either way.

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63 Responses to “Nail Polish and Men”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Pro! I like a guy with a sense of adventure – and isn’t afraid to try something new.
    So I have a question; what is your favorite color? I’m trying to imagine what nail polish would look good on my hubby’s feet. I have an idea to surprise him with it…

  2. Shanon Says:

    Its such a turn on to see a guy wearing nail polish. That’s how I met my boyfriend, actually. I complimented him on his nails, and it went from there. We have that extra thing in common. We always paint each other’s nails – its so hot :)

  3. Jake K Says:

    I commend you for taking the initiative to try it on your guy!

    I would have to say that a dark maroon/brown frosted or maybe a dark brown frosted are my favorites.

    Part of the reason is that maroon was the first color I had painted on my toenails by my sister. It was July, it was hot and she was wearing a particularly intriguing shade of brown that would change to maroon in the sunlight. I liked it and told her so. She appreciated the compliment and then asked me if I would like to try it. I accepted her offer (I was curious) and she then painted them with that color. We both thought it looked good enough to keep it on, and that is how I became hooked on having my toes polished!

    On your guy, I would recommend trying on several colors (if he’ll let you) to see what looks good on his feet. Color is somewhat personal, as it is for women, so you need to see it to decide which looks best.
    Good colors on guys tend to be the darker shades of brown, maroon, blue, purple and even black (or a variation with colored sparkles in it).
    If he’s really not into colors yet, then maybe just start with a good cleanup and trim (pedicure) and follow with a neutral translucent beige or off-white, or even clear. This will help him see that his feet really look better when taken care of.
    After he’s past this stage, you could playfully paint his toes with your color choice sometime when you’re doing yours. You may find (as I did) that you both experience a type of heightened sense of mystery and danger when you do this because it’s considered “out of bounds” by most people’s standards. This can very much add to the excitement level of the experience and may lead to something else…

    Let me know how it goes. I anticipate he will warm up to the idea if you tell him you really like it on him.

  4. Paul Says:

    Totally Pro!

    I have been painting my toes for 10 years, why have nasty toes when they can look so much better?

    I have never had an adverse reaction!

  5. Bill Says:

    I have just recently begun to wear toenail polish in public. It looks great when paired with the right sandals. My wife had suggested that I do it and after some time I tried it. I now wear sandals everywhere. Guys should have the same liberty for something like this as women do. I hope this catches on.

  6. jakek Says:

    Bill, I have seen more guys wearing color on their toes (moreso than on their fingers), so I think we’re on to something (it’s pretty cool being on teh front of a trend rather than just a follower!). I’m predicting that it will go the same way as earrings and highlighted hair for guys soon – more common and accepted.
    I think men will take better care of their feet when there is an interest in them, especially by women. Besides, if you’ve ever had a professional pedicure, you know how addicting it is!
    Bill, where I live, we’re just approaching sandal weather again. Yeah!

  7. Robert Says:

    I’ve known for a long time that it’s o.k. for guys to make their feet look better by using colored nail polish. Even your finger nails can look cool with the right color. My wife painted my toenails for fun in the summer of 1997. They have been painted ever since as well as my fingers. I like black and dark brown. I wear sandals and flip-flops all the time. It’s no secret here, I love the way it looks and yes, professional pedicures are the bomb!

  8. Alice Says:

    My bf ALWAYS keeps his nails polished and does not show them in public. He has a strong male character. It was shocking for me to discover him doing it but now I enjoy him looking at his feet. In fact I paint for him now and he enjoys it.

  9. Chris Says:

    I love to paint my finger nails mostly dark blue and often with nail art! or I will do two colours a light and dark blue in a diaginal with a black line in the middle. But my wife heats me wearing nail polish although I do her nails for her both hands and feet.

  10. Cliff Says:

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the original post and replies. I’m a musician and have been painting my nails for many years. Since I perform a lot under lighting, I prefer wearing sparkle, since it works off lighting. I also have my navel pierced, which is something else I’d like to see more guys with.

  11. jamie001 Says:

    I have been getting professional pedicures for the past 5 years and have been wearing sandals in public with my toes polished for the past 2 years. I am married and straight but have a strong feminine side and tend to prefer bright red and hot pink on my toenails. You would not believe the number of very positive comments I have received from women. I am lucky to have girlie-looking feet and everyone says that I have “toes like a girl”. I have received wonderful compliments from women in their 20’s to 70’s. Men just ignore my nail polish or maintain their distance because they are so insecure in their masculinity. It is really funny! So guys, don’t be afraid to try the more feminine colors like red or pink. I recommend OPI Big Apple Red or OPI You’re a PISA Work (bright hot pink) for your toes. It is very liberating and you will get many compliments from women.

    Jamie :-)

  12. Terry Says:

    I started painting my toenails last year and I have never regretted it. Wearing sandals in public is more fun than ever since I started wearing toenail polish. I use the feminine colors, bright red and pink. I have got a lot of compliments from women. Other guys that are reading this that have never tried toenail polish, you don’t know what you are missing. If you will give it a try there is a good chance that you will get hooked on it.

    • Terry Says:

      I am 45 years old and been painting my toenails for about 10 years now. I am married and have 2 teen age sons. I get my professaly done and use all colors in depends on the type of flip flops i am wearing at the time. I also have designs on them. The same as the rest of you I get possitave responses from women and strage looks from guys. But that is good I realy don’t want men liking my toes. lol Not year round but a couple time a year I have my finger nails done with with solon nails with the white tips, not long but a little longer than the finger. And guys they are great when shampooing your head the the shower.

  13. jakek Says:

    Terry, that’s awesome that you tried it, and liked it! You know, this is probably one of the most difficult but simple things to get men to understand (I know, I’ve tried!), but women seem to get it right away! Men just are not ‘programmed’ by society to think about wearing bright colors or even nail polish, so it’s quite a hurdle to get over for most men.

    The thing that seems to get many of them past this is when their g/f or wife suggests it and encourages them to try it. Of course, there are those men like you who just have the courage and interest in trying it themselves, and they discover right away that it’s pretty cool to have your feet looking good instead of the grungy male-feet look that you typically see.

    Anyway, I have been enjoying the great positive comments here! I wear pretty much any color I want to, so I’m glad to see more guys getting into this and discovering the fun and positive attention (especially from the ladies) that it brings!

  14. Al Says:

    I tried painting my toe nails one night.I’d only seen it done by UFC fighters who are masculine guys and could kill me in a nanosecond. I tried black polish and thought it looked good. There was something erotic about the whole thing to me. I am totally hetero don’t yet dare to try in public but as many of u have mentioned it is addicting.

  15. jakek Says:

    Al, yeah, it is definitely addicting. I give you credit for trying it though. I think you are right, it feels somewhat erotic maybe because it’s treading on ground that has previously been considered “forbidden”, and that in itself can take one out of their comfort zone. But the pleasure you get from it comes from that feeling you get when you ‘get away’ with it.
    As you begin to experimenting with it and get a little more brave so that you might leave it on for a day (under your socks so it’s safe), and then maybe even test the waters by taking a short walk outside, you feel that sense of adventure and controlled danger all over again.

    I think what pushed me over the hurdle to become comfortable with it were two key events. My g/f playfully suggested I try it (and then she proceeded to paint my nails, which was pretty erotic in itself!), and then when visiting my sister when on vacation, she keyed in on my interest in polish (I complimented hers) and she also suggested I try it.
    What has kept me wearing it since then is the satisfaction I get from seeing my nails looking very cool, and the compliments I receive from others. I guess there are more open-minded people out there than we realize.
    Now I realize that anyone who has never tried this will think “Yeah, he’s full of sh**. No one in their right mind is going to compliment a guy wearing nail polish on his feet.” Well, all I can say is that you’d be surprised. I sure surprised me at first, but now it’s just one more benefit I enjoy from it.

    So I appreciate you sharing your experience with those who will see this. Some will choose not to try wearing nail polish, and others will decide to give it a try and reap the benefits. I guess it’s all a part of the wonderful diversity that makes this world such an interesting place.

    Oh, I should recall something I said in the orginal post. There really is no color of nail polish that is off-limits to men. I may not have been totally into wearing reds or pinks, but there certainly are some men who can not only get away with it, but it looks pretty darn good on them! I think some of the comments above certainly say it better than I can. In fact, now that my feet have a little tan to them and don’t look so anemic, I tried a darker red the other day and find that I really like it! Hey, I’m still discovering new stuff about this myself.

  16. Dave L Says:

    I came across this posting by chance, but now I sure am glad that I did! I was aware that men were getting into some new style practises lately, that maybe were considered okay for women, but I had never really considered that wearing nail polish could be fun before this.

    I know some men who wear earrings, wear their hair longer and some who color theirs, and even a guy who wears a toe ring. Now, I know that men wear nail polish, and I think that’s pretty cool too. It’s actually very interesting to me because I have always admired beutifully painted nails on women since I was young, and even though I really like the way it looks, I had never thought of trying it myself. But all of these positive comments has me seriously considering it now.

    I am married to a very open-minded woman and I really think she would consider trying this – I intend to ask her tonight. She paints her nails sometimes, so I may entice her to try it with me and maybe we’ll find something that we can enjoy together. It’s funny, but just since I read the post and comments a few minutes ago, I have become more excited about trying this. I think I can feel what Jake and Al were talking about, that it’s erotic and dangerous, but I think that’s why I’m interested in trying it.

    I am also aware that some feel this kind of thing might be perceived as something that only gay guys would consider. Well, I have been happily married to the same woman for 12-plus years now, we have two great children and I play basketball, belong to a men’s group and enjoy being a guy. So, I think this is just a case of being introduced to a new and intriguing idea that has captured my interest.

    I will let you know how it goes! Thank you for the suggestions and encouragement, both from the guys and the women who commented. This is pretty cool.

  17. michael Says:

    I have always polished my toes . I keep them [polished 24/7 ,wear what ever color I like . I have worn reds ,pinks ,burgandies ,black etc. As far as polishing my fingernails ,I do them maybe twice a month .I have only seen guys with nailposh once . I wish more guys would polish their nails

  18. Raj Says:

    Its pretty exciting, go 4 it !

  19. Al Says:

    Well I’m glad ppl have found a place they feel comfortable sharing their experiences with male nail polish. I continue to paint and polish my nails even though I don’t really wear open toed anything. I’m sort of a rocker dude.Combined with my long hair and tattoos,I don’t think polish would look too out of place for me. Im sure that I would get more positive feed back than negative ,I mean are there really women out there with a fetish for men that have nasty looking feet?? I hope not. If anything, polishing nails has helped me be more conscience about caring for myself in general. If I am correct,I predict that ppl in the not so distant future will careless whether or not men paint nails or not. Ppl currently don’t seem to care about men with longer hair or ear piercings out there, I mean who really worries about that. Anyway hope u have fun with it.For me its sort of second nature now and I alternate from days of having polish on and days of not having it on.Depends what mood I’m in. Almost like nights when I feel like treating my gf to a nice relaxing massage and other times when I don’t, screw her(J/K).(Sometimes I want massage from her). Sometimes I feel like wearing polish, sometimes I don’t,either way my feet look nicer now. Be free,if it feels good, and harms no one, try it.You may enjoy it.

  20. Dom Says:

    hello,
    I am Dom, French man living near Paris. I have my toenails polished 24/7 and I love to polish them. I think it is a very nice thing for men to have nails polished. I like many colors, red, brown, purple, black, silver. Well, I am shy and it is not so easy for me to go out, in trhe streets, in Paris. I have seen a guy with toenails polished only once in Paris. Many men have bad toenails, they don’t take care of them.
    Sometimes, I feel alone with my toenails polished and it is nice for me to meet other guys like me. Thank you for sharing
    My e-mail is freehose2003@yahoo.fr if someone among you wants to contact me.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Dom

  21. iswimforyou Says:

    Hi i am David I also like to paint my nails up bright pink on my toes i have always like the idea of a young woman to paint them for me. i like what shanon has put on her message she painted her boy friend nails up lucky guy may be you can give me some advice what color to put on when i go to the beach hear from you soon. David

  22. iswimforyou Says:

    you can e mail me on phangparker@btopenworld.com

  23. Tommy Says:

    I paint my toenails once a week. I am a straight, single white male, age 41, athletic and normal in appearance. I am a bit slight of build, 6’0″ and 155 lbs with a feminine frame, but by no means effeminate. I paint my nails in whatever color strikes my fancy, this summer it has been Hot Magenta, Candy Apple Red, and Electric Blue mostly. Monthly, I get a pedicure done professionally. My size 11 feet are narrow, clean, soft, and well-kept. I lotion them with Shea Butter lotion daily.

    I see nothing wrong with taking care of one’s feet in this manner. Publicly, I get stares from only the most obvious insecure men with machismo issues. None have spoken to me about it. Females on the other hand seem to think it’s cool. I have gotten compliments such as “Wow! You paint your nails!” to “How cool!” to “Nice feet. That’s so cool.”

    I am not an exhibitionist or pervert. I am not gay. I just think there is no reason not to take well care of your feet. They do not have to be nasty, smelly, akward things. A little TLC and they can be quite attractive and alluring. So why not? I say go for it.

  24. jakek Says:

    Tommy, I have had similar experiences as you. I am also straight and am not into other forms of effeminate practices, it’s just that I discovered (with a little help from a very cool lady) that taking good care of my feet and wearing my nails polished is something that I really enjoy! In fact, it is truly addictive once you get into it.
    And yes, women who also take care of themselves seem to appreciate others who also care about their appearance. When they notice my nails and compliment me, I realize first-hand how good it must feel to them when someone compliments them for all the time, work and expense they have gone through to look good.
    With all the diversity in the world today, it seems crazy to even consider that anyone would raise a fuss if you wanted to paint your nails. In fact, if they do, then I would consider it to be their problem, not mine, because I am certainly not hurting anyone by doing it. And, since I know it positively contributes to my sense of self-worth, I am very secure and satisfied that I think it looks good. And really, isn’t that what any of us really wants in the end?

  25. Nancy Says:

    I paint my fiance’s toes almost every week. He looks great with dark maroon colors, worn with Dr. Scholl’s sandals and shaved legs

  26. jakek Says:

    Nancy, that is very cool that you care enough to treat him to a nice pedicure and leg shaving on a regular basis. I also find it really awesome that both you and he are into it together. I am definitely seeing many more couples finding that the practice of grooming their nails together (including getting spa pedicures) and wearing them polished in matching colors is becoming more popular. I think that the social stigmas of men having good-looking (and colored) nails is fading away as more people find out that this is really actually pretty cool, and much better than the relatively uncared-for feet you typically see on many men.

    It is also interesting you and he like the maroon color for a man. I do too! In fact, that is the first color I ever wore on my toes. I complimented my sister when she was painting a medium-dark maroon on her toes, and she offered to paint mine. And, that is how this whole nail polish ‘addiction’ got me started.

    Since you also like his legs shaved, I suspect that has a daily maintenance requirement because men’s leg hair is rather coarse. Do you use just a shaver, or do you use something like an eplilatory (hair plucking) machine for a longer-lasting treatment? I ask because I remove the hair from my feet, but I have not tried shaving my legs. I suppose it may be because I am just more comfortable with them the way they have always been, but then no one has ever asked me to shave them either.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and preferences Nancy!
    BTW, if you or anyone else reading this has an interest in discussing the growing trend of men wearing their nails polished in greater details, you can email me at skimachine01@yahoo.com.

  27. Tommy Says:

    Just got them pedicured this evening. A fresh coat of purple. Got smiles from the other two guests in the salon, both of them women. I do shave me legs. In fact, I shave all my body hair. My legs are nice and tan, as are my feet, so the purple has a nice contrast.

  28. Danielle Says:

    My husband and I also share this interest. I like his nails done in darker shades, maroon or dark wine being my favorites.

    It is interesting how he got started. He was with me when I decided to have my nails done as we walked by a salon when we were traveling. He decided to walk around the mall for a while to pass the time, and when he came back, the nail tech was just starting on my pedicure. I pointed out to him that I thought it odd that there was a man on the other side of the salon getting a pedicure. He challenged me and asked why I thought women should be the only ones who like their feet to look nice. So I jokingly challenged him back to have his nails done while we were there, not expecting him to take me up on it of course. But he surprised by saying he would try it because he thought it looked good.

    Well, his nails turned out looking great, the nail tech cleaned and shaped them, then buffed them to a nice gloss. That was his first time. The next time I decided to have my nails done, I asked him if he wanted to come with me. He said he did and we had joint manicures and pedicures together. This is where it got interesting. I chose a beautiful deep burgundy shimmer polish for my pedicure. Well, he apparently liked it, and he said so, so I challenged him to try it! He did not accept the challenge, so I left it at that.
    Later, after we left the salon and were shopping, he seemed preoccupied with something, so I asked him what was on his mind. He confessed that he really liked the color on my feet and wished he had taken me up on my challenge. So, I encouraged him to go back and try it. And so, with a little more coaxing, he did.
    The nail tech was surprised to see us back again so soon. But she was not really surprised he wanted the polish because she said that she had a number of regular male clients who would have her finish their toenails with colored polish. Well, when she was done, his feet looked fabulous. I actually remember wondering why we had not done this before!

    He walked out of the salon with some trepidation, but as we exited, one woman coming in spotted our toes and paid him a very sincere compliment, saying that she was going to have hers done in the same color because she liked the way it looked on us!

    He and I have been having our nails done ever since, sometimes in matching colors too. He tends to stick to darker colors even though I wear whatever I like. I really do enjoy doing this with my husband! It is a form of bonding that we thoroughly enjoy together. We have fun picking out colors and I think his feet look much better than pretty much all of the other men’s feet I’ve seen. He enjoys it too and wonders how he ever allowed me to talk him into it in the first place (but he is thankful I did). I just tell him that he must have known it was going to turn out good, and he agrees.

  29. john Says:

    what about french manacures?

  30. john Says:

    sorry spelled it wrong french manicures

  31. john Says:

    you know im not gay or metrosexual I love women I dont want to wear womens cloths or anything lke that Im married have two kids have a good job. Trying to do better, but I have always have had a attraction to womens feet. I would not date women that had bad feet. I ride motocross and have a nice harly. Dont have problem with getting my hands dirty. I try to take care of my self. during the summer months I wear alot of sandles. I want my feet to loook nice. I havent tryed to many colors but I would like to have maybe some sort of french manicure done to my feet, is that to gay for a man to have?

  32. jakek Says:

    Actually, french manicures and pedicures are a great way to ‘clean up’ the look of your hands and feet. If done well, your nails will look like they being nicely cared-for, and not overdone. Women tend to like bright white on the tips, and since their fingernails are typically longer, it shows up more than it should on men. Men will typically get an off-white color on the tips, just enough to make it look like natural nails, only clean and neat.

    You might find this surprising, but many years ago, it was common for men holding prominent positions in society to wear their fingernails done in a french manicure to indicate that they did not do manual labor. This was well before it was stylish for women to wear their nails this way. Somewhere along the way, it fell out of popularity for men to do this. Well, it has come back, and today many men like the way it makes their hands and feet look.

    The use of colored nail polish by men has since the 80’s been an on-again-off-again thing, and black had been probably the most popular color for teens, goths and some rock band members. In the early 2000’s the ‘metrosexual’ movement led to more men adopting the use of colored nail polish. It is typically in use by many men more commonly on their toenails, but some will wear it on their fingernails as well. Many male celebrities have helped to encorage this style to the forefront since then and even some of the beauty editors of popular magazines and cosmetic companies are actively promoting the use of colors for men. One good example is posted on Suzi’s blog found on the OPI web site, just look under the heading ‘for men’ and you’ll see a few entries regarding the promotion of this practice. You will also find a reference to men wearing nail polish on Wikipedia under ‘nail polish’.

    So, in answer to your question if it’s considered ‘gay’ to wear nail polish, I don’t think it’s something that is associated with any particular type of lifestyle (just like men wearing earrings today), it’s just something that many men have become interested in doing because they like it and because their spouses/girlfriends find it interesting and sexy.

  33. Mike Says:

    Just found this blog after deciding to search and see if more men “are” starting to wear polish. This after talking with 4 diff women and diff men standing in the airport security line that complemented me on my style and indicating they were starting to see more men wearing polish on their toes.
    I have worn polish on my toes + a toe ring for the last 2 to 3 years and I’m also srt8 guy, Just wanted to say go for it guys. Why not ! Its time to show the style we want to wear.

    Last Sat morning I was wearing my nice dress sandals and toes polished a nice dark maroon coming back from Florida thru the very busy Orlando airport. There you go… cant get more visibility then from a busy airport.

    I always receive lots of complements from women and from some men but yes there are the double take looks from women and men alike, like did I just see what I thought I saw look :-)

    I’m married also and my wife loves it. We do the salon together or separate if our timing does not work. Go for it !

  34. jakek Says:

    Hey Mike, great to have you join us and hear of your accounts of nail polish trending for men.

    Your experience is exactly what I noticed recently (at least the past two summers) not long after I began wearing polish on my toes. Most people do not notice, but of the ones who do, many of them seem to think it’s pretty cool. I find that many women go out of their way to tell me how much they like the look. I sense that they appreciate a guy who is trying to make his feet look ‘better than average’, considering many men’s feet don’t look as though they get much care and attention.

    I also try to go out of my way when I notice a someone wearing a cool shade of nail polish. If I am wearing sandals at the time, they will usually notice and then return the compliment, striking up a lively conversation about it.

    Thans for leaving your comments – I’m glad you found this blog!

    Jake

  35. Michael Says:

    I thought it was time for a different perspective here.

    Many years ago I was at a party and a guy there had dark purple polish on his toes and on wildly long pinkie fingernails. I thought it looked so hot, but never saw it as femmy, but, rather, as something extremely masculine because it is edgy and daring, and very sexy.

    I am gay but in no way effeminate, and I have always loved nail polish on men, and wearing it myself. I like wearing dark masculine colors on my toes and on my longish fingernails. It always gets positive reactions – from both men and women.

    Since it’s not something most men do, but you do see it in clubs and on fashion runways, so it’s gotten more acceptable (as it was in the crazy club scene of the 80’s).

    Sexual orientation has nothing to do with this, as I have met up with some straight male friends who like to get together and do our nails together. Naturally, in my case, I prefer when a bf also likes nails and polish – and you guys are right – it is getting more popular. Possibly more among straight men than gay.

    Recently I was on a flight from NY to LA and the young lady next to me told me she does her husbands toenails in black or maroon every week; that he loves it because it makes him feel young. I said that was very cool and that she’d probably love my toes, at which point she told me how much she liked my fingernails, which were about 1/4″ long and just clear polished. She told me she’d love to polish my fingernails! I politely declined her very tempting offer.

  36. jakek Says:

    Michael, thank you for your great comments!

    I agree with you about the sexual orientation of men who wear nail polish. It does not seem to matter, nor does it seem to be associated with any one particular group. It’s just something that some men like to do.

    Your experience on the plane is great to hear about too, and very much like my experiences. I find that many people are surprised when they see a guy with his toes polished, but they seem to warm up to it pretty quickly. And I am always surprised by how many open-minded people there really are in the world. Most people I meet have a very positive view of this.

    I hope you keep your nails looking great Michael, and thanks for writing!

  37. Jim W Says:

    There is a yahoo message board that is currently discussing this topic and them women over there are predominantly against men wearing nail polish. The narrowmindedness is really quite interesting and I really wonder about the demographic of the message board. Is it a bunch of teenage girls? I have only been able to have a discussiion over there with several folks that understand the double standard between men and women’s fashion. I keep getting responses like “Um, it’s wrong for guys to wear nail polish”. It is really unbelievable that we are encountering this in the 21 century. No wonder men’s fashion is stagnant and doesn’t advance.

    • jakek Says:

      Jim, (commented on 12/04) I have also seen that particular message board, and you are right, the general feeling you get from reading the comments there is that women don’t care for nail polish on men. But there are also a number of boards where the opinions expressed by the women who commented are quite a bit more in favor of men wearing nail polish. It seems that an article that appeared in the Boston Globe by writer Darren Garick about fish pedicures got this off to a lively start, because as a part of the new experience for him, he got his toenails polished orange. I have read many, many positive comments about men wearing nail polish on these blogs. And my own personal experience has overwhelmingly been positive, so I guess I don’t feel that the board you saw was necessarily a good representation of the general opinion out there. I guess it demonstrates that there are many opinions out there, and you can find just about whatever you look for!

  38. NailLegFun Says:

    I am a straight male also, and paint my toes (silver) and fingers a skin tone color. I also wear Panty Hose, or tights in various color for a fashion statement. Colors are fun.

  39. NailLegFun Says:

    BTW there are many guys that wear PH and tights for health, warmth, energize legs, etc.

    http://forums.delphiforums.com/legwearuf/start

    Painted toes look great thru PH and tights.

  40. James Says:

    I thought I was alone. I am so glad there are other straight males who like painting their nails. Right now I don’t feel comfortable enough to display my painted toes in public, so I have to wear my socks whenever I paint my toes. I really love black nail polish, and I also love ankle bracelets and toe rings. But I cant wear ankle bracelets since its not too subtle. I also want to shave my legs and wear flip flops with black nail polish. I have really slender feet and nicely shaped nails and I have received comments about my feet being very feminine. I really want to go out in public with painted toes but I m afraid.

    • Lance Says:

      James,
      Nope your not alone! I am a 38 yr old str8 male that loves to do all the things you want to ! Why can’t you wear an ankle bracelet ? lol…. I know how you feel! I spent years trying to over come my shyness of wanting to do all the things you mentioned! I actually started out wearing an ankle bracelet … I love silver… so I bought a silver twisted link chain at a jewelry store and took out links till it fit great around my right ankle.. I did not have a clasp so I just spread one link and squeezed it back together with a pliers. I was like 25 then. I used to go for rides and go to like a Wall -Mart and walk around with my flops and anky bracelet on … I was 50 miles from home an still terrified that I might see someone I knew! and half way hoping I did! I did this a lot, and eventually I was wearing toe rings and nail polish. I noticed on my little excursions that more guys… than women were fascinated by my feet.. I know this because a lot of them made a trip around the isle or whatever to get a second look! Women also looked, but not as many. I think it is because guys are more visual than females, and they are also feeding into there fantasies of wanting to, but would never dare to publicly because of the taboo nature of it ( By the way, I love )
      OK… as time went on… I became more daring a little at a time. I had a girlfriend, that had a pretty open mind. I came to pick her up one day for a trip to the lake with flops and my ankle bracelet on. Hey she thought it was cool! I worked my way up with her to toe rings! lol .. but when I got to the painting my toes … she thought it was a little feminine, but put up with it. I have had a few G- friends since then, and have introduced my little fetishes to them in different ways … from letting them notice.. to OK,look what I do! They have all been successful results – some more than others though!
      I have noticed that certain types of women are more apt to get into it though… for instance … women that wear tennis shoes on a 90 degree day, probably not going to get into your sexy feet! I have found that the most open women are interested in tattoos and piercing ( which I am too) ( getting my ears pierced is another story lol) Women with tats on their feet and or ankles, with toe rings, nail polish, … more than 4 holes in one ear! nose studs .. tend to relate to guys like us … Why? .. because they themselves have gone beyond what is considered a little taboo for most women! — they can appreciate guys that can dare be that way too! I am now with a woman that I met on Plenty of Fish.. One of the things that I noticed on her profile was that she wrote: She has a weakness for guys who are not afraid to show their feminine side. I talked with her for two weeks on the site and met her for the first time last May. She Is tattooed pierced and has the sexiest little tattooed feet I have ever seen and loves to show them off! I told her about by interests before we met in person and she loved the fact that I wear polish – rings etc. I spent all of last summer with my toes painted. It was the first summer I did not worry about where I did it, or who saw me … It was such a rush! It took me a long time to get to that point though, and I must say that doing it while you have a girlfriend with – kind of releases the gay stigma. I also was scared as shit showing family members, but after I did I had this feeling like a burden had been taken off me, and at the same time I had this naughty sexual feeling knowing that I can not ever go back to people not knowing I paint my toes! It was great! Yea I had the talk with my mom after – who told me not to care what anybody thinks and just be myself which felt good. I also am still with my GF who has been a great companion in all this. And I look forward to next summer! Which will be a rush I think … like starting over a little again. I am pretty sure a lot of guys would love to do this .. Like 80% have a foot fetish .. out of that there has to be a lot that would do it in a heart beat if it was not considered so taboo. To get past that, I think we need more sites dedicated to getting over it and daring guys to be themselves no matter what!
      I see guys staring at my toes all the time, but don’t criticize!Apparently only the ones that ask me if I want to be a girl aren’t into it. Like my dad LOL!

  41. pm772 Says:

    I am trying to get into it but I don’t want my friends to know. You are brave to openly speak it though!

  42. walt Says:

    well by reading all of the coments i have been inspired.
    i am 37 str8t and single,i have always liked the beauty of the painted nails and how the paint makes the nails look so much better and the fingers or toes so much thinner.

    i also have to confess that i have deep set eyes and use consealer with light reflecting properties to make them look less deep set as seen here http://www.videojug.com/film/make-up-tips-for-men-how-to-brighten-your-eyes

    thanks for the inspiration

    walt

  43. walt Says:

    on a different but related subject

    as a guy if we want to look better we can wash our face and shave.
    But ladies have the wonders of makeup, with it you can change your look at will.
    and the most awesome part in my opinion is the magic you can work with the eyes and eyeliner , its just awesome.

    dont get me wrong i do appreciate i can get up for work a half hr before i have to be there but i am still jealous of the beauty and magic of makeup

    • jakek Says:

      Walt and PM, you guys are right, men do have a natural interest in what makeup can do to enhance a person’s overall look and feel, that’s one good reason why women use it (so men will notice)! But when it comes to men using it, the only real issue with us feeling comfortable about it is the approval by others. I sense there is little or no issue with the actual use of it, because after all, it’s just colored paint. So, if it makes you feel better about yourself (more attractive, self-confident, just different), then why shouldn’t you use it?

      Here’s my take on it and why I don’t have a problem with it. I simply like the way my feet look with my nails polished. I like it. That to me is more important than what anyone else thingks about it. Do I care what others think? Sure I do! But I don’t place their desire above my own, and I feel that is a totally appropriate way to look at it because I cannot even hope to control what other people think or like, but I can control what I feel, like and enjoy. In my case, it just so happens that my wife happens to like it as well, so even better!

      A previous commenter said that he also enjoys wearing his nails polished, but feels that he has to keep them covered so others don’t see it. Well, if you really do like it, and you don’t want to be subject to their judgement, then that is an entirely workable way to wear polish. He gets to enjoy it when others are not around, and he does not have to expose himself to any potential negative criticism. That is exactly how I wore polish for a number of years. I just finally got to the point where I was tired of hiding my feet all of the time, and so I decided one hot summer day to just wear sandals and the heck with what people thought about it. Well, you know what? Most people didn’t even notice! Or if they did, they didn’t say anthing about it. It’s like the guy that walks by you with pink hair and a bunch of body piercings (assuming that you’re not into that yourself, so he looks ‘different’ to you). Do you stop him and tell him “hey. you’re weird, man!”. Of course not, you either compliment him (if you think it looks good on him) or you simply don’t comment. Same deal with the polish, guys. Either no one says anything, or you get compliments!

      I would encourage you to go at it in whatever way you are most comfortable, because if you are stressed out by it, or don’t feel confident that it’s a part of you (meaning you like it enough to not care what others think), then you will look out of place to others, and it will not work for you. Enjoy life guys! Don’t waste it trying to make the world like everything about you. That would be so stressful compared to wearing something that makes you happy that I’m not sure I could even handle it!

  44. Jimmbob Says:

    I used to like but if you quit for a bit you’ll feel the opposite way
    Ask your self why you really do you probubly do it because you
    Need a hobby hang with friends more often you feel no need
    To paint your nails

    • jakek Says:

      I understand what you are saying Jimmbob. I’ve gone in and out of it as well. But for some reason, I have always been drawn back.
      I think that when I look down at my ‘bare’ unpolished feet, they look so plain and ordinary, and with the thought in my mind of how good they could look, I just feel compelled to polish them again! Sometimes I just use a clear polish to ‘clean them up’, and soemtimes I go crazy with color.
      Even when they are not polished though (like during the winter), I pretty consistently keep the nail beds smooth and trim the cuticles so they don’t become crusty and unkempt. I guess that I really don’t like my feet looking like many men’s feet typically do, so I try to at the very least keep them maintained. And my wife likes them smooth and kept up too.
      Thanks for your comments too!

  45. Michelle Says:

    I like the way men’s feet look when they have received some attention. My SO recently experienced his first pedicure, mainly because I TOLD him he had to because I was grossed out by his crusty-looking feet (and they scratch me!).
    The next step will be to get him to try the polish. I’ve seen it on men and I think it looks great!

  46. jakek Says:

    Michelle, DO IT! The biggest hurdle for a guy in warming up to this is to get over the fear of what his girl might think. If you encourage him, he’ll do it for you. Then, he might even like it! If you even let him know that you think it’s hot in him, that will help a lot!

    But start with a color that is more masculine like black or silver. You can work up to other colors when he’s ready and feels comfortable with it.

    Keep your eys open…from what I hear, this is going to be the next new thing for guys this summer!

  47. justin Says:

    Jerek,

    Where did you hear painted toes will be the next new thing for guys this summer? I hope it takes off and I will do it as I have been for many years. I just hide it most of the time and am buggin to let them show!

    • jakek Says:

      It’s great to hear that you already know how good it feels to wear your toes polished! Kudos to you!

      As far as the ‘trend’ gearing up, I heard it from several sources:
      *My wife works at a spa and the nail tech there has been reading about it in the beauty trends mags. It was even discussed at a nail seminar she attended recently.
      *I saw a nail polish intended for men called Man Glaze featured on the Today show about three weeks ago. They were saying that they expected more men to be wearing nail polish on their toes this summer.
      *I have read about it on more than one nail polish blog where there was an initial discussion about men wearing nail polish and then a LOT of comments about it following the articles. Here are links to three of them: http://www.makeherup.com/2007/06/18/mens-toe-nail-polish
      http://www.scrangie.com/search?q=men+nail+polish
      http://polishaddict.com/2008/11/18/confessions-of-a-polish-addict-i-personally-dont-care-for-pedis/
      *I read an article by a guy who writes for a major paper, getting a fish pedicure and then following it up with orange polish on his toes. He thought it was something more guys should try.
      *There is a section on ‘Suzi’s Blog’, on the OPI site, that is dedicted for men. Suzi (OPI’s polish guru) encourages men to give polish a try on their toes, and she even suggests some colors that she feels look good on men. Here is a link: http://www.suzisbeautyblog.com/ Select “for men”.

      And my own experience is that I not only have enjoyed wearing polish on my toenails for a number of year now, but I am finding many, many more discussion blogs like this one that draw lots of comments to the positive from both men and women. Sure, there are those who don’t think it’s ‘right’, but I challenge you to give an example of something that eveyone agrees on!

      So, you can see that there is a lot of movement toward men taking better care of their feet and wearing polish on their toes. I think that with the current momentum and amount of interest from both men and women, I think this summer is the time to let loose and wear some color on those toes! If nothing else, you will be one of the early ones to lead the trend!

  48. Erik Says:

    I started doing this to cover up some discoloration I had on my toenails that I got from running. Apparently, the constant slapping of my feet against the ground had a traumatic effect on my toenails and left them with kind of this weird spotty bluish effect.
    It really didn’t bother me that much, but my girl friend thought they looked hideous, so she offered to paint them. She had a blue-gray color of nail polish that looked almost like the color of the spots, so the polish just made them look all one color. It did look better that way, and so I began wearing my toenails painted from then on.
    Since then she has tried other colors on my feet. Gray or silver looks pretty good, and she had this dark blue (almost black) that I tried about a month ago that was pretty cool too. I suppose if she wanted me to try a pink or red color, that would be pretty weird, but the colors she’s chosen for me so far have looked decent, and my feet do look much better now.
    And it’s kinda fun to have her paint my toenails for me too (weird I know, but hey, unless you’ve tried this you wouldn’t know what I mean…).

  49. James Says:

    Ok since I read this I’ve been wanting to paint my nails more often than ever lots of people now are homophobic and like to make fun of other people but reading this I really want to try it now it sounds fun but only with my nails I dont like sandals anyway since im only 14 it’ll be a big shock for my family especially for my dad :P But I guess its worth a try I mean it is a confidence thing I just hope they dont strangle me.

  50. jakek Says:

    James, don’t worry so much about it, it’s becomign a lot more common for guys these days. Yea, you might get a strange reaction at first, but if you don’t respond and just keep wearing it, they’ll adjust. You might say something like “I saw this and thought I’d try it to see how I like it”. Or maybe you can talk a gal friend into painting them for you (she can probably do a better job too!) and then you can just say she did it.
    You can use this and other blogs (just search on guys and nail polish on Google) to show them that it’s getting pretty common now.

    I’d suggest not starting with a bright red though…maybe something like the new color from BB Coutour called “Dark Knight” which is somewhat like black, but with more depth to it. Or Man Glaze Fuggen Ugly (matte dark gray). There are tons of great colors for men out there now, so you should not have any problem finding something you like!

    Funny thing about this kind of trend-setting stuff, when you just do it, you actually gain confidence!

  51. Josh Says:

    Well my friend amy whos like a sister to me, is going to paint my nails orange when we see each other soon as i always comment hers, + shes encourage ne to paint my toes in the mean time :D.

  52. Peter Holland Says:

    OK, I like painted nails, also on men. My wife started painting my finger- and footnails 5 years ago. I’m proud on it and we both like the decent colors very much. I wear them also in public. Never had any problem from people giving critics on my nails. I do not know more men painting their nails. I dont care what others think; we like it.
    I’m a normal hetero guy. Of yes, my age is only 73.
    Regards from Holland

  53. DJB Says:

    Since I was diagnosed as a diabetic my nails have been in very bad shape. I had to resort to nail hardeners to save my nails from constant damage (both hands and feet). Then I decided why not have some fun with it so I started using color.

    Hay I’m 46 years old and I highlight my hair to cover the grey and I polish my nails… so what? There is no shame in wanting to look good and have a clean presentation. What annoys me the most are the narrow minded people who feel that they must assign you labels due to these practices. But in reality we wouldn’t have any problems at all if people like this would learn to mind their own business!

    So I say go for it guys! If it makes you feel good than do it. There is nothing better than a good massage or maicure/pedicure. We need to enjoy the pleasures of life just as much as the women do. Maybe if we do we will have less stress and heart-attacks in our lives!!!

  54. TJ Says:

    I’ve been experimenting with nail polish for at least ten years, though I generally only wear colours on my fingernails at home, or when I’m not going to be surrounded by ‘the public’. I do my toenails in colours sometimes as well, and I’ll often leave them on for a week or more, depending on how fast they grow out.

    I live in Australia, which arguably has a more macho-conforming, ‘blokey’ culture among working class males than most other western countries do, and certainly more blokey than what I saw of America’s counterparts when I visited it several years ago. Despite that, I’ve been wearing clear nail polish on my fingernails in public for two years now. The first day I did, I wore them to work, and got compliments from four of my female workmates. They all said it was great that I was taking good care of my nails while at work. One of them even made such an excited fuss over them that her boyfriend, who also worked there, later asked me what she was splooging all over me about. Heh.

    For any guys reading this that might be thinking it wasn’t a so-called ‘manly’ job, here’s the real shocker: The job I was working at that time was a storeman position, complete with heavy boxes, forklifts, and a warehouse chock-full of sweaty yobbos. One might think that this is the last place one would find a guy wearing nail polish. In reality though, the job itself actually gave me a really good reason to start wearing nail polish in public, and while no-one saw fit to challenge me about it, it was nice to have a ready response.

    In all honesty, the hardest part was leaving the house the first time, wondering if some insecure fool might want to get stupid over something as small as a guy wearing nail polish. That kind of stuff sometimes does happen down here for other, equally petty reasons, but the worst I’ve ever received from a stranger about it is a strange, questioning look. For the first week I was acutely aware that I was wearing polish, but over time I got used to it and now I don’t even think about it anymore. Now it actually feels wierd to not have polish on my nails; they feel naked somehow. Speaking of which, it’s time to redo them. :p

  55. winson Says:

    nail polish is awesome, but too bad my family may never accept me for wearing them.

  56. Shannon M Says:

    I started getting professional ‘pedis’ about 7 months ago. When I first went, the owner let me in early and did it when no one was there, now it’s now big deal. I love it! It’s a nice, relaxing ½ hour! So glad I tried it!

  57. Toni Sargent Says:

    Hetero male here, and I love nail polish. I wear it on my feet and hands and absolutely love it. I mani/pedi myself usually and my wife paints them for me. If anyone says anything it’s 99% of the time a compliment, either by guys who give me the thumbs up for being “brave” (lol) or women who give me nice compliments in general on my nail polish. I have a picture of my latest pedicure/polish on my blog and will soon have more to come. I added my website url to this blog but I’ll put it here as well (http://tonisargent.blogspot.com).

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