Why Don’t Men Wear Nail Polish?

November 25, 2008

Honest question.  I ask it because of a post I’d seen recently by Darren Garnick about Fish Pedicures.  Darren braved having his feet nibbled on by baby fish in what was being presented as an alternative to the typical pedicure that one receives at a nail salon.

link: http://darrengarnick.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/fishpedicurex/

But Darren took this pedicure opportunity one step further and had his toes painted a nice shade of orange.  It seemed like the logical next step in the pedicure process to him, so why not?

Well, based on the many comments that were generated by his article. and others that linked to it, I detect that there is somewhat of a pent-up hidden desire by men to experience wearing nail polish (or at least an interest in trying it).  Why this interest?  Doesn’t it seem that this is entirely out of character for men to have any interest in this, other than admiring it on the toes of women? 

Apparently, there are quite a few guys who don’t think so.  And, apparently, a lot of women also think this is hot on guys, based on some of the comments posted on these many linked blog sites.  Okay, it’s not unanimous by any means, many men don’t want anything to do with nail polish or anything else that is remotely feminine.  And many women think that nail polish on a guy is about as attractive as lipstick on a pig.  So, I am not saying that it’s openly endorsed by everyone and their grandmother, just an interesting trend developing.

The part that still intrigues me is that there are still a large percentage of men and women who are willing, actually genuinely interested in considering this for some reason.  And that seems to defy the general belief that ‘it’s just for girls’.

I know that I have always liked colors, especially intense colors.  I thought that maybe it was just a guy thing, that maybe men don’t see colors as vividly as women, so when they see an intense color, it is visually stimulating.  Likewise, maybe men tend to be visual creatures and they respond well to these cues. 

Well, all I can say is that I do know what I like, and I am intrigued by the many cool and interesting shades and finshes (creme, shimmer, frost, holographic) that nail polish comes in.  And now days, you can find polishes in many colors other than the the traditional reds and pinks.  There are great blues, greens, oranges, silvers, browns, blacks and grays – you name it!  There is the entire spectrum or color available, and when you stop and really think about it, what is feminine about the color blue for example?  Isn’t that the color of beanie they put on male newborns to differentiate them from the female babies?

Well, we’ve come to the point in this blog where it’s time to hear what you think.  I am sincerely interested in not only whether you think that men should or should not be able to wear nail polish, but I am really interested in why you feel the way you do about it.  I think it’s an emotional thing, that there is no real hard justification either way, but more a matter of how you feel about it, based on your own beliefs, social examples you’ve been exposed to and your personal style.

Please comment on where you are on this, male or female, pro or con.  Let the readers know!


Be careful when sleeping near a woman painting her nails…

October 17, 2007

In an unplanned and unexpected act of spontaneity a few weeks ago, my g/f decided to paint my toenails  while she was painting hers (and I was sleeping nearby).  I’m sure she was after the shock effect from me waking to find my toes sporting a fetching maroon pedicure (at least it wasn’t red or pink!), but… I let her down – I didn’t react.  Sure, I noticed them, but I simply didn’t act like it was anything out of the ordinary and proceeded to go about my business as if nothing was wrong.   And, I didn’t remove the polish.  I even wore it  to the mall with sandals on.  In fact, it’s still on my toes right now!

I guess her plan backfired.  She not only didn’t get the effect she was looking for, but I’ve actually become rather fond of having my toes painted for a change. 

So, do you think she will do this again?    Probably not. 

Darn, it was kinda fun!

Nail Polish and Men

October 17, 2007

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.

A nicely-written story…with an unexpected twist!

October 16, 2007

From http://www.sciencefictionbuzz.com/nailpolish.html 

Nail Polish

by Judith BrandyElizabeth Weir giggled softly as she applied the light pink nail polish to his toe nails. She always seems so competent, so professional, but sometimes when they were alone, giggles and play escaped her normally reserved demeanor. He maintained a long suffering, “If-I-didn’t-like you, I-would-stab-you-in-the-eye-with-a-fork” look as she worked. “You lost the bet,” she admonished when he tried to pull his toes away. “You have to let me give you the full treatment.” Another soft giggle. She was really enjoying this. John Sheppard didn’t wear socks; he hated them. They made his feet musty; he felt constrained. But he had bet her this ridiculous bet that he could wear a pair of all white, cotton socks for a day. After about an hour, he was uncomfortable and fidgety. After three hours, he was itchy and inhibited. After five hours, he was in mental agony. To the contrary, Elizabeth seemed quite comfortable with her end of the bet – no socks – all this the outcome of a heated and silly debate about wardrobe choices. The two of them seemed to engage in them more and more as time passed. By hour six, pink nail polish seemed a small price to pay for freedom of feet. He acquiesced; she won — again, and here he sat feeling quite silly while she applied a top coat. It was embarrassing. Not that anybody would know, but he would know and she would know. And that was enough. He wanted to win so she’d have to go bra-less for a day. Where he’d come up with that end of the bet, he was all too aware. Even with her bra on, her nipples sometimes stood at attention underneath those form-fitting tops she liked to wear. Soft, sensual out of reach. He had night dreams about that woman – frustration and lust – vying for his attention. To go through a whole day with her bra-less would be the realization of a lust-driven fantasy. Instead, here he sat getting his toes painted. “Lizabeth.” he put on his best charming, little-boy whine. “Don’t you want to lose next time?” Elizabeth Weir looked up from her labors and rewarded him with a withering stare. “And wind up walking around half-naked?” “I had to make it challenging. You love your bras?” “Most women do.” “Well, I let you paint my nails pink.” “So?” “Reciprocation might be nice every so often.” Her green-eyed gaze had a slightly bemused edge to it but she didn’t reply, just went back to applying the top coat. “Well?” “Well, what?” “Can’t you lose next time?” “Why do you want me to walk about with no bra?” Well, isn’t that obvious? He thought exasperated, Why in the hell do you think a man wants to see a woman without portions of her essential wardrobe in place? “I just want to see you make it through a day less than 100% put together.” “And?” she prompted. He decided to take a chance. “I like the way your nipples look when they stand at attention and rubbing against a blouse will make them do that.” Elizabeth Weir stopped applying the topcoat but didn’t look up. Silence. Crickets. Silence. He had blown it. He had just tipped their delicate friendship into the realm of something more and she wasn’t ready. Crickets. She replaced the lid on the polish, reached under her shirt and undid her bra, fumbled for a moment then pulled each arm through the sleeve of her shirt, careful to maintain her modesty while relieving herself of the prized, lacy white undergarment. She threw it on his head and opened the nail polish. “Satisfied?” He was speechless. She was certainly full of surprises. He resisted the urge to pull her into an embrace and relieve her of the rest of her clothing. He was, after all, just this side a gentlemen. Easy Sheppard. Besides his nail polish would get mushed in the melee. Then she’d need to reapply it, and he definitely didn’t want to go through that again.