Recent research tells a disturbing story of a kissing decline in Australia and the main reason for this is stubble and fear of ‘pash rash’. Women will deliberately avoid the rugged and stubbled man to avoid the risk causing experts to declare Australia on the brink of a kissing recession.
More than 1,000 Australians aged 18-39 were involved in a survey commissioned by Gillette and stubble was discovered to be an obstacle to passionate kissing. Seven out of ten women involved in the survey would prefer to give a man with stubble a quick kiss on the mouth rather than a long lingering kiss. If we are talking clean shaven guys on the other hand 71% of Australian women surveyed admitted they would happily share long lingering kisses.
Threat of pash rash among women is so prevalent that women have actually put avoidance tactics in place. 61% of women surveyed have turned down a man with stubble, bluntly explaining that stubble irritates their skin. Some other avoidance tactics are kissing a man with stubble on the cheek, practiced by 39%, and a third of women turn their heads away.
The research shows that 50% of surveyed women admitted stubble has lead them to avoid intimate kisses with a man and when they do go there 77% declared stubble horrible and scratchy to kiss.
“Kissing is such an intimate fundamental part of a relationship. It signifies intimacy between two people and is the starting point to building a meaningful connection and a longer-lasting intimacy,” comments relationships expert, Nikki Goldstein. “Kissing also releases brain chemicals such as oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’, which is responsible for making people feel bonded and connected. If kissing is on the decline as this research suggests, then we, as a nation, are in serious trouble!”
Even though many women find kissing stubbled men less than desirable it seems there are many who still find it attractive. Descriptions of men with stubble included ‘rugged’ by 56%, ‘masculine’ by 52% and 45% described men with stubble as ‘sexy’. Yet 80% of women still say they prefer to kiss a clean shaven man.
The men surveyed about shaving habits and only 44% said they shave one to three times a week. Even though men are suffering a kissing drought the common excuses for them not shaving more often include 49% feeling like they don’t need to shave every day, 49% can’t be bothered and 23% are time poor. On an interesting note 20% are most put off shaving because they experience skin irritation.
Some more findings from the survey include that only 54% of women have actually told their partner that they find his stubble sexy or attractive. 75% of Australian women surveyed that are in a relationship feel that the irritation of kissing their stubbled partner outweighs the attractiveness of seeing their partner with stubble – which tells me that we like the look of a rugged man with stubble, as long is he isn’t our man.
Clean shaven men are described as well groomed by 71% and smooth by 53% of women surveyed. One in three men, 35%, admitted that women have refused to kiss them intimately for fear of ‘pash rash’.
Gillette wanted to put this research to the test and did so by interviewing kissing experts and doctors, they conducted biometric research on kissing couples and spoke to everyday women and men about their thoughts on stubble and kissing.. These insights are featured in a new documentary “Are Aussie Men Killing the Kiss?” which discusses the current state of kiss in Australia, the significance of the kiss and the importance of couples getting it right.
Men and women are invited to participate in the great debate about whether stubble is killing the kiss at www.thekissdebate.com.au or #thekissdebate.