An unhappily married woman has sparked an online debate after revealing that she is refusing to have sex with her husband while keeping a beard.
Compromise may be the key to a happy marriage, but in this instance, neither party is willing to accept any grounds for what is essentially a disagreement over facial hair. As the disgruntled wife puts it in this heartbreak story on mumsnet: “He likes his beard. I hate it.”
His inclination towards facial hair bucks the trend when it comes to women and beards. A 2020 study by University of Queensland scientists looked at 919 women rated a series of male faces based on their qualifications as a participant.
Time and time again, women specifically ranked faces with “masculine” features as more attractive. The beard was found to be particularly popular among women “with the strongest reproductive ambitions”.
However, for the woman posting on mumsnet under the handle headache, it was a bit more complicated than that. “I have fibromyalgia and very sensitive skin, so it hurts to touch me,” she said. “Kiss is not a thing, nothing and nothing.”
A condition that causes pain throughout the body, as well as other problems including emotional and mental distress, fibromyalgia affects an estimated 4 million American adults, or about two percent of the adult population, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In this instance, the husband’s facial hair as well as the situation has put pressure on the physical side of their relationship. “I refuse to have sex with him if he has,” she said. “He shaves it sometimes but then I feel the pressure to have sex.”
As a result, the couple has gone for some time without being intimate together, and neither side is showing any signs of backing down and the woman describes her facial hair as genuine “off”.
“I really don’t like a beard on anyone,” she wrote. “I find them very unattractive.” According to the Post, the situation has been on and off for the past five years of their 28-year relationship.
“The thing is, I think he looks a lot better without it,” she said. “He’s a good looking man, still looking young and his beard is turning gray so it really does age him. He looks skinny without it.”
Despite several attempts to get her to change her mind, her husband has so far persevered, with his wife coming to the conclusion that he either “loves his beard more than sex or he no longer bothers having sex with me.” Cannot be done.”
A complex and deeply personal plight, much like the couple themselves, social media seemed equally divided on the subject.
Arenanewbie felt the husband was writing “inappropriately”: “I personally don’t find a beard attractive. And it feels controlled because he only shaves it when it suits him.” Bloodyplains, however, disagreed, commenting: “Does he demand you shave his body parts too? I don’t see how it’s okay to tell/blackmail him for not having a beard! It’s his body.” “
Meanwhile, BadNomad could see both sides. “None of you are unreasonable,” he said. “He can have a beard. You don’t have to have sex with someone you don’t find attractive. That’s what it is.”
He was not the only one to disagree on the subject. Ekstreak wrote: “If a man asked me to shave his legs because he didn’t like the sensation, I’d be fine with regular shaving” while spiderareas***heads felt the opposite, commenting Doing: “If a woman came here to say that her partner demanded that she shave her pubic hair because it had pricked her skin, she would be slated to be completely controlled.”
Manginsem wrote: “In general I think that husband and wife should be prepared to do these things for each other and also to give up those things which, if possible, would cause discomfort . .. it might also be worth considering whether you can compromise—perhaps you don’t always need to kiss for sex, for example.”
newsweek Headache has been contacted for comment.