Editors' Note: James and Bil were both sent Norelco Bodygroom systems to try out. This is their joint review of the product after a rigorous scientifical study. Jim is the main review; Bil interjects. Often. In italics.
When the need to review a body groomer arose, I had a few problems. I'm rather proud of my otterish appearance, and the only thing I ever trim is below the belt - and when the trimmers arrived in the mail last month, I had recently cleared out the bushes, so no worthy review was possible until I gave nature time to take its course. Luckily, I'm shamelessly furry and it didn't take very long.
The all-in-one Philips Norelco body groomer BG2040/34 was designed exclusively for men. It's designed to give the most comfortable feeling when trimming or shaving so your skin feels great according to their website. Since nothing says exciting and sexy and "Buy me!" like a cutting blade named BG2040/34 next to your bits and pieces, we'll refer to it as "the bodygroomer" from now on. See? This review is gonna send product flying off the shelves; I can feel it.
The other day I was working from home and had some time before the next post was due. Even though my trimming is limited to a small area - bush and balls - it often takes close to an hour to complete the task. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and too scared of cutting myself to move much faster.
When the package arrived, the husband had it open before I could even take a photo of it; I had to text Jim and ask him to do it. Within a few hours, hubby declared the machine a masterwork of hair trimmery engineering and a closer inspection proved the truth of the matter. Our first test subject was complete within 12 hours.
My usual tools are scissors and two attachments from my beard trimmers. It is the third attachment, the shortest setting, that nicks me every time - so the idea of a "close shave" had vanished years ago. Once I grew out of my twinky phase, I've felt no need to brave another balls to blade encounter.
I tried to get Jim to work closer with me on this review, but he wouldn't do it. I suggested we manscape at the same time so we could take before and after pictures of each other and we'd have someone around to, uh, lend a helping hand when needed. For some reason he wouldn't do it - even when I said I'd just keep the photos for my own personal use. I don't know why. He's prudish that way, I guess.
So with an hour and half of time blocked off, I headed to the bathroom - my junk in one hand, and Norelco's Bodygroomer in the other.
As versus a smartphone with bookmarks for a handful of Tumblr sites? Look at Jim keeping it classy there. For some reason it just popped into my head to remind everyone that the bodygroomer is 100% waterproof and can be taken into the shower for grooming. That detail makes clean up easier too.
To begin, I took the time to read the instructions. While it may seem like common sense, not every gay man received the natural ability to cut and style hair - body, pubic, or cranial. The Bodygroomer is double ended - one end a shaver and one end a trimmer with 5 length settings - and it was worth taking the time to make sure I knew what they were to be used for.
I didn't read the directions. I'm a man. It's pretty damn self-explanatory. Turn it on. Choose one of five settings to determine how long you want your hair to be and go to town. Hell, the rounded tips provide for smooth contact with your skin so you get optimal comfort. Or, if you're into total hair annihilation, choose the other end with a pivoting shaving head.
Using the trimming end with its multiple settings (I started with 5 and worked my way down) I went from 1978 to 2012 in under 5 mins. I was quite proud of myself.
Once Jim said he was finally going to trimmer his boy parts, I knew I was the only one left to kiss the hypo-allergenic metal shaving foil and patented pearl tip trimmer. Still, I was a little nervous. I tried to catch the cat to practice for a bit, but she darted under the bed and wouldn't come out. Smart kitty.
Then came the scary part, guard free shaving end meets direct scrotal skin (scrotum sounds so sexy doesn't it?). At first I just trimmed with it hovering close to the skin, but then I held my breath and went for it.
The space under our bed is packed full of odds and ends that wouldn't fit anywhere else in our apartment. Taking a deep breath, I dove in and went for the cat.
Pulling the skin tight and taking my time, I didn't cut myself once, and got the closest shave I've had in years. I took a picture (or five), but that was meant for a different audience.
The cat scratched me several times as I tried to drag her out. I never did get her to agree to participate in the test, and after several minutes of arguing with Miss Kitty, we agreed that maybe it was best for me to just trimmer myself before she smothered me in my sleep later that night.
And the best part? The whole operation took around 15 minutes.
I spent a good 15 minutes just trying to drag the cat out from under the bed.
So in the end I was ready to show off what I've got in a quarter the time with no bleeding. And so far, all those that I have shown the final results have all agreed - good job Norelco.
Jim loved the product. My partner loved it. Personally, I was only meh, but mostly because I found it rather bulky compared to my usual trimmer. The cat, however, is not a fan at all.