How Do You Feel About Man-Pedicures?

Patrick Rogers, Allure magazine

To the male population, the word "pedicure" must sound suspiciously like an illicit act that's banned in all 50 states. I recently canvassed a wide sample of friends-heterosexual, metrosexual, my own boyfriend-and could find hardly a single red-blooded American man who admitted to having ever gone to a salon to have their feet and toes taken care of. Pay a female to pamper me down there?, they asked. Certainly not if it ends in a coat of clear polish.

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I, for one, do not belong this breed. Once a year at the beginning of summer, I plunge my feet in sudsy water, lean back into a Barcalounger that no man cave should go without and grin as a technician scrapes away 12 months of dead skin, then files the bayonettes of toe nail that regularly slice through my socks. For $25, it's an indulgence I can recommend to all, and while I don't mean to traffic in insecurity, I have seen guys at a barbeque whose feet should be covered my more than a flip flop.

But don't take my word for it, gentlemen. Your fears are apparently very real, so I've asked an expert, Josie Feria, manager of spa services at the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach, to address the concerns (and protestations) of guys who claim they never let a stranger touch their feet.

"My toenails are small and it hurts to cut them. I can't imagine a pedicure would be relaxing."
- David J.

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"My technicians say men are wusses, and women have a better understanding of the concept of no pain, no gain when it comes to beauty," says Feria. "But in this case, he is probably using the wrong tools, or the wrong size tools, and that can be uncomfortable. Having a skilled tech at a quality salon will make a big difference."

I don't really care how my feet look. And besides, I think I do an adequate job of maintaining them."

-- Victor B.

Says who? "This guy sounds selfish," says Feria. "The real question is not what he thinks about his feet, but the assessment other people are making. Like, I wonder why he has yellow toenails? I wonder if he's detail oriented, because he doesn't take care of his grooming? Or, let's face it, Do I want to get in bed with those feet?"

"I never felt the need to have pretty feet, although I did seriously consider a pedicure when I was getting in-grown toenails." - Dave M.

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"Those can be very painful," says Feria. "Our techs are trained and licensed in how to handle these. You can trim the nail yourself and get some relief, but the way you clip it may allow the nail to wrap around the toe. You don't want a round corner, you want it straight across. But doing self-surgery is not always the best."

"I don't like the thought of getting a fungal infection while my masculinity is being questioned by passersby." - Tim P.


"I have two simple tips for this man," says Feria. "Arrive at the salon a little early and watch what the technician does between treatments. Does she spray the entire foot tub with disinfectant? Then ask if the implements have been disinfected. Here at the Fountainbleau, we use a surgical-grade device to disinfecting them and then seal them in a plastic bag, which we open in front of each client." As for that fragile sense of masculinity, you can always hide your face behind a copy of US Weekly.



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