Though I have spoken of this in other threads, I am curious as to how many other men have had similar experiences to my own when it comes to our built in fur coats. The first thing was that as my fur coat began to grow I started looking at my family to figure out where it came from and with whom I shared this trait. In my case it came from my Mother's side of the family. My Maternal Grandfather looked like a bear rug. His entire family had been killed in the San Francisco earthquake so little is known before that point in time. I have one male cousin from the same blood line. My Maternal Grandfather would have also been his Maternal Grandfather. He has more hair on his legs than I, but, very little on the upper body in comparison. My Paternal side has very little body hair, my Father shaved, but his ability to grow a full beard was nil. My own hair growth started with my arms and those were hairy before I hit my teens. My facial hair started at about 12-13 years old I would guess and by the time I was graduating from HS I could shave a full beard. It did continue to thicken and climb after to where it now grows high on my cheeks if I don't shave those areas, but that is the facial hair story. My body hair started when I was about 15 and by my senior year in HS I had two patches on my back near where my ribs were and there was a patch in the center of my chest. The rest went absolutely nuts when I hit my 20's and by my 30's it covered my chest, back, shoulders and abdomen. At age 17 is was injured in a horseback riding accident damaging one testicle. It is unknown if this slowed things down or not. I know that I now need male HRT and I anticipate the hair growth really taking off again when that is done properly. My MD who had started this passed away unexpectedly last year and I now have to start at square one again. IN HS the hair did not seem to be a big thing. I was in sports at that time and I was not the only one with hair so it was not anything out of the ordinary. When I started becoming comfortable with who I was as a gay man my experiences were varied. I dated (and quite a bit more) a wide variety of men of all kinds of backgrounds simply because it is experiencing life. There were some interesting common threads when it came to those who did not like or wanted me to shave my body and facial hair. It seemed that strangely virtually all of those individuals had little to no body hair themselves of any kind not because of removal on their part but because of what genetics gave them. The most vocal one was a fellow who did not need to shave any more often than twice per month and had very small amounts of hair even in comparison to average. While I was hairy I never discriminated against any other individual because they were or were not. I never in my earlier years did this because I felt it unkind and because I always was able to find something in each individual I found erotic so I would concentrate on that even though body hair would have been a definite plus in my eyes. At the same time there were individuals who definitely discriminated against me because I was hairy. In the end I found that I had to discriminate in order to be happy. I started looking for extremely hairy individuals, not because I cared, but because I found that a fellow furball would accept me hairy and bearded because it simply became a non-issue. We could dispense with trying to be something we were not. In some ways I consider the beard to be a separate issue. Many years ago I considered my facial hair and it's rather heavy and rapid growth to be a negative. When I tried "clean shaven" I was shaving constantly to maintain it. Because I had lighter hair color when I was younger it did not look like stubble it looked like I was simply "unclean". It took me considerable effort to maintain a clean shaven face and that was what I resented. For a while I gave in to a moustache and it was still a pain in the neck. I am one of those lucky or unlucky who can grow a huge handlebar if I want it, and for a while I did the whole thing with moustache wax and all. In about 1988 I finally gave up and let the beard grow out. I have never looked back and have maintained a full beard for all these years. For a time the one most interested and it was a little weird at first was my biological Father. He remarked about the maintenance and the truth was that I had some really good techniques. It took me a great deal of time to shave and I got full beard and moustache trims and the "edging" maintenance down to about the 5-7 minute range. It took me less time to do that by far and I only had to do that on a weekly basis. The only parts that were time consuming at all and that was just a few minutes was the cleaning off of the neck and cheeks and that would add about five more minutes. It was easier to do the beard than the clean shaven route. If I am in a situation where I may be photographed I do use coloring on it these days, but I am very careful as to how I do it. Most of the time I don't care about the gray. What I have found however is that flash photography makes the gray wash out and look strange like I have had chemotherapy or something and yet there is no absence of hair at all. For those of you that are extremely hairy, what are your experiences? Straight or gay does not matter. . . If you were a teen fur ball what were your experiences there? Experiences with family? Experiences in dating? Experiences with maintenance and special situations? Your experiences good and bad may give information to a person that is unhappy because of what they have been given that would make them feel more self assured and better about themselves. In addition, your experiences may give understanding good and bad to a person who would have loved to have had the "furr-ball" experience.