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Sunday 29 September 2013

"Australia hits a pash rash epidemic" - Gillette

I just love the press releases that come into my inbox: "New research shows women fear kissing men with stubble."

"Australia hits a pash rash epidemic," it continues. "New research released today reveals kissing in Australia is on the decline with women purposely avoiding men with stubble in fear of the dreaded ‘pash rash.’"


I haaate pash rash. Hated it since I started, you know, pashing, and still hate it now with my husband of 10 years.

What? Surprised we still pash after 13 years plus together? Why, of course! We still enjoy it. BUT: I am very particular about any kinda exfoliating that does not involve gentle microbeads and soap and has Dermalogica written all over it. No, I DO NOT like a pash rash caused by ample stubble. I am simply too old for that - and too vain. No red facial patches for me!

Below is the Gillette-produced video titled 'The Kiss Debate Australia - A Social Experiment', where relationship expert Nikki Goldstein (pictured below) aims to find out what is causing the decline of kissing in Australia.


In the same Gillette study of over 1000 Australians aged 18-39, stubble was found to be an obstacle to passionate kissing. In fact, seven out of ten women surveyed admitted they prefer to give a man with stubble a quick kiss on the mouth, rather than a long lingering kiss. In contrast, 71% Australian women admitted they would happily share a long lingering kiss with a clean shaven guy. Are you listening George-Michael-five-day-growth-men?

The research has found that the threat of the dreaded pash rash among women is so rife there are actually avoidance tactics in place. Almost two thirds (61%) have knocked back a man with stubble bluntly explaining that stubble causes irritation to their skin. Other pash rash avoidance tactics include kissing a man with stubble on the cheek (39%). A third of women are even turning their head away (33%). (Anecdotally, I can add to this: a vast percentage also say: "Babe, that really hurts! Let's continue this when you're clean-shaven." So I have heard...)

All of this has led to some very-lucky-to-be-researching-fun-stuff experts to declare that Australia is on the brink of a kissing recession – and stubble is to blame.

The research, commissioned by Procter & Gamble’s Gillette, also shows that over 50% of those women surveyed admitted that stubble has caused them to avoid intimately kissing a man. And when they do dare to go there, 77% of women declare that stubble is 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,” says 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!”

Some women do find stubble attractive, though. Words used by those women surveyed to describe a man with stubble included ‘rugged’ (56%), ‘masculine’ (52%) and ‘sexy’ (45%). Despite this, 80% of women say they still prefer to kiss a clean shaven man*.

When it comes to guys and shaving, just 44% of those men surveyed said that they shave one to three times a week. Despite the lack of kissing action in their lives, common excuses for men not shaving more often are they don’t feel they need to shave everyday (49%), they can’t be bothered (49%), they are time poor (23%). Interestingly, some men (20%) are most put off by shaving due to the experience of skin irritation. (Can we please do a survey on shaved heads? Because I haaate them. Can someone then deliver these results to my other half? Thanks).

To put this research to the test, Gillette interviewed kissing experts and doctors, conducted biometric research (wow!) on couples kissing and spoke to everyday women – and men – about their thoughts on stubble and kissing. Their insights are featured in a new doco “Are Aussie Men Killing the Kiss?”, which deves into the current state of the kiss in Australia, the significance of the kiss, and why it’s so important than couples get it right.

In addition, men and women alike are invited to participate in a debate about whether stubble is killing the kiss at www.thekissdebate.com.au or #thekissdebate.

Additional findings: only 54% of Australian women have told their partner that his stubble is attractive or sexy. However, 75% of Australian women in a relationship believe the irritation of kissing their partner with stubble actually outweighs the attractiveness of their partner with stubble. Clean shaven men are described by the opposite sex as well groomed (71%) and smooth (53%). One in three men (35%) revealed women have refused to kiss them intimately for fear of getting ‘pash rash’.

The survey was conducted nationally by Galaxy Research on behalf of Gillette in September 2013. The study was conducted online among a sample of 1000 men and women aged 18 and above.

*RSVP.com.au survey, commissioned by Gillette in August 2012, conducted online among a sample of 1,192 men and women aged 18 and above.

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