I was eight years old when Burt Reynolds posed for the centrefold of Cosmpolitan Magazine (not Playgirl, that was my fading memory — thanks LipstickLibrarian!). This picture made quite a splash. We didn’t get the magazine in my home; of that you can be sure. Yet this became such a news story that I must have seen shots of it at the time. And ever since I gazed upon this manly vision of cocky manliness — I am talking the eyebrows, people, but if we must go there … well … OK!!! — I have always had a thing for cocky, ballsy, somewhat hairy men.

Unlike my co-blogger Biscuit, who has confessed a love for girly men, I have to say this whole trend of men prettifying themselves and waxing their chests and limbs has disturbed me greatly. I am not into cavemen — no one wants a hairy back. But a furry chest? Sure! I want to bury my face in it. Why wouldn’t you want to run your hands over a body that is unfamiliar to you? If you’re a relatively hairless woman like me, a man’s hairy chest and arms and legs often really does the trick.

I don’t know what it says about me that I found myself turned on at the age of eight by a hirstute and hot Burt Reynolds. But I do know that the first time I saw this photo, my young loins stirred. This was a MAN.

Look at him! Look at his legs! His chest!! Wouldn’t it be great to see a hirstute Clive Owen sprawled out like that? I’d take these types of manly men over the waxed prettiness of an Orlando Bloom or an Ashton Kutcher any day of the week.

And while all the best men in my life haven’t necessarily been quite as furry as him (my Sicilian boyfriend might have been the only Sicilian ever to be practically hairless except for the hair on his head, but the sheer satiny quality of his epidermis made up for the lack of hair), they have all had Burt-esque swagger and ballsiness and have therefore been endlessly entertaining and brought a lot of joy. So thanks, Burt.