Some of the most “manly” men in our society shave their armpits for different reasons. Many professional athletes shave off almost all their body hair (Olympic swimmers, body builders, some runners, etc.) and do so for different reasons. Some of the reasons are hygienic. Other reasons are practical or have to do with pure aesthetics. Regardless of the reasons, I doubt that many of these men who opt to shave their armpits consider themselves the least bit feminized by doing so.
Saving the hair from the armpits does indeed provide certain benefits. Since the odor from sweat is caused by bacteria and the bacteria can more easily proliferate in the swampy environs of damp armpit hair, shaving the armpits can result in a lessening of body odor, and increased effectiveness from your deodorant products. Also, you will feel cooler in the summer without any hair under you arms and are less likely to get horrid sweat stains on your shirt, especially white ones.
The choice to shave or not is typically a matter of personal preference. The act of a man shaving his armpits is a comparatively new thing, and some men still have prejudices against it. However, there is a GROWING trend among men in the United States to shave armpit hair, although this has been practiced for centuries in the Middle Eastern culture. If you have a mental block against armpit shaving, it doesn’t need to be an “all-or-nothing” proposition. You can still reduce the proliferation of odor-causing bacteria by simply reducing the amount of hair in the armpits to a length less than the size of a rice grain. Consider it extended grooming, or manscaping, if you wish. This can make a beneficial impact without a dramatic change in the look of the area. Simply use a trimmer to cut down the length and volume of hair in the underarm areas, especially if you are an individual with copious amounts of underarm hair.