Beard FetishismThe Urban Dictionary defines a unique term few bearded men have heard of:
Pogonophilia"The admiration or promotion of people, usually males, who wear a facial beard. From the word pogon, Greek for beard."
In many cases, secondary sexual characteristics like beards and body hair are involved in displays and contests for mates, part of a natural evolution of sexual selection. Their development is stimulated by sex hormones. In humans, the rise in concentration of these hormones at puberty results not only in the development of the physical secondary sexual characteristics, but also emotional changes. In males, the development of secondary sexual characteristics is stimulated the hormone testosterone: Men develop a deeper voice, body and facial hair, and a stronger body odor. It's also accompanied by the growth of hair in the underarm and men's genital regions - or fur across their whole body and back depending on genetics. Fetishists for facial and body hair visually key in on this and becomes a critical part of sexual attraction and mating interests.
Iconic Alpha Male Beard AttractionWithin the Gay men's community, a very distinct subculture of big, exceptionally hairy and bearded men have formed a Bear Community to provide opportunities to meet, socialize and mate with other furry bodied and bearded guys. Ultimately this Gay Bear tribe is a Gay fetish community seeking like-mindeed hirsuit men with secondary sexual characteristics they find attractive and stimulating.
In the broader and Straight culture, growing and styling a beard is often done as something that may be more than just a stylish fashion statement of men's grooming. The display of very long or full beards can indicate alpha male rank and power, be it US presidents of the 19th century who's facial hair conveyed power status, to a gray bearded college professor signifying age and wisdom, or a big, bushy-bearded bad boy biker covered in tattoos and leather riding gear regalia as a Bad-Boy Alpha Male status indicator. Certainly women with a fetish for beards are attracted and sexually turned on by this presentation which is a factor in sexual attraction and physical stimulation. But even in straight males, the presence of an imposing beard (and/or copius chest, back and body hair) are part of assessing Social Rank and status within a group - whether they're concious of it or not. They may covertly eye the other man's beard and body fur and behaviors and compare it to thier own for indications of others social dominance and power within the clan. (Think silver-backed Alpha gorrillas with high social rank.)