Wise Guys: What’s the Appeal of Bare Down There?

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks,“What is the appeal (or not) of a woman who’s completely bare down there?Click here to ask the guys your own question.

Straight Married Guy (Mike): I grew up in a world of topshelf Playboy (and god forbid) Penthouse magazines. In Playboy, the bush was an airbrushed mask that softened the mystery of what was underneath — and it was a mystery. In Penthouse, more was revealed, but the bush was as celebrated as the afro. The bush itself was the object of fascination — and the subject of much full frontal nudity. Then, somewhere along the way — perhaps it was the Clinton years — the bush started to fade away. First a mohican strip, then a mere trail, followed by total eradication. The mystery, the magic of all that is female was lost for an entire generation. Too bad for them.

It’s kind of hard to take this hairless fad seriously — and that’s what it is — because it is born out of digital-age pornography, not natural lust. It’s made us into uniform skinned aliens. Human fuck-me dolls. It asks women to be forever girls and not women. Worse, it demands aesthetic perfection, which opens the door to surgery, bleaching and other madness. Bob Guccione, the world needs you.

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): I suppose the appeal is practical.  I mean, how many times have you seen someone struggle to dislodge a pubic hair from his or her mouth or throat during the middle of sex?  Things are going great and then suddenly Garfield is coughing up a hairball down below.  Sort of a mood-breaker.  But I have to say, as it goes for gay guys — and yes, many guys also trim to within an millimeter of their life down there — I find it can be a turn-off.  The more manicured a man is, the less masculine he comes across.  And for many gays, myself included, that’s a no-go.  I suppose that doesn’t hold true for my straight brethren however.

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): The issue of hair down there seems to be generational and cultural. Just about every guy friend I have (we’re in our late twenties) agrees that completely shaved is the best bet. Comparisons are often made to shaved vulvas resembling adolescents, and understandably so, but I personally have never made that connection visually, physically or mentally. For me and my friends, is just looks and feels clean, smooth and feminine. It’s a cultural norm, as common as shaved legs and armpits. Underarm hair on women is generally thought to be displeasing, but in Europe it was considered sexy for years. If it were really an issue of pubic hair being natural, I would ask why women shave their legs and underarms here? Without getting too graphic, finding a hair in my salad at a restaurant is enough to ruin the entire meal. Make sense?

How does a Brazilian differ from a landing strip?
We define pubic topiary terminology here


  1. I’ve often wondered what men prefer; smooth, trimmed or natural.

    I most recently (within the last couple of years or so) began completely removing my pubic hair.

    From a female perspective, it makes sex SO much more satisfying as there is nothing obstructing clitoral contact during intercourse. That right there gets a big old YAY!

    Secondly, I find my partners LOVE the feel of the smoothness against all body parts, be it mouth, tongue or the big dipper.

    Lastly, I feel sexier and more attractive hair free.

  2. As I sit here contemplating a rare but very irritated razor-burn rash under my chin I’m reminded once again that shaving is unnatural no matter who does it. That said, my bare face is definitely more sensitive when my partner touches me there. It’s definitely easier to keep my face clean when shave regularly.

    I should also say that most of my partners have preferred to kissing and being kissed without a beard rather than with one. Personally I think I just tend to look better clean-shaven than with a beard or moustache.

    Even without considering visual or partner preferences I think most people shave various parts of their bodies for the same reason I shave mine: occasional razor burn notwithstanding it’s more practical and the sensations are nicer for me.


  3. The fact that I can’t seem to form an opinion on this topic troubles me slightly. Is there something (other than the obvious) wrong with me? Am I ‘too nice’ to even have a conviction? Most of my firsthand experiences came at a time when pubic topiary was a rarity so the state of nature seems pretty normal to me. I have encountered a few who were trimmed or waxed and it struck me as interesting and novel but not compelling. Generally, I’m just happy to have the opportunity to play. The length of the grass on the field is so trivial it doesn’t warrant much discussion. Please note that no slight is intended to those partisans who are willing to fight and die over the issue; I just don’t feel it.

  4. we (my boyfriend and I) discussed this the other day and neither of us can see the appeal of being anything other than natural or very slightly trimmed (I’ve recently started trimming a tuft that sits over my clit for er ‘unimpeded access’ ;0)) but we do seem to be in the minority lately, my best friend, who is generally very free with her affections shall we say, was surprised that there was still a guy out there who liked pubes! I don’t get fuss about hair in the mouth though, I could probably count on my fingers the number of times that has happened, which would make it probably less than 1% of the times I’ve gone down on my guy ;0) and it’s never been a big deal, you laugh it off and carry on, what on earth are all these hair phobic people doing that makes it a trauma worth the pain of waxing?!

  5. Coming from a girl who is bare down there, most girls are more comfortable with themselves when there is no hair down there. Especially during their ‘monthly’ things it keeps them feeling cleaner. Other wise its like sticking a feather duster in jelly and trying to wash it all out. yeah its not gunna happen. My boyfriend happens to get off very much from it. he says just the feel of it being smooth and what not is amazing to him. i dunno. maybe it is a generational thing.

  6. QUOTE Jay Jay Says:
    February 19th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Oh. P.S. That picture accompanying the article is disgusting, vomit inducing in fact.” END QUOTE

    Jay Jay, that’s just a cat who is “disgusted” by her natural body hair!

  7. Ha! No, Candice, the quality of white peoples’ pubes isn’t the issue. There is no uniformity to white peoples’ pubes. They come thick, thin, light, dark, minimal, huge and bushy… The whole range.

    I am a very all-inclusive sex-haver. White women, black women, hispanic, asian, whatever… I’ve seen body hair ’round the world. Pubes are no more appealing to me on one race than another.

    You do raise an interesting question, though. While there’s no doubt that less hair is currently “the look” for women, what does the general public think of body hair – not just pubes – on dudes?

  8. mmmm…I wonder how much of this dislike for pubic hair is because white people tend to have nondescript, thin and not so shiny body hair? And just for the record, I think body hair on guys is attractive and I have never had issues with hair in mouth – perhaps if your partner is moulting a good brush out would help?

  9. I LOVE a brazilian! It’s quick, yet sometimes painful (a compromise I will gladly take), and is smooth as glass afterwards, where as shaving can result in missed spots, rough areas, and the occasional razor burn. The only downside to waxing is that you have to grow out your hair at least 1/4 of an inch before getting waxed again and that’s just waaaay too long of hair for my comfort! Especially when it’s free (relatively) for me to shave every couple of days if necessary (and gentleman suitor is coming around…)

  10. Well, me personally. Once puberty hit and hair starting growing down there, I was grossed out and obsessed with it. And one day in my early teens (probably 12-14) I took to remove it all and try to keep it that way. Sometimes I get lazy, but mostly it is bare.

    I’m lucky that I’m pretty hairless all over (means little eyelashes too…win some lose some) so I don’t have to deal with much other hair on my body, and I hate body hair.

    The thought of doing it for another person, a man never even registered for me until my boyfriend asked me why there was hair (after a lazy spell) since I’m usually bare.

  11. Once I let my girl shave me. It was awful. I looked like I had chicken pox, and it was itchy as hell for at least a week. Then I had an ingrown hair that looked like a giant nasty pimple for at least three weeks. Waxing bald is a better-looking and feeling solution, but it’s expensive and time consuming. I wouldn’t expect my girl to go through all that.

    For me, the ideal look on a woman is a small amount of close-cropped ornamental hair, which is also how I wear mine.

    But if you asked me to pick between bald and natural bush, I would certainly pick bald. I’m sorry, but I just find a huge bush really gross. A guy looks like a sloppy schlub when he doesn’t groom his facial hair, right? Same deal.

    I remember as kid sneaking glimpses at friends’ dads’ Playboy magazines. I remember even as a pre-pubescent child looking at all that hair and thinking, “eeeeuuw!” So I’m gonna have to disagree with Mike.

  12. Shoopin, trichtrillomania is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it can be treated with medication and therapy. A lot of women with this go on to start on the hair on their eyebrows, eyelashes and hair on their heads, and many, like you mentioned, get infections from repeated efforts to “Dig out” the ingrown hairs.

    Continuing to remove the hair only feeds the OCD. Treatment will help you not only be more comfortable with your body, but more healthy as well. Not to mention, you’ll have a lot more time for more worthy activities than pulling out hairs. Treatment really is worth the effort.

  13. Now that I’ve gotten it into my thick head that, yes women are really interested in sex, I don’t need that visual signal.

    This is a great point!

  14. I for one think the “demand” is mostly fabricated, it’s simply a personal choice for the women who do and do not shave.

    I certainly cannot prove that it is or isn’t fabricated, but in most discussions of this topic, you see a lot of talk about how gross, disgusting, unsanitary, etc., it is when a woman has pubic hair. Women read these threads, and we get the message.

    For me, like some of the other commenters, I find that hair removal leaves a lot of in-grown hairs, razor burn, stubble, etc., which is both less attractive and less pleasant to touch than regular old pubic hair. I trim and get waxes during the summer, when I’m out in a swim suit, but I usually let it lapse during the winter. I’m pretty sure my husband doesn’t mind because the most enthusiastic reaction I’ve ever gotten out of him when I have waxed is, “Well, I can see why you’d want to do that if you’re going to the beach.”

    But it’s still kind of demoralizing to read a thread on the topic (this one has been pretty decent, but some get nasty really quick) and learn that the majority of men apparently think I’m disgusting. I would say that most of my friends who wax do so because they feel men expect it, and if I were single again, I would worry about it and feel pressure to do more than I feel comfortable with.

  15. I’ve though quite a bit about this and have decided that initially it was a visible sign that a woman was interested in sex.
    Now that I’ve gotten it into my thick head that, yes women are really interested in sex, I don’t need that visual signal and have found that I like the appearance of a nice bush. Almost all the porn I watch is from the 70s because the women appear more interesting.

  16. This whole pubic hair dilemma, I’ve found, puts me in a rather bizarre predicament for a number of reasons that the majority of women don’t have to put up with… I’ve been diagnosed with a little doozie called “trichtrillomania,” which essentially stands for the compulsive needs to rip out one’s hairs. Ever since puberty began creeping up on me and pubic hair began to sprout, it always made me feel dreadfully uncomfortable. It was itchy and strange, and I’d stay up a night tugging at it, wishing, if I weren’t so tired, that I could just get out of bed and cut it off. Then it got worse… I began seeing my hairs (armpit hairs included now) as foreign enemies invading my body–things that didn’t belong there–and so I began plucking them out. One by one.





    After a while, I’d become afflicted with nasty ingrown hair that were really deep beneath the surface of my skin, and because I’m so darned pale, I’m poised to say at the point of being translucent, I could see them. So I’d stay in the bathroom for hours on end, digging into my skin in order to save my body from this nasty little invaders, leaving myself with a number of scars on the way.

    I can say without a moment’s hesitation that as this disease began budding when I was around eleven, I hadn’t known anything of porn and wasn’t doing this to my body for the menfolk. I’m hoping that in a number of years, ideally before I go away to college, I can get some laser hair removal done. The area that bothers me is toward the top. I don’t want all of my pubic hair removed—in a way, it does sort of make me feel womanly—but I want just about everything above the area where the vulva begins to part gone, as well as my bikini area and around the, ugh, anus. Basically, I want to keep the basic triang of hair, but shrink it and make it neater. All of that other hair just seems garishly superfluous to me, since from what I know of body hair, its chief purposes are to either A) keep you warm (and your pubic area and armpits don’t need that) or B) protect orifices from intruding objects. The places that I don’t like hair are places that really don’t need much protection, and so I’m positive that this need to rid myself of hair is far more an issue of psychological perfectionism and extreme logic than it is a product of petty vanity or aesthetics. And being a young woman of priorities, I have no intentions of dating anybody, so this would be done purely for myself, no pedophilia or relationship guilt or pornographic ideals attached.

    Erm, thank you. *Clears throat, steps off soap box*

  17. Before I had even heard about bikini waxing and Brazillians (hell, before I was even thinking about sex!) I was trimming and tidying simply because I didn’t like the look of public hair sticking out of my underwear or bathing suits, and (like Ellie said) it was easier to keep things clean and fresh during those times of the month. Once sex got involved, things were a little more confusing: on the one hand, being bare (allegedly) makes oral more pleasant for my partner, but on the other hand, going ‘au natural’ makes sex better for me (more lubrication, more accessable, less friction). Funnily enough, I get monthly Brazilians but hate the first week or so when I’m completely bare – I prefer the next two weeks when there’s just a hint of soft regrowth, not enough to affect anything but just enough to not look like a Barbie doll.

  18. I appreciate the look of the trimmed bush, but love the feel of the unkempt. It’s soft, it’s fun, it smells nice. Pulling a hair out of my mouth after oral sex is totally worth it.

  19. It irks me that so many people (men and women) assume that this particular grooming choice has everything to do with the “porn” look or what men want, etc. Whatever happened to women just doing things a certain way because they like it- PERSONALLY? We don’t question when someone dyes their hair blond, or wears a new style of eyeliner or buys a different kind of pants. It’s their body, their style. I keep mine very closely trimmed or all shaved just because I like it better. My hubby could care less what it looked like. I like it to be neat. I don’t like when hairs stick out from bikinis or undies. It’s easier to keep clean during certain times of the month. I just like it. And let me guarantee you, I’ve never had anyone assume I was “little-girl” like in the midst of doing certain activities. I’ve got a pretty great rack and hips that I certainly didn’t have at the young age of 10, thank you very much! 🙂 Just seems silly that it warrants any discussion at all, really.

  20. Bee, thank you for being so honest. It is appreciated. Honey, if leaving some of the hair makes it easier to have an orgasm and more intense, WHY remove that hair? Do you think your bf would shave if HIS orgasms were more difficult and less intense when he was bare? My guess is no.

    Go for what feels good for YOU. Your leaving a little bit of hair for YOUR sexual pleasure will NOT impact his ability to have his orgasm. He’ll adapt. That’s what men are supposed to do. 🙂

  21. Leigh, you are absolutely right. Some women get awful ingrown hairs, stubble and it is simply not worth the effort. I’m glad to hear that not all young women are being lead by this fad (my daughter tends to use hyperbole, and I really doubt “None” of her friends leave any hair at all. How does she know for sure?)

    Greggy said: “We once went a few weeks without seeing each other, which meant less maintenance down there for me. Not surprisingly, he opened my pants and said, “What the F***?!?!” I just laughed and replied, “It’s been a while. At least you know I wasn’t doing someone else.””

    That’s actually made me kind of sad.

    If My Man looked at ANY part of my body and said “What the Fuck?” I would be VERY angry and offended until there was a substantial apology. There IS pressure on you to remove hair, if he said THAT! And, as for “at least you know there wasn’t someone else.” Obviously, for you, there wasn’t, but some guys LIKE some hair, not being bare doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any. But you use withholding sex as a “punishment?” The whole post made me sad. I’m sorry.

    As for “being more sensitive” I only tidy up because I don’t like hair sticking out of tiny panties, gauzy panties and nighties and shorts etc. I don’t, personally, care for the way I look in a garter and stockings, with a itty bitty pair of diaphanous side tie panties, with hairs sticking out of them on the sides and top. My Man doesn’t care, I do. The Sensitive parts have no hair ANYWAY. Nobody grows hair on their inner labia, clit, or vagina. Unless you ladies mean your pubis mons, but I shave a good part of mine (while leaving the “scary to shave” labia majora alone, the idea that I might nick my labia or hit my clit with the razor….) so hair doesn’t stick out, but I don’t notice any increased sensitivity. Most of the sensitive parts are hair free by nature.

    Just one more thing, if a woman is clean and bathes daily, having some hair on her pubes should make absolutely no difference in the “smell.” And, vaginae, themselves are…..supposed to smell like vaginae. Sex organs put forth pheromones (which actually do attract the opposite sex) and are not aroma free. CLEAN is one thing, devoid of scent, IMO, is simply too sterile and not sexy at all. (A couple of hundred million years of mammalian evolution and procreation can’t be wrong.) I like man to have the aroma of a MAN. And most of that comes from a clean, but not disinfected, scalded and scraped raw body. Most adults associate the mild, yet pungent scent of sex organs in use with sexual activity.

    Your mileage may vary.

  22. I started fully shaving as soon as my pubic hair began growing in and continued (and swore by it, no questions asked) until my current serious boyfriend asked me to grow it out. Now I cant imagine going back to all that work and the discomfort that comes with it in the following days. I keep it trimmed and neat, and there has never been with the phrase “eating and flossing at the same time” (ew, Im so sorry).

  23. this is such a great topic and it’s so nice to hear from everyone’s personal experience. i kept myself fully shaved for years; not for any man’s benefit but because i was a dancer, and no one needs to see pubes poking out the edge of a leotard. the varying cutlines of dancewear prompted me to simply keep the whole area shaved, for simplicity’s sake.

    years later, i trim the top and try to shave the entirety of everything below. my bf has said all hair versions are good – including bare, which i’d never done for him. i delayed and delayed, replaying every possible incident from the current upkeep: razor burn, ingrown hairs, a nip of the labia (yes! this happened to me and it was awful! my hands still shake when i reach down to awkward to reach places: trauma!), plus all the itchy awkwardness that follows the momentary smoothness.

    when i was totally bare – for that fleeting day or so – i found that while hand and mouth play were great, actual penetration was missing something: me enjoying the grind while on top. it felt too raw, with too much smooshed friction, for me to orgasm as i usually do with a few hairs poking for stimulation.

    i still battle with the idea, though; just knowing that my bf thinks it’s hot sometimes initiates a me-against-other vaginas comparison that i absolutely hate myself for doing. but i do, and whether it’s a product of our culture and expectations or my own needs to fully please is undetermined – perhaps it’s both. the point is, it’s not easy for everyone to go completely bald.

    like flummox above, i have dear friends who battle even more fiercely than i do, thanks to biology and genetics. we commiserate together, sigh, and then say “oh well. we’re getting laid!”

  24. I first had a bikini wax when I was about 34. It hurt, of course, but I was thrilled with the results. It makes me feel prettier down there and it is soft as silk. It is great to have cute panties on and nothing hanging out. My guy now is old fashioned and likes hair, but I like it better bare.
    PS, regrowth after waxing doesn’t itch, at least for me.

  25. I keep reading how some women shave and feel ‘more sensitive.’ How is that possible? I have thick, dark, curly hair and keep it well-trimmed down there most of the time. When I get frustrated/humiliated enough to shave it all off, the place where my hair USED to be feels dull and numb. The hairs are so thick and deep down there, stroking my pubes is actually MORE stimulating than being bald. Why do I shave my legs/underarms? So that people don’t look at me like I’m a freak, that’s why. Also, how many of you guys have ACTUALLY gotten pubes stuck in your teeth? I’ve gotten more turn-off rashes from beard stubble than any lover of mine has gotten one of my pubes in his mouth. Seriously, it’s a weak defense. And just means you’re a wussy.

    If you can’t take the bush, get out from down under.

  26. LMAO @ Tara… I love it!!

    If I had the funds, I’d do a full wax every 3 weeks religiously (somehow, I had the funds for that when I was in high school, now at 23, I can barely eat).

    I don’t know where the trend came from. I worked as a stripper for almost 5 yrs, and the preference was definitely bare or neatly trimmed… as long as it wasn’t hanging out of- or bunching up in- the g-string.

    In my personal life, I have no idea what my bf prefers. We once went a few weeks without seeing each other, which meant less maintenance down there for me. Not surprisingly, he opened my pants and said, “What the F***?!?!” I just laughed and replied, “It’s been a while. At least you know I wasn’t doing someone else.”

    On another occasion, I told him that I’d be witholding sex on our weekly visit as punishment and that to make sure sex wouldn’t happen, I wouldn’t shave. Alas, I still proceeded to trim the bush and neatly shave the edges, just in case. We ended up doing it and I got no complaints.

    It’s all about personal preference, which for me is trimmed or bare. And honestly, I don’t want to ask what his preference is cuz then there’s the pressure to maintain what he likes. I’d rather do as I please.

    And really, I get more of his hair in my mouth than he gets of mine. I’d appreciate a trim on his end.

  27. I for one think the “demand” is mostly fabricated, it’s simply a personal choice for the women who do and do not shave. Of course, everybody will ahve a preference either way but to call it a demand is creating an argument where there isn’t one. I have been with both, and I can say that shaved tends to feel better because there’s more skin on skin contact during intercourse, but only marginally better. As for the “going down” argument, trimming is just as effective as shaving to avoid the tooth-picks. My current girlfriend trims and I enjoy giving her oral sex. But I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal: like virtually every other generational fashion in history.

  28. I’m 46, happily married for 22 years, and sometime in my twenties I decided on my own to start trimming, first with barber scissors and more recently with a cute little Wahl battery powered clipper, but I have never once shaved and never will. I can’t imagine letting a razor blade come anywhere close to the netherlands, and I would be especially offended if a man expected me to be hairless. I can see and feel the benefits of trimming, in terms of increased tidiness and physical sensation, but it’s not necessary to be completely hairless to achieve that, and with trimming you get none of the bad after-effects of shaving.

    I’m happy not to be part of the generation that has to confront this demand (supposedly) from so many men, but in any event I wouldn’t compromise on this issue for anyone. Worst case scenario, I could ease my short-term disappointment with my Hitachi Magic Wand, which is truly the reason that electricity was invented.

  29. Shaving/waxing is a nice thing a woman can do for a man, but it shouldn’t be required. As people been said, it is a lot to ask.

    Not only does it result in razor burn, but in some cases it is actually impossible to shave everything off. I have very thick, coarse hair, and little dark stubbles remain no matter what I do – razors just can’t shave close enough. I can’t afford regular waxing trips.

    I hope the style doesn’t become the norm. Some of the comments seem to suggest that young people always shave everything off, but in my experience (I’m 20) it hasn’t reached that point yet. If it does, it will only contribute to self-image issues for those people who can’t easily go bare. Women really don’t need another reason to be self-conscious during sex!

  30. If I shaved, it would be red, itchy, I’d be scared to cut myself, and it would be a pain to maintain. Not to mention the disgusting in-grown hairs that would probably occur. I get enough of that with my legs. I keep it trimmed, but thats all. I think it’s giving guys that “porn” feel. About 3 guys have seen me and never told me they don’t like it that way. I keep it tidy, I shave my bikini line and trim. I couldn’t imagine shaving everything, I feel it is unnecessary, and I feel end up looking worse. Guys don’t have to do anything, that area is just too much! I’d be in the shower for ages!

  31. Personally, I feel weird if it’s all gone… I’ve never gone completely bare, but I’ve come close and I don’t really feel like a woman. Having just a bit of hair there makes me feel more like a woman! If a guy can’t handle that, too bad. What counts is that you’re happy with how you look!

  32. For me, it’s a matter of smell and taste… as a consequence, I don’t mind the proverbial “landing strip” or triangle, but everything else below needs to be bare. Giving oral sex is one of my favorite things to do, and in my experience, with a woman who doesn’t shave, having to push the bushes out of the way, while inevitably spitting out the odd pube stuck in your mouth or throat is just plain nasty… not to mention, hair almost always picks up some residual odors that aren’t necessarily pleasant. As for my own southern region… I leave hair above but shave everthing south… for the simple reason is smooth skin on skin feels vastly better. I shave my face every day… I shave south every other day… takes me a minute… no big deal.

  33. This has all pretty much been said but I gotta throw in my two cents. I’m supposed to remove this hair through shaving or waxing (both very, VERY painful) for one night of sex, then indure two weeks of razor burn, ingrown hairs, and INSANE non-stop itching? Not to mention that almost immediately following hair removal is an unsightly stubble. Imagine licking another man’s five-o-clock shadow, except thicker. Sound appealing? I think it’s ridiculous that it’s a “cultural norm” to go through hell to meet a standard set by porn stars.

  34. I can definitely understand the appeal, but I think it’s a lot to ask for to have girls shave it all. For me, my skin is ultra sensitive down there and it’s painful to shave it all. I hate feeling like I’m not living up to expectations, but the razor burn is really too much to take.

  35. ok, although i do shave it all off, i don’t think men should EXPECT women to be completely bare down there. personally i can’t stand having hair that’s grown out more than two weeks i guess. it itches like CRAZY, when its accidentally pulled (like getting stuck on a pad or whatever) it HURTS. for me its just easier to deal with, and i can feel more down there when someone goes down on me too. So even though i’m all for shaving it all off, i don’t think hair looks bad at all, its natural and sexy. I would totally grow my bush out if it weren’t all of the things i listed above.

  36. I kinda take issue with the whole ‘prepubescent’ argument because we’re (usually) talking about people who shave for the sexual benefits–which is pretty far from childhood. Also, I think shaving or not shaving because of what someone wants you to do is a bad idea; it’s your body, and you should do what you are comfortable with. I never thought I would start shaving, ever, until I realized that I could get more sensation out of things down there when I did–and it was more comfortable for me. Also, blaming porn for shaving seems a fallacy, because the interest had to be there to begin with or else it would have never become popular; pornography is a business, and if they notice more people are buying porn with the shaved men and women in them…well, that’s what they’re going to make more of in order to make more money.

  37. I am a man and I like women to have a little something down there. To me it is more sexy if there is something well manicured than totally bare. Make me feel like I am with a woman. Just my opinion.

  38. Instead of saying “people weren’t deciding not to shave because porn wasn’t abundant. ”

    I should say that – porn didn’t make people start shaving because of some collective need to be more like pornstars, it just made them more aware of something they weren’t currently doing.

  39. If I had the money I’d wax it all the time, but I can barely afford food, so I’m not going to worry about it. If I gross a guy out, then he knows where the door is.

  40. Its all a matter of habit. For someone who didn’t try/think of shaving down there until later on, it would feel weird to do so now and make them feel bare. For those that started doing it early, it feels as natural as shaving their legs/armpits, and doesn’t make them feel weird or less womanly because that’s how its always been.

    I don’t really think porn is to blame – I think porn allowed people to consider their options. In the years before the internet, people weren’t deciding not to shave because porn wasn’t abundant. Shaving was just a style that few were aware of or considered. If someone decided to shave down their, people were generally unaware because its not seen by others, so a trend would never catch on. This is unlike shaving legs/armpits because when women first did, others could take notice and decide if they wanted to. Porn has just allowed us to see what others were doing.

  41. I have to say, this is one of the most mature and tolerant discussions I have ever been involved in about pubic hair removal. Everyone has been tolerant and kind, and simply speaking their minds and stating their comfort zone, not criticizing others’ choices. I haven’t seen the usual words associated with this subject, such as either “Filthy!” or “Pedophile!” yet. I thank all of you for your maturity. 🙂

    AlanK, your is a most profound post. It was duly appreciated.

  42. I think some of us are caught between generations here…as with M.L., my daughter (19) says that everyone shaves completely now (boys and girls), she, too, thinks discussions about “how much to leave” are hilarious, as everyone she knows takes it all off. Can’t say I’ve partaken of this particular new fad, but if you’re looking for a fictional take on the benefits, try reading Nauti Nights by Lora Leigh, or the chapter in Hump (non-fiction) by Kimberly Ford.

  43. For me, waxed > shaved > trimmed > au natural.

    There’s two reasons:

    1.) Having hair stuck inbetween your teeth or hairballs down your throat are not particularly pleasant for either party especially in the heat of the moment.

    2.) I’m not terribly fond of chaffing my lips on stubbles.

  44. I actually just had it all removed with electrolysis–I thought hard before doing it because I know some people argue it makes you look pre-pubescent. But I started waxing it off completely before I was even sexually active, so my decision wasn’t influenced by what men might think is hot based off of Playboy or the like. It’s far more convenient than keeping up trimming or trying to shape something. It’s also the most maintenance-free way to go, especially if you take care to exfoliate (or go permanent like I did) to avoid razor bumps. I like to be well groomed but I’m also a busy woman!

  45. Anybody like Auden? “Law, say the gardeners, is the sun.”

    Yet law-abiding scholars write:
    Law is neither wrong nor right,
    Law is only crimes
    Punished by places and by times,
    Law is the clothes men wear
    Anytime, anywhere,
    Law is Good morning and Good night.

    Or to put it another way, we are in the midst of what (to me) is an idiotic fashion birthed by an overabundance of digital pornography. It will change soon. Or it will not. Damned if I know. (I keep saying this is the last possible season for giant stiletto heels and am always proven wrong.) But it is a fashion and it is without any real importance. If any doubt it–do you really think if, overnight, every woman in America decided to dye her pubes green the men of America would act in any way differently?

    Relax. You don’t want to hang out with anyone to whom this matters.

  46. I don’t shave. any guy who doesn’t like it can leave. I barely shave my legs and think that its silly. I will shave my legs when I have to wear a skirt but with every day wearing jeans? who’s gonna care?

  47. look, whatever works for you is fine. my man likes my hair, and i like his. humans were not meant to be hairless…as for the underarms and legs thing, i shave those now mostly because it’s just a matter of comfort…i started young and now it’s a matter of habit.
    when i shave down there, i feel…puffy, exposed, like a wittle girly girl. you can’t pick and choose the parts of the vagina you like…you either love the whole thing, hair and all, or you don’t love it at all.

  48. I find it frustrating that this issue worries me.

    I don’t shave down there, EVER, first and foremost because I get a terrible case of razor burn that hurts me quite a bit and is undoubtedly visually displeasing to anyone who happens to take a look at it. Also, are there any raven-haired girls who are slightly more on the hirsute end of the spectrum than their fair-haired sisters? Shaving leaves noticeable, scratchy-ass stubble. Gross. And it’s way worse in the pubic area than it is anywhere else in the body.

    The alternative is professional waxing, which I have difficulty paying for. Sorry, it’s just one of those “luxuries” (what the fuck, it hurts) I’d rather sacrifice so that I can pay for other stuff instead.

    The other alternative is plucking. Yeah. Plucking. Like, hair by hair. I’ve done it before. It has to be done over a period of several days (unless you just happen to have nine hours to spare and don’t mind spending those nine hours hunched over in compromising, muscle-ache-inducing positions).

    I feel so defeated. The calmer, colder, more rational side of me believes I have a pretty fucking legitimate reason to not “go bare down there,” especially if it’s expected of me ALL the time. The frailer side of me, however, that is so eager to please and unable to stand up to the weight of the patriarchy, feels kinda bad and embarrassed about all this.

    As such, the “I appreciate the effort” kinds of comments rub me the wrong way, although I know they are well intentioned, and not exactly aimed someone with an inordinately complicated stance on the issue, such as, well, me.

  49. I break it down in three respects, how it looks, how it feels, and how it tastes.

    Fully shaved does sometimes look a little funny and a bit immature, but as others have said, knowing that your partner prepared herself a ahead of time is a bit of a turnon.

    Fully shaved feels a bit better to my fingers than alternatives, and she seems more responsive as well.

    Where fully shaved really wins is when I’m going down. The lack of even a little hair feels infinitely better to my lips and tongue. Everything feels wetter, hotter, and tastes better when it is just skin-on-skin.

    Where shaving seems to make little difference to me is in intercourse.

  50. It is nice to know your partner keeps your comfort in mind when it comes to their own personal hygiene, but personally, I don’t believe it has to go so far as ripping out all the hairs of a very sensitive area, or risking razor/depilatory burn, only to have the hair grow back a day or two later and be insanely itchy and uncomfortable for the next week. And who wants to get close to a porcupine?

    Just keep it nice and trimmed! It’s there for a reason.

  51. Weird, I had a discussion with my oldest daughter, who is in her early 20s just the other day. I have a small mirror with a stand in our bathroom, she lives with her fiancee, and was using our bathroom, and came out holding the mirror. “Mom, you have a big mirror over the sink, why do you have that little one? The one with the horror “enlargement” side on it, that makes your pores look like the Grand Canyon? Uk!”

    I said it was so I could see the back of my head, when I do my hair and “for shaving my pubes.” She asked, “Why do you need a mirror? To shave? Don’t you know where your junk is?” (OK, she’s my kid, obviously.) I told her I liked to keep it even. She didn’t get this. “Even? What do you need to keep even?” I replied, “The stuff I leave.” She said she didn’t even KNOW anyone who left any, her friends, they all shave it all off. I replied that most of my friends don’t shave at all, any of it.

    She replied “Yuck, gross.” I refrained from getting on a soap box about my opinion concerning one’s pubic area looking like a 7 year old’s. It’s her body, although I doubt she realizes the effect some porn (most of which she has probably never even seen) has had on what is considered “hygienic.” (Because actually leaving the hair is more hygienic, as I’ve said before.)

    Generational differences, but I agree more with Mike. I think at least SOME hair does make one look like an adult. Nothing wrong with tidying up, but I don’t care for bare, on men or women. I also agree with Jay. As I’ve said before, hairy balls are cute. And masculine. JMO.

  52. Yes, it’s tidier, yes, it’s nice not to have a mouthful of pubic hair, and yes, it’s nice to be able to actually see the object of one’s desires (Georgia O’Keefe paintings never had hair on them).

    But more than all of these it’s nice to know that your partner thinks about being sexual enough to plan ahead, to make preparations; that they don’t take your affections so for granted that grooming ends at the hemline.

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