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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Oh wow, grammatical errors and rushed run-on sentences galore. I have to apologize for that.

  7. 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*

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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!”

  15. 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.

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