Should I let my cooch go hipster and grow a beard?
Or should it revert back to prepubescent smoothness instead?
Like many humans, the shower is where I ponder all the big life questions. There’s something about water and steam that seems to loosen up my brain until all the weirdness falls out.
Body hair is a strange obsession of ours, one that transcends the gender divide. We tend to forget that to be human is to sprout pubes.
Having just shaved my legs and pits for the first time in a while, I wonder if I should keep going and venture deep into the bush. There’s something satisfying about a smooth vulva and how much more comfortable underwear feels.
At least to me, because pubes can take up considerable real estate in one’s undergarments and I’m not a fan of granny panties.
Pubes can stick out, too. The kind of underwear I favor epitomizes reluctant sartorial compliance, it’s what you put on when you’d much rather go commando but feel a need to wear something. For hygiene’s sake, mostly.
To be blunt, the jungle doesn’t fit inside a postage stamp.
Lest anyone should start salivating, no, I do not base my underwear choice on what a partner might deem sexy. I favor thongs because they minimize VPL, aka visible panty line and I like to grant my buttocks as much freedom and breathing room as possible. Sexiness — if sexiness there is — comes as a felicitous side effect, not a motivation. Also, tiny underwear is quick to hand-wash and dry when you’re living out of a suitcase as I do.
I decide to give myself the temporary gift of extra comfort and shave it all off for now. I don’t have a hot date nor is anyone likely to set eyes — or any other body part — on today’s grooming extravaganza any time soon.
I chose a bald quim on a whim, I did this for me.
Pubic landscaping isn’t the preserve of the vulva people.
“Balls, sack, and crack” is a popular spa service whereby everything gets depilated. Much like the Brazilian, the mere mention of this makes me wince in pain. I can’t imagine splaying my legs in front of a fellow human who is neither a medical professional nor a partner and paying them to yank out my pubes. As body parts go, the outer labia is super sensitive but subjecting one’s nuts to brutal deforestation sounds like a whole new level of torture to me.
I suspect the end result is as pleasing to the penis person as a smooth mons pubis is to me even though the visuals are just as odd. Can we agree that human genitalia is ridiculous looking? As a case in point, it invites all kinds of comparisons that are seldom flattering. Props to Georgia O’Keeffe for honoring the vulva and making it look resplendent, but when I look at mine, British slang “beef curtains” comes to mind.
And it never fails to make me giggle, too, because I’m a vegan with an occasionally basic sense of humor.
Some men have confessed to shaving because it makes their member appear bigger. Others like to give their partner an extra incentive to perform oral sex, which is either thoughtful or self-centered, you choose. Whatever genitalia you go down on, accidental flossing is never the goal. Then again, there’s something endearing about petting furry body parts and have them react to your touch.
But many of us seem unwilling to accept our bodies as they come and we spend an inordinate amount of time and resources modifying them.
Plunging the depths of my sexual experience for clues about body hair preferences, I found just the one. The only hair that really turns me off in a fellow human is a monobrow, perhaps because it conveys an aura of harshness I find threatening.
And no, I’m not proud of this prejudice.
Body hair and how we relate to it is a cultural issue.
Women flashing leg hair and armpit hair was the norm growing up in Europe and there wasn’t an open war on the muff until recently. The advent of the internet and the widespread availability of porn have heralded new standards of sexiness.
As a result, we often equate smooth with youth and beauty, and someone hairy with a slothful, unkempt person failing to perform basic maintenance.
Unless there are some personal hygiene issues, there’s nothing inherently dirty about pubes. To shave or not to shave should be personal, not what we do because we feel pressured to conform to some artificial beauty diktat.
While the act of shaving itself can be erotic, a man shaving me for the first time is something I’m still having trouble parsing all those years later. All the more as I would end up finding his underage porn stash, something that was as morally repugnant back then in Britain as it remains now in the US. I was 19 at the time and looked about 12, which is even more disturbing. This is one of the few memories of my abusive and short-lived first marriage that has endured.
Pubic hair is a statement, it is also power, and it is lust.
To eradicate pubes, to landscape them, or to let them grow wild should never be anything other than a personal choice.
One that is as complex, as nuanced, and as changeable as human sexuality itself.
Hair today, gone tomorrow; all that matters is that you are comfortable in your own skin and remain in complete control of your body.
I’m a French-American writer, journalist, and editor living out of a suitcase in transit between North America and Europe. To continue the conversation, follow the bird. For email and everything else, deets in bio.