I know you've answered your fair share of awkward questions but this one may just take the cake. The thing is, I really don't think I can ask anyone else. Not that I would want to, anyway.
(Warning to everybody reading this: things are about to get uncomfortable, so if you're not cool with squicky subjects, close your browser now or forever hold your peace.)
OK, here goes. What's, like, the standard protocol when it comes to... ummm... pubic hair? What I mean is, what's considered normal? Do most people shave it? Trim it? I've never done anything like that (I've only ever just let it grow), but, well, my boyfriend and I have been getting kind of personal lately and it's just making me wonder. So far my underwear hasn't come off, but if it ever does, what if he's grossed out? Do people expect it to be smooth down there? Like I said... What's normal? I just have no idea. Thanks for braving the awkwardness on my behalf!
You're welcome! (And “braving” is the correct word! As anyone who has ever submitted to having their nether-hair ripped off with hot wax will undoubtedly tell you!)
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Because here, for the record, is what's “normal” in the world of pubic hair:
- bountiful hair
- minimal hair
- full-on bare floor
- just a little off the top and the sides
- the Brazilian landing strip
- the French triangle
- the Hitler moustache
- the Abraham Lincoln bikini beard, and, of course
Which is to say, there are about as many ways to wear your hair down there as there are to wear the hair up here (points to head)—minus the obvious exception of dye jobs or curling irons. (Although no doubt, someone has tried that before and may or may not still be alive to show you the horrific pubic burns.) And just as with the hair on your head, it's entirely your decision as to how you want to... y'know, style it. Which I encourage you to figure out for yourself, on your own time, and with the following quick tips in mind:
1. The more sensitive an area, the more shaving will irritate it—and the last thing you want is a crotchful of itchy, painful ingrown hairs. So be smart, and don't raze the bushes all at once without first testing a smaller area so you know that your skin can handle it.
2. If you want a professional job done, i.e. waxing, go to a professional. There's a reason that people get licenses to do this stuff, and the pain you inflict upon yourself with your store-bought NADS kit is not worth the lousy $10 you'll save by doing it at home.
3. Do your future self a favor, and hold off on any extreme hairstyles (e.g. the Brazilian or bare floor) at least until college, when you're old enough to commit confidently to having significantly less hair down there for the rest of your life. Why? Because once it's been ripped out, it may not grow back. (Do you want to know how I know this? No, you do not.)
As for what most people do with their nether-locks, it varies—based on continent, culture, and individual taste. Some people like to keep it au naturel; some people want to be as smooth as a human Barbie doll; some people like to wax it into peculiar shapes and then festoon it with tiny rhinestones. And if that's how you want to spend your time... well, hey, it's your crotch.
And as for your boyfriend's expectations: unfortunately, it cannot be denied that some dudes react poorly to the existence of pubic hair on their partner—because some dudes are unintelligent asshats who base all their sexual expectations on what they've seen in internet porn. (Which, for any gentlemen reading, is a terrible mistake which not only makes you a total douche, but also repels would-be sex partners like the plague. So, as a favor both to your karma and your wiener, don't do this.) But in general, your boyfriend's feelings about the hair on your bits should make about as much difference to you as his feelings about any of your personal grooming habits. Which is to say, a personal preference, politely expressed, is fine—just as you might politely hand him a razor while explaining that twelve extra-long chin hairs do not actually equal a super-sexy goatee. But insults, whining, or ultimatums are bad form, and should be treated as such.
And if, God forbid, your pants come off and he's totally grossed out by what he sees? Then put your pants back on, and tell him to go [bleep] himself. Because hair or no hair, a person who treats your body like it's disgusting does not deserve the privilege of seeing it naked.
Got something to say about this hairy situation? Comment away! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com.
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