The hair down there

L Moore | Sex Columnist

We’re all too familiar with the hair “down there.” You know, the stuff that wasn’t there when we were kids. The hair that makes you think twice before you put on a bathing suit, and—hopefully—makes you think three times before you decide to participate in a naked run. That’s right: pubic hair. Whether you have no traces of such past-puberty markers or you maintain a sizeable bush, it’s always there on a public toilet seat or in your sex life.

Pubic hair exists for more reasons than to clog your razor or chafe another’s naked skin. In fact, it has multiple positive functions: It protects sensitive zones (testicles, clitoris) from debris and other harmful particles, it traps excretions from sweat glands that may contribute to the formation of pheromones, it makes for a warm, wet climate for developing protective bacteria in females, and it even reminds us of our primate origins! But in all honesty, I’ve never been this excited about pubic hair before. I, like many other females, find it an embarrassment and sometimes even a burden. In my mind, its evolutionary aspects have never been able to trump its aesthetics and practicality.

Most Washington University students agree when assessing the quantity of female pubic hair. From the male perspective, an anonymous senior exclaimed, “Waxed only!” Another senior offered, “I wouldn’t go down on a girl with hair there, but sex is not a problem.” A third anonymous senior explained that sex is often better when the hair is just well trimmed: “I’d rather deal with that than that prickly-in-between-shaving stage,” he elaborated. Generally speaking, pubic hair should not be a sexual interference, if possible.

The female perspective on both their own hair (or hairless) status, as well as that of males, is similarly directed toward the “no obstacle” idea. Tammie Copeland, a waxing specialist at Metro Design Studio Salons who has been taking care of Wash. U. students since 1998, said the most common female pubic waxing is the Brazilian—or the “all bare” treatment. When waxing, girls will opt in favor of complete hairlessness instead of the previously popular bikini wax or “landing strip” wax.

Copeland said that even “several Wash. U. males like to get the Brazilian regularly, and a few just get their buttocks waxed.” An anonymous junior girl said of male waxing, “A wild bush is off-putting, but completely bare is a no-go, too. I don’t want to know he’s spending as much time and money down there as I am. A little trimming is the way to go—keep it clean, boys!” Although no women whom I’ve spoken with have expressed the same gung-ho “Waxed only!” sentiment toward their male counterparts, the “boyzillian” wax isn’t uncommon. This procedure would remove hair from the bottom of the stomach all the way down to the anus, not excluding the scrotum and head and base of the penis. In this way, it would work similarly to a female Brazilian or shaving in that it would get rid of any sexual (especially oral) impetus.

But junior Morton Bast says, “I never notice it on guys, even when someone is proudly attempting to show that he trimmed.” The “keep it clean” mentality is in this way a relative term—as everyone has differing amounts and differing shades of pubic hair. That being said, do keep it clean, and keep it comfortable. You—or anyone else you know—isn’t looking to get pubic lice.

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