Trimming the hedges and man-scaping

Let me start by saying, I love pussy.  I love eating it, fingering it, fucking it, looking at it, pressing against it , and thinking about it.  Whether it’s bushy or waxed, I love it all.

But the time has come for me to weigh in on pubic hair.  (I know, I know – “N,” you’re saying.  “What the fuck took you so long?”)

When I was growing up, the idea that a woman (never mind a man) would shave her pubic hair was unheard of.  Playboy, Penthouse, Club, High Society – the bibles of my adolescent sexuality – all featured copious bushes, and this was part of what made them so hot.

Playboy 480Penthouseclub 1984High Society

All of the images that I jerked off to as a kid featured unshaven, often unruly bushes, and this was part of what, at the time, I understood sexy to be:

The kids today (and by kids, I mean people in their, oh, say, 20s-50s) seem to favor all ladies shaved (see ALSScan for a site dedicated to particularly clean-shaved women – it kind of creeps me out, feeling dangerously close to kiddie porn).

And not just ladies, guys too.

First, some very basic prejudices:  women have pubic hair, girls don’t.  For this reason, I find it a bit unsettling when I encounter a woman with no pubic hair, whether in porn or in real life.  It always activates my “ACK – she’s a little, pre-pubescent girl” switch.  And for me, this is not a good thing.  I don’t like being called “Daddy” – except by someone whom I’ve fathered – and I don’t want to think about pre-pubescence when thinking about mashing together private bits.  I don’t care if you like calling your partner “Daddy,” but if you call me “Daddy,” my cock will shrink to the size it was when I called my Dad “Daddy.”

In addition, unless you’ve been waxed TODAY, it’s likely that a consequence of your most recent landscaping efforts is stubble.  Now, stubble’s fine on a leg, as far as I’m concerned.  But rubbing against my cock?  Or my tongue?  Or cheeks?  Only if I’m kissing a man, and that’s something I do very infrequently, what with how I’m straight and all.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with it, or that it can’t be really hot.)

My own preference runs toward the “neat”:  I feel about pubic hair pretty much how I feel about the hair on your head.  I like it neat, and think its style should reflect your style.  This could be a perfectly manicured landing strip; it could be a neatly trimmed lawn; it could be a neat, but somewhat bushy, well, bush.  It’s not something I ever think much about in the heat of the moment.  (I’ve never thought, “Ew, well, I was going to fuck her – but look at that – she’s got untrimmed pubic hair!”)  More often, I think, “Ooh – yummy!”

A few months ago, I attended a party in New York at which expectations concerning pubic hair were made abundantly clear in a cautionary e-mail sent out the night before the party:


Although our guests constitute the hottest crowd of any erotic event in the world, we nonetheless must address the topic of hygiene and grooming for MALES.  Often, pictures we receive don’t reveal details that we later find out at parties.  Guys, if you have a hairy back, shave or wax it.  If you expect to have a chance of anyone (including your significant other) to go down on you, you should also shave and trim your lower member.  Women at our parties are always well-groomed and take care of themselves, so it’s important that the males do the same.  If you aren’t cool with this, you will not be invited back.  We require a high threshold of quality for our upscale, sexy guests, for the benefit of everyone else attending (including potential playmates).

I had visions of an inspection of my man-scaping, of being thrown out before the party began, or of a woman taking one look at my somewhat hairy nether regions and sneering in disgust.  In the event, we pretty much stuck with the couple we had arrived with, who received my pubic hair just fine.

Now – I’m neat and tidy.  I generally do a bit of man-scaping.  I adhere to the preferences I laid out above:  mine is neat, but it reflects my style.  It looks less like topiary than like shrubbery, and, as with my head and my face, I generally let a day or two too many go before shaving, except when I have big plans.

All this baffles me just a bit:  seems to me, people should do what they’ll do, that it seems an odd place to feel entitled to have expectations about what others do, but, at the same time, I’m genuinely confused by the seemingly hegemonic preference for bareness.

I’ve been asking folks on G+ and Twitter, and have gotten a couple of replies – notably from Liza (my occasional muse and sister blogger), who writes:

I’m a fan of some hair on both men and women. I think totally bare isn’t so attractive. Also, I think it’s too hard to maintain, speaking as someone who has really bad luck with waxing. It’s uncomfy to shave certain areas, and stubble on top/in the apex of the cleft rubs him the wrong way. Not a fan for either of us.

As for him, I am a big fan of neatly, shortly trimmed, and nearly shaved on the balls. It’s soooooooo much better for oral. Like unbelievable to me how much more pleasant it is than with a full bush. And honestly, without some hair, I just don’t think it would smell as good. Scent is very important to me.

And Debutante Dilettante, who says, “trim but no more.”  She says “absolutely not!” to waxing.  Or said that, but has been tweeting today about her “Hollywood waxing” in anticipation of her own first visit to a sex party.  (I have no idea what a “Hollywood” is.)  And finally, Bi and Bi, who says she’s been waxing lately, because she can’t get “smooth enough” from shaving.

What do you think?


  1. N.,   My preference is that both my partner and I be neatly trimmed, though it's not a dealbreaker if he's not.  I'm with Liza on the difficulties and perils of waxing, and also on how much more pleasant trimmed is than a "full bush".     Here's a quote from a short story by Amy Bloom that pretty much sums it up:“…shetold him that she’d heard that young men shaved their balls now.  Ray lifted his head and asked if she wouldlike that.  I guess I would, she said.  Is it unpleasant otherwise? Ray said.  Oh, I don’t know, Ellie said.  It’s like a mouthful of wet mittens – what doyouthink?”  🙂    

  2. Let me clarify: my "no way" was in relation to male waxing… as far as I'm concerned, totally bald men belong in the domain of porn videos and nowhere else. For women, some trimming and waxing feels appropriate, but having done the full Hollywood, I'm not keen to do it again – all I see when I look down is Barbie.I'm fairly amazed at the difference between the two pictures you posted… Not only is there a difference in hair, but also tan lines, breast size, nipple size and the degree of grooming. The woman in the later picture looks more relaxed and also more boyish than the earlier picture. The earlier picture looks just more… womanly. It's difficult to tell how much the hair is an element with so many other factors uncontrolled.I wonder how much of this is due to gender relations – depsite so many male porn stars being waxed, the style hasn't taken off in the same way as it has for women. I wonder whether we secretly like to play up our gender differences (in this case, men are hairy and women aren't) when our clothes are off?

  3. Great post!!!I like men to be neatly trimmed if only from the perspective of it being easier to give blowjobs.  Otherwise, you get hair in your eyes, your nose, your teeth, etc etc etc.  I would imagine that this goes for men when is comes to women as well.I totally agree with you on the completely bald thing though.  It seems too similar to a child for my comfort.

  4. Sure – trimmed hair is ideal from a textural perspective – no stubble, no floss. But it would never occur to me to seek to maximize my comfort by directing someone else's style. Unless I was directing their style. (If I get to dress you, then I get to tell you how to coiffe your cunt.)

  5. A wise man once said to me that men like silicone, like exaggerated female characteristics, because it medicates their fear of mistakenly being attracted to a man.  I'll write more about breasts in a later post.  But I think a little dissection of ascendant porn stars would be interesting.And then there's Sasha Grey and James Deen – the two porn stars (one now retired) who deviate most from the norm, and who in doing so, I think, point to much of what is interesting about our collective desire as reflected by porn.One last thought:  I think (don't know, but do think) that you're wrong about men shaving their pubes.  I think, based on minimal observation – at the gym, and at a few parties – that men are starting to shave too….

  6. Yea!  Happy happy HAPPY to see this.  My husband and playmate both would be quite happy to see me bare down there, and the more I've thought about it, the more adverse I am to the idea.  Unfortunately, I also look around and see so many expectations for it (apparently it is standard for many swingers, for example), and just get more depressed.I remember being pleased when my pubic hair came in.  I felt more grown up, more mature.  When I see pictures of naked genitals, I just think they look immature, fake, or both.  Sure, I appreciate a nice trim for the sake of easier oral performance, and I even do bikini wax (and wax some other areas) and actually find that comfortable, but I do not want to be completely hairless, or for my partners to be, either.


  8. I enjoy the variety of the human body but I too find the bald look somewhat disturbing when ‘required’ of women.

    If something is a deliberate direction in order to ‘fit in’ with the
    expectations of others then that would make me want to do precisely the
    opposite just through pigheadedness. I find those party instructions that you have quoted
    obnoxious and they indicate to me that it’s not my kind of society so
    I’d be in the wrong place.

    I guess I’d try anything if my partner asked but not if it was asked as a
    condition of attraction. If a man is so superficial that it matters how
    I look to that extent then we’re hopefully not intimate in the first
    place. But if it is about trying a new sensation, seeing how that
    affects sexual experience, then that’s interesting. 

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