Most of the time, as I walk around in my life, I don't dwell very much on how my norms and values differ from other people's in the world. Sometimes, however, it's brought home to me how something that seems like a non-issue is a big deal to some folks. A perfect example of that is pubic hair.
I've come across several articles lately on the subject of pubic hair—to remove it or not, specifically. I don't mean on porn sites either. I mean mainstream places like Salon. Now, in my world, intimate personal grooming is no big deal, and if a lover makes a request about your nether hairstyle, it's not taken as a personal attack. But in reading both the articles and the responses to them, I see that not everyone feels that way. I am frankly astonished at how many people seem to get very heated about pubic hairstyling. I'm talking flame wars over a few square inches of hair. It's crazy. So I'd like everyone to take their hands off their flies and calm down. Let's go over a few of the objections I've seen raised about the subject of pubic-hair topiary, and see if we can defuse them.
How dare someone ask me to shave off my pubic hair! It's a natural part of me and I should be loved just as I am!
Look, if you live in a yurt and bathe in a stream, you may be able to make this argument with a straight face. But you probably don't. You probably cut the hair on your head, for example, and you're likely to shave your face or your underarms, trim your fingernails, and perhaps you even—gasp!—use hair products or cosmetics or cologne or something that's supposed to make you look or smell nicer than you normally would. So don't try invoking the all-natural clause south of the border, Miss Clairol.
If I remove my pubic hair, I'll look like a child. Therefore anyone who likes bare pubes must be a secret pedophile.
Sweetheart, if the possession of pubic hair is the only thing about you that marks you as being past puberty, you either need to get to a doctor or e-mail me the location of that fountain of collagen you're bathing in. I know child molesters have become the new Nazis, but I think we need to create an addendum to Godwin's Law—something about bringing up ridiculously reductionist accusations of latent pedophilia in a discussion about adult sexuality.
It's too much trouble.
I suppose you could look at it that way. But I shave my girl-bits damn near every day, and I don't think it's that arduous a task. I'm balancing the desires of two different partners, too. You see, Max prefers things smooth; Monk, however, likes some fur. So being the good poly partner that I am, I split the difference: a fuzzy patch up top and shaved down below. This takes me perhaps five minutes in the shower; I spend more time deleting spam from my inbox than removing the fur.
But I get ingrown hairs!
Hey, I'm not saying you have to do it. I'm simply saying let's keep it in perspective. Altering the configuration of your pubic hair is not a body modification on the order of, say, getting a boob job. Neither is it a level of sexual risk equal to taking it in the ass or having a three-way. You don't have to do the full Yul Brynner treatment right off the bat. If you're scared of razors or wax, start with a close scissor trim—it freshens your look and cuts down on hairs getting caught in your partner's throat during oral sex. Next, you can bikini trim the edges a little, and perhaps do a landing strip or a soul patch.
There are definitely sexual things you should not do unless you truly feel okay about them. But good lord, people, we're talking about a little patch of hair here. If you're too chickenshit to even try a little experiment with that, then you just don't deserve a hot sex life.
FRIDAY 8/25THE SPIN
A new dance/be-sexy party night at the Wet Spot, with a different music theme each month. This month: Ancient '80s and '90s. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, 270-9746 or firstname.lastname@example.org, 9 pm—2 am, $15, members only.
SATURDAY 8/26ANNUAL ROMP IN THE WOODS
No matter what the kumbaya, we-are-all-one simpletons would have you believe, there is a bright, sharp line between civilization and nature—even in its abstract and expressionistic forms, art, at root, is of the human realm, of rationality and order, a gesture of the mind. Nature, by contrast is chaotic and alien, the opposite of art, and G. W. F. Hegel totally has my back on this: "A work of art is no natural product, but a thing brought into being by human activity." Ergo: This multidisciplinary event, which brings the performing arts (gospel choir, modern dance, classical music) into the woods for an afternoon, is the kinkiest, most perverse item in this calendar. Camp Long (5200 35th Ave SW) and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), www.naturec.org/festival.htm, 11 am—9 pm, $5 suggested donation.
SUNDAY 8/27STRAP-ON FUN WORKSHOP
Learn how to choose the right harness and dildo, how to wear them, safety, communication, and exciting stimulation techniques. Wild at Heart, 1111 NW Leary Ave, 782-5538 or www.wildatheartxxx.com, 5:30—7 pm, $20.RAIN CITY JACKS
Afternoon jack-off event. Rain City Jacks is a private, men-only JO club that's alcohol-, smoke-, and attitude-free. Raincityjacks.org or email@example.com, 1—4 pm (doors close at 2 pm), membership required.ORAL AMBITIONS: FELLATIO
Learn how to give great head! Babeland sex educators Marie and Kelly discuss favorite fellatio tips and tricks. Open to all genders and orientations. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30.
TUESDAY 8/29—MONDAY 9/4THE GATHERING: WET SPOT CAMPOUT
Opening day of the weeklong sex-positive campout. Run around naked, attend kink workshops, hang out in the hot tub, have sex in the woods. The Longhouse, Redmond, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.thegatheringwsip.com, admission rates vary, preregistration is required, membership isn't.