What to do with the hair "down there"

    Body hair is a touchy subject. While men can get away with what looks like squashed spiders in their armpits, women with armpit hair are considered either lesbians or dirty hippies. Societal pressure for baby-bottom skin is even starting to affect clothing choices: Forgot to shave your legs, ladies? No skirt for you. Didn’t wax your back, guys? Good luck at the beach.

    Forget the hair that everyone can see – we obsess about what’s between our legs even more. Everyone who has successfully endured puberty has a fair amount of fur down there. Okay, so we’re mammals. Big deal, right?

    Not so fast. Yes, one could argue that pubic hair is supposed to be there. Evolutionarily speaking, it’s intended to keep our naughty bits from freezing off. But humans know that beauty is anything but natural. We’ve just got to interfere somehow.

    And while it’s pretty difficult to know what real people are doing with their pubic hair – pesky clothes and all – pornography tells us the popular thing to do is coif and shave and wax. And get breast implants.

    Yes, going completely bare down there seems to be the gold standard for women, and it’s becoming increasingly popular for men, too. But regardless of our obsession with youth, there’s something slightly pedophilic about our culture’s fixation on removing pubic hair. Yes, it does “clear the runway” for oral sex. But it seems as though the eroticism stems more from the appearance than the functionality.

    I maintain that how you primp your bush is your own personal choice. If your styling choices scare off some people when they get below your belt (“Hey, where’d that dread come from?”) then it wasn’t meant to be. That said, there’s a variety of hair care options, ranging from the tame to the daring:

    Au Natural
    The idea here is that you pretty much leave whatever’s growing down below alone. Lots of people (mostly men and Europeans) choose this route because it’s easy and risk-free. Unless it grosses someone out. And you end up getting kicked out of bed. Ouch.

    Pubic hair grows. And sometimes it needs a little haircut when it gets too unruly. Most people use scissors, but one guy I knew took a beard trimmer to his crotch. Probably not a bad idea – just set the desired length and trim away. Look, ma, no uneven patches!

    Brave is the soul who lets a razor near their genitalia. Experts advise that you wait until after a shower or bath, when the hair will be easier to shave. If you shave against the direction of growth the first time, you’ll end up with nasty red bumps known as ingrown hairs. If you keep shaving on a regular basis, you’ll be less likely to develop them. Problems from shaving include nicks and cuts that can get infected, irritation and the discomfort of growing the hair back. Shaving cream can also cause allergic reactions.

    If you’re new to waxing, please don’t attempt to wax your crotch by yourself. Go to a professional (the Beauty Spot and Egea Spa are both places that offer waxing services in Evanston). Basically, hot wax is applied to your nether regions and ripped off. Enjoyable, right? Just make sure that wherever you choose to go employs state-licensed technicians who follow standard health procedures. Otherwise you could end up with a yeast infection, fungus or herpes.

    There are more than a couple of choices when it comes to waxing: a bikini removes just the hair around your underwear line, while a Brazilian removes pretty much everything. There are many other options, too, and none of them are cheap. Also to keep in mind: if you’re not comfortable having a possibly masochistic individual viewing your privates, then waxing is not for you.

    These are chemicals that essentially dissolve your hair. While products like Nair claim that they can be used on your bikini line, I wouldn’t recommend it. Burning chemicals in your crotch? Yeah, not so much.

    Electrolysis means numerous appointments, a 10 percent failure rate, pain and possible scarring. No studies have tested the effect of genital sensitivity to lasers. Also, as a poor college student, you can’t afford either. Next!

    If you have the patience and the pain tolerance, by all means, have at it.

    Hair Coloring
    Not generally recommended. I mean, bleach on your genitals? Really? Apparently there’s a product called Fun Betty that claims to make dyes safe for your genital area. If you’re really itching to have the carpet match the drapes, proceed at your own risk.

    With pubic hair, you’ve certainly got options. You can leave it the hell alone or you can go all out and dye it red and shave it into a heart. Or with Halloween coming up, dye it orange. That’ll certainly scare off whoever tries to get into your pants.


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