Man’s pursuit of hirsute

Off the Beat: Sex on Tuesday

Does it matter if it looks like his penis is wearing an afro? Is it that big of a deal if her bush resembles Zach Galifinakis’s face? Well, I guess it all depends if you like to floss and give oral sex at the same time.

All jokes aside, pubic hair can be serious business. I used to wonder whether my current do is a “don’t.” I have friends who have tried to experiment with landing strips and other creative types of liminal spaces and geometric shapes. It’s a touchy and private subject for a lot of people. For example, you can’t casually converse with the person in front of you in line at Chipotle about the weather and then ask where and how he gets his bush trimmed — it’s bad decorum. Yet it seems that some sexually active people are still unsure about how to untangle the mystery surrounding pubic hair.

One’s pubic coiffure, especially during that first sexual encounter, could potentially be just as important as how one presents him or herself on a first date. You never know if the amount of hair will make your partner uncomfortable, and your personality can only go so far. The problem resides in the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, it’s in the eye (and other body parts) of your potential sexy-time partner.

Furthermore, what is considered aesthetically pleasing and popular changes just as music evolves during each decade. Praxiteles’s inimitable statue of Aphrodite demonstrates that women devoid of any body hair were thought to be more attractive in the fourth-century BCE Mediterranean world, whereas Michelangelo’s representation of David idealizes a stylized and controlled pubic region during the early 16th century in Europe.

As far as contemporary Western sexuality is concerned, the 1970s romanticized the bushy vagina on women just as much as it fawned over bushy chest hair on men. Today, most people prefer hair-free or tamed pubic regions. However, this does not mean that most people would turn down sex due to a little hairy situation. A few others have expressed that they simply do not care about the presence or absence of hair, and at least one UC Berkeley student I have spoken to prefers that his girlfriend maintain a full bush (the whole Lolita-esque look freaks him out).

Pubic hair is like fashion. Ideals of beauty differ while certain trends wane in and out of style for both males and females. Yves Saint Laurent once uttered the iconic phrase, “fashion fades, style is eternal.” In this scenario, personal style is a metaphor for how the individual likes his or her private parts coiffed. My good friend recently came back from studying abroad in Europe, assuming that a hairy bush was still acceptable. She quickly found out that this was not the case after the sexy Spaniard suggested that she seek out a Brazilian.

Whether you shave, wax, trim, or let your hair follicles be, you should always follow the trend that makes you feel sexually confident and comfortable. Furthermore, the way you maintain your pubic region has no bearing on your sexual prowess, nor does the size of your partner’s bush indicate if you will finish satisfied or  not at all.

However, you should also keep in mind that sex is not a unilateral interaction of receiving pleasure. If you are about to perform head on your partner and you feel like his pubic hair is about to attack your face, there is no crime in turning down the job. Is this shallow? Perhaps. But one can argue that a purely sexual relationship is a corporeal interaction, often ignited by physical attraction and chemistry. Therefore, it is indeed thoughtful, polite and potentially more exciting for you in the long run to be courteous and conscious of what your partner finds most sexually and aesthetically appealing. Males, you are not exempt from this line of thought.

Yet at the end of the night, the style of your pubic hair is the last thing your sexual partner will be concerned with. When it comes to unexpected and new sexual encounters, a lack of preparedness is common — sometimes it is impossible to know when a dry spell will come to an end.

If you are still self-conscious, just remind yourself that your partner has the privilege of seeing you naked, a treat reserved for the luckiest of individuals. One’s pubic hair is a result of what is most practical and comfortable for the individual and is even a form of self-expression for some people. You should never feel pressured to follow a certain look because the girl you would like to be with sexually favors it or because Cosmopolitan magazine claims that guys love it. After all, no one will see your private parts as much as you do in your entire lifetime.

But just in case you’re still unsure, remember that when you trim the grass, the lawn always looks bigger and better.