Let it grow

Sex on Tuesday

Spring has sprung! Flowers are blooming, grass is growing … and so is our body hair.

I was born with a full crop of hair on my head — thick and brown. The nurses fawned over it. My mom said she could always tell who had a bald baby based on how they reacted to my hair.

Funny how that changes when you get older and the hair starts to grow somewhere it “shouldn’t be.”

I was a freshman in high school the first time I felt embarrassed by my body hair. In my English class, we were acting out the murder scene from William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” We were all instructed to don “togas” — roll up our sleeves and wrap ourselves in white bedsheets — when I realized that I hadn’t shaved my armpits recently. I kept my arms glued to my sides, terrified that someone would spot my stubble and be grossed out.

Even my parents, who still reminisce fondly on my adorable baby hair, don’t find my current hairstyles so cute anymore. Now they despise the fact that I celebrate my body hair in my decision to let all of it grow freely.

When I first came back home from my sophomore year of college with fully grown leg and pit hair, my parents read me the riot act. My father called it flat-out disgusting. But when I asked why it’s gross on me and not on him, he had no answer aside from the fact that “it just is.”

If I don’t shave my legs or pits, you can bet that I don’t do any sort of “maintenance” to my pubic hair. So yes, it is a bush. I don’t trim, shave or wax because I don’t like to — it makes my whole downstairs area super itchy and uncomfortable.

And even if it didn’t, I’d still prefer to go au naturel. I love that full-bodied bush — the curly hairs make me feel like a woman.

Generally, I can maintain this preference with no trouble. If I’m not fucking anybody, it’s not like anyone is going to see it. But things get “hairy” when someone’s trying to get in my pants.

Honestly, I feel like the state of my pubes shouldn’t be that surprising — if I’ve got other body hair, you should be able to conclude on your own that I’d have a healthy bush below the belt. And yet, so many of my partners entered a state of absolute shock when they began probing their hands under my waistband.

I tend to get a response of “Wow, that really is a lot of hair you’ve got there …” as their minds spin at the potential of getting their nose and mouth all up in it.

In high school, my boyfriend convinced me to trim. I was young and eager to please, so I put up with it for a while to make him happy. But these days I tell most of my partners to get over it — particularly if they don’t partake in any form of mane management themselves.

Really, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like the hair is going to come for you in your sleep. Should you get a hair in your mouth while munching muff, pause for a moment and use your fingers to take it out. Whoop-de-freakin’-doo.

Nevertheless, some of my partners can’t get over their qualms about hair. So I move on to other partners who can. I’ve come across a few of these wonderful people in my time who don’t bat an eyelash when they get a glimpse of my growth. I’ve had some fantastic fuck sessions with them, because my inhibitions on how they perceive me disappear.

Ultimately, decisions about your hair are just that: yours. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate if you change your mind on what you want, as long as whatever hairstyle you have makes you happy.

I might shave my legs and armpits for spring break and commencement, but only if I feel like it — not because my family asked me to, a partner prefers it or society expects it of me. And my pubes aren’t going anywhere. I’m happy enough to tromp around in my hairy-as-fuck bikini body because I’m not embarrassed by my hair anymore — it’s a natural part of my body, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

So don’t worry so much about “spring cleaning” — you’d be surprised at the beauty you can find in letting go and letting it grow.

Rebecca Martin writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @beccasexontues.