Furballs or plucked privates? The pubic hair dilemma
- Published: 18 April 2010
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Some people love body hair, on themselves and their lovers, spending their lives in the pursuit of the hirsute. Other folk fear furballs, and gag if their girlies come complete with short and curlies, while others are ambivalent about pit patches and leg lawns, writes Cath Davies.
Clippered, waxed, shaved, lasered, bleached, dyed, tweezed, trimmed—much time and effort, not to mention money and pain, goes into maintaining our minges, maximising our merkins and minimising our moustaches.
What does body hair mean? Are pube-less porn pussies a matter of pre-pubescent perversion or parody? Is a thatched snatch always an indication of leftie lesbianism on the loose?
What do you say when that saucy minx has sauce in her moustache? Does your monobrow mimic Frida Kahlo, or Bert from Sesame Street?
Personally, I believe too much ain't enough muff—I love bush bashing and slithering along snail trails. In search of the bald facts, I decided to question a motley selection of 'not-so-straight' women and born again men for their own hair-stories.
“Hair has always been a huge thing for me, mostly because I am an original 'bearded lady' for REALS! I have had hair on my chin and neck for probably about eight years now. I don't really remember when it started. I know that it's hereditary and hormonal. It's also a huge part of who I am,” says one feisty furry femme. “During my students activist days I grew it because I thought it was very subversive to be a bearded.”
People de-fuzz for all sorts of reasons, political, personal or practical. “I started when I was 14 for about a year, then stopped when I became a feminist, then started again when I started sex work at 25,” explains one part-time depilator, while another adds, “My mum insisted that leaving my body hair au naturale was a big feminist ethical statement. But post-21st century body mod culture I kind of think that running a razor along bits of skin is pretty mild really.”
Some take it all off: “I have shaved my cunt completely since being in my late teens. I do it for me, because when I put my hand on my own cunt, I want to feel it, not feel held apart from it by hair.”
Others find their fuzz adds to the buzz, with one hair bear explaining, “I like to lay in bed at night, one arm thrown over my head with the fingers of my other hand twirling and gently tugging the hair there.”
Of course, body hair can be an important marker of gender, and queer, identity. One self-made man says, “I feel that body hair is increasingly about gender non/conformity more broadly, and consequently is very much a queer issue. The presence or removal of hair carries significant meaning for all people in the binary gendered world we live in as such expressions are inherently constructed as either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.”
Another trans-boy tells of hair management: “I think there is a great and wonderful irony in the fact that one week my girlfriend will be giving me my fortnightly jab in the arse of testosterone to making me manly, and the next she'll be ripping great strips of wax off my back that are full of – you guessed it – very manly back hair. The girlfriend giveth, and the girlfriend taketh away.”
While some favour their partner's privates plucked, a playmates pelt makes others melt. “Body hair is a turn on for me, particularly armpits and crotch hair – at least 80% of the appeal is one of scent, and hair in those places holds the scent of a person. A place to bury my nose and tongue, breathe them in, taste them, and lose myself in the sensual delight,” says one fuzzy femme fatale, also relishing “the defiant beauty of breasts that curve up into hairy armpits”.
“I love furry arseholes, nipples, and armpits,and ladymo's – and that line of hair between belly button and pubes,” states another, adding that “a fully depilated lover would probably freak me out. I like bodies to be smooth and rough and furry and bald in different parts, on different days”.
Or, as one respondent put it, “Women are a turn on for me, hairy or not, but I reckon hair is pretty cool.”
Cath Davies is a gentlefag and scholar.