2:00 am - 12/15/2007

Pubic hair/trimming

Hi everyone,

I feel like I'm making too big of a deal out of this, but I've recently started dating a guy I'm sure I want to take me to the next level. My problem is that I'm 18, have never let a guy anywhere near down there, and I have quite a pubic mess (for some reason I feel cursed with more pubic hair than any other girl, not that I've ever been able to compare it).

I went to town on myself with a Venus razor today. Needless to say it was a LONG job, and I'm still not finished.. probably because I never had the need to touch up that area before (I'm not a bathing suit person).

My question is - what exactly do guys my age like?

I really have no idea!
I wouldn't mind shaving daily (my hair grows back fast), but how much do I leave? How can I neatly "trim" a triangle that isn't "poky/stubbly"? I'm worried about irritation because of my very pale skin (I know deodorant works well, but it certianly wouldn't taste pleasant if he was doing me a favor :) and I would HATE stubble, but it seems to be there no matter how close I shave!

Is there a standard??? How neat do teenage girls my age keep it (and how), and do they really shave it as often as, say, their legs?

Would buying Parissa's wax strips be a waste of money? Is waxing/depilatory the way?

Seems like a jumble of questions, sorry about that!
goldtooth 15th-Dec-2007 07:16 am (UTC)
haha, there is no standard. it's mostly what you're comfortable with, and if you really care, what his tastes are.

i guess if you're expecting him to venture down there, common courtesy would be to just trim it so nothing gets tangled, or to just make things generally easier to find.

hope that helps.
kelsietrpt 15th-Dec-2007 07:25 am (UTC)

I shaved my pubes for about a year in college. Some guys were impressed by it. Some guys who "knew me" before the shave were sad when they found out I'd shaved (which was really, really eye opening for me!). Ultimately, I realized the reasons I decided to shave were all wrong...I did it because I thought that's what guys would want...I did it because my roommate did it, so it gave us something to talk about...I did it because I was reading Cosmo and it was a frequent topic...When it came right down to it, I looked down at my little patch of leftover hair and started to feel really sad. I'd always been happy with my pube forest. I liked the way it looked, I liked the way it felt, and I really appreciated the cushion it gave me during sex. : ) I didn't like the razor burn and the fact that I couldn't go commando anymore for all the chafing. So, I let the pube forest grow back and found me a guy who loves to run his fingers through my hair. : )

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you want to shave, that's totally fine, but do it because you genuinely want to, not because you think you should, and definitely not because you think guys will like it better. Any guy worth his salt will appreciate your body for what it is. If he can't, then he's definitely not worth sharing your vagina with, be it shorn or unshorn.

*falls off of soapbox*

lupinlover 15th-Dec-2007 07:30 am (UTC)
I like this comment!
violet_tigress1 15th-Dec-2007 07:48 am (UTC)
I shaved a few times... but it seemed like a pain in the butt, so I quit. The only problem now is that part of it is long, so it gets caught & pulls.
wendolen 16th-Dec-2007 05:26 am (UTC)
When that happens, I trim a little with scissors. (I like to go commando, but when it gets too long that gets uncomfortable!)
campfire_light 15th-Dec-2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
Agreed. My fiance has been very accepting of whatever I wanted down there. I shaved it once, and he liked it, but said he also liked it when I had hair. So now, to avoid the time and effort it takes to shave, I just trim so that nothing gets in his way when he goes down. I'm talking just trimming with scissors too, so it's no big deal.

Also, I agree that it should be what you truly want to do. I had a boyfriend once who "kindly" suggested that I shave. Well, it was more of an "i'm going to keep 'kindly' suggesting it until you actually do it" sort of thing. When I finally did, he broke up with me.

So really, if you want to, go ahead, but be aware of your options and make sure you're doing it because YOU want to, not because you think guys will like it better or because a guy told you you should.
campfire_light 15th-Dec-2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
I've considered trying that. I might look into it more. My skin is actually really good down there, so I've never really had problems shaving. It's just too time consuming, especially when my SO likes it either way. Actually, I believe he prefers it just neatly trimmed.

I saw an electric razor the other day that's designed specifically for women and looked pretty good. I'll check it out the next time I'm at Wal-Mart, see if it works for hair of the pubic variety.
wendolen 16th-Dec-2007 05:28 am (UTC)
I had one for a while (it was a violet Norelco, IIRC). It was okay, and worked well enough on the pubes (except when it would yank them out by the roots -- not fun), but it was not better/easier than scissors/razor, IMO.
lapenn 15th-Dec-2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
*nod* totally agree! Shave if you want to, but don't feel like it's required. There will be plenty of guys who appreciate a wild, crazy bush.
queensugar 15th-Dec-2007 07:25 am (UTC)
There really is no single standard, and there's no "one way" that women of any age maintain their pubes. Some women shave it all, others don't trim a hair. Honestly, it's really up to you and your comfort level and what you like.

Sure, there's lots of myths out there like "guys only like it shaved," but in my experience men of maturity and character (regardless of age) aren't nearly so picky about something so minor.

And while a partner may prefer one way or the other (some like it bald, some like it full-on hairy, others like a neat trim), rather than searching for a non-existent standard it may be more fun (and less stressful!) to discuss that together, once you are more comfortable, and that way you can hear what your partner's preference is, if he has one, and decide if that suits your preferences too.

One thing I'll toss out -- it's often considered helpful (at least in the beginning of a relationship, when you're still getting comfortable with each other) to at trim the pubic hair to be "neater"... it reduces the amount and length of any stray pubes that end up in the teeth or elsewhere. That's increasingly common for both genders, though again, it's by no means universal.

Really though, I think the most important thing is for you to think about what pubic hair approach will make you feel most confident and comfortable. If you think it looks attractive, and doesn't cause you too much irritation than you feel it's worth, that's always going to be your best bet.

And as far as having lots of pubes... don't sweat it, you're not alone. :) On the various months I let mine reach their full glory, it runs basically from my navel to mid-way down my thighs, and is so pouffy it looks like I have a package when I'm wearing underpants. ;)
jocelina 15th-Dec-2007 07:30 am (UTC)
I agree with the comments above -- there really is no standard way to keep one's pubic hair. It's all about what you're comfortable with!

I don't think there's any particular grooming standard that guys of any age like. Sometimes people (men and women alike) have ideas about pubic hair (and about people's bodies in general) that are influenced by their upbringing and culture. However, while people may expect certain things, I think generally those expectations are fairly fluid and can change if someone encounters someone s/he really likes who doesn't exactly conform to those preconceived ideas.

Our Vulvapedia entry on pubic hair care and removal is a great resource for information about the various methods of hair removal, if that's what you prefer to do. Some women prefer shaving, some waxing -- again, it's all about what's most comfortable for you. :)

And if you're interested in getting a bit of a basis for comparison, you might find the lovely (but not worksafe!) vulva collage over in the Everyday Bodies Project helpful.
jennijube 15th-Dec-2007 07:40 am (UTC)
I'd say the "standard", if there is one, is just to keep it neat. I, myself, don't like completely bare down there, it actually creeps me out a little. It also varies from person to person, what they prefer, but I'd say, keep it neat.

My usual thing is, if the hair has gotten long, I go at it with scissors first to get rid of the excess (please do tell me if this is a bad way to do it), then I shave WITH the grain because I have super sensitive skin - though, sometimes I go against because it does provide a closer shave. (I'm lucky though, I'm Chinese. I just come with less hair to begin with, hehe.)

Anyway, point is, there isn't really a standard - do what you're comfortable with, and if you're really not sure, ask your guy! I've had one say he prefers nothing, and one who was amazed at how little there was when all I did was shave around the edges to make it more neat.

*reads what people have to say about waxing*

Edited at 2007-12-15 07:43 am (UTC)
purplebrick 15th-Dec-2007 07:48 am (UTC)
You sound just like I did. I was so worried about what I would look like down there and shaved it all off once. The itching when it grew back was unbearable so I just started trimming for personal benefit, seeing as I wasn't with anyone at the time.
Then when I met my current boyfriend and we started hooking up for the first time, he sort of made his way down there with his hands and didn't seem to mind the hair. I trimmed it down some more then next time because I felt bad, but all in all her didn't mind the hair at all.
So it really depends on the guy I guess. I just trim now, and don't let it get out of hand or anything down there.
imnotyourstarx hold on, this may get a tad wordy...15th-Dec-2007 08:07 am (UTC)
personal background: i have had three male sexual partners during my lifetime, one of which was a one night stand. im in a committed hetero relationship that is mostly monogamous (we sometimes have a Third, who is female). i am also 18. my guy and i are madly in love.

i dont shave. anything. i have leg hair, armpit hair, and pubic hair. the only person in my life who seems to have a serious problem with it is my darling mother, but thats another story for another time. my guy loves it. once in a while, ill trim it or shave it all off (like when i get bored) and he always seems so dissapointed.

and i like it too. ive always had very high confidence, but ive found ever since i stopped shaving, my confidence has grown even more. being a natual woman is empowering. my decision to stop shaving finally came years after switching to greener, healthier products in my house. i use only natural cleaning products for my body and house, i use cloth menstual pads instead of gross disposables, and i generally try to live as green and natural as i can. stopping purchasing razor blades was one of my final acts. (im still waiting for a car that runs on and gives off water!)

if people arent ok with my body hair, (and ive met people who were really bothered by it) well then i know theyre not the type of people i want in my life.

my ex-boyfriend was NOT ok with me having body hair. i dated him when i was young, in my days when shaving was just a regulat habit, and i hadnt yet stopped to think about exactly why i did it. whenever i would go more than two days without shaving, he would comment. and it drove me crazy. ultimately, he proved to be the worlds biggest jackass, and leaving him was the best move of my life thus far. but yeah.

if youre gonna shave, do it because YOU want to. because it will make YOU feel good and sexy. dont do it (or anything else for that matter) because of what a guy wants. its your body, after all.
squisheroo 15th-Dec-2007 08:16 am (UTC)
I started shaving my pubes when I was 9. They started coming in, and I didn't like 'em. Obviously at that age, I had no opinions of what guys would like. haha.

Anyway. To help shorten your job, trim the hair with scissors first. It's easier to shave shorter hair. =o)

And I wouldn't wax for the first time. Just shave it and see if you LIKE being bald/coiffed down there. If you really like it, wax for longer effect.
vinaceous 15th-Dec-2007 08:38 am (UTC)
First, I sympathize, I am mad hairy and although I no longer care as a teenager I was self-conscious about it.

Second, there is no standard. Some women have been removing their pubes since they got them; others leave everything natural. Neither is right, it's all about what makes you feel comfortable and attractive. And there also is no standard about what men like. Don't let that determine whether you remove hair or not. The last guy I dated was really turned on by the "natural look"; he actually thought I trimmed too much! I was really surprised, in a good way. But I still trimmed because that's what *I* liked, and he was still happy. So do what makes you comfortable.

If you choose to trim use small nail scissors and use a mirror to see what you're cutting. Depilatories are an option, but I think you can use them only on the edges of the triangle. For shaving there are lots of websites with tips on how to get the best results. If you choose to wax try to get if professionally done first before trying it on your own. I've waxed my legs before without trouble, but the pubic area is trickier. I don't know how to avoid stubble, because I get it within 24 hours of shaving, but there is stuff you can buy to prevent in-grown hairs (one brand is Tend Skin, but there are other options, I'm sure.) I've read that shaving with the direction of the hair growth can help, but I'm not sure.

Bottom line, do what makes you comfortable, don't presume all guys will like the same things, and don't stress too much about it! Good luck :)
preciouslilme 15th-Dec-2007 10:05 am (UTC)
Personally I would take your own opinions on the matter first. While bf's opinions are important ultimately you're the one who has to do all the work if he likes it bald. I trim most of it and just shave the labia (which makes oral for him easier(!) and just easier to clean for me). There are so many variations of trimming and shaving that you can try shaving little bits off at a time until you find what's right for you.

I also went through a self-conscious period about it (my bf was the first to see/feel down there) so I just turned around and asked him and was pleasantly suprised when he said that he preferred something there :) I't varies from person to person and the only way you'll ever really know is to ask! Even if he likes different to you you can always compromise.

I wouldn't buy the wax strips because waxing pubic hair yourself can be a hassle (lots of pain, no hair coming out), but you could always give it a go once to see if it works for you :)
wilddcherry16 15th-Dec-2007 10:40 am (UTC)
i'm 18 too :)
ive slept with 3 men and have quite a few more down there. for every guy ive been completely shaved but ONLY because i like it. ever since i went through puberty i found pubic hair to be just annoying and for me, rubbing agaisnt my panties it was itchy. granted, the first time i shaved bald it was itchy hell, but now after years of keeping it like that i find it very comfortable and for me, i like the way it looks.
its really all about how you like it and how you want it to be! ive had some guys be sad that i shave, mostly because i'm a natural redhead and they wanted to see the carpet match the drapes(its weird how some people are still facisnated by that...its just hair!)
i even tried to grow it out a little bit because ive always wanted a design down there, but a week into it i got so uncomfy i couldnt do it :(
while there really is NO standard and it SHOULD be all about how you want it,but sadly i will add that most guys i know carry a standard of having to be trimmed at least, of course there are guys who like completely natural.
either way he should be liking you for you and not your pubic hair!
cage_this 15th-Dec-2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
Haven't read any other comments yet, but the mere -thought- of using Parissa wax strips on your bikini area literally sent shivers through me! I use them on my legs (and they are kinda painful, but much simpler than Nads I find) and I tried using the smaller ones on my armpit and I thought I was ripping my skin off - and the strip barely even came off any! Now I use Nads for my underarms, never again shall I try a Parissa strip anywhere near any sensitive skin o_o Waxing from a pro is definitely the way to go for the girly bits.

Anywho... most guys, I find, don't really care how it looks down there. Well, I'm sure they do have some form of preference, but it varies across the board. Personally, I trim, mostly because my pubic hair seems to grow like mad and it bugs me, haha. Sometimes I'll shave a bit or get a wax of some variety just as a little surprise for the boy, but he knows it's not permanent (I am far too lazy for the upkeep, and way too broke haha). If you've got a particular someone in mind, you could always ask, if it really matters to you what they think, as opposed to what you're comfortable with.

Basically, it's all personal preference.
dabas 15th-Dec-2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
i wax it, brazilian style.
but that's only because i don't like the itchy feeling when the hair is growing, also, you get that extra smooth feeling for a week or so, which you don't get even if you shaved the last couple of minutes.
it's just an option really, and maybe you shouldn't worry about it - if you do get intimate with this guy, he'll probably tell if what he likes after a while and if you want, you can do what he likes. it's really up to you.
sixseventytwo 15th-Dec-2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
As a female of mostly Southern Italian descent, I feel your pain. xD
But like everyone else said, do what YOU are most comfortable with. Personally, I feel a lot cleaner and, um, organized (lol =p) when I shave and trim a little, but still leave some. Completely bare kind of weirds me out, to be honest.
cathugstrees 15th-Dec-2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'm seventeen and around your age. In the beginning of the relationship I would always shave when I knew we'd hang out. Once my boyfriend and I hung out before I had a chance to shave and when he saw my pubes he loved them!! Now I don't shave my pubes anymore (neither of us do) but I do give them a trim if they are too long and uncomfortable. For both of us it is just about comfort, and we couldn't take the razor burns and chafing and all the time it took to shave. And we both think some hair is hotter anyway.

And about whether girls shave their pubes as much as their legs... I only shave in the summer/fall when I have to do the swim team. No one sees my legs or my underarms during the other seasons so I let the hair grow! (And I thought people would think it was weird but all three of my best friends stopped shaving too and none of us knew until when we were changing in a locker room and everyone was hairy!)

So don't worry too much about what a guy will like, he'll love you with or without pubes!!
a_travel_story 15th-Dec-2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
Go with what makes you most comfortable and really think about it, too. I'd been with about three boys before my current boyfriend and never thought once about shaving. It never even crossed my mind. When I started with my new boy, he made a comment about how, for the past 5 years, all he'd been with were shaved girls and how he was so glad to find me. Around that time I started reading VP and saw how so many people thought pubic hair was gross so the next time I saw him (LD relationship), I'd shaved a bit because I thought he had just been being nice about liking pubic hair. Of course he hadn't been and was disappointed the I had done that, and so was I.

So, from my experience, boys like hair or at least don't mind it enough to say anything. If you think it's gross, do something about it, but don't depend on what a guy thinks. I've also never had a problem with a guy giving me oral. No hair in teeth, no complaints, nothing. But, it's up to you. Don't let a guy (or society) dictate what you do with your body. I think you'll be much more confident once you are actually with you boyfriend if you like what you do down there. Good luck!
solongsmalltown 15th-Dec-2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
I keep my pubes trimmed or shaved for the guy, but I'm not in a big habit of shaving anything else super regularly and he doesn't care.
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