February 3, 2010

Pubic Policy

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Two weeks ago, the sorority women of Cornell spent hours primping and priming ourselves: we painted our nails, cut our hair and faked our tans, not to go out and meet guys, but to stay indoors and talk to other women for the five day girl-flirting marathon that is Rush Week. But there is one part of the girl grooming ritual that isn’t covered in the Pi Phi recruitment dress manual: pubic hair. After all, this is Cornell. The last time we gave thought to our bikini lines was our swim test. But for girls, grooming the hair down there requires extensive decision-making, foresight, strategy and a tool kit (think baby scissors, wax and/or specially designed bikini razors) that could rival any sorority’s six-page dress code.

To start with, no one really tells us what we’re supposed to do with our pubes. If not for porn, Cosmo and advice from sleep-away camp friends, most girls would be walking around with a full-blown forest between their legs. However, pubic strategy is still a guessing game (at least for us single ladies). We don’t have any one single preference to appease so we’re faced with constant questions. How much is too much? (There’s no such thing as too much). Is it slutty to wax it all off? (No, but it sure is painful). How weird is a landing strip? (Not very, unless you have LAX tattooed on your stomach). Do I really need to do anything down there if I’m in the middle of a dry spell? (YES).

For me, these decisions have always been as stressful as deciding whether to eat the popcorn at Dunbar’s. Maybe it’s because my first memory of pubic grooming was of my mom taking me to get a bikini wax for the summer. I guess the woman misunderstood what I wanted, and I ended up being the only high school freshman with a landing strip. I guess I was destined to become a sex columnist, or maybe a porn star, time will tell.

Since then I have taken all the risk out of my waxing experiences, and when I do splurge for a waxing sesh (which is rare — I’m more a fan of my Schick Quattro and my own two hands) I just get a Brazilian to eliminate any potential confusion and hair mishaps.

But no matter how regularly we groom, the one week that we don’t trim our bushes is the one week that we really should have. Guys must have some type of innate radar that detects when we are totally unprepared to have anything touch or penetrate our vaginas. (This theory also holds true for period week). Right as we bite into our slice of CTP at 1 a.m. we realize that we are growing an afro to rival Bob Ross’s between our legs, so we make up an excuse about an early class and hope for a text tomorrow night (after a quick haircut). Moral of the story: always be prepared — trim regularly.

Just as girls are expected to keep it groomed, I believe that manscaping is a must. A guy doesn’t want to stick his face in a bush as much as a girl does not want to be picking pubes out of her teeth after a blowjob. If you want a girl to be excited about your cock, it’s got to be pretty.

Now I’m not talking about making yourself an appointment at Stript Wax Bar for perfectly manicured man-parts, but a trim every once in a while would be beneficial to everyone. This is not the time to go Edward Scissorhands all over your shaft, but a tame crotch is of utmost importance. And keep in mind, it’s not just about how much hair you want to remove, but also about the intensity of your musk. Naked balls make for a stinky crotch. And chafing.

Last but not least: buttcrack hair. Shave it, wax it, tweeze it, whatever. Get rid of it, period. It’s unflattering, unsanitary and very unsexy. No one likes their sex partner to have a tail (unless you’re into that) and buttcrack hair comes with the risk of dingleberries (no one is into that). You don’t need a degree in economics to do a risk-benefit analysis to realize that this hair is just not worth it.

And remember, no matter what you decide to do down there, make sure it is your own decision. Boyfriends who demand Brazilians should be told “only if you get one too” (he’ll never bring it up again, I promise). But don’t be afraid to try something new. Go ahead and shave that heart for Valentine’s Day, buy that pubic hair dying kit you’ve been eyeing, or wax it all off for the first time — because in my experience it is the unexpected that makes the biggest impact. So whether you go au natural or go smooth, go forth in public confident with your pubic.

Jess H. recently graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She may be reached at jessh@cornellsun.com. Girl On Top appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Jess H.