MSP Q&A: Trimming Pubic Hair

On Yahoo Questions, a young man asked how to approach his girlfriend - who he liked very much and didn’t want to offend – about shaving her pubic hair. This was my reply:

I have a different reaction to some of the other posters here. First, I’d like to mention that most girls and boys grow up – at least initially – feeling good about their bodies. It’s only later on when kids and adults start being critical of them, telling them how they should or shouldn’t look, and what’s “acceptable” or not in terms of how fat/thin, hairy/not hairy, etc. they should be that people start to doubt or even hate their bodies. As such, I think you are VERY wise to realize that you like and care about this girl, and that you don’t want to hurt her feelings.

That said, many people sometimes wish that pubic hair were more “groomed” (either moderately trimmed or shaved/waxed off entirely) so that they could more easily or comfortably perform oral sex on their partner. That’s a common desire and it’s okay for you to feel that. And like I said, I think you’re kind, wise and considerate to think about how to do this gently.

One poster had an idea about making this about yourself, which could work. Someone else said that maybe you could ask – indirectly – what your girlfriend thinks about pubic hair being bare/shaved off. I’d widen that to ask her what she thinks about the different things people do with their pubic hair more generally, e.g., keeping it all natural, trimming it a bit, shaving it completely off, etc. If you can start a conversation about this more generally, you can get a sense of how she feels about her own body. You might even ask her how she feels about what you do with your pubic hair, and ask her what she thinks about her own.

I’d be careful to reassure her that you find her attractive, beautiful, sexy and that you are comfortable and accepting of whatever she chooses to do with her pubic hair. You might say something along the lines that it might be easier to perform oral sex if she was more trimmed sometimes (in fact, you could even have fun taking turns trimming each other – some couples do this as part of sex play) but that – in terms of looks/appearance – she looks great/hot no matter what.

As for shaving, it may be useful to consider that shaving takes a lot of up-keep and effort to keep it smooth. Asking her to start shaving means she’d have to do it almost every day to avoid stubble. Trimming (with scissors) might be an easier – and softer – next step, with less regular up-keep, both for her and you.

To learn more about safe ways to trim or groom pubic hair – and why certain methods are best for certain people depending on their skin tone, hair color or racial/ethnic background – check out chapter 2 of my new book Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction (save money by pre-ordering your copy on Amazon).

What do you all think? How would you suggest that people approach their partner about trimming or shaving their pubic hair, if at all?

Related MSP Posts:
- Can you get an infection from a Brazilian bikini wax?
- How to perform oral sex on a man without gagging
- MSP Sex Position of the Week: Coital Alignment Technique
- How to have sex in the shower: Five tips
- Playing with Men’s Testicles: Fun Sex Games
- Multiple Orgasms for Women and Men: What You MUST Know

If you have a question about sex or relationships, send it to me! Your confidentiality will be respected.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • Tim Hughes

    We are mammals, not reptiles! Get over it.

  • Tim Hughes

    We are mammals, not reptiles! Get over it.

  • Debby

    So true.

  • Debby

    So true.

  • Pingback: How men should shave their pubic hair: a video from Gillette | My Sex Professor: Sexuality Education

  • CJ

    I got my boyfriend to “clean up” by asking “hey wanna trim each other’s pubic hair?!?” It was silly, sexy, AND got the job done ;)

  • CJ

    I got my boyfriend to “clean up” by asking “hey wanna trim each other’s pubic hair?!?” It was silly, sexy, AND got the job done ;)