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Should You Get a Brazilian Wax?

Let's Tackle that Hairy Question: Are Brazilian Waxes Necessary?

Do you really need a Brazilian wax these days? That's the question a woman posed to the Times of London, after a new beau was "shocked" by her presence of pubic hair. In her letter, she says, "I don’t think that a permanent tan and Brazilian wax should be dealbreakers in a relationship. Or am I just hopelessly outdated?"

Long story short, advice columnist Suzi Godson tells the woman to let 'er rip. "Grooming down there is now considered to be normal, on a par with manicures, blow-drying, and eyebrow waxing," she says. "There is something hugely irritating about being forced to conform to an aesthetic ideal instigated and perpetuated by the porn industry, but, like keeping one’s armpits and legs smooth, it is now expected."

Oh brother. You already know that I hate, hate, hate the whole "wax, or else you are gross and undesirable!" standpoint, but I wanted to get a professional opinion on the matter. So I turned to sex educator Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., MPH, author of Because It Feels Good. Her advice is about 10 times better than Godson's, so read more.

After reading the original question in the advice column, here's what Herbenick had to say:

While it's true that many men in their 20s are accustomed to seeing women with bare vulvas — not just in porn, but among their same-aged partners — it's not true that all women wax, shave, or laser their way out of their pubic hair. In our research studies, we've found considerable numbers of women of all ages who leave at least a little amount of pubic hair — and yes, some women and men still choose to go natural.

I would advise this particular woman — and any woman or man who isn't sure what to do with their pubic hair — to do only what they feel comfortable or sexy doing. If she goes bare but hates it or feels like a child or a porn star (and not in a good way), or if she is kowtowing to her partner's preferences, then she's unlikely to feel hot, sexy, or desirable as she is. No one wants to feel desirable only under certain circumstances. Yes, she may find that she wants to readjust some of her dating or sexual techniques that have gotten rusty in the years she was out of the dating pool, but she should never do anything that makes her feel uncomfortable, powerless, or anything other than awesome.

At the end of the day, it's just pubic hair. It shouldn't be a dealbreaker. If it is, either he has very rigid guidelines/interests or it's a sign of his inexperience (which developmentally one should expect at 27 — it's not his fault, he's just relatively new to a game she's been in long enough to know that Pubic Hair Style Does Not Great Sex Make).

So there you have it. Wax if you want to, don't wax if you don't — it's your call. For more advice and information from Debby Herbenick, visit My Sex Professor.

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