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Bring Back the Bush!

Leslee Horner's picture
bikini line pubic waxing
Should I Shave My Pubic Hair?

When I was on tour with Lissa Rankin, a question came up at our first college chat event -- a question about pubic hair. Lissa had just explained that not all STDs are prevented with condom use. Pubic lice is one of those. A young woman then asked if she should just shave all of her pubic hair in order to avoid exposure. 

I am sure there had to have been a time when shaving (or waxing) your pubic hair was akin to shaving you head. When I was a little girl in the early '80s "the bush" was symbolic of this incredible, mysterious world of womanhood that I'd one day enter. Getting to sneak a peak at this part of a woman's body -- whether in an R-rated movie or the Playboy magazines under my friend's brother's bed -- absolutely fascinated me. I thought "the bush" was beautiful and I couldn't wait to have one.

But as I grew into womanhood myself, trends changed. Bikinis got smaller and the need to groom pubic hair became necessary among the female population. It seems since that time we've taken this grooming to a level that makes "the bush" an endangered species on the brink of extinction. I, personally, find this trend saddening -- if not also disturbing!

"Cleaning up" the Coochie

In What's Up Down There?, Lissa gives some of the reasons we have pubic hair. Two reasons are that it serves as another barrier between our sacred vagina and the outside world and it holds our pharemones which are so important in attracting our perfect sexual mates. When you think of it, shaving or waxing is a present day version of douching and using feminine sprays. Maybe some of us think we're cleaning things up down there but really we're decreasing or eliminating the smell that may bring us the love of our lives. 

Recently in the news and here on Owning Pink, we learned about the horrible book being sold on Amazon, which was basically a how-to guide for pedophiles.  This is what sparked my interest in writing about pubic hair. In essence (and this is also in Lissa's book) "the bush" serves as a signal or billboard that announces a woman is of age to engage in sexual activity. You know the old (and crude) saying "If there's grass on the field...."  When we as a society decide that it is sexy and desirable for a woman's girly parts to be bald, what message are we sending? When young boys and girls today stumble upon porn or Playboy's they don't see "the bush." They often see grown women with vaginas similar to an 8-year-old's. To me, this is just disturbing. 

It's in the media too -- a few weeks ago, I was watching the TV show Mike and Molly. In the episode, Molly was getting ready for a "special" date with Mike. Her sister insisted that no one has hair down there anyore and talked her into an at-home waxing job. When I watched the scene all I could think was, BRING BACK THE BUSH!  Let's love and embrace our vaginas -- pubic hair and all -- and stop listening to these media messages that betray our true womanhood. 

What about you? How do you feel about pubic hair? Do you shave or wax because it's the "in" thing to do or do you do it because it empowers you and makes you feel sexy? I would love to hear all of your opinions and experiences -- whether you agree with me or not!

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Comments

Lissa Rankin's picture

Repopulation

Mary, you crack me up! Having only waxed once (and blocked out the painful memory- read my book What's Up Down There for more details about that than you probably want to know!), I'll have to leave the repopulation question to others. But your comment made me giggle so I wanted to respond anyway.

I think the key is this- whatever makes YOU feel sexy, whole, confident, and delicious is what's right for you. Feel free to experiment to figure out what that is!

n/a
Mary's picture

Take it away, boys!? (Am I ready to say it?)

Being an old soul in a 25 year old's body I've often wondered when the trend of topiary management became foreplay, for personal reasons or otherwise.
I myself am moderately hairy, but developmentally was behind many of the girls at school. I remember in middleschool catching sight of my best friend's bush over grown the confines of her bathing suit-at the time i was embarrassed for her. Her response? "So what?".
I trim when I remember to, generally even when I'm dating I forget to "maintain the boarders" (that schick commercial made me chuckle!" When I'm trimmed I do feel more "put together", strangely a little more confident. I've never had a wax, but considered it many times-thinking that a brazillian would be deliciously daring! Then again, the two times I've shaved the shrub from the mound of venus it reminded me a little too much of my mother's inexplicable hairless-ness.
A question for the waxers:
If you do get a good landscaping, what is the repopulation like?

buy nandrolone's picture

Merci pour le post utile! Je

Merci pour le post utile! Je n'aurais pas eu ce le contraire!

Олимпиада Сочи's picture

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Alicia R.'s picture

Interesting

For a long time, I just left my "bush" alone. Then, when I found that an ex boyfriend of mine would give me oral sex more frequently if I hsaved there, I fell into the pattern of doing so. this seemed cleaner during my period, too, and for awhile I grew to like it for my own reasons. But since I have stopped dating him, I find that I let it grow back, and I've left it alone again. Thank you for listing Lissa's answers to why we have it. That gives me some interesting things to think about. Between that, and my own natural tendency, I'll probably start leaving it alone again, and letting it be natural.

Fiezan's picture

Bring back the Bush

Good idea to let it grow back. It's so much natural and I think its sexy.
I leave mine on, but sometimes shave around the vagina - and its looks awesome

Caren's picture

Smooth as silk........

I love this post. I have been a big fan of waxing for years. In all the time I have been waxing I never thought of it as prepubescent or adolescent. I have always done it for me.

I had a boyfriend that absolutely preferred it but I was doing it before I met him so that was no problem. He was older. My younger boyfriend is a big fan of the bush. He grew up looking at his dad's pornography magazines and loves natural women. Oral sex was big on the list for both of these men. So I found it interesting that one likes a clean space and the other likes a little native space.

I do it for me. I like the smoothness of myself. I feel more sensitive when I am completely waxed. I have always believed it is a personal choice.

I tried it the way the young boyfriend liked it but I just didn't. It didn't matter to him, just a preference.

We all have certain things that make us feel like a woman. Waxing does this for me. It is like my secret sexual behavior. So I guess what I am saying is to each her own....

Leslee Horner's picture

I realized through the comments here...

that the thought of it being weird b/c of looking prepubescent definitely does not occur to everyone. Like I said in a previous comment, for me it hits a personal nerve. If not for knowing people who endured sexual abuse in their childhood and knowing someone who was an abuser, maybe the thought wouldn't even enter my mind either.

It actually makes me feel better to realize this.

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

elmsyrup's picture

I'm proud of my pubes. In

I'm proud of my pubes. In fact I have used them as a sort of test- if a man asks me to shave, I know from past experience that he's not my kind of guy. I know he won't be very good in bed, will be squeamish or think his pleasure is more important than mine, will be freaked out if my period starts halfway through. So I say no thank you, you're not going to get what I have to offer.

My current boyfriend is wonderful and sex positive and he loves my vagina just as nature made it.

Lissa Rankin's picture

A gynecologist perspective

I'll chime in from the doc side of things, Leslee. Pubic hair aside, do child vulvas look different than adult ones? It depends. Most (but certainly not all) women have outer labia that cover up their inner labia, meaning that you can't see their inner structures (which can look quite different) from the outside. My outer labia cover up my inner labia, so when I'm waxed, I pretty much look exactly like my 4 year old- only bigger.

Now, if you were to look inside my vagina, I would look much different than her because I have plenty of estrogen stimulating my vagina, making it pink and fluffy and plump, whereas she has no estrogen yet, so her vagina would be bright red, very thin and fragile. Her inner labia and clitoris would be teeny and her hymen would be intact. Mine wouldn't.

When women hit puberty, everything grows and some women have inner labia that grow longer than their outer labia. These women would look different, even shaved, than a 4 year old. After examining hundreds of little girls, I've never seen a little girl whose inner labia are longer than her outer labia.

But for most of us, yes, it's true. Our hair is what makes us look like adults from the outside- but not from the inside.

Does that help?
With love
Dr. Lissa

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Leslee Horner's picture

thanks for the answer

to my question! That helps sort that issue out perfectly.

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

gardenise's picture

I have always just trimmed

I have always just trimmed --- I'm Irish, bushy, and had some laser hair removal just on my upper thighs to clean it up since we (my ex husband and I)had a lake house, and I was often caught unprepared on the water with my fuzzy bikini line. Then..... post-divorce, I reconnected with my high school/college boyfriend. I had shaved for him completely when I was about twenty, and he said it had an everlasting impression on him. So when we hooked up last year (I'm 47), he asked if I would Brazilian for him, harkening back to old memories. I was feeling hyper-sexual, so I tried it to please him, and out of curiosity. I had previously thought poorly of women who did That --- who wanted to look like a pre-pubescent woman? Who did that? Sickos!!! Women who werent' sure of themselves. Women who Pleased. Women who didn't own their Womanness. But I did it... Oh, my. Now I'm hooked. It's smooth when we make love, and I love the friction, the feeling of it. It feels incredibly sexy, and feels amazing. I'm aware of my skin, my sexuality, my juju. It's sexy, and not adolescent-feeling. So.... Once again, I'm compelled not to judge anyone's decision. I'm shocked I want to keep this up. Shocked. Maybe it's not forever. But for now? OMG.....

Rachel's picture

Yes, yes, & yes!

Loved the post & all of the comments!
I'm naturally pretty hairy.. (like Lissa said: unibrow, nipples, etc) & also extremely sensitive to both shaving & waxing (less irritation with waxing). In terms of hair vs bare, I go through phases and there are things I like about each phase. Fully bushy & grown in feels more cavewoman-ish (I tell hubby it's my winter coat); shaved or mostly waxed makes me more sensitive and my husband and I both enjoying seeing more of me. Our favorite is somewhere "in between" Fully Hair & Fully Bare.
I'd never had any waxing done below the waist until about 6-7 years ago and went for a Brazilian the very first time.. Not the most fun during, of course, but we both LOVED the results & how long it lasted (and softer/sparser growing-in phase). And my cute little Waxer Friend & I wholeheartedly agree that having a hairfree "rear" is the added bonus of a Brazilian (or The Full Monty, as they call it). Just feels cleaner & lower maintenance.

kalisah's picture

It's not the same

I am 44 years old and a proud waxer! I admit, the first time I did it - about six years ago - I did it to surprise my husband for his birthday. But it was so soft and smooth - I liked it so much that I've kept it that way ever since. I certainly would not have kept doing it just for him.

Anyway, the argument that it looks like a child's vagina is ridiculous in my opinion. A grown woman's vagina doesn't look anything like a child's, whether there's hair on it or not.

Obviously it's a personal preference but frankly I get a little offended at all the references to children's bodies.

Leslee Horner's picture

this has me wondering...

If besides the pubic hair and maybe stretching from use, does anything else about our vaginas and surrounding area change as we become adults? I have two young daughters and after years of changing their diapers and bathing them, I always assumed their anatomy looks just like mine, except for the obvious things.

I have to say that the child thing comes up for me because, though I have no knowledge of being abused myself, there was a pedophile who played a major role in my life as a child. I heard stories of the way he abused other little girls. For me, it hits a personal nerve. I don't know if this is the reason other people feel that way or not, but when I see the bald look he immediately pops into my head.

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

kalisah's picture

Personal vs. General

People have a right to feel however they choose about their own body. What bothers me are the generalizations. Posts like this always seem to bring out two types of commenters: Those who write about how much they love their own body hairless, and those that make the leap to equating bald with prepubescent. "Why would men want me bald? Are they secretly wanting sex with a child?" I would never presume to tell you that *your* body is offense to me, or to insinuate that *your* husband is a secret pedophile. If YOUR body bald reminds you of when YOU were young, then talk about that. It's that general leap lumping everyone together that offends me.

Leslee Horner's picture

you're right about the generalization

I'm really glad I wrote this post. It was good for me to see that just because my mind goes to that dark place (because of past experiences), that is not the case for everyone else. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Anonymous's picture

yes, reminds me of the schick

yes, reminds me of the schick video LOL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAk77Kr_OwQ
thank you for being candid and open

Leslee Horner's picture

Great commercial!

That is so funny! Thanks for sharing it!

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Lissa Rankin's picture

I second the trimming

Leslie, I trim too. It doesn't itch or cause red bumps or take much time or money or leave me feeling like I have the va jay jay of an eight year old. But it does leave hubby with slightly less of a mouthful and just feels better to me.

So I second the trimming thing...

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Fiezan's picture

Bring back the Bush

I trim too- but terim round my Fanny so to make it easier for any Oral pleasure

Leslie's picture

Just a trim please...

I don't care for the no-hair option - I've waxed and shaved before, but 1) it reminds me too much of being a child, which I don't find sexy at all (creeps me out a little, actually), and 2) I fully believe the hair is an important pheromone source, and I like to keep it for that very reason. However, I do keep the bush trimmed a bit, but only because I find it more comfortable when I'm wearing clothes.

I'm happy, tho, to see all the different options and opinions on the subject - great post! More power to CHOICE!

Leslee Horner's picture

Good compromise on the trend...

Definitely trimming is a good way to go. And I never did the bald thing for the reasons you mentioned. At least a small billboard is a must. And now that I have two c-sections scars, I think it might look even more like a freak-show if I went bald. (I should add I had complications with both of my c-section incisions so neither of the scars really healed "nicely".)

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Leslee Horner's picture

Looks like 50/50

Glad to see some pro-bushers here. It looks like we are about even on this one! Thank you guys for sharing your experiences.

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Heather M.'s picture

Yes! Please let's bring it back!

I'm 100% in favor of the bush. An ex once asked me to shave, and I tried it a few times, but I never understood what he liked about it. It actually made me feel less sexy, not more. Now, I keep my bush the way I want it to look and don't ask for (or listen to) outside opinions.

The whole 'bare' trend is just that, a trend. If you like it, more power to you! If not, no one should feel pressure to comply. After all, as my sister likes to say, "If all your friends were named Cliff, would you jump off them?"

Jennifer Shelton's picture

pro bush!

Leslee, I saw this around 6:30am and tweeted it then. I think it was too early for some people. LOL. I'm personally pro-bush; I've tried shaving and waxing, and the landing strip and completely bald. Not for me. No thank you. Trimming is about all I'll do, if I'm going to be wearing a bathing suit. I do have a lovely tea tree oil shampoo that I use on the foliage, though!

I agree this is all about personal preference. It just bothers me when people try to sway/pressure others to go bald because it's supposedly "socially accepted" or tease people for the full bush.

Blessings,

Jennifer
Astrologer, Educator &
Founder of FemCentral, the Virtual Institute for Women 


Lissa Rankin's picture

Bushy indeed

Funny, when left to my own ordinary life, I'm very bushy. I mean, I have a unibrow, hairs around my nipples, and a few chin sprouts, so you can imagine what goes on down there.

But when I'm gonna be undressed around other women (yes, it happens), I feel very self conscious about this. Why is everyone else bald? The few times I've tried waxing or shaving it all off, it's been pretty disastrous. And my hubby is happy to eat me, hair and all. So why go through the expense, breakouts, humiliation, and pain?

I do shave my armpits, and begrudgingly shave the parts of my bush you would see in a bikini (usually with little red bumps to showcase what I've just done). Why? Because I just don't want to be advertising exactly how bushy I really am! I'm tempted to buy boy shorts for the beach, I must admit!

Don't get me wrong, if it floats your boat and makes you feel sexy, more power to ya. I have nothing against it. But I'm with you, Leslee. Bring back the bush!
xoxo
Lissa

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Mimilicious's picture

the bush

OMG I can't believe I am posting this. I am 60 years old and I have a brazillian wax every 6 weeks. Why? I like it. I love being smooth and have determined that "neater for the eater" is the way for me!

My sex life is beyond wonderful with a boyfriend who is just 6 months shy of my age. It just makes sense to me, and I receive plenty of oral satisfaction. I think this is a matter only of personal preference. I am on board with Athena....it works much better for me.

I did shave briefly, but that just makes you prickly after 2 days.

Sincerely,
Joy

Leslee Horner's picture

I love your response Joy!

Thanks so much for being so candid!!! I love it! So, do you leave a landing strip or get rid of all of it?

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Joy's picture

the bush

Leslee.....I like it bare, no landing strip for me....I understand why fear of pain may keep some from going bare, and to be perfectly honest the first time I waxed myself there was an email joke going around that pretty well described the calamity that followed. There never was a second time for self waxing. I do have a secret ingredient for pain free waxing. I get my doc to prescribe a lidocaine/prilocaine creme. A tube lasts for about 6 waxings.

I don't think my coochie looks like a little girls at all....and when you travel north from it about 14 inches, there is proof that I am a mature woman with large natural breasts. Now on a stick woman (bmi 21 or so) ....it might be different.

I love how it feels except for 2 days about 2 and 1/2 weeks in when the hair is growing back in...its prickly. If there were enough hair there to wax more often I would.

Leslee Horner's picture

Athena and Sheena

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Even though I wrote this, I go through phases with my grooming and am not always "hairy". I am also pretty lucky that as I get older (I'm 35 now), I seem to have less hair (though unfortunately this means less on my head too). I don't even really have to worry about the bikini line due to that. From time to time I shave below and trim the front, but I've never been inclined to get rid of the "billboard." The shaving has it's on share of annoyances though and the thought of waxing the most sensitive areas terrifies me (it doesn't help that the last time I talked to a waxer about it she shared a "nightmare" story). I appreciate that it is an option and understand that it can make you feel very sexy (I've experienced that too) but it bothers me that it was mentioned on a network television show as if that is how everyone is supposed to look now, you know?

Thanks again for joining the conversation!

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Sheena LaShay's picture

I agree on that point Leslee

In regards to making someone feel that that is the acceptable way to be and that "everyone does it" <--- That I don't agree with. But it takes a malleable person to believe that "everyone does it." Unfortunately malleable people exist and do things without considering whether that choice is right for them. Everyone shouldn't have to look the same. I would hope people would be raised in environments and communities where they are taught that. I personally don't like the act of shaving and waxing can be painful but the results make it worth it. Similar to how I don't like to go to the gym but the results are worth it.

Sheena LaShay's picture

Why Shave Your Legs and Underarms then?...I wonder

I have friends who frown upon waxing saying its a man's issue with wanting to have sex with a little girl. Perhaps that's the case for some men. I also don't believe waxing makes me feel cleaner. I'm cleaner if I keep myself clean...hair or no hair. Why do I wax/shave and such? Because I like how it looks and feels. Same reason I cut the hair on my head every now and them. Same reason I shave my legs and under my arms. I mean, it just seems with this same argument...women shouldn't shave anything on their body. But I shave it all, because I like how it looks and how it feels and hair is itchy. If I could get a surgery that would take away all my unwanted hair without pain, I'd do that too. But right now that's a bit extreme for me.

Athena's picture

the bush

Hi Leslee,
I just read your article on "TheBush" I have also recently attended an event for Lisa and WUDT in Portland.
I am a 35 year old mother of two and have been married for 17 years. I have been hair free for at least ten years now. I have let things grow back at the request of my hubby and absalutly hated it. I prefer to be clean shaven, I feel cleaner, hair makes things itchy, and for me, sex is better minus the hair. I don't think not having hair makes you less feminine, I think attitude and how you feel about yourself does a good job telling others about you. Don't get me wrong, if you like hair down there, good for you. But, I don’t and it's not because that's what is the "in thing", I really don't like it.

Sincerely,
Athena

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