Sex talk
Speaking of Pubic Hair

Simon Sheppard,

To shave or not to shave? Well, many a man likes the cock in his hand to be one in a bush. Pubic hair isn't merely the furry ribbon on the genital gift; it can be a major turn-on.

"I guess it goes back to my being a kid in the locker room at the public swimming pool," recalls one gay guy. "I was fascinated by the pubic hair on adult men. Then, when I approached puberty myself, changing for gym class was fraught with the fascination of some boys' groins getting fuzzy."

Aficionados know there's as much variation in hair as in the cocks it crowns. From the silky, dark patch of many Asians to the golden storm of Scandinavians, from fiery red to nappy and dark, there's a world of aesthetic delight to be had down there. Our pubic-fur fan, for instance, enthuses, "My favorite is seeing a pale-skinned man with abundant pitch-black hair. It's just so damn sexy."

More than a visual delight, genital hair can be a pleasure to nuzzle and lick, too. On the other hand, it can be a thorn on the fellatio rose – stray strands can find their way between a cocksucker's teeth at the most inopportune moments. That's certainly one reason to trim or shave down there, and many men are doing just that – or pulling hairs, using chemical removers, or even undergoing electrolysis or laser removal.

Another pubic hair enthusiast laments the trend to go hairless. "I don't get it," he says. "Sure, it can make a dick look larger. But apparent size isn't everything. Animal sexiness counts too, and a shaved crotch just looks antiseptic to me."

A hairless package also looks immature, echoing the obsession with youth in some parts of queer culture. And in a kink scene, shaving another man's crotch hair can carry overtones of infantilizing degradation.

But many shaving fans have simpler reasons to go bare. "I feel softer, more sensitive, and more vulnerable when my crotch is smooth. Sexier," says one.

An altered crotch-patch need not be totally denuded, of course. Unlike heavy-duty body modifications such as tattoos and piercings, pubic hair alteration is easily done and – with the passage of time – easily undone. Some men just trim back what would otherwise be an overgrown groin garden. Artistically inclined souls reshape their bushes in patterns like a well-pruned "v" shape, or a little rectangle like Charlie Chaplin's moustache. Partners of puckish fellows have even uncovered pubes in rainbow colors. "This dude I've been seeing," smiles one alternative type, "dyed his pubic hair blue to match his Mohawk." (Dyeing may not work very well, though, and hair-coloring chemicals can be a bit brutal, so beware.)

Hair – be it on the head, the chest, or elsewhere – often carries a heavy erotic charge. The pubic bush, with its proximity to the prick and its signification of sexual maturity, is particularly sexy – as is, paradoxically, its alteration or removal. Though the evolutionary utility of the bush may remain unclear – a cozy place for lice to live, perhaps? – its sexual power can be strong. (Perhaps that's related to pubic hair's possible role in broadcasting the odors of sex-stimulating chemical pheromones.)

Sure, some men may trim or shave off their groin's crowning glory. But for many queer guys, a dick-decorating flurry of fur still holds carnal charm. Three cheers for the short-and-curlies!

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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