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Smooth Groove

The bare facts about shaving down south.


Q: I've been trying to persuade my girlfriend to shave her pubic hair, but she's fighting it all the way. I think it will add spice to our sex life, but she says, 'God put hair down there for a reason. It keeps germs out!' Is there any truth to that? Can you give me a leg to stand on so I can make one of my fantasies finally come true? Am I wrong to even ask her to do this for me?

A: Number one: Don't ever try to 'persuade' a woman of anything. The process will leave you and her extremely frustrated. The more you try to prove your stance, the harder she will buck at your idea'and probably be quite vehement about it. You weren't wrong to ask for the particular favor, but beating the idea to death is a definite no-no if you want your relationship to grow and flourish. So what's a hot and horny red-blooded guy to do? Glad you asked. Just promise me you will present this information in the most loving, patient and compassionate manner'and only once!

I see you've been hit with the ole 'If God wanted me to have smooth labia majora, He wouldn't have allowed pubic hair to grow there' excuse. Well, does she shave her underarms and legs? Does she give you a hard time when you have stubble on your face? For some reason we haven't quite evolved to be less than hairy in those areas, yet we deem it perfectly okay, moral and even sanitary to exfoliate them. Why not shave our genitals too? And have a little fun while we're at it?

Now about the myth that pubic hair keeps germs from entering the vagina. That was very true when we didn't wear clothes (particularly panties) and all we had was our body hair for warmth and protection. But now that most women keep their genitalia completely covered'unfortunately practically 24/seven'there's more risk of pubic hair causing vaginal/bladder infections than preventing them. You see, those coarse, kinky little pubes trap all types of matter in their erotic web, including debris that can harbor nasty microorganisms. Also, the area between most females' legs is moist and warm, which makes a luxurious breeding ground for bacteria. Hair down there can be likened to miniature condos for microscopic organisms.

Considering the fact that most women wear underwear, which keeps the pubic hair (if any) pressed against the vulva practically all the time, bacteria trapped in the hair have easy access into the vagina. Less than a hop, skip and a jump. When you throw sex in the mix, it can really cause a bacteria stampede of sorts. As the penis pumps in and out of the vagina, it pulls the pubic hair in and out as well. This can cause unwanted microorganisms to enter the vagina and/or the urethra, possibly causing uncomfortable vaginitis and/or painful bladder infections.

Personally, I've been 'bare down there' for more than 15 years, and I wouldn't ever consider going back to my bushier days. Most women I speak with who are shaven feel exactly the same way. Being clean shaven makes a woman feel very fresh and very sensual'sometimes a little naughty too. The best aspect about being shaven for me, however, is that I don't get bladder infections anymore.

I remember the first time my husband asked me to do that for him. I honestly thought he had lost his mind, but now I'm very grateful that I made the decision to do it'for me. And that's how it's going to have to be for your girlfriend, too, probably. There can be many psychological issues to overcome when some women decide to shave. Some women may feel that you're trying to change them, that they aren't desirable exactly the way they are, that you want a younger (much younger!) lover. Of course, those ideas are usually ludicrous, but they could still be part of their thinking patterns and something that you may have to deal with.

You're trying to overcome years of stereotypical thinking about how people are supposed to appear as sexual beings. What we all need to understand is that there's not one perfect example of how we should express our sexuality. The decision of how one sexually expresses himself/herself (why does that Madonna song keep playing in my head?) is an extremely personal one. And that decision should be respected by one and all.

Bottom line: If your girlfriend feels more comfortable being 'just as God made her,' then you should accept that and move forward. Some women actually get off on having their pubic hair lightly tugged during sex. You might like it too! Good luck in presenting the above information. Personally, I think all women should give shaving their genitals a fair shot. If you're not shaved, how about doing it first? She would probably feel much more comfortable about the idea, and I can almost guarantee she would enjoy pleasing you orally more. IM

Editor's note: Laura Moore is IRONMAN's resident sexpert, a science writer for Penthouse, the host of the radio talk show 'The Health Nuts' and the author of Sex Heals. Send your questions and comments to her at www.thefitdiva.com.

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