The Taboo on Pubes

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While pubes still remain a racy subject, students anonymously share their preferences.

 

By Jaden Urbi

What do you expect to see when you unzip your partner’s pants and dive in? From a sleek, manicured design to a ‘70s bush, everyone has a preference. We set out to see just what ISU  students are hiding down there and why there’s such a taboo on talking about it.

Whether it be with hot wax removal, laser hair treatments or just the good ol’ razor and shaving cream, people are constantly altering the pubes that Mother Nature gave them. Professor Diana Baltimore, a human development and family science lecturer, weighed in on why she thinks people might be grooming and why it’s such a taboo to talk about it.

“I think a big reason not very many people are talking about their pubic hair is because in our culture, families do not generally discuss sexuality very openly. The FCC creates many rules and regulations that help shape what is viewed as appropriate and not,” Baltimore says.

She goes on to explain that European culture is much more open about sexuality while a lot of Asian cultures never even discuss the topic.

“We as a culture overall in the U.S. are becoming much less restrictive in terms of what we share about sex in the media, but not necessarily within our families and not necessarily all aspects of sexuality,” says Baltimore.

After all, if we aren’t talking about pubes, how is an awkward little puberty-stricken tween supposed to know what to do with their pubic hair once it starts growing?

“I think it was just that girl talk you had when you’re younger, and my friend was like get rid of it,’” says one junior.So to get rid of it, I decided to use Nair. That’s when I found out that you don’t put Nair on your vagina.”

Luckily, not everyone’s first experience was as traumatic as the burn of Nair.

“I learned about pubic grooming through talking to my friends,” says a female sophomore. “When I groomed for the first time, I shaved it all off, and then stuff I saw on TV just affirmed that it should all be gone.”

So, when you’re running to the shower for a quick pube-shave before you go out on a Friday night, hoping to get lucky—do you shave? We conducted an anonymous online survey asking 150 people, 18 to 23 years old about their pubic preferences. The two main focuses of the survey are on personal upkeep and partner preferences. Take a look at the results and see how your grooming habits shape up.

Personal Upkeep

When asked about personal upkeep, an overwhelming majority of both males and females described their personal upkeep as either ‘bare’ or ‘trimmed’. Females most commonly described their upkeep as ‘bare’ while males most commonly describes theirs as ‘trimmed’. Only six percent of females and 15 percent of males described their upkeep as ‘shaped’ or ‘wild and free’.

So, why the trend in lack of hair? Next, respondents were asked why they chose to groom the way they do. Again, males and females shared the same top two responses. 33 percent of females and 46 percent of males said ‘I prefer a neat and clean look’ and 29 percent of females and 25 percent of males said ‘because pubes are unattractive and gross’. The remaining respondents answered ‘to visually please my sexual partner’ or ‘to avoid discomfort during intercourse’.

There was a small percentage of people who chose to enter other responses to the question. These responses explained that they groom because of hygienic reasons, for a change of pace, to appear larger, it’s itchy if they don’t, or “because nobody’s trying to get a mouthful of pubes.” Well said.

Partner Preferences

How you take care of your pubes is your own choice, but how do you want to see your sexual partner’s pubes? When asked in the survey, the majority of females prefer their pubes to be kept bare, but when it comes to their sexual partners, they prefer a trimmed look, followed by bare and lastly wild and free or shaped. While most males choose to trim their pubic hair, they prefer their partners to be bare, followed by trimmed, shaped and lastly, wild and free.

“I think relationship status makes a difference in how I groom myself. If I’m in a long-distance relationship I’m not going to shave as often as I would if I were frequently seeing someone,” says a male sophomore.

Of the people who answered that they were in a relationship, the majority said they kept their pubes bare and preferred their partner’s pubes to be the same. Most people that are ‘just hooking up’ keep their pubes bare but prefer their partner to be trimmed. Single people said that they keep their pubes trimmed and prefer their partner to be trimmed as well.

There you have it, folks—the more single you are, the less you care about getting rid of your pubes. So next time you look down, realizing you haven’t shaved in two months and sex has been eluding you, just remember—it’s okay to be a little bushy, but it’s their choice to grab the tushie.

Shave wisely, my friends.