For some people, high school health class was a very long time ago. Over time, the fine details about human sexuality fade in memory, and what’s left is a general memory of how pregnancy happens and how sexually transmitted infections are prevented. For other people, the lessons learned in that hushed and embarrassed environment weren’t all that comprehensive to begin with. And even if a person receives a good base education in human sexuality, the world is always changing.
For instance, there are several “new” sexual orientations since I graduated from high school in 1990. Fifty Shades Of Grey brought the language of kink into our common vernacular, delighting some folks and shocking others. HIV, while still not curable, is no longer a short term death sentence. On the flip side, there is only one antibiotic left that is effective in treating gonorrhea. See what I mean? There’s a whole lot happening in the world of sexuality education that many people aren’t aware of.
That’s why we’re here now. Milwaukee Record has decided to devote a little space every couple of weeks to the topic. I’m working with a team of educators to answer reader questions about all things sex: pleasure, health, safety, orientation, identity, and almost anything else that gets tossed in our direction.
So, what do you want to know? Are you curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you with an answer.
To kick this column off in style, here’s a question that is frequently asked at live sex ed events.
Q: To shave my junk or not to shave my junk? I always think it looks nice on other people, but it seems like so much work!
A: The awesome thing about having pubic hair is that it’s yours, and you get to do whatever you want with it. Some people love their body by keeping it in its natural state, while other people express that same affection by making modifications to their look. Both choices are completely valid!
Culturally, there has been a huge move toward removing some of or all of a person’s short-and-curlies, and lots of people definitely feel that less is more. In addition to finding a smooth profile visually appealing, enthusiasts claim that bare genitals are even more sensitive than their fuzzy counterparts.
But your concern about it being “so much work” may be warranted. Shaving your package does require a fair amount of both agility and dexterity, not to mention a decent dose of diligence. It’s pretty affordable, though. The biggest investment is your time. You want to go slowly and use a clean sharp razor, warm water, and a skin conditioner. Even still, shaving bumps (aggravated follicles and ingrown hairs) are pretty common. And the completely smooth, velvety feeling only lasts 24 to 36 hours for many people, as pubic hair tends to regrow fairly quickly. It can be pretty itchy while it grows back in, too, and you need to wait a few days before shaving again.
If shaving sounds like a pain, but you’re dedicated to going hairless, you can always try waxing. It is more expensive, and the sensation is, um, surprising, to say the least. But the process goes quickly and the results last much longer. Many people say there’s no discernible regrowth for a couple of weeks and there’s no need to re-wax for four to six weeks. It also seems to be less aggravating for people with sensitive skin. Plus, the “stubble” is much softer and less prickly.
Of course, just because high and tight is all the rage doesn’t mean you should feel pressure to jump on that wagon. Pubic hair actually serves some biological functions. One of those is to act as the first line of defense against minor bacterial assaults, the kind that can cause urinary tract infections and BV as a result of sex. If you’re prone to those things, or you love your natural hair, or you just have no interest in setting aside the time, then continue on with your lovely, low-maintenance self.