“Bush, bare or landing strip?”
It seems like the most appropriate introductory question to ask a patio of a dozen men and women in their late 30s and 40s, most of whom I’ve just met.
I’m at a friend of a friend’s house gathering and am preparing to go to an outdoor music event. They seem like open-minded (read: alcohol-consuming) folk, plus they’re friends of my friend, who is most certainly open-minded so that must say something.
“Bush, bare or landing strip? I just Mach 3 razored my entire bush off, and I’m worried I’ll be walking funny later. Tips and reducing itch?”
We go around the patio sharing our salon styling secrets and overall preferences.
I go first, “Well, I’ve been single for a while—okay, fine, I’ve been lazy—but now I’m thinking of dating? What’s dating? Anyway, I’ve heard guys like it bald as a baby’s. That sounds pervy, let’s say, eagle bald. Anyway, probably would have preferred to wax it away despite the ‘ouch’ factor but its been awhile and, well, ouch.”
Everyone laughs. (Or maybe that’s just in my imagination. Either way…)
I take that as a sign of conversation acceptance and look at the host to my left, “Circle chat! Your turn: preference?”
He manages to evade the question as a few of the others chirp in with quips on how “baby bald” is too pedophile in persuasion. (Note: All but me have children.) I agree even though I’m sporting the style.
Next to him one of the ladies says: “Mach3 is the best! Landing strip, tidy. But I do it for me; have since I was fourteen. Tried growing it out once, lasted 3 days.” She takes an orange Jell-O shot, lapping her tongue around the clear, plastic container.
After a moment of this tongue-lapping distraction, another guy offers, “Wait, are we talking about what guys like on the ladies or what we’re sporting?”
A couple gals answer, “Both!”
“Okay, in that case, trim the bush and the tree looks bigger.” He laughs, looks across at his wife, “And on her, as long as it’s not out of control, I’m cool.”
One of the three single women, a Jessica Biel look-alike, pipes up: “No hair.”
I ask, “On you or on him?”
‘Jessica’: “Both! I hate hair. Take it all off.”
I say, “Really?? On a guy? Not me, I like hair—on a guy, for sure—the hairier the merrier. Guys who primp and shave their bodies are such dealbreakers.”
One of the guys stands up, lifts his shirt and proudly shows us his hairy chest—and back, “Oh, yeah!”
Another guy, “Me, too!”
High fives and belly bumping and “Love what you was born with” ensues.
I go for a red Vodka Jell-O shot.
Another gal, “Yes! Grooming is good but do it in such a way that I can’t tell. If I see a guy using hairspray, it’s such a turn-off—don’t do it in front of me.”
Sucking the last of the Jell-O off my finger, “God, any hairspray on a guy is a turn off! But yeah, if you’re super overgrown, then minimal trimming is a good thing—but it has to be uber super duper subtle. Be a man. Okay, next.”
We go around the rest of the room. There’s a veritable smorgasbord of grooming habits. A few of the girls have landing strips, one or two have a bit more bush (tidy, of course), and a few manage to evade the question.
One of the wives leans in and whispers to me, “I was thinking of taking it all off. For my birthday.”
Her birthday is 8 months away.
I muse, “Or you could do it sooner. Just to switch it up. Keep it interesting.”
I nod toward her spouse. For My Birthday contemplates.
I close with a whisper, “Or do it for you. It’s so damn arousing. Shh.”
I squeeze her arm; her eyes twinkle.
Cut to three days later …
I text my fellow Jell-O shucking friend: “My cookie is SO spotty and itchy. I’m SO pissed off. Fuck this shit. My hair pie needs a little hair halo. No more grooming for guys—they like it the way I like it, or they can leave it. I’m mad at myself! (Ok rant done.)”
She replies: “You are so right! Do what you want and men can deal!”
The consensus of men on women’s pubic styling preferences: clean and tidy and however you like it, since (most) guys are just grateful to get some.
The consensus of women on men’s pubic styling preferences: clean and tidy and however you like it, since you should be grateful you’re getting some.
What have I (re)learned?
Hi Jean! is more important than specific style, but if you’ve been with a guy for awhile, it’s a good idea to surprise your mate with some unpredictability like back in the beginning when you didn’t always know what to expect and the surprises were enticing—But! Don’t compromise so much that you feel shitty about yourself. Ranting causes cortisol … and cortisol causes belly fat … and belly fat is too close to the cookie to make that okay!
Get Urea cream for itch and ingrowns. If that doesn’t work, it’s back to George Bush, baby! Groomed, of course.
(Side note: I’m not a George Bush fan regardless of his grooming habits. Ewww.)