In Defense of Pubic Hair (And The Freedom Of Choice)


I had a number of other essays I wanted to write tonight. There were other topics that deserved attention, essays I humbly felt might shed light on the human condition, on the difficulties and odd experiences we all deal with on a daily basis. But here I am, writing a defense of pubic hair.

Why? Because of this article.

Also I sat down and pressed fingers to keys at the behest of certain Thought Catalog readers who asked that someone respond. As a person who loves a woman’s natural look, I felt I was a perfect candidate to throw myself on this particular hairy grenade. I don’t intend to bash the writer, or his style, only his rather blunt and ill-minded argument. But most importantly, I want to defend something that matters to me… a woman’s right to be whomever the fuck she wants to be. And not just a woman’s right… but any human being’s inalienable right to be whomever they wish to be. This is my burning motivation; it’s what forced my fingers to tap out this humble rebuttal.

First, let’s get the pubic hair issue out of the way; and without the use of a razor or Nair or any other depilatory. And also, I must defend Henry Miller since he’s one of my favorite authors, and it irked me to have his name bandied about like he was some old kook with antiquated ideas about sex. I’ve previously written an essay about the sexual education I received from him and how he introduced me to adult sexuality. Henry Miller was a lover of all the strange beauty of existence and doesn’t deserve to be an example of some old-fashioned view of sex. He was a lover of life… and women’s cunts. Sorry, if that language is difficult for you, it’s his, not mine. But I agree with him that pubic hair is part of what gives a vagina some of its mystery. Not all of its earthly delight, but some of it.

Pubic hair may not be as popular as it once was, and sure it may stick to your tongue when you’re munching on a woman’s muff, but that’s just part of the messy delight of sex. Much like the salty sweat that pushes out of your skin and the moist and savory air of sex that sometimes stings the nostrils with its pungency and fills a room whenever two (or more) people are fucking; and just like all those funny sounds that accompany sex- these are products of our bodies and thus they are part of the inescapable human quality of sex. We aren’t airbrushed, plucked and tweezed creatures, ready for the camera like the ones you find in porn. We’re pimpled and dimpled, lumpy and bumpy, we fart and we queef, we laugh and we burp. And that’s irrefutably awesome because that’s what makes us and our sexual lives real.

In many ways I feel bad for the writer who apparently had an unfortunate introduction to sex through pornography. It sounds like it gave the poor boy false hopes and expectations of what sex is and should be. I can only hope with time he learns to appreciate women and pubic hair and all of the other messiness of actual sexual intercourse.

Personally, I love a good bush in my mouth. I love pulling a pubic hair off my tongue because it means I’m fucking a real live woman not some fantasy that exists only in my head. I appreciate all the aspects of women. I like the sound of a woman’s laughter, I like the aroma of her hair, the tanginess of her specific taste, and I enjoy the rough stubble of her leg hair, half-grown back because she didn’t have time to shave her legs before we got naked. I even like to have sex when a woman is on her period. Why? Because I like real live women- not porno fictions.

If a woman wants to shave because she likes how it looks, or how it seems more inviting, or just because it makes her feel sexy, good for her. And I firmly support her in that choice. If she doesn’t like to shave, that’s equally awesome. And truth be told, better for me because it’s what I prefer. However, the key is it’s her choice. Not mine. Anything a woman decides she wants to do- I’m all for it. Why? Because I like women. And I want a woman to feel comfortable with her body, her mind and her self. Just like with so many other choices a woman makes. Again, let’s be clear- it’s her choice, not mine. If she asked my opinion, I’d say go au natural, but I certainly wouldn’t object if she said she much prefers to go bare.

Which brings us to the essential component of the fallacious argument of insisting a woman do anything just to please a man. Some commenters on the original essay compared the writer’s argument to racism and bigotry. And they’re not wrong. Anytime one person mandates how another adult behaves the person issuing the mandate is dead wrong. The only time one adult gets to tell another adult what to do is when the adult in question is hurting someone else by doing whatever it is they’re doing, This is the foundation on which all of our laws are based. Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.

Now, that said, I wouldn’t go so far as to say- Fuck You!- as many commenters did. But I eagerly defend their right to say such things. Personally, I would just say- Fuck Off! And then I’d refer back to the inarguable point no one has the right to tell another person what to do- other than to tell them to sod off, as the British like to say. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about pubic hair, S&M or skydiving.

As long as a person isn’t hurting anyone else- they have every right to do whatever they want with whomever they want however they want. And they certainly have the freedom to do whatever the hell they want to themselves.

I will defend your right to do what you want, and I will do so with my words, with my body and in extreme cases with my life. In my opinion, any demands placed on others are intolerable. It’s atavistic and simple-minded. It’s counter to everything that human progress has been struggling for millennia to attain- the right to self-determination.

And to the women, reading this, I know and you know that you don’t need me to defend you. I’m not doing this for you. I wrote this because I can’t sit idly by and let someone propose such a ludicrous demand as to tell you that you need to shave your pubic hair just because he’s too immature to appreciate it and because it makes him feel uncomfortable or ill at ease or because it doesn’t turn him on. His limp dick is his problem, not yours. If he wants the sort of sexual encounter he gets to control… he should stick to pornography.

And to all you readers, male and female, yes, I may be arguing for pubic hair, but I would never expect you to agree with me. In fact, I love that you have your own opinion. I want you to have your own opinion. I defend your right to have your own opinion, because this is what makes life so absolutely fucking amazing- the variety of ways people choose to enjoy it.

I’ve learned more from other people’s contrary viewpoints than I ever would from folks agreeing with me. So don’t consider this a mere defense of pubic hair, but rather a defense of diversity. And certainly not the empty sort of “diversity” people talk about in boardrooms and on campaign trails and in student union faculty meetings, but the real diversity of life- the grand diversity of humanity- the 31 flavors of ice cream sort of diversity. Because you may like Rocky Road and I may like boring-ass French Vanilla ice cream- but that’s what makes freedom and choice such a powerful and important thing. Our individual choices enlarge our world, they enrich our experiences, and they’re why we head off for new vistas, because we each like so many different things. You find things I would’ve never looked for, but what you find makes our whole world better.

So shave a cross in your pubic hair… dye your pubic hair hot pink or rainbow-striped… Or don’t shave and let your pubes look like you’re sporting a bush like a werewolf’s vagina… it doesn’t matter what you choose. But choose for yourself.

And to the writer who made such stringent demands of other people, I highly recommend, you, and anyone else who agrees with you, consider what it means when you insist others do things to please your criteria, or to satisfy you. Who are you to make demands of folks whose vaginas you will never see? And it doesn’t matter if you veil it in the language of a request. Please take some time and really contemplate what it is you’re proposing.

I don’t want to bring up the dreaded F-word… and no, not Feminism, which could be cited as just cause alone for you to reconsider your stance, but in this instance, I’m referring to Fascism… because not to be too high-minded about this, but honestly, that’s just a little further down the road you’re traveling. When you’re certain you know what’s best for other people… you will find yourself goose-stepping along, marching to the tune of the ugly side of the human condition- the desire to control others.

Pubic hair is a wonderful thing. …For me. Maybe not for you. But the truly most wonderful thing is a person’s freedom of choice. So… everyone please choose for yourself. And be glad others are choosing for themselves. The inalienable freedom to choose is what makes our lives so fucking amazing!

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image – Nicki Varkevisser