Pubic hair is like wrapping paper. Originally, it was designed to keep you warm, prevent dirt from falling into your sensitive bits, and trap and share mate-attracting pheromone scents. Most important, it served as an organic neon sign, letting potential mates know that, hey! there’s something tempting hidden under all this. Like a big, shiny bow on our reproductive packages, our little curlies seduced others to unwrap and enjoy.
Now that Pebbles and Bam Bam are all grown up, we’d like to think that we’ve evolved into more sophisticated sexual beings. But the old genital Yankee Swap hasn’t changed much—just the wrapping paper has. Hearts, stars and horseshoes, clovers and blue moons—a pile of naked women is starting to look like a bowl of Lucky Charms. My hippie-esque upbringing sways me to say, Let the bush grow freely, but my modern side agrees that shapely sugar cereal sounds tastier than a mouthful of organic vegetation.
There’s a balanced meal to be had. Our society’s hairless double standard is damaging, making pubic hair decisions seem less like a personal choice than a corporate advertising strategy to produce the most appealing sexual commercial based on assumptions about your target audience. Women’s magazines waste a lot of ink telling us “what men want” us to look like down there. In reality, self-confidence is your strongest advertisement. It’s yours. Prune it the way you want it and the rose-sniffers will follow.
First, choose your shape. Creatively freehand or get traditional with pre-named pube ‘dos. The Natural follows the organic line of your public hair but trims back the outer bikini line to prevent renegade hairs from peeking out of a bathing suit. The Triangle whacks everything but a small, upside-down triangle at the top which conveniently points to the clit. The Brazilian accommodates a skimpier bikini, leaving a tiny rectangle on a bald backdrop, while The Landing Strip is an identical but wider design. And then there’s The Hollywood. Perfect for those undie-less, mini-skirt-wearing starlets who can’t gracefully exit a limo, this style removes every hair in sight. To those who see pubic hair as a natural sign of post-pubescent sexual maturity, this style might be renamed The Hollyweird.
Choose your weapon. Any place offering “body work” or “personal grooming” will professionally alter your bush. If you’ve chosen the scalding wax, pube-ripping direction, leave it to the pros. Though the advertising always sounds easy, applying anything that smells like chemical death (ahem, Nair) to your sexy parts never ends well.
If you’d rather not have a stranger gluing your labia together in the name of pubescaping, there are many ways to tend to your secret garden at home. A combination of a small pair of scissors, shaving cream and your regular razor during a shower works just fine. Use the scissors (or an electric trimmer) to (carefully!) cut down longer excess into an even length. Then, after lathering well in a warm, skin-softening shower, shave into your desired shape. The Schick Quattro Trim Style, according to the company’s cutesy commercial, easily dissolves a diverse array of bushes into all kinds of shapes with a dual trimmer and razor pubetensil.
If you like to ride the thin line between tacky and brilliant, you may want to invest in Jenna’s Hot Trimmer. This porn star-endorsed boxed set includes a compact razor with two attachments for long or short length, and a variety of pubic hair design cutouts for you to trace around. The questionably useful shapes include a spicy chilli pepper strangely suited for a particular chain restaurant waitress, a Harry Potter premier-worthy lightning bolt and a check mark for the folks who love nothing more than to cross off another task on the to-do list.
Of course, the ladies aren’t the only ones doing a little bush control. Though the above also applies to the fellas, it’s important to note that a little pubescaping has been known to make a certain tree look taller. Talk about great advertising—that’s just magically delicious!