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Trim, Shave, or Natural: The Real Score on the Bush

Things getting a little hairy down south? Curious if you should trim, bare it all, or sport a natural bush? Here are the pros and cons of all sides!


Have you been letting your pubic hairs grow out, and now you’ve come to a fork in the road? The choice is simple: either you’ll go completely bare, do a little trimming and shaping, or continue to let that baby grow! It’s estimated that 82% of US women and 49% of men remove at least some *or all!* of their downstairs hairs, so which is best? We’re looking at the pros and cons of all your options.

Au naturel – letting it grow out

The 70s bush is coming back with a vengeance. Admit it, male or female, there’s something totally fun and exciting about keeping an au naturel, giant bush. It’s like your own, dirty little secret! Here’s the good and the bad of keeping it real.

Pros of keeping your bush natural

#1 Protecting yourself against rug burn! While the thought of two partners’ pubic hairs inter-mingling might guarantee a frown from certain people, this is actually a great argument for keeping the hairs around.

Sex should be fun and comfortable, and two soft bushes make sure this happens! PRO TIP: Cowgirl position while a man’s prickles are growing in is a surefire way to scratch up your clit. Ouch! Nothing’s worse than trying to get your freak on while being scraped by your partner’s prickly, non-downy bush. [Read: 19 ways to own the cowgirl position and make it way hotter!]

#2 No hair-care worries. When going all natural, you won’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself with a razor or suffering from razor burn, ingrown hairs, wax burns, or the expenses that go along with these.

#3 Looking like a grownup. Alright, so we’re all adults here, but let’s be real: while being hairless is convenient for oral and might offer some visual appeal, the vast majority of people haven’t been hairless down south since they were 10 years old. While having hairless genitals may have been made mainstream by the porn industry, it’s still a little creepy when you think about it. [Read: 15 things you do while having sex that can completely turn him off]

Cons of the natural bush

#1 Hairs retain scent. It’s true that your body hair is meant to protect your skin from the elements, but it also retains smells. This is no problem for those who regularly wash and keep clean *consider using an all-natural shampoo on your pubes for an even softer bush!*, but may be particularly gross for girls when they’re on their period.

#2 Society is a jerk. People have a funny relationship with body hair. We all have it, and it has a purpose for being on our body, yet if we choose to keep it around, people react with shock and awe! In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter what we do with it – reactions will be aplenty. When a man shaves his chest, we judge. When a woman doesn’t shave her armpits, we judge.

#3 Oral woes. Having a full, hairy bush might be fun for you, but it might not be such a joy for your partner if they are taking their mouth to your nether regions. A mouth full of hair is the last thing you want while trying to perform on your partner. [Read: How to make him go down on you without a push]

Baring it all – the full shave or the Brazilian

Whether you shave or wax, going completely bare doesn’t come without its pros and cons. Here are some things to keep in mind when getting rid of it all.

Pros of going bush-free

#1 Everything feels smooth and sexy. If you’re a first time bikini waxer, you’re probably going to love the smooth and sexy feel of your genital area, especially for women. That is, after the pain subsides.

#2 It’s cleaner. Humans are visual creatures, and when it comes to our partners, we want to see exactly what they’ve got going on downstairs. Having pubic hair doesn’t make you dirty, but going bald looks a lot cleaner and more visually accessible.

Plus, going bald makes oral pleasures much more enjoyable for the giver. I once heard a guy talk about having to “part the hairs” when going down on a girl – gross!

#3 Makes your penis look gigantic. Obviously a pro that applies only to men, but it needs to be said: If you go completely bare, your penis is going to look bigger. Plus, your balls will also be way more fun for your partner to lick if they aren’t draped with hair! [Read: 16 tips to get a girl to give you head and love it]

The cons of baring it all

#1 It’s prickly. One of the annoying parts of keeping yourself bare below the waist is that you have to let your pubes grow out a bit before getting rid of it. When getting a bikini wax, it’s recommended you wait 2-3 weeks before getting another one done, so that your hair can grow at least a 1/2-inch long – long enough for the wax to properly grip it.

Even those who go bare via at-home razor are going to want to wait a few days before shaving again to avoid ingrown hairs and skin irritation. The waiting process can kind of suck, and may scrape your partner in the process. [Read: At home bikini waxing – The complete guide for beginners]

#2 Shaving and its genital dangers. If you go bare by shaving at home, just be prepared for some awkward angles and potentially sensitive nicks. Shaving the scrotum, the lips of a vagina, or the anal area are tricky areas to take a sharp object to! Go slow and steady to avoid unnecessary cuts.

#3 You’ll be caring for it… constantly. Not everyone is lucky enough to have slow-growing hair. In fact, many people have facial or body hair that grows like weeds. This can be annoying when caring for your shaven genitals because you’ll be taking care of your new look in every single shower!

#4 Ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs happen when constantly cut hair will grow back improperly, curling back into the skin, and creating a painful red bump that you will inevitably scrape at and attempt to pop. Avoid these little buggers by shaving with the grain of your pubic hairs, not against them! It won’t offer the closest shave, but it will avoid these unattractive and painful little suckers.

#5 It comes back with 10 of its friends. Some people worry that with shaving, once you shave one hair, 10 of its friends will show up to its funeral! Even if you think this is just an old wives’ tale, it’s definitely something to consider when you bring the razor to your sensitive bits! [Read: 12 awkward questions girls wish they could ask guys]

Trimming – the best of both worlds

Seemingly the absolute best option for those unsure of their preference, trimming involves cleaning up, shortening, and shaping your pubic area without removing all of your hairs.

The pros of trimming

#1 It’s visually appealing. Something about creating crisp, clean lines down south is entirely alluring. You’ve trimmed off enough hair to feel fresh and to let your partner know that you know how to take care of yourself, all while being able to explore sexy styling options.

This option lets you have the most creativity by shaving in shapes like the triangle, landing strip, heart, star, and the ever sexy lightning bolt! [Read: New body trends – Plastic surgery for your genitals]

#2 Just enough hair to be sexy. Even a partner who likes their lover to go completely bald will be fans of the “trim” because here’s just enough shaving done to make it smooth and silky, and just enough hair to remind your partner that you’re not 10 years old!

#3 Absolute control. Trimming gives you not only creative control, but practical control, as well. For example, a woman shaving her vagina may want to keep a big bushy landing strip, but shave the labia majora *outer lips* for easier oral access, or she may choose to keep all of her pubes and just shave her bikini line. See? Total control!

The cons of trimming

Truth be told, aside from the occasional ingrown hair, there is no downside to this option. You have the fabulous clean lines that make your area look neat and tidy. It’s half the maintenance of taking it all off, and you get to try out a little bit of every option. It’s a win-win-win!

[Read: How to look fabulous naked using 15 real life tips]

At the end of the day, what you do with your pubes is your business, and you shouldn’t be basing your decision off of what your partner or society thinks you should do. It’s not about conformity, it’s about what you like!

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Waverly Smith
Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that people...
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