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Waxing Our Way to the Emergency Room

The rate of grooming accidents is exploding. When did we start hating pubic hair?

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Here’s what I wish every adult person with a set of genitals would do today. Go look at some vintage porn. I’m totally serious. Get yourself a few old images from Penthouse, a classic adult movie from the ’80s or earlier, and just take a gander. You know what you’ll find? Very hot people having very hot sex and somehow bravely soldiering on through pubic hair. People having oral and all kinds of other sex despite the crippling liability of short curly hair. And they don’t look confused or distracted or perplexed. It can be done! It has been, for eons!

We’ve grown over the years to embrace a certain standard of genital beauty, for both men and women, and it’s fine. But if it’s all there is, if the option of something different is not even on the table, if guys don’t want to go down on their girlfriends and people are sitting in emergency rooms with embarrassing wounds, that’s a problem. And when we can accept a broader range of ideas about what’s beautiful, what’s pleasurable, how can it not be a good thing? How can it not give us a warm, fuzzy feeling?


Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.            

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