The Helpline (by Clara B.)


Dear Clara B, 

I am dating a man who recently suggested that my Lady Garden grooming practices weren't up to his standards. He wants me to get a Brazilian, which is when ALL the pubic hair is waxed off. I like him but I really don't want to do this for a couple of reasons.

1) I can barely stand the pain of waxing my eyebrows.

2) What's wrong with me the way I am? I manage to deal with his pubic hair.

Am I being too sensitive. I know it's normal and healthy for partners to be honest about preferences but something keeps holding me back. It's not a full-scale issue now but I worry it will be down the road. He's really a nice guy and I can see settling down with him down the road, so I'm not sure this is an issue I want to fall on my sword for. What do you think?


Not Into Pain


Dear NIP,
I don’t think you’re being too sensitive.  You are the gardener of your Lady Garden.  It’s up to you to decide if the shrubs need trimming.  While a nice topiary in the garden is lovely, maintenance is a pain.  Literally. 
When Mr. Helpline and I first got engaged, for some reason he thought it would turn me on if he did a little man-scaping.  It. Was. Weird.  And as the hair started growing back, it was like humping a porcupine; painful.  And it just looked strange.  To me, this is one of those things that might seem sexy in theory, but in reality, is decidedly less than.   
There is nothing wrong with you just the way you are, dear.  His suggestion that you go bare down there could be nothing more than just that --  a suggestion.  Perhaps it’s a turn on for him.  On the other hand, it could be a slippery slope (no pun intended), and once you give in to him on this, what will he ‘suggest’ the next time? 
Don’t let this subject hold you back.  As I see it, the next time he brings it up, you should discuss it.  Ask him what it is about clearing out your rain forest that turns him on.  Explain to him that you’re happy with yourself, and you’re not into pain.  A nice guy will listen to you and hopefully understand.  If he still pushes the issue, you  need to put your foot down.  Honestly, he should be so thankful that you’ve allowed him in to the garden, that he really  has no right to complain about the view.  While a healthy relationship is about compromise, you should never compromise yourself.

Clara B.

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Reader Comments (17)

Ahahahaaaa this made my night!

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

Excellent answer.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean

I agree, Jean. Perfect answer.

Clara B, for the record, is a pseudonym for our Lifeline columnist. She is a derf but it's up to her to reveal her identity. I hope she doesn't, because I love a good mystery. For the person who asked, it really isn't me. Groom? I have enough trouble with day to day upkeep without worrying about things only two people see.

December 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterMrs. G.

First of all, it does hurt. Second, you can't blame a guy for trying, right? Third, feel free to say no thanks. Or offer that you can do it together, as a couple.

But for reals, I can't stand letting it go all 1970's down there. I don't wax, but I do trim. As in taking the garden hedges down to a manageable height.

Also, manscaping can go too far. A little is good, a lot is just silly talk.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly

The answer is right on! I am from the generation that was all natural all the time so...to me this seems an odd request, though I know that it is a common thing. The thought of having someone "ripping the hedge out by the fistfuls" makes me want to run screaming into the night. Pruning , yes... a complete excavation,no thanks. It is entirely up to you but I would wonder why a grown man wants you to resemble a prepubescent CHILD in that regard. Maybe there is nothing to it at all, just seems an odd request to an old (54) peace, love and leave what nature gave you alone geezer.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbramble

This might be TMI, but what's new? As I've aged, my 70's appearance has waned considerably, so maybe this is why the fairly recent (decade, maybe?) regular landscaping -- waxing -- is odd to me. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're making it a crime to age in this country -- and now vaginas have to stay young too! (Not talking about landscaping, but all the plastic surgery going on to "renew" them.)

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. G.

It makes me wonder how much porn he watches...

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

Yeah, I'm with Bonnie.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenH

I'm with Bonnie also. It makes me think of dirty old men and little girls. The adult female simply doesn't come that way. When mine asked me to do that, I looked him straight in the eyes and outright refused to do it. I don't ask him to do it. I accept that the adult male comes with pubes, he should accept that about me. I think he respected the fact that I wouldn't be bullied into it and he's fine with me just the way I am now.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLanna

I speak from experience...ahhh. yes. I did, at one time, go w/ the Brazilian wax. It was, hmmmm....beyond description, on the pain scale? It's more than grabbing handfuls of bush and ripping out the hedges. It is....I guess just beyond describing or comparing what type of pain this is even remotely similar to. Because not only is it an abrupt type of pain 1, 2, 3 GO-OOOO!!! RIIIIIPPPPPPP. But, it is also a type of mental, or emotional pain. You are having something done to you that you feel deep down is not right, or well, not natural. Trim all you like if you have a jungle bush, but trimming does not hurt. Even shaving (which, again, I admit to doing) is not comparable to a wax job.

That said, I did it of my own free will. It was a discussion, and a suggestion, to me, and I decided to give it the old college try. I was not young, and had had my kids, but my bod was still in good shape. It did add to the "ambiance" heh, of the activity that goes on down there, but it was not a grooming proposition that I knew I would do forever, or even for a long term of time. It was a lark, a novelty, and I never grew accustomed to the pain. It was always ALWAYS torture.

I do say that if men are insistent about trying it, and the woman is not, then the "you go first" idea should be presented. And stood by. If a man can handle the pain (and embarrassment) of this type of grooming, then he can be a bit more empathetic if he is going to really go for the pushy belief that it will enhance the time spent "in the garden".

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I'm with the general consensus. I, too grew up in the hirsute '70s, and I am also blessed with sparse hair myself, so I've never felt a desire to get the pruning shears out. I cannot imagine having a Brazilian.

And regarding the manscaping? Someone close to me has experimented with this, and I agree with our Helpline, it is weird. My most recent encounter was very stubbly.

Frankly, I agree with Bonnie.

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Snow

My dh has suggested this from time to time. I try not to make him feel stupid--after all it's okay to ask, right?-- but it's just not gonna happen, so I firmly say no. We have lots of fun together trying out some of his other creative ideas, after all. I don't judge anyone else who scapes themselves. But Back when I was a young 'un I tried cleaning up a little with a razor and the razor burn, bumps and regrowth period was terrible. Not for me.

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny in nc

Good advice, and everyone else covered it (ha!) well too.

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternaomi d

We both have replaced the carpets with bare floors (or nearly bare with some throw rugs) but not through the bikini method. There are other good, pain free products out there. It was each our own idea and we were pleasantly surprised when we both discovered we both liked bare wood. But definitely good advice on here - to each his own for sure!

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Next Door

Agree with everyone else above. Tell him his manscaping is not up to par and he needs to do the Brazilian first. (FWIW this would look awful to me but it's the principle). Bring home some salon brochures so he knows you're serious. I have been married for nearly 20 years so this is honestly not a major concern for us but if I had a new partner... I'm game for pretty much anything and would be open to more trimming than I usually do, or extra bathing if odor is a real issue (it's not), but to go from zero to a Brazilian in one fell swoop? Probably a deal breaker. Plus not very smart of him. Just wait, soon it will be your boobs/fat stomach/wrinkles/sagging ass/grey hair that bother him. I like the "slippery slope" analogy - you'll get a boob job, botox, tummy tuck, facelift, dye your hair, etc. for him, right?

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMustang Sally

In my experience, the men requesting this do watch a lot of porn and one "request" leads to another. I sort of understand the appeal of supersoft skin against supersoft skin, but I think it looks just really weird. With my thicket a deforestation would only last for a day or so anyway, no matter the method. Not worth the trouble and pain to me. I also prefer my men woolly over bare. A rashy, razor bump-y butt is never a turn-on.

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersasquatch

One more comment - it's Winter! I need all the covering I can get. I remember Anthony B., food person, embarrassing a tour group he was in by explaining how the term beaver originated (I wrote this before, I believe). Prostitutes shaved to avoid catching crabs, but as having no hair was a sign one charged for pleasure (how anyone who wasn't paying saw I have no idea), they would cover with a piece of beaver fur. So, make him shave too, but wait for Spring - not Summer, the bumps and heat rash stuff.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternaomi d

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