Sexplanations with Stacey: Hair down there

Stacey Jacobs

Going au naturel, with a pubilicious full bush may be the trend with some, but many are still going in the opposite direction with a Brazilian or bro’zilian, removing all traces of pubic hair. While I have been removing my pubic hair in one way or another for over 20 years (I of course started growing and removing pubic hair when I was five…), and I have found sugaring to be my preferred method, I’ve never gone with the intention of writing about my experience. This month, in an extended Sexplantions piece, I walk you through the process of sugaring for vulva wielders and penis possessors alike.

People remove pubic hair for many reasons. It makes them feel cleaner and cooler, they want to be pube-free in their bathing suit, they want to impress a partner or spice things up in the bedroom, they want their penis to look bigger. Maybe they don’t want their partner to get pubes caught in their teeth or they are sick of seeing pubes on the soap. There are as many reasons as there are pube removers.

Ready to rid myself of the hair between my legs, I chose a tried and true favourite – the Sugar Cube in uptown Waterloo. I conveniently booked my appointment online. Consider booking the week after your period; hormones influence sensitivity to pain, a vulva is most sensitive during ovulation and menstruation. As I walked into the Sugar Cube I was greeted with a smile, and a sweet smell. I instantly noticed how modern, clean and calm the space felt.

The process of sugaring couldn’t be more natural, made with sugar, lemon and water and it is an exfoliant for
the skin. It is also hygienic as a ball of sugar paste is used for you and never re-used, eliminating double dipping into pots which can be the case with waxing.

The Sugar Cube was opened in 2010 by Jo McKnight. She followed her heart and her passion and is serious about the service she provides. She realizes that for many, getting sugared is a brave and scary thing to do and she goes out of her way to make people feel comfortable.

All the sugarists are careful and gentle with people. Their motto is, “Never put vulvas out of commission.”

I have heard enough stories to know pubic hair removal can go very, very wrong. Bruising, ripping of skin, nicks and cuts, wax or sugar inside the labia where it should not be. This can happen at home and in a professional setting when people are not trained, careful and respectful.

The Sugar Cube welcomes all; all ages, body types and genders. You get to decide how much pubic hair is removed and what look you are going for.

I have recently been conducting puberty talks and as we were discussing that the growth of pubic hair is one
of the first signs of puberty, someone asked “what is pubic hair for?”

According to Elizabeth Steward, M.D., a vulvo-vaginal specialist and writer of “The V Book,” pubic hair pre- vents irritation to the skin during the friction and rubbing of sexual inter-course. It allows bodies to slide instead of stick. This is also the purpose of the mons – the fat pad over the pubic bone that prevents the pubic bones from grinding into one another during sex and causing irritation. No matter how much weight someone loses, this fatty pad will not disappear (some people now liposuction it away).

Don’t let mass media’s depiction of pubic hair define your nether region; pubic hair can be thick, course, thin or sparse. It is often a darker colour than the hair on your head and turns gray as you age. It can also become thinner as you age. Pubic hair can grow in the pubic area, but also on the thighs and around the anus.

According to Jo many are looking to remove the hair that grows around the anus in order to feel cleaner and prevent dingle berries – those pesky bits of shit that get caught in your ass hair. Many things get trapped in pubic hair beyond feces – discharge, menstrual flow, urine, lube, sweat. Removing pubic hair can prevent this; however, I also recommend good hygiene. Shower, bath, try shampooing and conditioning your pubes to keep them healthy and soft. Something else pubic hair does for those of you with a vulva is direct urine downwards. Without it the stream can take a less direct route.

Back to the hair removal – once you’re in the door, you’ll be directed into a private room and given a robe and a muff wipe. This wipe is individually packaged and is paraben free, hypoallergenic and biodegradable (like everything at The Sugar Cube). The wipe is not meant to replace a shower. Be respectful of your sugarist and clean well before your appointment. The wipe is to quickly freshen up as you may have gotten sweaty or used the bathroom since your shower.

Whether or not you leave your underwear on will depend on the type of hair removal you want. If you have a vulva and would like the Brazilian or the G-string, the underwear will have to come off. If you want the bikini it is possible to leave them on as they will only be removing the hair along the sides. For those of you with a scrotum and penis, the underwear will have to come off, but you will be given a cloth to wrap your penis. Anyone removing hair from the labia, scrotum or ass may have to assist their sugarist by pulling skin taught or lifting a butt cheek.

Ask questions, whether it is your first appointment or your twentieth. You can ask Jo anything. Having your questions answered can relax you and lessen anxiety. If you are scared, embarrassed or uncomfortable let your sugarist know so they can help you through the process, they want to make your experience the best they can.

Get that first question out of the way: does it hurt? Yes. Sugaring rips the hair from your skin, of course it hurts! But the hurt only lasts for a few seconds, like ripping off a bandaid. If need be, your sugarist can coach you through breathing techniques and expressive language to help with the pain, as there website says, “Cry, grunt, yell for your mama – there’s no shame here.” For many the pain is well worth the final product – which lasts around three weeks. There is even a Brazilian club for those who frequent The Sugar Cube. This option saves you money and pain.

Removing pubic hair is a personal decision, one you should make for yourself. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you what kind of pubic hairdo you should have. Do what makes you feel good and what makes you comfortable. If you aren’t sure – experiment! Just be safe and ensure your pubic region is getting the respect it deserves.