Q: Hairy Beast. I am admittedly a very hairy man. Hair seems to thrive on my chest, legs, back, buttocks and genitals. I have tried shaving but it seems like a very temporary solution. Can you give me some male solutions for too much hair, and some quality alternatives to shaving? ––Raj
Dr. Linda: Excessive male hairiness doesn’t get talked about much, even though it poses difficulties for a number of men. It can be a turn-off to women, and may even cause discomfort as well as embarrassment. Some men dislike shaving is not only because it’s temporary but also because it leaves a coarse stubble or triggers ingrown hairs. One alternative is to trim it instead of shaving it, and use a hair conditioner to soften it.
As for more permanent solutions, none is specifically “male.” What works for women will work for men, with one exception. Taking estrogen regularly would get you the results you want, along with many you wouldn’t want–like breasts and sexual problems.
That leaves waxing by a professional, which would last longer but might cause the same stubble problem. All the more permanent approaches are time-consuming, costly and temporarily painful. But if you’re truly bothered by your hairy beast presence, consider electrolysis on at least part of your body.
Women are typically most put off by hairy backs. The latest long-term approach uses an Alexandrite laser. It’s much faster than electrolysis, but is quite expensive and doesn’t avoid pain. It’s best for dark haired, light skinned men. If your skin is dark, you’d have to have a patch test done first.
Q: Getting your girlfriend to shave it all. I would really love for my girlfriend would shave her genital area; it would be a great turn on for me, but she says that’s really weird and is resisting. She says she’s asked her friends and none of them have ever done it. I say lots of girls do. Do you have any statistics or any hints on how I might persuade her? —Matt
Dr. Linda: Sorry, no stats, but with our “hair is gross” cultural attitude (oh my god, there’s a hair peeking out of her bikini), very few women have completely natural pubic patches, especially in the summer. On the other hand, it’s a big leap for a woman to go from neat and tidy to bald.
My anecdotal knowledge of the subject finds female opinion varies widely. Some will be indignant at the suggestion, thinking you are infantalizing them. In a way, you are. Only prepubescent girls are naturally without hair, so it’s not a far stretch that some women’s outrage reflects the belief that you must be a pervert secretly attracted to little girls.
Other women defensively retort that since they have to put up with hairy backs, buns and balls (to say nothing of other hairy spots on men), men can similarly make peace with women’s natural state. Many of the better-read among them even know that the most likely purpose of pubic hair is to trap pheromones and lure erotic interest.
On the other hand, some women enjoy being cropped or completely bare. They eschew the olfactory potential that hair affords! They also find its absence visually pleasing.
The biggest obstacle for women willing to experiment with full or partial removal is how to accomplish that feat without agony. For many, genital hair removal is even more sensitive than underarm or leg hair, and it frequently results in tenderness, redness and ingrown hairs. Your wild passion can quickly fade with the less enthusiastic responses of a partner in pain.
Here’s my suggestion. Find out what kind of approach– shavers, creams, waxing– has worked best for her when shaving other parts of her body. Ask her if she’d be willing to “defuzz” a portion of the area, rather than all of it. Suggest unscented cornstarch to reduce minor irritations.
For an interesting twist, ask if she’d be willing to have you be the artist. I once had a hairdresser (yes, he was straight and he did the talking!) who revealed that he loved giving “muff trims.” He apparently created a variety of designs, including heart shaped. That offers some definitely playful possibilities.
Q: Dressed for Success, not Sex. My girlfriend and I are trying to settle an ongoing difference. I’m really turned on by sexy clothes like short skirts, tank tops and bright colors. She goes for more conservative, tailored clothes. I tell her that if she cares for me as much as she says, she’d be more interested in pleasing me. What do you think? —Barry
Dr. Linda: What attracted you to your girlfriend in the first place? Did you meet at a nudist retreat? Actually, I’ve heard the issue you raise a number of times by couples in distress.
One thing you left out is your girlfriend’s position. Is she outraged or hurt by your request? If she is put off by your request, that’s not really surprising, especially when presented in the manipulative, “if you loved me” way you’ve suggested. For better results, try a gentler, less demanding approach along the lines of “Honey, I’d love it if you wore a few sexy clothes from time to time.”
Offer to go shopping with her and point out items you like. It’s likely that some of the things you like will also appeal to her. Many stores have image consultants or other professional staff to assist in selections. Such people can often assist couples in choosing items that please you both. Consider picking up or sharing the tab with your girlfriend on this little venture.
Q: Adding Spice to your Sex Life. I love my girlfriend very much, but our sex life has become routine. I’d really like to try some new positions (like her on top) and places (like my apartment balcony, which is very private). The problem is I don’t know quite how to ask her. She’s fairly conservative and might be offended by my suggestions– or worse, think I’m being critical. Neither of us has a lot of previous sexual experience, so I need some ideas. How can I let her know that I’d like to spice to our sex life without turning her off? ––Jack
Dr. Linda: Without new positions, places and activities, anybody’s sex life is bound to trigger more yawns than orgasms. Your hesitancy to approach your girlfriend is understandable. Sex talk is delicate business. You need good timing and sensitivity to achieve the desired results.
Here’s what I’d suggest. Rule #1: The best sex begins outside the bedroom. Rather than springing your wonderful new ideas on her in the heat of the moment, bring them up in a relaxed environment. I’ve discovered that many couples find the car a great place to talk about sex. It’s private, there are no distractions, and you can avoid eye contact during a potentially awkward discussion. Or try discussing ways to enhance your sex life over a relaxing meal or even on the phone (pass on cell phone conversations while driving to work , and also avoid e-mail on the subject).
Once you’ve brought up the subject, be sure to start with positives about what you like about sex with her. Then bring up your ideas for making it even better. For example, when you tell her you’d like her to be on top of you, be sure to include why that would excite you.
As an added boost to your cause, you might mention that she’d get the most clitoral stimulation in this position. Then invite her to respond to your request, including the circumstances that would make it the easiest for her to try. Be sure to listen carefully.
Don’t forget to inquire about her own ideas for adding passion to your sex life. Conservative or not, your girlfriend probably has a few steamy suggestions of her own.