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Ask Doctor Down-Down: October 2001

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

I recently attended a weekend event hash that included a midnight naked hash. I saw a variety of pubic regions, from the deep dark forests to clean cut marine style bush trimmings on both the girls and the boys. The next morning (ok afternoon, I missed the morning until someone woke me for the hangover hash), I decided I wanted the clean-cut, porn star pubic look. I asked around for the different methods of hair control in the playground region and tried a few. Shaving was popular but damn if it doesn’t itch worse than poison ivy as it grows back in. Not to mention the stubble and red bumps. Ouch! That didn’t work out. Next I tried plucking with tweezers. It only hurts a little and it looks and feels great. Problem, it takes an hour to pluck each side every two weeks to keep up. I have not tried any of the hair removal chemicals like Nair. Doc, please help. I want to look like a porn star. What’s the best method to reach the majestic Bald Eagle look?

On On,
3holer
Music City H3, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Dear 3holer,

I took the liberty of forwarding your query to Captain Zero, aka Dave Cummings, the Hash House Harriers’ own porn star. Here’s the straight dope from someone who knows:

The porn girls use waxing, or shaving, or Nair (The 4-minute new version, being EXTREMELY careful not to let it touch non-hair areas or let it stay on more than the recommended time on the bottle). Guys usually use scissors for trimming radically growing hairs, and sometimes Nair or shaving on the topside (at the base) of the penis. Shaving often leaves red bumps (antibiotic ointment and body lotion help to speed the recovery), and even worse are the ingrown hairs that sometimes develop – any type of cut/sore/poison oak/scab/etc means no work until the porn star gets clearance from a physician (even with such a clearance, we often opt not to work with such a person until a complete recovery. It’s like the PCR/DNA HIV test that we get every 28 days – no test, or if it’s over 30 days old means no work). It’s amazing how often this subject is discussed among porn stars while in the make-up chairs, or while sitting around waiting to do a scene.

On On,
Dr. Down-Down

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

[This starts out true] So I’s walking on the nude beach, and see a foxy bimbo, lying on her front, but on close inspection she has an ass as hairy as Anthony Quinn (or Your hairy simile here)! The rest of her looked normal, but her whole butt was like a deep-pile (I’ll resist the urge to say “shag”) carpet. Reminded me of when Seinfeld was dating an otherwise cute babe who had Man-Hands, big hairy things with which she could single-handedly break open lobsters. Now will the Doctor please tell me the clinical name for this hairy-butt condition, and whether it’s good for something (besides “wool”, which is BTW one of the shorter better punchlines). If anyone out there’s vacillating between girls and sheep, have I got a chick for you Dick!

On On,
Elephant Dick
Rumson HHH, New Jersey USA

Dear Mr. Dick (and other interested readers),

Wow – 3holer and now Elephant Dick – am I sensing a hash-wide groundswell of interest in pubic hair? As Pay Per View, another of my regular correspondents, knows, I love this topic! Enough to do some semi-serious research, even.

What follows is male-centric, written from a harrier’s perspective. I considered asking Nurse Wretched to contribute her thoughts but decided against it – she’s not a typical woman by any standard, and that’s all I want to say about that. So I’ll appeal to Pay Per View and the other harriettes out there in hashland – what are your thoughts about pubic hair, in general, on women, on men? I’ll be happy to expand on this subject in a future column. But for now, here are one man’s views on pubic hair:

To start at the beginning, why do people have pubic hair? What’s it for? Opinions abound, but no one really knows. One theory I’m pretty sure is bullshit is that pubic hair is there to keep our genitals warm. Hmmm . . . if that were true, we’d look like Ewoks from the waist down.

Some ideas that make sense:

  • Pubic hair serves as a visible sign of sexual maturity (which would come in real handy if we didn’t wear clothes).
  • Pubic hair absorbs sweat and traps scents, so that we can send and receive pheromone signals (no one has proven that we react to pheromones, but it’s an intriguing idea).
  • Pubic hair cushions our genital areas during sexual intercourse (that seems pretty self-evident, but how much of a cushion do we need?).
  • Pubic and armpit hair prevents skin-on-skin chafing when walking or running (right on – I hate to think of running without it).
  • Pubic hair gives crabs a place to hide (not that I would know anything about that).

But as we all know from watching porn videos (yes you do, admit it), some men and women get along just fine without any pubic hair at all. So what does that tell us? It tells us that whatever pubic hair’s purpose is, physiologically it’s not a matter of life or death.

The true importance of pubic hair is psychological, and varies from individual to individual, culture to culture, generation to generation.

Ask yourself this: would you call a woman hairy if she had beautiful waist-length tresses? Probably not. “Hairy” is not a compliment. When we call a woman hairy we mean that she has hair someplace we think she shouldn’t, or a lot of hair in a place where we’d rather she had less. Some women have moustaches. Some have hair growing from their nipples. An unfortunate few have one continuous eyebrow, but hey, in Siberia that might be a mark of beauty. Seinfeld man-hands? I know women with whoppin’ old man-feet too, complete with hairy toes. Some women have wispy see-through pubic hair and some have impenetrable second-growth jungles. Almost all of them have hairy legs and armpits, or would if they didn’t shave.

On the semantic front (and to answer your question, Elephant Dick), excessive hair growth in women is known as hirsutism. Abnormal hairiness in women, if caused by an excess of testosterone, is called virilization. If excessive hairiness is due to something other than testosterone, it’s called idiopathic hirsutism (as in: “Gee, you’re not only hairy, you’re an idiot too!”).

But all this begs the question: what constitutes excessive hairiness? Because, after all, unless a woman suffers from Alopecia Universalis (complete baldness, all over – no eyebrows, no nuthin’), she’s hairy by definition; i.e., she has hair.

Some men like women with hair down to their butts, but can’t stand it if they have hair on their butts. Some men think women with hairy armpits are sexy, but are turned off by women with hairy legs. Some men like women with a thick bush; some like the pre-puberty look. Some men (and I would be talking about Mr. Jackson here) like women with hairy heads, butts, armpits, legs, and pubes. I understand there’s even a news group where members exchange photos of fully-clothed women who have dark hair on their forearms – not that I would ever visit such a site myself (I might run into Mr. Jackson there).

Muslims - men and women – are supposed to shave their pubic hair. Yes, it’s an Islamic law. The Taliban actually stop men on the street in Afghanistan, pull down their seven-day shitters to expose their naughty bits, then give them a good flogging if they’ve let it grow. It’s a good thing for Afghani chicks the Taliban are all men, strictly forbidden from touching or looking at women, otherwise they’d be peeking up chadors, too.  Hindus, on the other hand, are supposed to let their body hair grow, but I don’t think anyone checks on that.  Interestingly enough, the other major religions – Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and so on – don’t have much to say on the subject.

What do men want when it comes to women and body hair, pubic hair in particular? I imagine most men desire women who conform to prevailing cultural standards of beauty. But what are the prevailing standards?

From the middle of the 20th Century and into the 1970s, at least in Western Europe and the USA, women were supposed to have pubic hair but no armpit or leg hair. Paradoxically, the men’s magazines of the time weren’t allowed to show pubic hair, which just made those of us who grew up in those years fantasize about it all the more. Now that magazines can show all the hair that’s fit to print, the young men who read those magazines have rejected pubic hair, and most of the models are clean-shaven. Prevailing standards have changed.

Two seminal (so to speak, heh heh) developments leading to this change were the introduction of the Barbie doll in 1959 and the 1973 porno movie Deep Throat. Barbie established, for little boys and girls all over the USA, an ideal of post-pubescent hairlessness. Deep Throat was the first adult movie to break into mainstream culture and to be seen by millions; its lead female actress, Linda Lovelace, was one of the first actresses in the adult film industry to shave her pubic hair.

So if you grew up in the 60s and 70s, where your early sexual experiences involved fantasizing about Barbie and whacking off to Deep Throat, you might be disappointed to discover that actual women have pubic hair, more or less just like yours. Which explains, I think, why younger guys like their women trimmed or clean shaven, while older guys like pubic hair (and plenty of it).

Putting things in context, what have we learned about pubic hair that might be important to hashers? One, it’s not vital to life. Two, pubic hair (or lack of it) is vital to those who care about it. Three, we care about it in different ways, depending on our upbringing, religion, and age.

But there are at least three harriettes we like just they way they are, pubic hair and all:

  • The Lassie With the Black Hair on Her Assie (who lifts up her kiltie at the San Francisco Hash).
  • Alouette (yes, she has the hairy thing).
  • The Mayor of Bayswater’s Daughter (the hair on her dickie-die-do hangs down to her knees).

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you: I admitted up front this would be a male-centric discussion.

On On,
Dr. Down-Down

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