Do Men Expect Women To Shave Before Sex?

Published: October 11, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Do men expect me to shave off my pubic hair before sex? Lately, I've had two sexual encounters with two different boys and although the sex was an unexpected result of an unplanned evening spent together, they expressed surprize at the "natural" condition of my vagina. It's just that I don't have the time to shave every couple of days _in case_ I meet someone unexpectedly and feel attracted to them. Does hair freak people out? Should I avoid having sex when I know I am not in the right condition? Should I think of an excuse to go to the bathroom and shave quickly in the shower? Is it very strange when a girl is unprepared and acts like everything is normal?
Signed: Do Men Expect Women To Shave Before Sex?

Dear Do Men Expect Women To Shave Before Sex?,

Ideally, sex should be about two people who have strong feelings for one another and want to connect with one another in an intimate way because of those strong feelings. When people are physically intimate because they care about each other and want to express that care, preferences about things like pubic hair become secondary. When two people care about each other and decide to start a physically intimate relationship, at some point it is natural to have conversations about what feels pleasurable to each partner. Discussing pubic hair and shaving can be part of these conversations, but they should be a part of ongoing conversations between two people who care about one another rather than a decision one person makes based on what others may or may not “expect.”

TeenHealthFX is wondering about two things based on what you described above. The first thing is if you are taking the proper precautions to protect yourself against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs given your description of your sexual encounters as being somewhat unexpected and random. Keep in mind that doctors generally recommend sexually active teens and young adults to use condoms each and every time they have sex, as well as a back-up method of birth control such as the pill or birth control shot. It would be helpful for you to discuss this with your doctor – he/she can make the best recommendations for you.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

The second thing FX is wondering is where you are at when it comes to sex, relationships and being connected to others. You describe sex in a somewhat detached manner and do not seem really connected to feelings between you and the person you are having sex with or having a caring relationship in place in order to decide to have sex with someone. FX thinks it would be helpful for you to speak to a trusted adult about this, such as a parent, school counselor or even a private therapist so that you can find out what is happening for you that you seem very emotionally detached from sex and the people you choose to have sex with.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

TeenHealthFX would also like to encourage you to educate yourself about various things related to your sexual health so you can ensure that you are making healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your emotional and physical well-being. You can read about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, birth control, STDs and more through our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex.

Signed: TeenHealthFX