Laser pubic hair - Brazilian cutDo you think a Brazilian can be a deal-breaker in a sexual relationship?

Things have changed in the genital grooming department, and some people feel that we have porn to thank for it. Sheila Jeffreys, the author of Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West, puts it bluntly when she says “the main reason women wax their genitals appears to be the desire to please the kind of partners who find the look of pornography and prostitution sexually exciting”.

An article entitled “What Your Bikini Waxer Really Thinks”, published in Australian Cosmopolitan in 2002, provides us with some insight into the male perspective. It quotes a 28-year-old accountant called Rodney, who describes the Brazilian wax as “just the right balance of slutty and sexy, bad girl and sweet. That she would go through the pain and lavish so much attention on herself down there is so cool — and the fact that it is partly on my behalf is very exciting”.

Well, Rodney is a bit outdated now. When he was a teenager the web was in its infancy, but by the time your boyfriend hit puberty his entire generation were using free online porn as their primary source of sex education, and, as we all know, porn stars don’t have any hair down there. It wasn’t always that way. During the 1970s everyone, even your porn star, was hairy, but by the 1980s the natural look of the Joy of Sex was over. Porn went hardcore and hairlessness became a requirement for its stars.

Nearly 30 years later, the indirect result of close-up porn is a proliferation of waxing salons on every high street. Grooming down there is now considered to be normal, on a par with manicures, blow drying and eyebrow waxing. Indeed, any woman who dares to be less rigid in her styling, as you have found, risks being labeled as bucolic or unsanitary.

There is something hugely irritating about being forced to conform to an aesthetic ideal instigated and perpetuated by the porn industry, but, like keeping one’s armpits and legs smooth, it is now expected. If your boyfriend has been conditioned to expect a tidy Brazilian, he may genuinely find anything else very off-putting.

Though the feminist ethos of your “take me as I am” argument is perfectly valid, your boyfriend’s reaction is instinctive — and in the face of something that is honestly perceived as a turn-off by one partner, rational arguments simply do not work. The good news is that, as “issues” go, this is a pretty small one and, hey, if the relationship doesn’t work out you can return to your old ways.

Permanent laser pubic hair removalThe bad news is that shaving sensitive areas is problematic — you are likely to leave a lot of razor bumps and create ingrown hairs, which can be very nasty. The most popular solution, waxing, is a uniquely painful experience. Imagine burning-hot, extra-strength Sellotape being ripped from delicate skin … and now treble the pain. Sadly, high-tech alternatives are not pain-free either. Laser hair-removal doesn’t hurt “that much” and feels more like being “pinched”. They call it permanent. You’ll need up to six sessions, and the success rate is determined by the level of contrast between the color of your hair and the color of your skin. If you laser the area well enough it may become permanently hairless and you won’t have to endure the painful waxing routine.

Beware, however, the craze for Brazilians is abating. The hot new haircut is the Sicilian. It is like a Brazilian, but you are left with a neat little Sicily-shaped triangle, which at least means that you still look like a woman. Good luck.