Is it unreasonable to expect my spouse to remove their pubic hair?

Jay Dee

Is it unreasonable to expect my spouse to remove their pubic hair?

Apr 28, 2016

Some of you may recognize this question from our Personal Grooming Survey (go fill it out if you haven’t already): Is it unreasonable for me (husband) to expect my wife to continue to remove pubic hair, like she did when we were dating? We’ve been married

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Anonymous QuestionSome of you may recognize this question from our Personal Grooming Survey (go fill it out if you haven’t already):

Is it unreasonable for me (husband) to expect my wife to continue to remove pubic hair, like she did when we were dating? We’ve been married 11 years (second for both of us), and she’s indicated that she thinks that shaving or waxing is “too porno” for her, and refuses to entertain the idea. She claims that NO ONE does that every week, month or more than once or twice a year… As I write this I’m starting to see a pattern in our overall love making, Oral is fast becoming a thing of the past; and we’re settling into a Once a week Sunday night routine…

Now, there’s a lot of stuff in here, so I’m just going to start going through things that pop out for me:

Like she did when we were dating

This is one of the problems with premarital sex.  Sex before marriage is exciting and taboo, and so it provides these massive dopamine spikes along with massive oxytocin bursts.  Together these great a powerful cocktail of hormones that make you willing to do just about anything to get that feeling back again.  It also tends to make you more aroused more often and easier, just by thinking about your significant other.  And when you get aroused, parts of your brain start to shut down.  Parts that help us evaluate risk or distasteful things.  And so, many people find themselves doing things they wouldn’t normally do, and probably won’t do again once their hormones settle down.

I get a ton of emails from husbands (overwhelmingly husbands, but occasionally a wife) saying that their spouse used to give them oral sex (before marriage) and now doesn’t.  Or used to have anal sex and now doesn’t.  This leaves a lot of men feeling tricked, they feel like they had a bait and switch pulled on them.  And they kind of did, but it wasn’t intentional.  In fact, their wives have had a similar bait and switch pulled on them, because their hormones were telling them they were insanely attracted to this person, and when it wears off … well, then you start to actually have to be intentional about maintaining a relationship.  Suddenly their husband isn’t as hot as he once was (even though nothing has changed in his appearance).

My point is, sex before marriage is dangerous, and it’s wrong, and while we can’t go back and change it now that we got married, we do need to realize that we’re going to have to live with the consequences.  And sometimes that means realizing some things that we thought were on the table, aren’t.  Because our spouse wasn’t in their right mind when they weren’t your spouse yet.

NO ONE does that every week…

I hate generalizations, especially surrounding the topic of sex.  It drives me crazy.  You know why?  Because I get a lot of teary emails from people who break the stereotypes.  Women who are being refused sex by their husbands, men who’s wives won’t communicate with them.  When people say “noone does that” or “there must be something wrong with you if you do”, then I get really annoyed.  Sadly, I hear statements like this from so-called experts in the field of marriage and sexuality as well, and it makes me cringe every time.

And then I go write a survey to find out just how many people do do that.

Now, our Personal Grooming Survey is still running, if you haven’t, go fill it out before I do my analysis, but I wanted to grab some quick interim stats:

So far we’ve had 140 women fill out our survey and 15% groom their pubic hair daily.  In fact, 10% shave themselves bare every single day.  44% of women who filled out the survey groom at least once a week, nearly half of them shaving bare.

In short, “No one” is a complete fallacy.

Shaving or waxing is “too porno” for her

This is another thing I see often that sort of annoys me.  Spouses saying they don’t want to do something because “that’s what they do in porn”.  You know what?  Porn is designed to ensnare people using their God-given sexual desires.  So, a lot of the time they are using something good for something evil.

I mean, if we did nothing that was in porn, people wouldn’t have sex at all.  Now, there are things in porn that should not be adopted, but the reason they shouldn’t be done is because it’s not healthy, or it’s against’s God’s will, or it will damage us or our relationship.  Not because it’s in porn.  That elevates porn to an unhealthy place.  It basically gives porn the power to tell us what is good or evil.  A place that should be reserved for God.

When someone says “I don’t want to that that because they do it in porn”, I hear that they are giving porn a place beside God, in an inverted sort of way.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to everyone else, but that’s how I see it.

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” also comes to mind.

In short, just because something’s in porn, doesn’t make it good or bad.  Porn is bad, not because it’s porn, but because it’s adultery.  Threesomes are bad, not because they’re in porn, but because it’s sexually immoral and will hurt your relationship.  Random sex partners are bad, not because it’s in porn, but because it’s fornication and will hurt your future relationships.

In the case of shaving, I think it exists in porn because it shows something that is normally hidden.  Sexuality is something that, especially in the church, is often very much cloaked in secrecy.  There are so many Christian married couples that never see each other naked.  Sex is done in the dark, under the covers, at night.  I’ve gotten emails from husbands who say they haven’t seen their wife naked in decades, despite having regular sex.

Growing up in that sort of environment, is it now wonder that we’re interested in being able to see more?  To have the hair removed so that we can see our spouse?

Now, there are many other reasons that I’ll discuss in a later post, but I think this is the reason it’s in porn.  Not because it makes women look pre-pubescent.  I think that’s just propaganda by those who want to keep sex a hidden thing in the church, even between spouses.

I’m starting to see a pattern in our overall love making

Marriage takes constant work.  People don’t drift together, they drift apart.  And sex tends to go with it.  I’ve often said that sex tends to be an excellent barometer for marriage health.  I’ve yet to see a healthy marriage with a terrible sex life, and I haven’t seen a marriage with a healthy sex life that is in trouble.

If your sex life is waning, I can almost guarantee the rest of the your marriage is as well.  Time to start fixing the marriage, then the sex will likely come back.  Work on communication, work on showing your spouse you love them.  Work on learning their love language and focusing on it.  Which leads me to:

She’s your wife, focus on her, not on yourself

I know, you’re disappointed and probably feel a bit tricked and rejected by your spouse’s attitude.  But, she’s your wife.  You promised to love her, no matter what.  And love doesn’t just mean deciding to stay together.  It means actively working every day to try to make their life better.  That doesn’t mean give them everything they want (because most of us want things that are unhealthy for us), but you should give them everything they need, and then some things that make their life even better.  Even when they aren’t doing the same for us.

Now, there is a time to confront issues, to point out sin in our spouse’s life, just as they can do to ours, but that takes knowing when their heart is open to that.  The strength of the relationship, and your spouse’s heart will determine how much you stress you can put on the relationship.  If you aren’t communicating well, if your acting more like enemies than lovers, if you’re unable to confess sins to each other, then holding up a mirror to your spouse’s sin will likely damage your relationship, potentially beyond what it can bear.

But, if you have a truly intimate marriage, or at the very least, spouses who are committed to actively loving each other no matter what, and are intent on following God, then you can hold up a mirror to their sin, and they’ll thank you.  It will be hard, the relationship will be strained, but it can take it and even grow stronger as a result.  But, from my experience, this is a rare marriage.

Most often you have to gauge the strength of the marriage and their strength of will to love both you and God, against what their sin is.  Often that means holding your tongue and supporting them the best way you can while you wait for God and your spouse to work on their heart together.  Hopefully while modeling a strong relationship with God yourself, and strengthening the marriage from your end.

But, even if she never comes around, your job is, and will always be, to continue to love her.  In sickness and in health, till death you do part.  Often we don’t think about what that really means.  Love is a choice, not an emotion.  Choose to love your wife, even if she’s having trouble loving you in the way you want.

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22 thoughts on “Is it unreasonable to expect my spouse to remove their pubic hair?”

  1. Cunina says:

    Great post!

  2. sm says:

    Very consistent to my situation and those of many of my friends. kids, life and complacency turn a once nice sex life into duty sex. I thought our wifes were supposed to be our only sexual outlet. Some are falling quite short on that part.

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks Jay! I am sharing this article with others who might find some helpful information from your answers. – Mike

  4. Ken Goudsward says:

    Wow! Some of your finest work here Jay. I’m sharing this one

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks, I appreciate that.

  5. Kay says:

    To * expect,* yes. To ask? No. But explaining why that is desired makes a difference, as well as discovering why she doesn’t want to if she knows it will please him. I’ve shared this before elsewhere, but when my hubby first asked me to trim, I was indignant. On at least one other popular marriage blog, the author had given this exact same objection, that shaving is a trend fueled by porn and women should look like women, not like little girls. Which I made sure to tell my hubby. But with time it came to light that he was actually trying to help me overcome the barriers I had put up against receiving oral sex, which was basically the one thing I had major hangups over. I was stuck on the gross factor, and he thought that being clean-shaven might help me feel better about it. When I finally realized that he wanted me to trim for ME, not even for him exactly, I was much more open to the idea. Now I trim once every one or two weeks, and I am surprised by how much I like it. Just like when my legs are freshly shaved, I just feel sexier when I’ve trimmed.

    But it sounds like shaving isn’t the real issue here, which I thought you covered well, Jay. That and the loss of interest in oral sex are likely symptoms of deeper problems–past or present.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Oh yeah, I didn’t even touch on the “expect” vs “ask”. Thanks for mentioning that.

  6. John Wilder says:

    Too often couples start taking each other for granted including sex. You need to work to keep it fresh guys. Listen if your wife
    gave you mac and cheese 3 meals a day 7 days a week you would not be much interested in eating her cooking and the same
    goes for sex. She is bored and not excited and you are not giving her enough orgasms to want to be willing to have sex with you

  7. crystal says:

    This is something that needs to be addressed where you both have time and a comfortable environment to be open with each other. Jay Dee is right porn shouldn’t be a comparison. If we try something new and step outside of our comfort zone that should be recognized as growth. The grooming situation does need to be an agreement between both. I just realized something in Jay’s post about being a certain way when we are dating my husband has addressed me about things and I realized I robbed him of the best parts of myself that I needed to give to him so he could continue to give me the best parts of himself. I think alot of us ladies do need to take that into consideration.

  8. Rechelle says:

    As someone has already mentioned, it is a sort of “trend” to be void of pubic hair and it can almost be expected due to its popularity. If it weren’t for this trend, would this husband or any husbands be asking to shave it all off? I love the way Jay put it and that you should love your wife and that is the most important thing. The husband also has to put himself in her shoes and although he may desire it, is it something that is pleasant. I have done this in the past and it is not only a delicate process, but you CAN cut yourself. Not to mention the discomfort of ingrown hairs, bumps and itching. There aren’t too many men I know who would endure a very sharp blade in a very delicate and sensitive area only to be followed by days of itching and stubble. I think more spouses need to put themselves in the position of the other in order to really think about what they are asking their partner to do. Now I DO take care of my pubic area by making it neat and clean, which does include trimming some areas, but that’s because I like it that way, and luckily so does my dear husband.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      There aren’t too many men I know who would endure a very sharp blade in a very delicate and sensitive area only to be followed by days of itching and stubble.

      Oh, I think there are more than you think. According to our survey, of the men, about 35% shave with a razor. 16% shave themselves completely bare.

      And next time you’re in church, realize that 1/4 of the husbands (if the stats hold) are shaving with a razor at least once a week, some daily. Though, I doubt most will tell everyone in normal conversation.

      1. El Fury says:

        Husbands, you should definitely try shaving! It’s awesome. It feels great, and your wife will probably enjoy performing oral sex more.

  9. Elisa says:

    I am in a fabulous marriage, but our sex life really isn’t. I think we are the exception to your rule. We will be celebrating our 34th anniversary this year and there is still no one I would rather spend time with than my husband. We truly are best friends. But sex is a struggle for us and has been for years. This has been for a variety of reasons, but lately it’s because we are both exhausted after our jobs as teachers and my husband has pretty serious ED due to prostate cancer surgery. It is work, fun work, but work.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Perhaps, but “fun work” seems to strengthen my argument 🙂 Sounds like your sex life isn’t that bad. At least you are both enjoying investing in it, even if it’s not working out right now.

  10. Kevin Grant says:

    I’m afraid that in our society we have come to view hairy women as unattractive, and this has spread to apply to their whole bodies – except their heads, of course. 🙂

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Unattractive? No, I don’t think so. Just as a clothed woman is no less attractive…but an unclothed one is more enticing.

  11. ayane says:

    walking shaved in humid summer is painful, to make a woman shave is not fair, in fall or winter shave is normal tho.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think it’s perfectly okay to say “dear, I’m going to stop shaving for a while because I find it uncomfortable in the summer”. But, I don’t know if your experiences are universal. I haven’t seen anyone else complain about that yet in the survey.

  12. Bea says:

    Hmm.. May I ask what age group your followers are in? After giving it thought, I definitely think porn is the reason this age group seems to like clean shaved. I’m a young millennial (20) and I’m still a virgin. However I have recieved lots of oral sex before becoming Christian. And every guy that performed oral on me actually preferred that I not shave. In modern porn, women are clean shaven; so I think having hair adds eroticism for millennial men who are used to seeing the opposite. It seems your followers who are older and grew up on porn that had women with pubic hair prefer shaven for the same reason. Just a observation that I found interesting.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      They’re fairly evenly spread from each age group. Granted, there are fewer millenials, because millenials don’t often get married before 30 anymore. But, in my grooming survey, I did have 16 people aged 19-25 fill out the survey. Only one (a male) said he didn’t groom.

      5 said they shave bare (31%),
      1 said they trim (just shorten the length) (6%)
      9 said they “shape”, so some areas shaved, some trimmed (60%)

      It’s not a large sample set, but they seem to follow the rest of the ages.

  13. Northern Exposure says:

    I for one am pro pubic hair. I’ve never quite understood why shaving “down there” is attractive to some men.

  14. Nuniabizness says:

    The first time I’ve ever seen a naked woman I was totally into here beauty; however, I hated that HAIRY mess down there. It turned me off while everything else was intensely exciting! Every time I’ve seen female pubic area, I was always turned off. I am now 50 yrs. old. I am more turned off by the messy, hairy area than ever! I use an electric trimmer on myself. My wife uses nothing and I absolutely HATE IT. Granted, I married for many reasons and hairiness is one of the down sides. Sometimes, I get so turned off that I cannot push myself to make love which equates to her just lying there while I bring her to fruition – every time.
    She once let me shave and once had me use an electric trimmer. I absolutely loved everything about it! I didn’t exactly get turned on by shaving her or such but the results were … WOW!!!! It’s like she was wearing underwear for years and years and then finally she peeled them off and she was finally naked. i could finally see her naked! That is why I find it a turn on: I get to see her naked. No furry mess obstructing my view. It’s smooth to touch. No rug burn! Usually smells much better.
    She finally looks like a seductive WOMAN instead of an OLD grandma that is too old to have sex anymore.
    Oh well, those couple of times were short lived and she let the lengthy hair grow back.
    Her lack of interest in our relationship and the hairiness have convinced me that it is easier to sleep on the couch every night – at least I can get sleep! If we sleep in the same bed, I cannot sleep. I will dwell on what could be and become angry because she refuses to even try to work on our relationship. I don’t wish this on anyone. This is purgatory or some form of hell. This isn’t marriage and love.
    I feel lied to every day.
    It makes me rebellious.
    Because she reads the bible nearly everyday, it makes me see her as a hypocrite.
    It makes me have thoughts that maybe God doesn’t exist!
    How could a person read the bible every day yet be so selfish and controlling?!
    I am right here. I CHOOSE to love. How come she cannot choose to love?
    I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are just not meant to be happy and that is my fate.
    It’s laziness.

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