Hey, Faggot:

Please help me. My friends think I’m crazy, possibly even a lesbian. I have never heard of another woman who has the same feelings as me, but I can’t believe I am the only one in the world.

I hate the sight and feel of body hair. I get turned on by men. Indeed any sexy photo of a guy excites me. But most photos hide chest and leg hair. Reality doesn’t. I fell in love with a great guy last year, yet when we finally slept together it was miserable. Not only was I turned off by the sight of his hair–which I could mask by closing my eyes–but the feel of his hair against my body was unpleasant.

Is there anything wrong with me? I keep thinking to myself, if it is now acceptable for men to wear earrings, why couldn’t it become acceptable to shave body hair? I would think the makers of hair removal products would love it. Given the response of my friends, I don’t have the guts to ask a guy to shave, even though I would be willing to do it myself.

Please help me. And could you please ask your readers if there are any other women out there like me. And are there men who would gladly shave their body hair? –Julie W.

Hey, JW:

You’re not crazy, you’re kinky. Don’t be sad, there are worse things you could be.

If you don’t want to be kinky, go out and get yourself an expensive therapist and spend a buttload of money in what will most likely be an unsuccessful attempt to sexually reprogram yourself. But why bother? Accept your kink, your wrinkle, your quirk, your preference–whatever you’re comfortable calling it–and get busy finding a guy who has no body hair, or isn’t attached to the body hair he does have. You could date only professional cyclists or swimmers or mutants or guys undergoing chemotherapy, not letting them know what it is about them that so attracted you in the first place.

Listen, you’re going to be better off in the long run if you go out and find a guy who’s into shaving on his own, not just to indulge you. Most guys would consent to an all-body shave as a wacky/naughty onetime thing to please a partner, but every day? Forever? You’re asking all your potential boyfriends or lovers to make something of a lifestyle choice, and a time-consuming one at that, to accommodate your special needs. Find a guy who gets a thrill from it, a guy who’s into it, and he’ll happily keep himself smooth for you–because he wants to, because he likes it, because it makes his dick hard.

Why not take out a personal ad? Lemme tell ya something: I used to manage the Stranger personals in Seattle, and an ad from a woman offering to shave a guy’s entire body will generate–no shit–hundreds of responses. Some of them will be unpresentable freaks with no social skills–hey, that’s the personals for you. But after you weed out the creeps, there’s bound to be one or two guys you could bring home to mother.

Hey, Faggot:

I’m a woman and a voracious reader. I’ll read anything, and particularly have fun poring over the personal ads.

Among all the various couplings–man/woman, woman/woman, man/man, three-ways, and anything goes–only gay men openly solicit for men who are hairy or advertise that they themselves are hairy. What gives?

I’ve never read one ad where a woman specifically said she wanted a man with a lot of body hair. And I’ve never even seen an ad where a straight man trumpets that he is hirsute.

What gives with gay guys? Maybe it’s a status symbol for them. –Maria C.

Hey, MC:

A quick look through any personals section worth the recycled paper and soy-based ink it’s hopefully printed on and with will reveal something very telling about men: we’re likelier to be kinky, likelier to “fetishize” than women. For every hundred ads from straight or gay guys into diapers, heels, rope, spankings, SM, dogs, cats, mom, and apple pie, there’s maybe–maybe–three or four similar ones from women. Why? Who knows and who cares.

Maybe, since men are socialized to be more aggressive sexually, we’re more comfortable than women when it comes to articulating our desires. Perhaps, since we are socialized to view the objects of our sexual desire as bits and pieces and not as wholes, men are more likely to focus on one aspect of another person (hair, boobs, butt, teeth, lips) or even on one thing (heels, diapers, leather). Could it be that since men’s sexual expression is, paradoxically, subject to more restrictions than female sexuality–despite the fact that women’s sexuality is more suppressed than men’s–men are prey to a greater number of sexual taboos, and since taboos are the fount, the wellspring, the very life force of the fetishizing impulse, men are more likely to develop fetishes? Or, maybe, men are pigs.

Gay men, like straight men, fetishize. But gay men fetishize the masculine–body hair, uniforms, aggression, promiscuity–while straight men fetishize the feminine (that’s why crossdressers, guys who get sexual thrills dressing up in women’s clothes, are largely straight men). So gay men citing a preference for hairy guys is unique only in that they’re males seeking males, and as a straight woman you’re not accustomed to how the sexual objectification of the male body sounds (or reads). Since women are less likely to “fetishize” than men–or lack the sense of sexual privilege that men take for granted (“I deserve access to those things that make my dick hard”)–ads from women asking for hairy or hairless men are much fewer and further between.

Hey, Faggot:

My lover and I love giving and receiving oral sex. Our problem is that we both have very hairy pubes, and no matter how we try we can’t seem to avoid getting hair stuck in our mouths. We would like to shave all of our pubic hair off, but are apprehensive, because that is such a sensitive area. Furthermore, we think shaving each other could be an exciting prelude to sex.

Could you provide tips on safe ways to remove pubic hair? –Kimberly L.

Hey, KL:

Don’t shave your pubes–it’s a much less sexy act than you imagine it to be. If you are “very hairy,” it can take what will seem like hours to finish the job, and you can’t quit once you’ve started. Then a day or two later, there’s the stubble, the itch, the ingrown hairs–all of which must be suffered until the hair is long enough to shave off again, for you can’t shave your crotch every day like some men shave their faces: the skin is too sensitive.

So what to do? If your trouble is longish hairs getting in the way during oral sex, why not, instead of shaving your pubes off, simply trim them? Buy a good pair of clippers, use the one-fourth-inch attachment and shear yourselves like sheep before you go at it like dogs. It looks nice, the sensation is sexier than shaving, there are no nicks and cuts, and best of all you don’t have to deal with the heartbreak of stubble, crotch-whisker burn, or ingrown hairs.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.