Bush in 2003!

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I vote Bush. Not curious George in 2004 or Jeb for Florida governor, but bush — muff; snatch; giant, unshaved, untrimmed, untended, Nixon-era beaver; funk-style, spilling over — the proverbial sheepskin rug at the fireplace of sex. For those of us who lost our optic virginities to smuggled copies of our parents’ Joy of Sex (the original — with its doughty young enthusiast and her impressive hedgerow), the whole Brazilian deforestation craze seems altogether unfortunate, alien, anti-body. When I interact with a pussy, I want it hemmed in and grown over with a high-pile carpet; I want Jane Fonda in Barbarella, Helena Bonham Carter in Wings of a Dove. In a world where there’s Maria Grazia Cucinotta, why would you settle for Sinead?


   Shaved or overly cropped genitalia suggest to me some sterilized dystopian future of petri-dish sex and test-tube insertion — sanitized, odorless and sweat-free, the human organism written out of its own procreation. A big messy thatch, on the other hand, is a kind of throwback to a lost, unclothed Eden, when the pussy was a long-haired Persian (not that hairless wiener-cat the sphynx), and men wanted to fuck women, not kids. Forgive the sudden proselytizing, but what else is this waxing worship all about but a trip to the playground, a fantasyland hanky-pank with your friend’s ten-year-old sister? Brazilian-ed beaver, baby-butt smooth is just that: babyish. Whereas hair, hair means puberty, hair means womanhood, hair means one, single, unambiguous thing: readiness for sex. Fertility, appropriateness, the biological imperative: in prehistoric times, with the species just trying to hang on, the green-light of body hair told our Cro-Magnon forbears who was worth dragging into the cave. Perhaps my sex life is a bit overly homo erectus, but it shouldn’t take recidivism for hair, now, to evoke in us our best Stone Age impulses. Hair should equal desire; it should provide a stark (I don’t say bald) confrontation with sex itself. Shaving or waxing it off creates mixed phylogenetic messages, confusion in an already confusing realm.
    True, you will say, but what is phylogeny next to porn? We know why most men like it shaved: because we are decidedly visual creatures, because it’s nice to survey imminent domain, because porn helped teach us how to look. Perhaps if porn could exist in more effective tactile or olfactory media, the visual emphasis would disappear. But the feelies aren’t around the corner, VR has let us down, so we consume the predominantly one-sense (some would say nonsense) porn that’s available, and entrench ourselves further as lookers. But apparently most men think there’s more to it than that. One not-yet-staggering mate at the bar tells me, “When a woman doesn’t shave, it tells me she doesn’t really respect herself.” Well, well, I think, so much for ’70s feminism. Another tells me that, “after lounging on a pristine beach, it’s tough to go back to fighting in the jungle, you know what I mean?” Yes, fighting in the jungle . . . but do we really need a cane machete to find what we’re looking for?
    And the female lords of said inland terrain, why do they do it? What would make a woman want her priviest of privies to look, at best, like a hothouse orchid or, at worst, like a hot-dog bun? And what about those “compromise” semi-Brazilians, grim nether facsimiles of the mechanical-pencil moustaches of Latin American dictators, or — even worse — little between-the-hips Hitlers? Isn’t fascism the wrong message to send to any would-be cunnilinguist?
    “No,” jokes Pearl, an employee of the Berenice Beauty Center in Manhattan. “Men are stupid. They like presentation, and a Brazilian gives them a look they haven’t seen before, and that, for most men, is a turn-on.” And what of the pre-pubescent perversion this all seems to suggest? “Maybe some men like that,” Pearl admits, “and this keeps them from getting arrested.”
    To be fair, Pearl also insists that all that bushwhacking gives the woman “an extremely clean, nice, very sexy feeling.” Perhaps that is the case, but it wasn’t long ago when letting one’s leg and armpit hair grow wild had the same effect, simply by accepting the body for what it is. “We are American,” Pearl tells me, “we don’t want body hair.” But I’m more inclined to think, we’re American, so we rise and fall with the latest trends. One decade shag, the next hardwood. They are personal choices, perhaps, but clearly ones dictated by the whims of fashion. Amid such flightiness, I remain steadfast. Every day we vote, my friends, every day: re-elect bush.  

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©2003 Nerve.com, Inc. and Jack Murnighan

Jack Murnighan‘s stories appeared in the Best American Erotica editions of 1999, 2000 and 2001. His weekly column for Nerve, Jack’s Naughty Bits, was collected and released as two books. He was the editor-in-chief of Nerve from 1999 to 2001, before retiring to write full time and take seriously the quest for love.