Talking about pubic hair with a first date...?!
November 14, 2017 4:50 PM   Subscribe

A guy I'm going to go on a date has put it up on his OkC profile that he prefers women who shave their pubic hair. I don't shave my pubic hair. Should I bring this up before we meet?

So, I like my pubic hair! I hate shaving! Shaving my pubic hair is not something I will do! (I also do not let men tell me what to do with my body(hair))

I don't want to waste my time with someone who's going to be disgusted with my pubic hair, but it also seems a bit bizarre to bring this up before we meet/or even on the first date. (We have a lot in common and I think we'll get along, which is why I want to give this a shot)

Any way of broaching this? (I also hate that I'm even worrying about this. This has never been an issue before with men I've been with before. But they've also never stated 'completely shaven' as their preference...).

Note: If we do hit it off, it would take a few dates before I felt comfortable taking off my clothes.
posted by twill to Human Relations (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A preference is a preference and it doesn't need to be discussed or negotiated really. My view on answers to OkCupid questions is if everything else seems good and there's just one questionable answer, I just go with it and let it come up naturally whenever it does.
posted by sockermom at 4:52 PM on November 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

I don't want to waste my time with someone who's going to be disgusted with my pubic hair, but it also seems a bit bizarre to bring this up before we meet/or even on the first date.

He's the one who talked about pubic hair before the first date, and yeah, I do think it was a bit bizarre to bring this up before you met. Bizarre of him.
He should be curious about you and thrilled to date you, not act like he's making an order at a fast food window.
posted by velveeta underground at 4:53 PM on November 14, 2017 [43 favorites]

If you mean he answered a multiple choice question saying he has that preference, I wouldn't bother bringing it up. If he actually spells this out in his profile, that's a little odd. Not sure what you should do there. But if it's just a multiple choice question, nevermind it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:55 PM on November 14, 2017 [28 favorites]

If he put this on his profile, it's probably something he cares about. I'd discuss before wasting your time with an in person date.
posted by jzb at 4:57 PM on November 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Meet him and chat first. This shouldn't be discussed until date 2 or 3.
posted by hydra77 at 4:57 PM on November 14, 2017

Preferences need not necessarily be deal breakers, but if you want to consider this a deal breaker that’s fine too.

Yes it’s weird to ask/tell about this from either end before you meet. Either politely ignore at the first meeting or don’t meet; there is no established common protocol for pubic hair discussions at or before first meeting.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:03 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Just to clarify. No, this wasn't something he stated on his profile. Just one of OkC's multiple-choice questions.
posted by twill at 5:12 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

No, this wasn't something he stated on his profile. Just one of OkC's multiple-choice questions.

That's a horse of a different color entirely. The way I read your question he put it on his profile. No, you probably shouldn't bring it up. I answered the same question (differently) when I was on OKCupid and it was just a preference not a demand or deal-breaker.

As just a response to the multiple choice questions, I wouldn't read too much into it.
posted by jzb at 5:16 PM on November 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

Don't bring it up. If the date(s) go well and you decide to get naked together, you can decide at that point whether you want to discuss it, but I'd just let him be surprised.
posted by metasarah at 5:19 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Um... while I'm not saying this should be a deal breaker for him... is there like an option to skip questions - because... like... I can't get into the head of someone who would answer that question and not skip that question where that wasn't a deal breaker for them... and in that sense... consider this: did he have the opportunity to skip that question... because if he did and he chose to answer it...

I'm not saying run this through game theory levels of logic here, but knowing this answer before going on a first date is sort of a creeptastic thing... like... wtf level creepy shit. And I'm a guy... basically knowing this is like failure to unknow the "Now you say, 'What a lovely tea party.'" line from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. There is really no context where that knowledge and knowing the source of the material where you can think that this isn't something that this person has put some time and thought into and where that knowledge can help build a long term relationship.

I mean... I'd want to know how much of a deal breaker this is with this guy before I got emotionally invested with him... and your expectations may vary because people use dating sites for different things... if you are looking at this guy for Mr. Right Now... sure - this may be a fine thing... but if you are looking for Mr. Right - this is the stuff of an AskMe in 6 months.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:23 PM on November 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

Go on the date and don't bring it up. If you like him he can cross the bridge when he comes to it. Honestly I think the bizarre element here is OKC's putting this on a first-impressions questionnaire meant to connect people for dating... weird.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:27 PM on November 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Uhhh. You have not supplied some enormously important details that are throwing off people who aren’t familiar with OKC. Like, you don’t mention if he marked the question as extremely important, somewhat important, or not important; if there’s a range or he only selected one preference; or what answers he’ll accept in a match; etc.

People engage with OKC in different ways. Some answer honestly so they get more accurate matches, and don’t assume that every question is going to be examined with rubber gloves and forceps.

Basically my personal opinion here is that people are way better off with some pictures, a few lines, and swiping left or right. Because derailed profiles like what OKC encourages only invites this kind of, uh, hair splitting madness.
posted by danny the boy at 5:44 PM on November 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

Oh. Um. I just don’t generally trim or shave anything, and I don’t say anything. Not in advance, and not when I’m naked. I’m at the point in my life where, and I’m serious about this, if a guy comments negatively on my pit hair or my bush, I’m out. I have walked out on dates with guys who say that hair is gross* or weird or not sexy. I’m not interested in guys who haven’t questioned gendered body expectations/advertising/ageism. If a guy is getting to see what’s under my underpants, I expect him to be happy about it. We’re old enough not to have to pretend that every penis we see is the most magical in all the land. They’re old enough to hold the hair aside (or let me hold it) while they go down.

This is not negotiable for me. On a rare occasion I will trim or shave my underarms but that would be like, a wedding where the bride has expressed a preference (because if I’m going to a wedding, it’s her day, damnit, and that’s important to me. YMMV) or because I just felt like it.

On OKC you can see if he listed your answer as acceptable. It’s probably a pair of corresponding questions about what you prefer in a partner and what you do with yours. Maddeningly, they don’t present these questions as pairs. If he’s listed my answers on either question as unacceptable, there need to be a lot of impressive mitigating factors for me to consider going ahead.

*as a PSA and let’s not make this a derail: While we’re taking about things that are considered gross, penis owners? Wash your junk. Foreskin. Balls. All of it. With soap. And then dry thoroughly and well. Everyone who owns a buthole? Wash it. With soap. And then dry thoroughly and well. Vagina owners? Wash the outside with soap, do not put soap inside your vagina. And then dry thoroughly and well.
posted by bilabial at 5:46 PM on November 14, 2017 [48 favorites]

I don’t think okc allows regular (any?) users to see the importance ranking selected. I think they just use that in their algorithm.

Also. My answer above may qualify as eponysterical if you think pubic hair is funny. I generally think bodies are funny, but not everyone does.
posted by bilabial at 5:49 PM on November 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

I would just go on the date and not bring it up. If things end up working out, you can discuss it at some future time.
posted by Slinga at 6:02 PM on November 14, 2017

Unless he's John Ruskin, it's pretty interesting how quickly preferences like that change when you're with someone who's otherwise quite appealing.

Also note that, as prevalent as shaving is, it's possible that he's just never been with someone who doesn't. This is especially true if he's young and/or inexperienced, and most of his "experience" with women has been through porn. Again, easily changed preferences.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:33 PM on November 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

No, this wasn't something he stated on his profile. Just one of OkC's multiple-choice questions.

If I was asked this in a battery of questions I would answer truthfully that I prefer shaven - I hadn't had a preference and had never shaved until one particular partner insisted I at least try shaving, because "skin on skin feels glorious". she was right. Now I have a preference. However, I would not write it in a profile description, nor is a preference the same as a deal breaker - my favorite color is purple, but if I were dating and met a potential partner who didn't have purple hair, I wouldn't dismiss them for not lining up with one of my preferences.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 6:56 PM on November 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Bah, it's a semi-joke question in an OKC profile questionnaire. Don't worry about it at all. My partner put that she really really preferred redheads in her profile. She still does. Tough :-)
posted by tillsbury at 8:35 PM on November 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

As a woman I’m really tired of being told “it’s just a joke” while someone is telling me directly or indirectly that my body is gross or otherwise tries to police my appearance.

So tired. The reasons I can tell it’s not a joke is that it’s not funny, and when I explain to men (it’s always men for me because I don’t date women) that I don’t think hair is gross, they get pissy and lecture me about it. If it were a joke they wouldn’t need to defend laughing at body hair so hard.
posted by bilabial at 10:37 PM on November 14, 2017 [19 favorites]

IIRC OKCupid just throws a bunch of random questions at you as soon as you start to create a profile. There’s something inviting about them that just keeps you answering more of them. If it was just one of the questions I wouldn’t worry about it.

Also he said it was a “preference” - you’re not just body hair you’re a whole person. Anyone who would reject an awesome woman because of something like HAIR is not a person the awesome woman wants to date. ❤️
posted by bendy at 12:06 AM on November 15, 2017

With the caveat that I'm in a relationship, rather than actively dating, I agree that there is nothing that needs to be discussed before the date and probably nothing that needs to be discussed during the date either.

I would want to look closely at his profile and other questions he answered in case there is any kind of pattern that raises red flags, meaning not just a simple preference on this one topic, but general attitudes to women or sexuality that are not in keeping with yours.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:21 AM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, boy. I think it's a really bad idea to take someone's answers to the OKC multiple choice questions this seriously. The only way that you have any inkling at all that someone considers their answer to be the One True Way and all other answers to be dealbreakers is if they've done one of two things: 1), they can fill in additional info about their answer when they're answering the question, and/or 2), they've marked that question as one that their ideal match would answer in a specific way. Without those things there*, this is most likely just a question that the guy thought about for half a second before thumbing a radio button and moving on. Or, as has sometimes happened to me, he was aiming for a different answer but his phone registered a different response on the touch screen. Other things that have happened to me while answering those questions on my own profile: had some weird app glitch invert my answers to yes/no questions in that Quickmatch thing which fucked up my matches for ages, accidentally marked questions as extremely important that I actually gave not one shit about, accidentally checked the wrong response and then forgot to go back 24 hours later to correct my response... don't treat the info gleaned through that stuff as ironclad data about this guy or anyone else you meet there.

Also, as for his response itself... I'm a cis het woman who dates men when I bother to date, and I've answered that question the same way as this guy. Sometimes I like it when a dude shaves his junk for me! And so since we're supposed to be answering that question with our ideal mate in mind, shaved is one of the answers I check yes to on that question. Like most other people, though, it's not a dealbreaker for me if the dude is sporting full bush when the pants finally come off. And for the last guy I met on OKC, who had marked on that question that he preferred neatly trimmed but not shaved, it wasn't a dealbreaker for him that I showed up not only shaved, but shaved weirdly (I make my own fun, don't judge me). He never said a word about it. Upthread someone was pontificating about the questionable mindset of people like me who answer that question when it's not a dealbreaker; I think that this is a GREAT illustration of the different mindsets people bring to dating apps in general, these questions in specific.

In short... you're overthinking this one a TON. It sounds like this might be your first time using OKC, since you mention never having this kind of information about a date before. This really is just one of a boatload of intimate questions that the app asks; some people skip those, some people don't. If it bothers you to let potential dates know that information about you before they even meet you, then skip those questions and only answer the ones that matter to you for forming a first-date level connection with someone and let the intimate stuff come up organically. And if it distresses you to know a potential date's feelings on intimate issues before you're ready, then don't look at the way they've answered questions.
posted by palomar at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I'm someone who, when I was single, spent a lot of time reading people's answers to questions on OKC, because often there's really important info in them. But that particular question is not one I've ever worried about, unless the person elaborated in an explanation and it seemed to be a deal breaker for THEM.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:03 AM on November 16, 2017

Sooooo, everyone I've dated has stated that they prefer a shaved woman. But I love my glorious bush & I keep it around for a while. And soon enough, 99% of them are ok with my glorious bush and my barely there armpit hair. They are surprised that they actually like it or at least don't mind it. I think the default for many woman is to shave and that shaved parts are inherently better. And people who sleep with women then tend to be used to this and develop their preferences. Granted, if they made requests to trim, I would be happy to oblige...afterall I'd like to make it possible for them to do their best work there;)

I say not to worry about it but if it comes up, make no qualms about it. And being playful/funny/empowered helps:)
posted by PeaPod at 1:02 PM on November 16, 2017

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