Dear Ty

Illustration: Nicole Rutkowski.
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Dear Di,

After hooking up with some guy last week, I feel like I need to consider doing some serious manscaping. He was about to go down on me, but he stopped. I think his exact words next were “Woah, it’s a jungle down here. I’ll try to work my way around it.” Although I could tell he was teasing, it was still slightly embarrassing. I guess I didn’t really think much of it before. It seems like there are so many unwritten rules about body hair—could you fill me in?

-Manscaping Mayhem

Dear MM,

First of all, don’t be embarrassed about this little incident. Body hair is a natural thing that everyone contends with—and no partner, long or short term, should pressure you to style, shave, or trim if your preference is to go au naturel.

But if you’re finding that your thick man bush is hindering your ability to get off, there’s no shame in taming the garden. If you’re in a long-term relationship, and going bare doesn’t bother you, you might also want to compromise with your loved one—but ultimately, it’s your body, and your choice.

That said, giving yourself a proper trim can be a dicey prospect in amateur hands, since there’s a lot of delicate equipment down there that could be easily damaged by a razor.

But if you want to make your pelvic region more accessible, there is a safe way to do it.

Here’s a play-by-play. Take a hot shower first, then use an alcohol-free shave gel that has some aloe in it. Always rub down any equipment being used in your pelvic region with an alcohol wipe. For your scrotum, pull the skin taut with one hand and use the razor or trimmer in the other. For the first few times, you may need to stand over a mirror to get all the right angles. Now that you’re all done, grab a moisturizer with aloe to soothe.

If you do decide to go bare, you may also want to consider trimming your chest, back, and buttocks to maintain consistency. For this, you should be using a beard trimmer or clipper to get the job done.

Above all, don’t forget that your body isn’t a wax figure—people will naturally find themselves with hairs, pimples, freckles and more “unattractive” features surfacing all the time. With that in mind, jungle or no jungle, don’t be afraid to go wild.



Dear Di,

I told my partner that I prefer to have sex without condoms, but he wasn’t a fan of the idea. We’re both men, so there’s no need to worry about unwanted pregnancy, and we’ve both been tested recently for STIs. What’s the big deal?

-Bareback Boning

Dear BB,

So long as you are having anal sex, it is still vitally important to use protection.

For example, if a man ejaculates during anal penetration, the fluid is absorbed into the body and can cause a prostate infection. Men may be less likely to get a bladder infection like women do, but they can still end up with a prostate infection, and may not even know it.

The risks of going bareback don’t end there. If you don’t use a condom, it’s hard to prevent bacteria from transferring from your partner’s anus to your urethra.

Despite your distaste for rubbers, not all are the same—and your choice can be the difference maker in how you feel about condoms. You’ll want to stick with something that has less texture. Always keep in mind that the rectum is a tight, dry place, so contraceptives that are studded or ribbed may not be the best option out there.

You’ll also need to go slow, communicate, and have lube handy to avoid the potentially painful parts of re-entry.

Bottom line: even if pregnancy and STIs aren’t a risk here, you should still take every precaution to protect yourself.

Condoms all the way!