Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Lets Dating: Vajazzling

The Last of the Mohicans, Except… Not Really

Getting intimately involved with people from other countries can lead to all sorts of embarrassing and enlightening encounters, and let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot that’s more intimate than the hair down there. Yes, I’m talking about the “under hair,” the “P Zone,” or the “asoko” (over there) as it’s sometimes demurely referred to in Japanese.

It may not often be openly discussed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on people’s minds. So let me just put it out there – down-there hair is a highly personal issue, and one that causes a great deal of consternation and confusion for all parties involved.

The encounter doesn’t even have to be a sexual one. A dear male friend of mine, CJ, paid a visit to me here in Tokyo and decided to stop by a local sento for a little soak. He came back with a slightly perplexed look on his face and in a conspiratorial whisper (even though we were in the privacy of my apartment by that time) proceeded to explain that many of the fellow sento-goers seemed to have something unusual going on with their “lower mane.” Instead of curling around to form a fro-like shape, he said their hair seemed to stick straight out, like a fan, or a Mohawk. I then informed him that in Japan that particular hairstyle is called a Mohican, which made us laugh, since far from being the last of the Mohicans, they appear to be in abundant supply here.

Discovering something unexpected downstairs is not just limited to Japan, as I can attest from some personal encounters with European men. It was quite a shock the first time I discovered that Continental fellows like things to be… breezy down there. (And by breezy I mean smooth and hairless as they day they were born.) The Europeans had several reasons for their aggressive manscaping. Some of them liked the clean look and feel, a few of them felt pressured by their peers, but – let’s be honest here – they all enjoyed the fact that bald balls made their junk look that much bigger.

Japanese fellas, on the other hand, seem to take the opposite approach, letting things grow wild and free. When I recently brought up the subject of male grooming of the hair down there with a group of Japanese girlfriends, I just got a lot of blank stares. However, it appears that J-guys may soon be feeling the pressure to start trimming everything from their knuckles to their knees and the “treasure trail” leading downstairs to… well, their “treasures.” The perplexingly-named Ya! Men No! No! For Men is an electric razor that is apparently profiting from men’s increasing insecurities and its website demonstrates how men can go from “wild” to “clean” in various points of their anatomy. Is it just me, or does the former actually sound more appealing? Well, in theory, anyway.

The most shocking thing I’ve heard regarding grooming of the groin, though, is the new trend for women called “Vajazzling.” This procedure involves first removing all the hair in an intense waxing session, and then decorating the now bald patch with – and I swear I’m not making this up – Swarovski crystals, which can be arranged in the shape of flowers, hearts, and even Hello Kitty. Now I have a hard time imagining how this could really appeal to men, but I suppose, like nail art, it’s something that women do to boost their self-confidence rather than to please or attract a partner. Also, just thinking about what it would feel like to engage in any activity with the lower half of your body if you were vajazzled… well, I can’t imagine it would be particularly pleasurable on either end.

Yes, under hair is the source of plenty of laughter, embarrassment, and some misguided jewel application, but lest you think it’s all fun and games, I’ll end with a cautionary tale. BB is a friend who learned the hard way that Japanese fellas have something a little different going on downstairs. BB was living with her Australian beau, but found herself compelled to chase after a dashing young Japanese lad while her man was out of town. BB and the Japanese fellow enjoyed a little romp in the sheets and she sent him on his merry way. Until she took one look at the aforementioned (white) sheets and noticed a problem. A small, coarse, black, zig-zag shaped problem. Well, several of them, actually. Not all hairs are created equally, apparently. BB managed to sweep all the telltale hairs out of her bed, but it was certainly a close call. Maybe that’s the real reason the Europeans are rockin’ the breezy look…