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A Close Shave

Joe Newton

I would like to remove the hair from my butt, but it’s hard to fit the razor in my cleavage. Which depilatories are safe for the area?

Hairy Butt Blues

After reading your to-the-point letter, HBB, the old, insensitive, helpful, pre-Labiagate Dan Savage would have found the safest, quickest way to rid yourself of yer wiry ol’ butthairs and advised you to do just that. The new, sensitive, unhelpful, post-Labiagate Dan Savage, on the other hand, does not believe that anyone should chop off any of their beautiful-as-God-/Goddess-intended-them-to-be body parts, however pesky, putrid, or piddling. If wiry asswhiskers, long labia, and skanky foreskins weren’t lovely and scrumptious and functional, well, then God/Goddess would not have filled our asscracks with asswhiskers or decorated our genitals with stray ribbons of flesh.

Before you pluck even one of your precious asswhiskers, HBB, I implore you to...

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...i> of your precious asswhiskers, HBB, I implore you to reconsider. Don’t alter your ass! Alter your attitude! Asswhiskers are beautiful, man! Why, my boyfriend’s asscrack is the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen, and it looks for all the world (or just for me, actually) like there’s a small, yappy dog tucked between his ass cheeks. (Lord knows it sounds like there’s a yappy dog in there sometimes.) And I love it! Hairy asscrack! Celebrate it, man! Alrighty then, on the off-chance the above didn’t shake your resolve to be rid of those asswhiskers, HBB, I contacted Scott Hughes at Laser’s Edge in Lake Oswego, Oregon, just outside of Portland. According to Scott, laser hair removal and electrolysis are the only permanent, FDA-approved hair removal procedures on the market. Other methods of hair removal are temporary, and most depilatories are “chemical processes”; i.e., they burn off hair, and aren’t recommended for use in “sensitive areas,” (crotch and asscrack). Laser hair removal, Scott tells me, is safe anywhere you can shine a light. How does it work? During electrolysis, a doc sticks a small needle into each hair follicle, and gives you a painful little zap. “The electricity disables the follicle,” Scott explains. “Laser treatments, on the other hand, cover a larger area, using laser energy to disable many follicles at once. In the short run, laser treatments are more expensive, but it takes far fewer treatments to get the job [done], so you wind up saving money.” Costs range from $89 to $350 per treatment depending on the size of the area — just how big is your asscrack, HBB? — and it takes, on average, five treatments to clear the average asscrack of an average amount of asswhiskers. Do they laser much asscrack at Laser’s Edge? “Genital and other sensitive area treatments are quite common,” says Scott. “Probably about 20 percent of our work is in sensitive areas.” What’s the most common sensitive area that Laser’s Edge lasers? “Women’s bikini lines. Most women who come in want to leave a little patch and that’s it. Most of the men who come in have hair removed from the shafts of their penises, but we have done and do do rear ends as well.” You do do rear ends? “Yes, we do.” Does the staff enjoy lasering asscrack? “We have a staff of five RNs and one physician, and they’re all professionals. It may not be anyone’s favorite area to treat, but, again, they’re all professionals.” Okay, let’s say one of Laser Edge’s professionals is running a hot laser up and down someone’s hairy asscrack. Suddenly, the patient cuts a huge fart. Would the laser ignite the fart, setting the Laser’s Edge professional alight and burning down the clinic? “That’s never happened. I would suggest that anyone having the treatment done in that particular area refrain from passing gas until the laser treatment is over, if only out of common courtesy for the person administering the treatment.” I’m a 47-year-old SBM. I’ve been addicted to porn-viewing booths since 1981. In that time, I’ve gone from straight to limited bisexuality. I love full sex with women: kissing, intercourse, breast sucking, and oral sex. With men, I focus on oral sex only. I’ve come to like the taste of come so much that I’ve developed a strange fetish. I’ve started looking around on the floor of different booths for fresh come. When I find some, I lock the door and lick it off the floor. Then I go home and masturbate. I’ve never seen or heard of anyone else doing this, and I can’t stop this new addiction. Please list the diseases I could catch, if only to help me find the courage to stop. Helpless Before My Addiction There are two good reasons why you haven’t heard of anyone else doing this… this… thing you do, HBMA. First, it’s so fucking DISGUSTING that no one who does it would or should admit it in public. Second, it’s so fucking DISGUSTING that no one who doesn’t do it wants to hear about it. But in answer to your question — what diseases could you catch? — well, you’d have to lick a lot of come off a lot of floors, but it’s conceivable that you could contract HIV doing this… this… thing you do. According to Barak Gaster, Savage Love’s long-suffering medical adviser, licking floors without come on them is actually pretty safe. “There is a lot of paranoia about germs that you can catch from dirt, like a dirty floor — probably more than is warranted by reality,” says Barak. “The diseases people get are by and large spread from person to person, or from bad drinking water. Stuff on the floor is not that big a risk.” However, in Barak’s medical opinion, people should avoid licking come off floors. HIV is a relatively hearty virus, and if the come you’re licking up is at all fresh, well, you could be licking up active viruses. “I would call what this man is doing pretty high-risk behavior,” says Barak. “And there’s also hepatitis B to worry about. Although hep B is mostly a blood-borne illness, it’s also spread through semen. And hep B is extremely transmissible. It takes very, very few virus particles to infect a person with hep B. It takes several thousand HIV particles to create much risk of infection, but with hep B as few as five particles are enough to give you a significant risk of contracting hep B.” Hep B, of course, will eventually knock out your liver and can kill you just as dead as HIV. Barak does agree that you’re probably already suffering from what could be — if we’re lucky — a terminal case of cooties. letters@savagelove.net