A shaven male pubic area isn't as nearly as difficult to achieve, or uncomfortable to live with, as many make it out to be. This writeup will describe how to do it comfortably and how to keep it comfortable. Besides, you'd have to be extremely determined to castrate yourself with a safety razor.

PREPARATION

First, pack up your take-home old lady shopping cart, and head to your nearest grocery store or Rite Aid type place. You will be buying the following items:

1 name-brand triple-bladed razor, and an extra packet of blades for it. You can use a Gillette Mach3™, however I do not recommend it because they're made for shaving men's faces, not other body parts. The same goes for the Schick Quattro, or any other quad-bladed razors, which tend to gum up or become unfixably clogged with hair. I most wholeheartedly recommend a women's razor, since they're usually equipped with a more elaborate moisturizing system than a men's razor.

Also, you should know that when it comes to shaving one's genitals, using an electric shaver is right out, though they are useful for a pre-shave trim if a lot of hair is present.

• Estimated cost in USD: $9.00 at least, probably $20.00 altogether if you get an additional packet of blades.

1 can of Gillette Satin Care™ shave gel. Several varieties are available, though I recommend anti-nick-and-cut (purple can) or sensitive skin (blue can). If you're worried about such a thing making you seem too feminine, well, then you probably shouldn't be shaving down there in the first place. Besides, who's going to watch you shave? Store the stuff under the sink if you want. However, you should know that women's shaving products are, by several orders of magnitude, much gentler on the skin than men's face-shaving products. Do you really want to carve up the family jewels like you sometimes carve up your face? I thought not. That said, better get two cans; if you're like me, you'll want to start using Satin Care on your face as well. It's just that much better. I highly recommend against using anything that Skintimate makes; it contains soap (which will dry out your skin -- the last thing you want when shaving delicate body parts), provides poor moisturization, and is generally a bad thing to put on your most delicate bit of skin. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to use men's shaving cream for this. You will regret it. It's just not made for use on anything but the face, and I would argue that it isn't even adequate for its intended purpose.

As I have, since this was first written, become a vegan, I no longer use Satin Care because it contains silk (which comes from an animal). Instead, I use Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel™, which contains soy and is much gentler on the skin than anything offered by Gillette. It is not tested on animals, and it contains no animal products. And that's OK by me. Aveeno products are usually available right alongside Gillette products in all your favourite stores.

• Estimated cost in USD: $3.00

1 pint of witch hazel. Witch hazel is an astringent. It will help prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn if used immediately after shaving. It stings a bit when applied, but a little sting is a lot better than a minefield of ingrown hairs and razor bumps. You can usually find this near the pharmacy area of your grocery store, most likely right next to the rubbing alcohol. Dab it on with a cottonball after you get out of the shower.

• Estimated cost in USD: $1.00

1 bottle of moisturizing body lotion. Any brand will do, though I've found it more effective to splash out and get one of the more expensive brands. Ponds Ultra Silk is my personal favourite, though anything by Nivea or Neutrogena should do.

• Estimated cost in USD: $5.00-10.00

1 bottle of moisturizing body wash. Again, any brand will do, even the cheapies. This can be used as an alternative to or in combination with the aforementioned body lotion. It provides a layer of moisture to the shaven skin that a hot shower can deprive it of.

• Estimated cost in USD: $2.00-5.00

1 shaker bottle of baby powder. This is for after the shower. It also helps to prevent all manner of skin irritation, post-shearing.

• Estimated cost in USD: $2.00

As noted above, you should attempt to do this in the shower. It can be done outside the shower, but doing it in a moist environment helps a lot.

After you return from the grocery store, or whenever you feel you're ready, gather your wares and head into the bathroom. Set aside the witch hazel, the baby powder, and the body lotion, and take the rest into the shower with you. First, do your normal shower activities. While you do them, the steam and hot water will help get the skin of the pubic area into a more malleable condition, making it easier to shave.

SHAVING

When you're ready, spray a one-second burst of shave gel into your non-dominate hand. Cover the penis thoroughly, and when it's covered, do not rinse off your hand. If there's a lot of gel left on your hand, shake it off, but you should keep that hand gelled so you don't remove the gel already on the target area with water.

Next, take the razor and hold it under the shower stream for ten or fifteen seconds to heat up the blades.

NOTE: The following assumes that you trimmed your pubic area before showering. If you've never shaved before, it's highly recommended that you trim first, otherwise this operation will take about two hours. Trimming first cuts it down to about five minutes once you get the hang of it.

None of the above writeups attempt to explain how to shave the entire pubic area, so I will do that here. That being the case, we're going to start at the top and work our way down. Start by shaving the area directly above the penis, however high up it goes. In most people, hair in this area grows in many different directions, so give it several once-overs with the razor. Upon completion of each once-over, run your hand over the area in each direction, touching up with the razor wherever you feel or see hair and stubble. To get the area at the very base of the penis, push and hold your penis downwards between your legs. This creates a plane which makes shaving the area much easier. Shave in whatever direction you choose, though I find shaving bottom-to-top (against the grain) works best.

For the hair that grows higher up on the base of the penis, gently pull the penis forwards until it's pointing at the wall in front of you. The best grip can be had by grasping the glans with the tips of all of the fingers on your non-dominate hand. This grip enables you to shave towards the body from the glans to the base on all sides of the penis. Use gentle strokes with the razor in this area, taking particular care not to bear down too much on the bumpy hair folicles that cover the underside of the base. If you do manage to cut a few, don't worry; it doesn't really hurt, and it never bleeds for very long.

Continuing downwards, start on the scrotum. Usually hair that grows on the scrotum grows in every direction, making this the trickiest part of the male body to shave. The best way I've found to do it is to pull (gently, of course) the scrotum downwards toward your knees, and make equal downstrokes and upstrokes with the razor. To get the back of the scrotum, pull the entire unit, shaft and all, up against your belly. This exposes the underside of the scrotum, allowing for relatively easy shaving from the scrotum to the perineal area. This may seem like an awfully delicate operation, but there's not much cause for alarm. I've been shaving mine for over five years and I've never cut it, not even with cheap, single-bladed plastic razors. Every nutsack is different, though, so don't get too careless.

Most men seem to blanch at the thought of shaving the scrotum, but really, there's little to worry about. It possesses some of the thickest skin on the entire body, which doesn't exactly make it easy to lacerate.

Once you're done with the scrotum, you're done with the whole thing. Optionally, you can continue by shaving your legs, chest, underarms and buttocks, if you're so inclined. Otherwise, break out the body wash and give your pubic area a good lathering. Rinse your entire body, taking care to wash off any stray, shaven hairs that you may have missed before, and exit the shower. Dry off completely, patting your private parts dry. Have a seat on the toilet or the edge of the tub and dab on a bit of witch hazel with a cottonball, then apply a thin layer of lotion. Let your skin absorb it, then apply a dash of baby powder. Wait fifteen or twenty minutes before dressing.

AFTERMATH

Now, go find your girlfriend/boyfriend and let her/him marvel at your new clean-looking bits. Let her/him wonder at the fact that it no longer looks like a turd dangling from a sheepdog's butt. Have sex and shock yourself at how much more sensitive your parts are without their patina of coarse hair. Go commando at will now that zippers can no longer trap hair in their hungry teeth. It's amazing!

A note about aftercare: You should continue with the lotion and baby powder for the next week or so, or until you shave down there again, whichever comes first. I've found that 10 days is an appropriate amount of time to go between shaves. And yes, for the first few weeks it will itch. This is true with any body part that you've never shaved before after it's been shaven. It can be remedied with anti-itch cream, lotion, or powder. Or you could just live with it.

Once you get used to doing this every week, go wild! Give yourself a porno patch (also known as a Hitler moustache or a Band-Aid), shape your regrowth into various designs, etc. Feels much better, doesn't it? Also, feel free to convince your lover to shave, now that you are aware of its wonders, assuming your lover is in possession of a penis. Alternately, have her read the female version.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the Bits Beautification Bureau.

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