If there’s one thing I believe with my whole heart, it’s that a woman should never date a guy who is unwilling to eat pussy. Strike that, a woman should never date a guy who doesn’t love eating pussy. Which is why I was stunned when I had a negative experience with a guy who could seemingly sustain himself on my pussy alone (no food, no water, no air needed). After a long cunnilingus session, I woke up the next morning with my crotch on fire, and not in a good way.
It didn’t feel like anything I’d ever experienced before, and for a second, I went into full-on panic mode, thinking I had an old-school STD like gonorrhea or syphilis. But after some googling, I came to a shocking conclusion: I had beard burn. Down there.
It made sense, too. I am, after all, a sensitive-skinned girl who had suffered the painful after-effects of make-out sessions with stubbled guys before. And there really is no difference between what happens when you kiss a guy on the mouth and when he kisses you between your legs. There’s exposed skin. There’s coarse facial hair. And when those two things come into contact, they can leave a mark (which is sometimes hilariously called “stache rash”).
My bafflement (and subsequent freakout) was common, it turns out. Many women, I’ve found, are initially puzzled by this condition. “My shit was on fire!” relays Dolores, a 39-year-old in NYC. “I thought he gave me something. I went to the ER and found out it was just irritation from his beard. I got a shot in the general vicinity and had to sit on a bag of ice.”
“It was the absolute worst, and it happened right after my Brazilian appointment,” adds Lisa, a 47-year-old in Houston. “I rushed to my gyno. He had me soak in a tub with Epsom salts and recommended ‘no irritating activity’ until the redness/rash went away. Ever since, Brazilian day is a look-but-no-touch day.”
Perhaps strangely, all of the women I spoke to about the topic seem to agree that large beards that were conditioned and oiled were usually fine. The real culprit was stubble. “I’ve gotten really bad chafing burn from a guy’s stubble,” explains Jenny, a 36-year-old from Ottawa. “There’s no funny story attached, other than my my pussy, inner thigh and ass crack felt raw for the next two days.”
The freshly trimmed beard also deserves blame, though not scorn. (Again, I never want to be critical of a guy who goes downtown with gusto.) You see, a beard that’s just been trimmed has sharper tips than an untrimmed beard, which will be more dull. Ironically, it’s possible he was trimming his beard in preparation for his date with you.
Then there’s the position in which you use that furry face. A good one to keep in mind for you bearded/stubbled fellas out there is the 69 (nice!), as it keeps the whiskers from being in direct contact with the most sensitive areas. That would be my general rule of thumb in this regard: Basically, be sure to place your face/head in a way that will keep your chin from grinding on her like a power sander. Also worth noting: Hair trumps hair. At least according to Pattie, a 33-year-old in Chicago. “I fight it by having some cushiony pubic hair,” she boasts.
In terms of treatment options, the more than 50 women I queried provided a lot of different choices: from A+D Ointment and other diaper-rash creams, to Cortizone-10, to more natural options like zinc, aloe and coconut oil. As mentioned earlier, many ob-gyns also recommend sitting on an ice pack. (I myself immediately went to Target and bought some Vagisil; it seemed to do the trick.)
Essentially, all you’re trying to do is eliminate the pain of the rash until it heals, which can take a day or two, depending on how vigorously the skin was chafed. “My husband has a short beard that gives me a slight rash,” says Rose, a 42-year-old from Philadelphia. “I wipe the area with baby wipes and use a bit of powder. That keeps the rash from getting too bad.”
Of course, there’s one major way to guarantee you’ll never experience beard burn down under: Make him shave. Or, you know, swing the other way. “These comments make me really happy I date women,” says Kirsten, a 27-year-old from Tennessee.
Oh, Kirsten, the bane of my existence is that I’m so boringly straight. BUT THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.