Got a Beard? Here's How to Avoid Giving Her a Rash Down There

I was once having a lengthy sex marathon with my partner when I started to notice something strange. After the fourth or fifth time I received oral sex (yup, told you it was a marathon sex session), I started to feel intense pain down there, like there were knives around my vaginal opening and clitoris.

Upon further investigation, I realized that my partner hadn’t shaved that day. The scruff on his cheeks and chin had irritated my vulva to the point that I needed to take a seriously long break from sex. I had gotten beard rash on my lady bits.


It would never have occurred to me in a million years that this was possible, but when you think about it, it makes total sense. You know how your partner's chin can get a bit red and irritated when you’re having a hot makeout session? That's beard rash. Men naturally have 25% thicker skin than most women, so if your facial hair rubs against her face for long enough, you better believe there will be irritation.

The same applies to her bathing suit parts, if not more so. “The skin of the vulva [the external part of the female genitalia, comprised of the labia, mons pubis, and clitoris] is very sensitive and vulnerable to external irritation,” Dr. Sherry A. Ross, a women’s health expert and author of she-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period., tells “With hair follicles and sweat glands, the skin of the vulva can be easily irritated by coarse facial hair during oral sex.”

It doesn’t matter if the vulva is clean shaved, full bush, or neatly trimmed, Ross adds. This can happen to anyone. (FYI, it can also happen for men who have sex with men, as facial hair can irritate the scrotum.)

If you’re new to this whole giving head thing, or if you've seen your partner wincing in pain after you come up for air, we have the answers you need to avoid giving her beard rash and be the very best cunning linguist you can be. Here's what you need to know.