To Pube or Not to Pube: A Sex and Hygiene Question
A female student walked into my Human Sexuality class with the following pronouncement: “I just saw some ‘70’s porn this weekend – OMG, the bushes on those women!”
The truth is, a love of bushes didn’t start in the ‘70’s. Have you ever heard of a merkin? I didn’t think so. The only reason I’ve heard of it is that I spent too many hours reading English literature instead of cultivating my bush and auditioning for porn.
A merkin is a pubic wig. More commonly, a pussy wig. According to Wikipedia (quoting the Oxford Companion to the Body), it dates back to 1450’s England when it was used primarily for one of three reasons:
- after having shaved to rid oneself of pubic lice/crabs (UGH!)
- or to conceal the hair loss and unsightly sores caused by syphilis (AAACCK!!)
- or if one were simply unlucky enough to have a case of pubic alopecia (…AWWW…)
None of those would have been a very appealing situation at the time, though I suppose a bald snatch was the lesser of three evils. Apparently crabs and syphilis were rampant in the late Middle Ages.
But getting back to today. What’s obvious in popular US culture is the very unpopularity of pubic hair. And lest I somehow missed that, my students’ essays will not let me forget it:
- “Pubic hair – blech! Dirty and disgusting!”
- “I was going to go down on her until I saw – OMG!”
- “I have to manscape or I don’t feel clean!”
Whereupon I feel a responsibility to remind them that few features of the way we have evolved as a species did so for no good reason. Hair typically has a protective function. For one thing, both men and women have a pubic bone just above the sex organs. When people are grinding bone on bone, it can be quite uncomfortable. But nature has tried to help us out a little. Women have a soft cushion called the mons pubis (pubic mound) that makes for a gentler landing. And both sexes grow pubic hair that is meant to serve as a soft little bed of hay. Think of it as your own private Bethlehem.
Then, composed of mucous membranes as they are, genitalia are also especially vulnerable to disease, much more so than areas that are covered by healthy skin. Once again, nature has provided: Hair actually serves as a barrier that can help keep some diseases at bay.
Now what about those pubic lice, you ask? When my students learn that the lice feast on bacteria in pubic hair and hence are usually found there, they say, “But I shave, so that means I won’t get them, right?” And for a moment I just gaze fondly upon their innocent little faces. Then I have to tell them the ugly truth: “Yes, BUT…”
The “yes” is because it’s true that they have removed the primary food source for the lice, so the likelihood of getting those has gone down. The “BUT” is more diabolical. Because when they shave or wax, they create tiny little wounds at each of the hair follicles. And what can get into those wounds? Just about every other STD, most of them worse than a case of lice that can be eliminated with a special shampoo.
To understand this, here is just a brief lesson in epidemiology. For a disease to transmit (e.g., to you), several phenomena must be present:
- You have to be exposed to the Reservoir (where the pathogen, meaning the disease-causing microorganism, lives). In the case of an STD, that means a member of the human population who carries it.
- There has to be a Mode of Transmission, meaning the way the pathogen gets passed to you. A cold virus can be inhaled, dysentery is passed through contaminated water, and STDs transmit via acts of sex.
- You must have a Portal of Entry, meaning an opening that the pathogen enters. Those include getting into the bloodstream (e.g., through a wound, or directly into a vein via sharing needles), from a pregnant woman to her child (i.e., sharing blood), and those vulnerable mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes, urethra, vagina, anus).
- Then, and only then, might you become a new Host.
OK, so imagine that you have sex with someone (mmm…) who has an STD that you, and maybe even they, don’t know about (errrr…)
Reservoir – √
Mode of Transmission – √
Even if you do use a condom (and I hope you do), if you have waxed or shaved, you still have hundreds, maybe thousands, of tiny little WHAT?
Portals of Entry – √√√ !!!
That doesn’t mean you definitely will become a Host. But it certainly means you might. And believe me, HPV that can cause cancer is a whole lot worse than a case of crabs. So are chlamydia and gonorrhea that can make you sterile; herpes that you would have for the rest of your life; and syphilis and HIV that can literally take your life.
By the way, those of us who sported our naturals in the ‘70’s didn’t get everything right. We were so thrilled with the pill that we kind of forgot about using condoms. I’m embarrassed to say, our lapse has been a contributing factor in some of the STD epidemics of today. And in fairness to the hair-phobic younger generation, oral sex has become much more popular than it was when we were letting our freak flags fly.
So just two last points:
- The good news is, you can still trim. “Manscape” or “vagscape” come from “landscape,” not “moonscape.” We like a little neat foliage decorating our yards, right?
- For oral sex, there is also this phenomenon called bathing. It has a lot more to do with cleanliness than a little bit of hair does.
Next up: Are you bathing your sexy parts the way your mother taught you? Or the proper way?
“Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair,
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there (hair) shoulder length or longer…”
197 thoughts on “To Pube or Not to Pube: A Sex and Hygiene Question”
Great post! Especially with the song from the musical Hair.
Thanks! I always enjoy remembering those days and the great music!
I feel like society has attained to the need to attend to themselves in that region because of how big the media has portrayed it. If it wasn’t for porn evolving to having shaved or maintained genitals rather than leaving it be, people have felt more insecure of the way they look towards their partner. Although shaving results in a cleaner more healthier feeling inside, as you stated in the article the pubes were placed their for a reason. Oh the things we do to look good.
I agree Angela, although I think the popularity of oral sex has contributed. I wish people would trim rather than shave.
This was a very refreshing read. Nowadays there is so much pressure to abide by society’s conventions of what looks good and what doesn’t. I wish more young people read this!
This was a very refreshing read. Nowadays there is so much pressure on matters as private as one’s pubes. I wish more young people read this and the word got out. I would love for the 70’s to come back! Well not everything from the 70’s…
No era is perfect, but the 70’s were pretty cool in my view!
great article professor, very informative at least for us women that many times just think about how sexy and cleaner our genitals look once shaves or waxed, but we never think about the “side effects” that are worse that just having the “bad” appearance of pubic hair.
To me pubic hair is beautiful and natural, but then I’m just an old hippie! But I think it’s weird to see women look like little girls.
Thank you for this great article! Thank you for concurring with what I always thought, “If it’s naturally there, then just leave it there!” I feel that this issue is more rooted in contemporary Western standards of beauty.I have not heard of this type of talk among adolescents or even young adults in my home country of Burma. I found this article to be extremely educational. Now I can make an argument for keeping your body in your natural state with facts backing me up! People should just learn to accept that even certain parts of their bodies aren’t seen as beautiful, the benefits they carry with them far outweigh the detriments of its unappealing nature.
It’s nice to know that hairlessness has not gone round the world!
When I learned about pubic hair being healthier in a sense of creating this little bed of hair, I was taken by total surprise! All my girlfriends including myself either shave or wax because to me it looked better. However, after letting my body do its thing and my pubic hair grow I think it looks nicer. Interesting post.
That’s great that you were willing to give it a try!
Great read! It truly shows how much society has changed our perception of what is considered to be “beautiful” or “sexy” and how much things have changed over the years as time has passed. For example, pubic hair was considered to be sexy back in the 70’s, but nowadays pubic hair is generally seen as disgusting. My personal guess is that it is due to various forms of media which have altered our perception on what is truly “sexy” or not, such as models with no pubic hair or actors in pornographic films. All in all, great article, and one that really makes you think.
The media certainly does play a role. I’m glad to hear you’re thinking! 😉
This article was very informative, thank you for sharing! I find that shaving everything is uncomfortable and itchy. Not to mention super high maintenance! However, I personally like a nice trimmed bush myself, just not entirely gone. Ouch! It was interesting to hear all the STDs one would be more prone to than if they were to have a full bush. It is important for our youth to be educated about these things while being entertained. Love your articles!
Very informative article professor it’s funny how most had such a difference in perspective of pubic hair now compared back then. Media definitely played a big role in pubic hair being “disgusting.” Great post.
I know, and it wasn’t even that long ago!
I feel that as a society we have made up our opinios on how we are going to view and portray people as a whole. This was interesting to read because it showed me just so how alot of things of how we view men and women that are pure sterotypes. I feel these kind of things are ingrained in us though. Like for example the fact that it is ok for a boy to have sex where as if a girl does she is a hoe. The boys have to have sex with somebody. I don’t wanna get to far into this so thats just my take on this one. thank you
You’re right about how the sexes are viewed differently when it comes to being sexual!
I find it juvenile of people to act as if something as natural as pubic hair is disgusting. I honestly think that some what of a “Bush” is attractive. Women shouldn’t feel the need to wax themselves or shave themselves raw to accommodate the idiocy of my generation who in reality have no sense of self because of how glorified the media and society portrays the famous and “sought after”. Although it may seem like a surface issue, I think this issue can make for a very deep conversation. Long live the flavor saver! Haha!
It’s nice to hear a younger person come out in favor of ‘natural’!
It is sad to see that the media has portrayed that having body hair is not sexy and causes people to shave everything off just to feel sexy but back in the day body hair was seen as very sexy. I guess people cant make up their minds anymore I personally think that trimming is okay but being natural is way better!
Shave or not to shave. Media sucks ass but hey what can we do? If one shaves down there good for them as long as they are aware of the risk of course and get that checked. I remember that one love scene from “Scary Movie” when she let out her huge bush and her partner was like no worries as he takes out a chain saw/bush cutter and shaves it off. It thought for awhile that it can grow that much without shaving but was proved wrong. Another great topic should be on why its called an R-rated movie.
I guess the bush would be the reason!
Very funny and relevant post for my generation! I remember my guy friends first telling me in middle school (the period where most of them were really diving into the world of porn) telling me that they thought pubic hair was disgusting. I wonder what made this trend so popular? Hair is hair to me. I dunno. Also, I didn’t really know that lack of hair would make you more susceptible to STDs! I mean it makes sense now that I think about it, but the idea never crossed my mind. I shall inform everyone I know! *posts facebook status* (haha)
Haha! Spread the word!
I live by the saying. “Just do you” in which you do things for yourself and not to please others. Without prior knowledge to the health benefits of having pubes; I would say do what makes you happy. Wax, trim, shave, or leave your pubes alone. Now that I’ve learned more about pubic hair i would say its a good thing to have. If a person doesn’t like having lots of it then how about trimming it down to a comfortable length?
Sounds reasonable to me!
to pube is what i have to say! 🙂
I personally do not mind if my partner is shaved or not! I guess bush has its benefits! Besides, a little bush never hurt nobody! #TeamSaveTheBush
Haha, I like that team name!
No matter what generation we are in, if public hair has an essential role just keep it!
I’m a great fan of trimming…
Very informative article, it’s funny how time has changed the perspective of pubic hair now compared back then. Society definitely plays a big role in pubic hair being “unappealing” and setting standards as to how one needs to look like. Really enjoyed reading your post!
Time always changes perspectives – remember the Powerpoint on the History of Sex!
Haha! I don’t know why, but the whole time I was reading this I was picturing the lice partying on pubic hair and bacteria as little robbers trying to sneak their way through pubic hair. Honestly, I think pubic hair is attractive on men and women. I always feel naked whenever I shave. It just feels natural to have it. I think it’s really funny when people get grossed out with pubic hair. The only time I get grossed out with it is if I see some hairs on the sheets or in the bathroom of a hotel room. (Yes, this has happened to me.) Gag me with a Spoon!
That’s an amusing picture! I agree about the naked feeling. I also feel like it looks like a child, and that to me is not a turn-on!
If it’s a healthy benefit we should keep and be proud of it. I don’t know why there is such a negative feeling about it.
I don’t either. I’m a fan of trimming, that’s all. That’s enough!
Its crazy how time has changed from the 70’s to now! Most females do not like pubic hair becuase for males in todays society they find it unattractive! I think this post was funny yet informative and i enjoyed it!
It’s amazing sometimes what we all will do to attract a lover! This is true for every culture.
Nice to know. In my experience it that even though it hasbecomeless popular to rock a bush, many young women like it as well as I!
“Rock a bush” – that’s cute!
I find the only reason that our society finds this gross is because the society has made us feel that way. I only find the need to shave due to what society tells me and the fact that now men find it gross if women do not shave. I also think that the idea of clean shaven has come a lot from expectations of men due to the fact that most men watch porn and most women in modern porn are cleanly shaven. Unfortunately, porn has created a set of standards for women.
I think there’s a lot of truth in what you say. But you know who can change this? Women! We do not have to accept views about ourselves that come from others. I’m not saying that’s easy. We all want to be loved and appreciated. But we can choose our own standard and educate others (men) about why.
bushin’ it! hey its not men to blame thats not fair to categorize, i think your right on education but throughout our society, but i support where your coming from and thats awesome. stay true to yourself and dont make unnecessary changes to an already beautiful body that god created for us.
Good point about our beautiful bodies!
hahaha a pussy wig! never had a furgburger in my life, i do like a nice shaven landscape to explore however, i support your trimming reply to someones comment about oral and societies obsession with oral sex has increased the number of people who keep it shaven. often times, i will manscape but i still love the smooth feeling of a fresh cut. but to your comment of sti’s and the pores of entries and even possibly a cut from shaving( balls arent the easiest thing to put a razor to) so i picture myself waiting a day or 2 to let the epidermis heal and stay std free. thats the life for me. thanks the experience professor!
Everyone has to find what’s comfortable for them. I just want people to understand the risks! We all think we’re not going to get an STD; that mindset is the biggest risk for getting an STD!
The bottom photo is so funny to me. I’d totally get a merkin just for gags. I googled it and apparently you can buy it on Amazon. You could even get it in orange! Maybe I’ll buy an orange wig too so the curtains could match the drapes.
That’s hilarious! I bet you’re my only reader who googled a merkin! And props to the orange!
This was a good read. I must say that society will always have the pressures to follow main street America when it comes down to what’s acceptable or not. I can honestly say that I am guilty and have felt the pressures to follow societies pressures as to what’s cool and what’s “ratchet”.
But like you said before, in the end it goes back to what’s comfortable for you.
I’m still thinking about the fact that women used to wear vagina wigs! Its crazy how back then women used to conceal hair loss and now its an expectation to have a shaved vagina.
Isn’t it funny how things can change? And just a few years ago, men were mostly clean-shaven (on their faces, LOL). Now they’re growing beards like crazy. I love it!
I really enjoy how you add humor to your articles. It makes me feel very comfortable sharing with you. With age I learned to like it well trimmed. I was not always this way. Growing up I was under the assumption it had to be hairless. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!
Hairless is hard to maintain! I’m glad you’re enjoying the humor. 🙂
I honestly didn’t know about the pubic lice up until now 0_0. This really was informative and shows how much the society has changed .
And will keep on changing, Jonathan!
I thought this was pretty interesting and very informative, I wasn’t aware of the different uses for pubic hair and how much we need it. A lesson well learned, even though I took micro bio the thought never occurred to me that there could be all of those portals of entry simply from shaving. It’s very eye opening.
Yes, and that’s a lot of portals (for microorganisms like HIV to pass through)! All it takes is one…
Me personally id like for myself and my partner to be clean shaving. To me it looks sexy but i have never made any of my partners shave just because that’s what I want it that way.
I guess most of us would like to strike a balance between what we want and what we think our partner might like!
Another informative post. Love it! I never really thought of pubic hair as an STD deterrent but the logic presented seems spot on. Now I have one more reason not to break out the razor on a regular basis.
I always promised myself that if I had a partner who wouldn’t be intimate if pubic hair was present then they weren’t a partner I was going to keep around. Clean shaving on a regular basis causes too much skin irritation and makes the region look like a 12 year old girl’s. I find it uncomfortable that some people will only have sex if it looks like that…
I agree with you, Grace. And another student said that it looks like a “wet cat.” 😉
For me personally I prefer myself to be right in between, not fully shaven to where my genitals look like a hairless cat, but not fully grown in as well. I try to keep it trimmed to a level that looks good to me. As for my partner I would be fine with whatever they choose for themselves, it doesnt bother me much on other people 🙂
Hairless cat – you’re funny, Nick! I don’t think totally shaved looks good, either.
Loved this post! Society nowadays seems to forget that public hair is completely natural. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with it at all, and like you said it even acts as a barrier! The beauty standards society tries to impose on people truly can be so detrimental.
Yes they can, and I can think of many more (e.g., an anorexic body size). We have to critically read between the lines of advertising to think about what’s really good for us and what we want.
I really like how interesting and educating this article is! I feel like my eyes are really opened to the pros of pubic hair lol. I never knew it could keep me so safe, and now I feel better about myself, thank you!
You are welcome! And it’s not to put down those who choose to shave or whatever, just to show reasons for other options. Personal choice!
I agree that the increasing popularity of oral sex and the image that the porn industry portrays has largely contributed to the opinion that shaved genitals look “cleaner.” I personally believe that a happy medium is best, but it just goes to show how times can change. I have never shamed anyone for shaving or not, but I often hear that people find pubic hair “disgusting” or “gross” and it makes me feel embarrassed whenever people bring up the subject for my lack of shaving. After reading this, I’m glad to find that I am in good company and am not alone.
You are NOT alone and it really is a very personal choice!!!
You really nailed this post on how younger adults feel about pubic hair. Our culture has made public seem unattractive and unclean. Unfortunately, we don’t get a lesson of why we have it and how it protects us.
You’re right, you don’t, but because you read my blog, you just got a little one! Go out and spread the word!
This post was extremely informative, I too have always looked at having pubic hair as a negative thing. However, I never really thought about it’s purpose. The idea that the pubic hair serve as almost a barrier never clicked with me, but thanks to this post I now view that aspect of my body in a different light.
It’s all a matter of perspective! To some people, having a bare vulva looks distasteful because it looks childlike. We’re too often a slave to whatever is the current fashion, instead of asking, ‘what do I like?’
Your post is definitely spot on! Even though we always hear that pubes are there for a reason, this makes a lot more sense and makes us really realize its there for a reason. When I was in middle school a friend randomly brought up that having hair down there was so gross and she shaves it every chance she gets. That of course made me think, well should I start shaving too? it crazy to think that this has started at such a young age, and that sometimes that alone causes us to not want to be intimate with our partners because we feel dirty or gross.
And it’s not dirty or gross, it’s just hair! Look at the trend with men’s beards now – not too long ago the style was for men to be shaved or trimmed, and long beards were considered gross. They’re actually more likely to trap food, etc., whereas a woman’s vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. 😉
Media has bombarded us with all types of hair removal products/procedures making young, impressionable girls believe that you can only be beautiful if you’re hairless except for the hair on you head. I personally like to shave my pubes, but I see the benefits of being au naturel. Just has nose hairs trap dirt and bacteria from entering our bodies via the nasal passage, pubic hair protects us from STDs. Great post!
Thank you! And I’m glad you realize the role of media in shaping our thoughts, because the purpose of advertising products is to make $$$.
I could really relate to this. My girlfriend only likes to have sex when she is clean shaven. I become very disappointed because we are both in the moment and she just cuts me off because of pubic hair! It is a very dissatisfying feeling. I then ask her whats wrong with you pubic hair? It turns me more on if anything and she replies that she feels embarrassed of me seeing her like that. I then reply with its okay i don’t mind it but she doesn’t seem to believe me.
Her negative views about pubic hair are clearly very strong! Maybe you could share this post with her… 😉
I personally never cared about body hair and I don’t think I can have a partner who does. I’m tired of people shaming women for having hair as if natural hair is gross. What is so gross about it?!
Nothing! It’s meant to be there. Unfortunately, women get shamed for a lot of things.
Very interesting post. Having pubic alopecia does not sound that bad at all, means no waxing, trimming, or shaving. I find pubic hair disgusting, especially because it is supposed to protect the genitals from unwanted organisms; therefore, I do imagine the hair being dirty and sweaty. But that is obviously how I feel about it, if other people like or enjoy it then by all means do what makes you feel comfortable and healthy.
I like your point. We have pubic hair for a reason, and when people have this idea that its dirty or gross to have it isn’t correct. Ill admit, I was guilty of feeling this way in my teens because of the media making it seem that you had to have no haired down there in order to be attractive.
I could really relate to this. At first when i started dating my boyfriend i was had the mentality of “oh I have to shave before i have sex with boyfriend “and for while i would always shave, there wouldn’t be day that my pubic hairs weren’t shaved. Then one day i total forgot that i was going to hangout with my boyfriend after work and once my boyfriend and i where in the heat the moment he realized that my pubic hairs weren’t shaved , i felt so embarrassed that didn’t feel comfortable doing anything with him. But like always him being really sweet and all he was like ‘I like it you shouldn’t feel embarrassed at all ” and from that day on i stopped caring if it was shaved or not . I can go for months without shaving he still doesn’t seem bothered at all. But after reading this I could show him a good reason why not to shave and special thank him for letting fell comfortable with something so natural; and a special thank you to you for being able to write something so educational.
How wonderful that your boyfriend was so accepting and encouraging of you to feel comfortable! Everyone should have a partner like that.
Wow. I really love your reasoning. it makes so much sense now. natural pube hair is great!
There’s nothing there naturally that a little bath or shower won’t take care of! 😉
Haha I love how you present the topic and then go into such great detail and research, it is very enlightening.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, and hopefully learned from it!
I believe shaven or not shaven is only a matter of preference. I do believe communication between partners is key when discussing pubic hair.
That’s an excellent point, because partners don’t always agree about these things.
To pube,or not to pube. What an interesting concept we don’t think about
very often. Personally I feel more comfortable with a little less hair. But
it feels awkward being bald. Like a penguin. I guess there’s a happy
medium. I’m guilty of going by today’s societal norms. Time to break down
A penguin! I never heard that one before! People usually say a little boy/girl, although these tend to be older people – many if not most younger people prefer the bare look. I think trimming is good!
Wow this is the most interesting by far. I find it so fascinating how much things change over the years, I have never heard about the pussy wigs as it was something they enjoyed using back them as of now people usually like it clean. The only thing is I am still questioning as to what is better pubic hair or no pubic hair?
Yes indeed, the history of sexual behavior and mores is absolutely fascinating! As far as what’s better, it is a personal choice – but keeping the skin healthy, around the genitals but everywhere really, is an important consideration.
I loved this article! The title of it is what got me interested, because it is a question that ponders alot of people. Pubes should not be frown upon, and constant shaving or waxing must not be good for you. This stigma that women should be bare where we are almost barbie look is insane! Especially for my generation, it is considered gross or unhygienic to have hair anywhere on the body unfavorable to men.
Yes, I have to admit I prefer the attitudes of my generation – natural is beautiful, etc.
Wow this article really caught my attention and was very interesting!! I’m glad you wrote a blog on this, so now I’m not as shy or I don’t feel less confident about my pubes. In todays society its all about the porn we see today ands it a huge misconception on how the girls and guys in these ports are portrayed. Thanks once again for this blog!
And guess what! Apparently pubic hair is making somewhat of a comeback! A friend of mine who is a sex therapist and has a young adult daughter told me, and it so happened we were at a spa – and there it was right next to us as we were talking about it, a young woman with a full bush, just like the 70’s! I guess it’s really true that everything comes back around. 😉
It amazing to see the progression with this topic within our society. Thank you for the input!
I know! And now it seems the pendulum may be swinging the other way.
I wonder if the businesses of those brazilian waxing spots would decrease if more people knew about the benefits of having pubic hair.
Haha, maybe so! I have heard that some young women are going back to natural.
I had no idea that we evolved pubic hair to make sex more comfortable because it cushions the bone to bone friction. Also it’s crazy to see the progress that’s been made and how different we feel about public hair today versus in the 1450’s.
Yes, that’s true, although as I told a couple of other students, it seems that the pendulum now is swinging the other way, and some young women are leaving their public hair natural again!
I never knew what purpose pubic hair served! I knew there was a reason but I only heard of attracting a mate and possibly keeping the genitals warm.
Glad to know they’re more helpful than they seem!
Yes, they do have their purpose!
Hair is looked at as being disgusting and girls are taught from a young age that we have to shave because then we are just like the boys. It is very natural and I think it all comes down to preference. Women should choose to do whatever is most comfortable for them.
I agree with you! But sometimes we fall prey to societal pressure, or pressure from a partner.
Once a month I have dinner with all of my nieces (ages 18-25) and we talk about everything and anything. There is nothing we do not talk about. This was a huge discussion and lots of laughter about 3 months ago. Between the 7 of us, the breakdown was 3 natural with bikini line cleaned up, 2 with very trimmed and shaved bikini line (but there is pubic hair present), and 2 that are completely bald (Brazilian waxed religiously). When the question of why the choice, the answer was basically the same. “It’s what I like or want or prefer.”
That sounds like a great discussion! I’m seeing signs that pubic hair on young woman is coming back (for some, that is).
This was a great blog entry, at least in my opinion. I loved reading how there was lice and syphilis roaming through the Middle Ages, I was so mind blown. I never anticipated STD’s being evident around those times. I chuckled at the pubic wigs because I had no idea that those even existed! Now I know that pubic hair does indeed serve a person, and a quite significant one might I add. Truly interesting topic!
This was such a fun and interesting article to read, I had never previously thought about how important pubes can be to our health. They really do serve a purpose and more people should embrace it, it’s only natural.
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
This was such a fun and interesting article, I very much enjoyed learning about the merkin. I didn’t even know STIs went as far back as the Middle Ages. I do believe that people should start embracing and accepting pubic hair to be normal and perfectly fine.
I think the trend is coming back!
It’s interesting to know that pubic hair is more than just hair that grows in that area and has functions that help protect our area. Most of us are influenced by society to view our pubic hair as something undesirable and we tend to get rid of it because it’s seem as the “norm” but we should be able to choose what grooming preference we like.
I think that idea of choice is the best of all!
I never knew pubic hair had some part in cushioning our parts during sex. It was interesting learning how these ideas on pubic hair can affect our sexual health. I always thought that without hair you couldn’t get things like crabs but turns out it can be just as bad. You can do what you want with your pubic area hair but a little hair never hurt nobody.
I do enjoy learning about the history of sexual attitudes. Haha, I like your last line!
To be honest, a little hair ain’t ever hurt nobody. The health benefits to having pubic hair wins by a landslide, I ditch the uncomfortable shaving positions, crouching and razor bumps. Just trim the bush and you’ll be fine.
I’m a fan of trimming as well!
I always learn new things from your article professor! I have never known that shaving public hair increase risk of STDs. As a Chinese female, we don’t mind public hair. In our culture, some Chinese don’t shave the private parts of their body, and some Chinese men don’t like women to shave their public hair. However, I came to US when I was 15 years old. I was influenced by some American cultural, so I have tried to shave them before, but I found it very uncomfortable. It is interesting to me how public hair is viewed in two different cultures.
I find it so interesting to see how the opinion of public hair has changed throughout history. It switched from being appealing, to unappealing now. And I don’t see that opinion changing any time soon. I know plenty of women my age who prefer to shave before sex. “Less is more.” I guess I have to send them this article then!
I agree with you except that some young women are now embracing being ‘natural’ again! I like it!
I think it’s really interesting that so many people nowadays are grossed out by pubic hair. I think it’s natural, but sometimes I do feel more comfortable manscaping. However, I don’t think it’s necessary all the time to do so. This post is so informative about how to protect yourself from STD’s just by letting pubic hair do its job.
Sometimes Mother Nature knows best! I admit I do like a little trimming, though.
This article is phenomenal! In this erain America most women and some men do not like hair in our private parts. I personally do not keep hair just because I do not like to be itchy. Hair is beautiful and yes it serves a purpose for it to even grow there. Some men rather a women with a bush or a landing trail. I say shave if you feel like it. I enjoy your articles.
Personal choice! I’m all for it! As opposed to doing things to please some standard set by others.
I find it interesting the way that society’s thoughts on pubic hair has changed over time. I never knew what merkins were until reading this article, which brought to my attention that a possible reason as to why I have never heard of it is due to the fact that in today’s norms, being shaved is what “everyone is doing”. After reading through this article and learning about the purposes of pubic hairs, I think that it is important for both men and women to know the risks that can come along with being hair-free, but also important to know that it comes down to personal preference and putting safety first along with that. I enjoyed reading this article and learning things that I did not know before.
I can tell you like to learn! And just an FYI, merkins apparently are having a resurgence of interest!
The biggest question I had before I ever had sexual intercourse, was exactly this. Do I shave off my cube hairs or not, is it going to bother my partner? But I followed the norms of society as a way to play it save and I shaved. It becomes a big headache to shave almost every other day, causing bumps and small cuts that now if I don’t shave before having sex I am fine with it and my partner is too. I really think more people should read this post or have a better understanding of pubic hair because it really is a natural thing that comes with its good and its bad as well as completely shaving or waxing.
And apparently some younger women are bringing the natural look back!
Your writing is simply amazing! Its fun yet very informative! It defenitly keeps me coming back! merkin…. lol! can’t wait to read the rest of your articles. =0 Glad Ms Naluce introduced me to your site!
I am glad, too! Thanks for reading.
As a woman I know that to many of us, pubic hair has become almost unfathomable and we try to avoid it as much as possible. It has become a norm within our generation to have a clean vag. Why? Because we are told (through social norms) that a clean vag = a pretty vag. We are made to think that our partner will only feel sexually attracted to us if we are “well groomed”. Thanks for the insightful article!
You’re right! Although, I think the value is changing somewhat. Recently I went to a nude women’s spa and saw young women growing their pubic hair! Eventually everything changes back.
so great you’re breaking down some stigmas about pubic hair!! shaving IS NOT a necessity and you certainly don’t need to shave to have a good time having sex. Everyone has preferences but that shouldn’t mean you dont have options
I agree, we should have options! We can take society’s or a partner’s opinion into account, but in the end it’s our bodies.
Very informative and interesting! I had no idea that pubic hair was actually beneficial for some stds because they help with the bacteria. I also had no idea that back in the 1450s in England that there were pussy wigs! Crazy to see the through process and what is popular in different eras.
And guess what: I have heard that merkins (pussy wigs) are coming back in style among some people!
I found this topic to be extremely interesting, especially as a female. I read an article not too long ago that correlates with this idea. This article stated that instagram removed a picture of two women that had pubic hair coming out from the sides of their bathing suits. Many people were apparently very disturbed with the picture. Our society has completely changed when it comes to how woman should have their pubic hairs or lack there of. The picture did not violate any of instagrams terms, it did not have any nudity or pornography. It was more of an image that did not meet society’s standards of what femininity is.
Wow, that seems like a poor reason to remove a picture! So many want a ‘say’ in what women ‘should’ do, whereas it should only be each woman’s decision.
I have never heard of a Merkin before! That’s so crazy how time has changed and now people want a clean-cut partner than a “bush.” I think i’ll stick with nowadays norms than the 1450’s era, I can’t imagine wearing a wig down there!!!
I can’t imagine it either, but guess what – they’re still being sold!
The fact that you referred to pubic hair as a tiny bed of hay and a “private Bethlehem” was amazing, I loved everything about this. And I didn’t know that we can get STD’s through the hair follicle wounds!
So you enjoy metaphors! I like it when I can think of good ones. I’m glad you learned that important fact about risk for STDs.
“Tiny bed of hay”
“Freak flags fly”
Reading this made me chuckle. I love the lingo. As for the content, I must admit I didn’t realize how much protection pubic hair provided. Personally, I am pretty self-conscious about mine. Not so much the intimate areas, but my inner thighs. I’m a pretty dark-haired gal and possibly more hairy than most. I’ve always told my mom I have more hair on one armpit than she has on her whole body. I might just consider having a pubic catharsis every now and then to soak up the benefits.
It’s a very personal decision, I know! Glad you got a chuckle. 🙂
I still find it interesting that certain parts of our body are found disgusting or even unnecessary to have by people but like you said; it’s necessary for us to stay healthy (for example: Our pubic hair).
Actually those wrong-headed ideas about morality have resulted in some people being quite not healthy!
This reading was very informative. I didn’t realize that shaving leaves you more vulnerable.
A lot of people don’t! But it makes sense, especially for something like herpes.
Well now that’s a terrifying thought, that we an still get lice even without hair. And shaving can make us even more vulnerable to diseases. Makes me wonder if I should change my routine.
It’s a personal decision, but I think trimming is best.
This was very interesting to read, i had no idea of the benefits of pubic hair and their real function.
Most people don’t! Which is why I wrote about it. Thanks for reading!
I have definitely fallen victim to the societal pressures to shave or wax. However I have never had a partner mention my pubic hair in general. I love your comment that cleanliness is far more important than lack of hair when it comes to oral sex!
I think whether to remove hair is a personal decision. But there’s no doubt that urine can cling to hair, so important to be very clean!
I think whether to remove hair is a personal decision. But there’s no doubt that urine can cling to hair, so important to be very clean!
This article was incredibly well done! As always, I appreciate your sense of humor. I think “And for a moment I just gaze fondly upon their innocent little faces. Then I have to tell them the ugly truth: ‘Yes, BUT…’” is by far one of the best quotes in this article. It’s so wickedly funny. Like you’ve mentioned, not trimming pubic hair at all could lead to urine and odor being trapped, so it is best to at least trim regularly. I’ve heard of this one quote where pubic hair is a sign of maturity and signals that it’s an appropriate time to mate, but I’m not sure if this is accurate? I would say the reason you cited seems more evolutionarily-sound and practical.
I enjoy your responses! Regarding that quote, I’m not sure I agree – some people grow public hair rather young, at an age that I personally think is too early to be sexually active.
LOL oh my goodness, now I was not expecting to get the creepy crawlies reading this one.. Most definitely going to do a more cautious washing..
Washing is certainly one way to avoid creepy crawlies! 🙂
This was a fun article to read. Personally I prefer to shave just because when I’m on my period and if the pubic hair by chance gets stuck on the pad, it hurts LOL
LOL! We all have our preferences!
This is so important for people to know. Many people set STI’s and don’t even know how of why. Very unsafe for this information to not be common knowledge. I always knew that pubic hair was naturally for the safety of the genitals but I never knew that it prevents STI’s
It’s certainly not 100% prevention, but it helps! Add condoms to that and you’re pretty golden.
This is a very different yet interesting perspective on pubic hair. It is a newer social construct of pubic hair being unhygienic and disgusting to be all hairy down there. After, reading this blog it gave insight on some benefits to use lice shampoo then shaving and letting disease through those little open pores when I shave. Luckily laser hair removal was invented!
I never tried laser because I thought it sounded painful and expensive. trimming is just fine for me!
You were 100% correct. I did not know what a merkin was prior to reading this article. Thank you for furthering my knowledge. I did not know a lot of the information presented in this article until now, I find it very interesting how pubes went from being a normal part of peoples bodies to being gross. I don’t know how that got misconstrued. I really enjoyed reading your analogies. They were funny.
I’m glad you’re enjoying as you learn!
I agree with trimming the pubic hair (due to the fact my generation in general tend to want less hair on our body) (not one to agree), because I was aware about the protection that comes with having pubic hairs causing me not to completely shave.
Good decision I think!
All I have to say is —- WOW. This was a very informative yet unsettling blog post. I did not realize just how Dalits it would be to get pubic lice. I also had never heard of the term ‘merkin’…?! I find it very interesting that a pubic wig was once something to be admired. VERY INTERESTING!
I know – who knew history could be this interesting? 😉
This article was really useful, thanks. I didn’t know that if you shave or wax and still have a condom on you can get disease
Only because the condom doesn’t cover that area. But it’s still way better to use one. Way better!
Your article makes sense. It all comes to personal preference and obviously your partner as well. One thing not covered (no pun intended) is when the hair gets caught between your teeth. Fur-ball anyone?
This article was a pleasure to read as it was entertaining as much as it was informative. I really liked you elucidated the natural functions of pubic hair and how it can prove to be beneficial. As most of today’s generation prefers a shaved, clean area, this article is a nice change of pace as it perpetuates and advocates for pubic hair.
Pubic hair is really a personal choice. But some people develop horrible cysts from waxing, so it’s nice if there are alternatives. BTW, I do like to inform and entertain at the same time, if possible. 🙂
When I was in high school and very susceptible to peer pressure, a boy told me that shaving my pubic hair was clean and it would make me more attractive. Then, I asked my friend about it, and she also said that it would make me cleaner. So I did it, for the first time. I HATED IT. I got so itchy, I got ingrown hairs, and I didn’t even like how it looked. But I did it because I thought it would make me more attractive to boys. It was only when I discovered that it’s SAFER to have pubic hair that I was able to convince to myself to grow out my bush. Now, I never have problems. This article is so refreshing!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I think we all should be able to have our bodies the way WE want them.
I appreciate this post. I used to shave completely every time i would have sex, and as I get older and now have two children who don’t leave me alone in the shower long enough to even shave my legs most of the time, i like to know that i am not alone. I will admit when i was pregnant with my youngest i was so tired i stopped shaving almost completely. i told my fiancee he was like a jungle explorer trying to find it under all that hair HAHAH! I could tell he was happy when i started keeping it at least trimmed, but he wouldn’t have said anything until i brought it up. We did go to a nudist resort when i was 5 months pregnant and i saw a few well manicured landing strips, however most women were bald.
Personally I don’t like the bald or even the strip appearance. I get what my first waxer called “the Illusion.” Just a neat triangle which is the “illusion” of hair, then the labia are hairless. It was kind of your partner to be a jungle explorer without complaint!
The title definitely attracted me read this article . It is a very creative title and it had me giggling. Growing up, I was also taught that it was cleaner to not have hair so I started waxing at a very young age. Then I decided that I did not want to deal with the pain that is accompanied with waxing, I decided to shave. Then I kept back and forth between shaving and waxing until eventually I decided I couldn’t do it anymore so I started to get laser hair removal treatments. Personally, I prefer no hair but after reading this article now you have me second guessing my life choices LOL.
There are usually both pros and cons to those choices LOL!
First of all I love hoe the student was so open about it! Can we get more open conversations like that in the real word! Honestly to pube or not should not matter! If you got it flaunt it and the other hates it find someone who does!
I’m all for open conversations in the real world!
Or in other words – different strokes for different folks! 🙂
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