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January 19, 2017

What's the deal with pubic hair?

It's a hairy debate!

Just as with clothing, hairstyles and beards, the trends of pubic hair have changed and developed over the years. Look back at those naughty magazines from the 1970s and 1980s and you’ll likely be struck by the dense… er… ‘undergrowth’ present on both sexes. Look at the naughty sites on the internet today and you’ll note that there’s a lot less hair about down there. So little, in fact, that the “full bush” is now often considered a niche pornographic category of its own.

And, just as with those more public displays of hairstyle fashion, there are no right or wrong choices here – what you do with your pubes is obviously completely up to you. But before you choose how much of it you want to take off or leave, it’s maybe worth thinking about why we have pubic hair in the first place. To be fair, no-one has a concrete answer to this one.

Several theories have been proposed, and it’s likely that the real reason is a mixture of each of those ideas.

Firstly, it is believed that it’s a sign that we have reached adulthood, that is - in the scientific sense - we are able to procreate. Obviously, there are laws pertaining to this as well, but biologically, puberty marks the onset of fertility and the onset of pubic hair growth.

Secondly, the added surface area of our pubes compared with just plain skin allows for a better distribution of pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals released by our body which are designed to attract a mate, and when they are excreted around our genital areas and onto our pubic hair, any gentle breeze wafting down there means that more pheromone drifts off towards the nostrils of our potential partners.

And then thirdly, having signaled that our body is ready and having attracted a mate, they protect our genital area while we are actually having sex, preventing direct skin-on-skin friction, preventing abrasions, and consequently, the potential for infection. Examples of opportunistic infections which can jump into skin damage caused during intercourse can include herpes and HPV, the causal agent of genital warts. In addition, hair helps control the moisture levels in the pubic area, which can help prevent Candida (thrush) infections.

With all these apparent benefits, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea to remove your pubes, and it’s a good question. Evolution hasn’t been tirelessly working behind the scenes so that you can just whip out your Schick Quattro before you head out on Saturday night and immediately reverse all those millions of years of effort.

Although that doesn’t mean that you can’t.

In fact, the main reason given for both men and women removing their pubic hair, be it either partially or completely, is hygiene and feeling “clean”, but - as we’ve just noted up there - it’s actually completely misguided. In fact, even the act of shaving or waxing can exacerbate the chances of infection by leaving micro abrasions and damaging the skin.

However, the mind is a powerful organ, and just the thought that a clean-shaven or waxed genital area is a better thing is enough to overrule any sense of logic or reason. That’s why in a recent survey, an incredible 84% of American women reported that they partook in some kind of grooming or trimming downstairs, while 62% of those questioned said they chose to remove their pubic hair completely.

It all comes down to personal choice at the end of the day. But surely it’s worth having a bit of information about the benefits of your bush before you decide to grab the metaphorical weedeater (I said metaphorical. Please, on no account use an actual weedeater) and take it all off?

 



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