Pubic hair provides a cushion against friction, protects the urethra from bacteria, and is the visible result of long-awaited adolescent hormones. There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about sporting a full bush. So, why do so many people shave or otherwise remove it, when did pubes get such a bad rap?
There are even stories floating around the net about young men being shocked when faced with their first real-life sexual experience and discover–OH MY GOD–women have hair ‘down there.’ Porn produced in the last twenty years features bodies that are clean-shaven from neck to toe, leaving very little ‘natural growth’ other than on the top of people’s heads. Even as these same guys go through yoga-like contortions in order to shave their own genitals, they might not consider that women are doing the same awkward maneuvers. If all they’ve seen is on the internet, then, their version of reality is likely to be a little warped.
Porn made from 1900 until the late 90’s, however, is full of bush. Shaving was considered a kinky activity. Watching someone lather up and then take a straight razor to someone’s tender and vulnerable parts is still a turn-on for lots of people. Take a few minutes to do a search, and you’ll find “classic porn” is easily accessible and features plenty of hair. (There are plenty of brand new videos out there with plenty of bush, you just have to be clever in your searches.)
But, don’t let this somewhat recent-seeming change in pubes fool you. People have been messing with their hair forever, and it is dictated largely by whatever is popular at the time. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks left wall paintings recording their methods which varied from shaving with sharp flints, individual plucking, and burning. Yes, you read that right. BURNING. Thank goodness for stainless steel razors, wax, and depilatories, right?
When polled, fifty percent of current college students say they keep their pubes smooth on a regular basis, especially when in a sexually active relationship. They tend to let things go a little wilder when they aren’t sexually active with another person. Most say they just ‘feel cleaner’ when their pubes are shaved.
Ask men over forty what they think of pubic hair, and you’ll get a pretty different answer. They’ll tell you they like a woman to look ‘like a woman, not a pre-pubescent’ girl. Some express relief that the current era of “bald-faced vaginas” facing them from the screen might be coming to an end.
Recent news articles suggesting that micro-abrasions caused during shaving or waxing might increase the transmission of STDs are likely to move the trend back to more natural landscaping. Post-removal itching, discomfort, and in-grown hairs are a commonly cited down-side. People will do what makes them comfortable, but, maybe, if they see that it might actually be a bad idea, they’ll toss the razors, relax, and…let their hair down.