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Less Pubic Hair, More STI's?

Less Pubic Hair, More STI's?

I will readily admit a bias: I do not understand the Western world’s obsession with removing body hair. I have this bias because I actually like hair on my partners. The look, the feel. Maybe you can call me old fashioned because of this. Like, really old fashioned.

But actually, not old fashioned at all! The rampant removal of body hair—genitals, armpits, legs, etc. is a very modern and recent fashion of less than 100 years. But wow, when it was decreed that body hair was inappropriate, that weird vision really took hold. Men have had to endure various different societal decisions about beards and moustaches and their acceptability, but women have borne the brunt of body hair banishment. And they certainly suffer much more socially should they buck the trends of shaving/waxing/ripping/plucking.

Not only did retaining hair become a social faux pas, but it has also been deemed downright dirty. The natural state of the body is dirty! People look at pubes, in particular, as being being filthy if they’ve grown in. Some believe more bacteria grows, smell retains and a woman with a hairy vulva is just not as clean.

Turns out, removing that hair might actually be the root of greater health issues.

Take care getting rid of hair

Almost every type of hair removal can upset the skin, with shaving and waxing leaving small abrasions or cuts. These small injuries can then be portals for sexually transmitted infections, given their proximity to sexual action fun spots. Research has even shown that the rise in gonorrhea, chlamydia and HPV may be connected to the continued removal of pubes. This on top of the irritated skin and rashes that often accompany pubic hair removal.

So, why do people continue to hack down the forest? What makes a bare pubic area more enticing than one with natural hair? And will we ever go back to accepting bush?

There has been some shift toward maintaining some hair, for women, but free range follicles aren’t in the picture yet. And let me specify that this is mostly just relating to pubic hair. Armpit and leg hair is still fairly taboo, and media has to take much of the blame for that. Imagine a compelling historical drama, or a movie that features characters in dire situations. If you notice a woman naked, or even wearing a shirt with no sleeves, you’ll see that regardless of the time period, regardless of their difficult experiences, they still find time to shave their pits.

Things are getting hairy again

But pubes are making a bit of a comeback. Predominantly stylized and well-manicured pubes, but some hair nonetheless. Maybe after some time of trying to keep this up women will realize that the natural look is the easiest look. And hopefully men start understanding that hair is just hair and the hot woman they want will still be just as hot with bush. Let’s do away with that media brainwashing!

Speaking of fellas, they seem to be going in the opposite direction. Manscaping became a thing, which involves men removing hair from various parts of their body. And it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Sigh.

Before I go, let me add something here: none of this rant was meant to shame anyone for choosing to be less hairy—to whatever extent that involves. It is just meant to remind everyone that the choice to be hairy or not is your own. Don’t fall into societal traps. And if you choose to remove your hair, understand the health risks that may come with that decision.

About Jon Pressick
Jon Pressick

Jon Pressick is the sex community's international gadabout and Cherry Banana's writer in residence. An award-winning sex writer and blogger, Jon is the editor of the critically-acclaimed Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1. He is a frequent contributor to Cherry Banana with a range of sex-related content and his writing has appeared in numerous magazines and books, as well as all across the Internet. Jon is also a co-host and producer of the long-running sex radio show Sex City. You can keep up with his many sex-related articles here at Cherry Banana or at his own blog, Sex in Words.

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