Are you bare there? With summer just around the corner, you may now be thinking about joining the ranks of the totally shaven.
It's no longer simply a style concern for porn stars; it seems that everyone now – guy or gal – is giving at least some thought to pubic hair care. I certainly get enough e-mails from male readers about going hairless. They want to know: What’s the deal? How is it that nether region hair maintenance has evolved into an art form? Should I do it, too?
Hair removal in contemporary Western cultures is actually not a modern day phenomenon. Such practices have been prevalent in cultures worldwide, like Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Uganda, and the Tobriand Islands.
Just a hint of hair or going totally bare has throughout history been equated with the highest of beauty and femininity. Women in the Middle Ages, as seen in Botticelli’s late 15th century painting “The Birth of Venus,” were known to have kept their wares entirely shaven.
Fast-forward about 400 years and you’ll find 19th century nude portraits also depicting women as hairless as the day they were born. Smooth, unwrinkled skin anywhere on the body, including your loins, is, for the most part, perpetually in.
But it has only been recently that some cultures have actually been able to begin declassifying this sex secret, in large part thanks to Brazilian women known the world over for having smooth skin everywhere.
For generations, Brazilian women have typically removed any and all body hair before stepping out onto the beach in their skimpy suits. Coupled with the porn industry’s belief that less is more, this has made shaving more en vogue than ever.
While the term “Brazilian” — defined as complete hair removal, even in the places most will never see — tends to be used exclusively with women, males have also gotten in on the act, challenging the notion that body hair is a sign of masculinity. While the largest percentage of men into sugaring and depilation (hair removal) appear to be in their 20s and 30s, men of all ages are grooming their nether region in one form or another. For many, going Adonis sleek gives the illusion of more.
Is It for You?
There are lots of reasons people are obsessed with being well groomed below the belt. Fashions such as low-rise jeans, skimpy lingerie and teeny bikinis and Speedos practically demand it.
And whether or not you agree with those professing that sans hair is sexier, it’s hard not to succumb to the argument that less hair makes for better sex and greater sexual confidence. The counter-argument is that adults should act their age and enjoy sexuality in its natural form.
Looking like a child, especially a little girl, has become a sticking point for advocates on both sides of the shave-or-not-to-shave debate, with feminists like Eve Ensler of the “Vagina Monologues” and Dr. Betty Dodson, of the educational video “Viva la Vulva: Women’s Sex Organs Revealed,” reminding audiences that to be a mature, sexual adult is to take pride in every part of your body, hair included.
Ultimately, regardless of where one stands on the issue, the consensus among men and women is that while you don’t need to wax, don’t be unruly.
Basically, group-think dictates that you should make sure that you’re well-groomed. If you’re still on the fence in deciding just how far to go, consider the following reasons to bear hair or be bare …
Reasons to Sport Hair
— Looking untamed brings out the wild animal in you and your lover.
— You both love it and make no apologies for embracing your natural state of being.
— You think having hair is a sign that you are sexually mature.
— Hair captures our enticing scents.
— Your hair-down-there is believed to retain and disseminate musky pheromones, substances the body emits as a sexual attractant that drives your lover crazy. In fact, Napoleon Bonaparte was so in love with a woman's natural scent, he was said to ask Josephine to avoid bathing for two full weeks before his return from military missions.
— Experts believe that hair has a biological purpose, acting as a barrier to bacteria and viruses and reducing friction during sex. Proponents for going “au naturel” will be the first to remind you that before there was underwear, hair was a necessity in keeping dirt and germs away from the genitals.
— You don’t have the time, or the money for that matter, for upkeep. For most people, being hairless requires work! You have no desire to make it a hobby.
— You love your body just the way it is.
Reasons to Go Bare
— You find the smooth, silky look sexy.
— You like the way it makes you feel — less hair can up the ante as far as erotic sensations go, with your skin more sensitive and exposed. Plus, you feel “cleaner” and freer in your skin and in the sack.
— You want easier access. Enough said.
— You’re after increased pleasure, whether that be in your clothes or under the sheets.
— You enjoy the occasional trip to a nude beach and would feel more comfortable hairless.
— You've had a recent run-in with a parasite, and going hairless is part of your eviction notice.
— Less hair helps you to feel drier and fresher in hot weather.
— You think that going hairless will make you more sexually confident and attractive.
— Fur is out and that means on you too.
Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hand Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."