The question surrounding “why do we have pubic hair” will never go away and now that question has a companion; should I or shouldn’t I shave my pubic hair? If you look at male erotica or porn from the 70’s to currently, you can visually see a shift in pubic hair trends. The days of a man’s crotch looking like a Tibetan yack or an American buffalo has shifted to men’s genital areas looking like the skin on a raw turkey leg. Lets see if I can answer the first question of “why do we have pubic hair”?
There are a couple of theories out there but I want to start with what to me is the obvious one…we’re mammals, duh. Mammals of course are a unique group, being that mammals give birth to live young and feed their young via milk produced by the mother. Mostly all land mammals have fur but for humans, that fur is less dense on our bodies and we call it hair. If you look at the native human species around the globe, the colder the climate usually equals more body hair and the warmer the climate usually equals less body hair. This observation ties into one theory that pubic hair helps keep the genitals warm. I also think many people forget that pubic hair helps with preventing certain STD/STI’s and skin to skin infections.
So what started the trend of cutting and shaving our genitals in the modern era? The reason I say modern era, is because pubic hair removal goes back thousands of years (think Egyptians and Greeks) but that’s another story for another time. Back to the question; a lot of researchers feel there’re many factors. For both men and women some feel porn played a role. As the disco 70’s era ended and the 80’s begin, both sexes in porn films begin to get rid of their crotch hair. In conjunction with the better filming equipment, less pubs meant less shadow and you could see the actual “intercourse” better when filmed up close. Porn is about fantasy through visuals…big breasts and big penises. Size matters for a male porn performer. You see there is a weird but cool optical illusion that happens when men shave their pubics; it makes their penis appear bigger. Hence the saying “the shorter the grass, the taller the tree.” Being that porn was a multimillion dollar industry (now billions) the no pubes trend grew.
For gay men I feel there were additional factors at play. In the 80’s with the HIV/AIDs epidemic in full swing, having a nice body and being void of body hair gave an appearance of being “clean”. Not just on the outside but also referencing being clean and free of STDs, therefore making them more appealing.
As the metro-sexualization of man grew ,we were given a new term, Manscaping. For many gay and straight men, removing all body hair from their armpits, arms, legs, back, chest and pubic area may make them feel more youthful and attractive. Of course men can make up their own minds on whether or not they want to shave their pubes, especially if they feel it’s beneficial for them but I do want to point out some things to keep in mind.
Shaving your genitals with a razor is not a good idea. This can cause small or microscopic cuts on the groan, penis and scrotum that subject you to infections and viruses. Razors, hair removal creams and waxing can cause skin inflammation and irritation. When genital skin is compromised or irritated, the warmth and moisture generated in the pubic area can cause bacterial infections like Streptococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Don’t forget when the hair begins to grow back there is itching and you can develop painful hair bumps. Bald genitals are more susceptible to herpes infections and other STD’s are easier to contract and transmit. So what to do?
Try not to go completely bald in your nether regions. Shave them with clippers or beard trimmers and always use a guard. This will help keep you from nicking or cutting yourself as you would with a razor and allows you to keep some level of barrier protection that is your pubic hair. Trimmers will help cut down on and prevent skin irritation that comes from shaving, using hair removal creams and waxing.
Cypher Avenue will have more companion articles concerning ManScaping and hygiene in the future. In the meantime, what say ye? Do you shave your pubes? If so, what methods do you use?