Before I even started having sex, I was worried about my pubic hair.
My first encounter with pubic hair shame came when I was no more than 13 years old. There I was, having a peaceful, relaxing day on the beach in my bikini. To my horror, when I looked down at my legs, I saw that three small strands of hair had managed to escape my bottoms. I quickly closed my legs in shame - how could I be so careless? Why didn’t I shave? Now everyone will know that I have hair … down… **shudders**... there.
When I started to actually have sex at 16, however, my pubic hair awareness got even worse. Despite being in a long-term relationship, I felt a need to shave regularly. Even when my vulva started to break out in bumps, constantly itched, and was red from rashes, I always felt pressured to groom myself.
It was only when I started to become more aware of the beauty of my own body that I stopped shaving. I had finally given up trying to achieve the picture-perfect vulva and had accepted the fact that I had hair. And to my disbelief - my sexual partners couldn’t care less.
Why then, was I so ashamed of my own natural body hair, from as young as 13? Well, as most people with vulvas know, we face immense societal pressure to make sure our vulvas are constantly “clean” and up to the porn-star standard (which means no body hair). However, pubic hair phobia wasn’t always the norm. The shame started taking off in 1946, when bikinis were introduced to the general population, and people with vulvas started feeling pressure to keep their exposed body hairless.
In the ‘50s, Playboy began including models with completely hairless vulvas, making it appealing to the male gaze. The hairless style really became popular in the ‘90s and ‘00s, when celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow revealed their vulva beauty routine and the mainstream media popularised it. Some experts also hypothesise that this standard was a result of the high quality cameras in pornography that let the hairless vulva have its spotlight.
Despite the hairless vulva’s popularity, however, there are many benefits of pubic hair that are not often talked about. And while we love vulvas of all hairstyles, we think it may be helpful to know about the interesting positive side effects of pubic hair.
1. Pubic hair increases sexual pleasure.
Pubic hair may help enhance the sexual experience of people with vulvas in many ways. First, pubic hairs are attached to nerve endings, which means you may feel a bit more ~pizazz~ while having sex.
Pubic hair is also said to increase sexual pleasure by mitigating friction and chafing during sex. In fact, some refer to pubic hair as a “dry lubricant,” as hair-on-hair rubbing is much smoother than skin-to-skin rubbing.
Lastly, pubic hair may increase sexual pleasure by keeping your genitals warm! As temperature is said to play a major role in arousal (think: temperature play), your pubic hair may help you feel a little something extra!
2. Get more action!
Some science indicates that pubic hair plays a part in sexual attraction, because hairs could potentially “trap” pheromones. As pheromones help us attract sexual partners, your pubic hair may be helping you get some extra action!
3. Your pubic hair protects you from STIs and infections.
By stopping moisture, dirt, and other pathogens that may come in contact with your genitals, pubic hair acts as a barrier to make sure that you have reduced risk of infection.
Furthermore, although some more research is required, early studies indicate that pubic hair may also play a role in protecting you against STIs!
Despite the extreme stigma surrounding pubic hair, we need to make one thing clear:
**Pubic hair is not unhygienic**
However, there are ways that you can make sure that your pubic hair stays clean along with the rest of your routine. Just make sure you are showering regularly, and that is usually enough! If needed though, feel free to wash it with mild, unscented soap and water.
Lastly, although we have discussed the various benefits of pubic hair, remember that whatever style you choose for your vulva is perfect! Just make sure it makes you comfortable and happy!