Q&A: Young American Women: Only Ones Who Shave Their Pubic Area?
Posted February 8, 2010
QUESTION: Is it just a young American thing for women to shave their pubic area? Isn't there a reason they shouldn't? Do women in other cultures do it?
Photo: tranchis (flickr.com)
A New Trend
Over the past decade, an increasing number of American women – mostly younger women in their teens, twenties and thirties – have been removing more if not all of their pubic hair. Many men, too, have been following this trend and trimming, shaving or waxing off more of their pubic hair than in the past.
Though this has become a more recent trend in the United States, there are at least a few other countries in which pubic hair removal is common. However, in most cultures, it is not common for adult women to remove all of their pubic hair. After all, pubic hair is one of the physical signs of sexual maturity.
Who is Doing the Shaving
Just how many women or men are removing all of their pubic hair, however, is unknown. There have only been a handful of studies on the topic and most have used convenience samples that don’t give us valid or reliable information about American women on the whole.
As a result, we don’t know how many women or men remove all of their pubic hair in big cities versus small towns or at what age total removal tends to begin.
That said, not all women and not all men remove all of their pubic hair in the United States. Many of the college students I talk to say that they prefer to not remove all of their pubic hair. Some have tried it and found that they didn’t like the side effects that come with removing more and more hair, side effects such as razor burn from shaving or in-grown hairs that may be common with either shaving or waxing.
Others, like you, just don’t like the way that it looks to be without pubic hair. Some women and men say that having no hair makes them feel like a child who hasn’t even gone through puberty. Also, some men have told me that they find it difficult to find a woman without pubic hair to be sexy as she looks more like a child than a grown adult woman.
The Sexy Side of Pubic Hair
It’s also common for women and men to say that there’s something they like about having even just a little bit of pubic hair. Some people find that it feels very sensual to have a little bit of pubic hair to tug on – that it can enhance sensation during masturbation or partner sex. Others just like how it looks.
Then again, some people prefer for their pubic area to feel smooth and hairless. Or they may find that they feel more comfortable giving or receiving oral sex when there is very little pubic hair or no pubic hair.
I tend to encourage women and men to do what feels most comfortable for them and also to consider what kind of body they will feel most sexy in. Even if your partner finds a certain type of pubic hair style to be sexy, if you don’t, then it may inhibit you during sex to have a style that doesn’t feel right to you.
Different Hair Styles
A nice thing about pubic hair is that it can be removed with relative ease and unless you are using permanent removal or reduction techniques such as electrolysis or laser reduction, it grows back in relatively quickly – with a few days or a week if you’ve shaved it off and within 2-4 weeks if you’ve waxed some or all of it off. As a result, people can experiment with different styles to see what feels right to them.
To learn more about the pros and cons of different methods of pubic hair removal, check out The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health or Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction.