Reflection.

It’s Sunday, Let’s Talk About Pubic Hair

Let me ask you this: are you seeking love, or something like it (perhaps just some good old sexytime, no strings attached), and coming up (likely from someone’s crotch) empty? That may be because you’re actually sending your body mixed signals. Do me a favor and drop your pants, ladies and gents. Is it bare as a baby’s bottom down there? Well guess what, despite what society may have hammered into you (sexual pun unintended), you’re doing it (your pubic landscaping, that is) totally wrong.

Answer: pubic hair!

Answer: pubic hair!

In recent years, I’ve started to ask hard-hitting questions about ye olde pubes. Like, are they really so bad? And must we all slave away at their total negation with the end result being a slightly creepy resemblance to your textbook definition Virgin? When a dude insists on a v-a-g that is as smooth as a marble countertop, what does that say about him? Because I feel like it’s not so positive. I eventually settled on the theory that the anti-pubic hair ethos should be relegated to youngins’ just starting out in the world of s-e-x, but that so-called real women and men should and would embrace it. My litmus test for maturity actually became confronting people about their thoughts on these private gardens, usually in really uncomfortable settings (though I’m not sure there is a comfortable setting for such discussions), and I was often disappointed to hear that people still harbored a preference for killing off any traces of life down there. I’m not advocating for letting it all go like you’re kicking it in The Jungle Book (though I would totally respect that if you did), but rather owning your own humanity, and one of the ultimate symbols of your sexuality, just a little bit, rather than pretending it’s not actually there. Whatever form that takes for you (and today there are many options–PLEASE leave creative ideas below), my only suggestion would be to not go back to birth-status with nary a hair in sight.

I’m sure many of you aren’t convinced. You just can’t get jazzed about making gendered protests via your pubes, and that’s okay–the feminist life ain’t for everyone (but I’m speaking to B’s and G’s here, to be clear). Perhaps it just really doesn’t sit well with you on an aesthetic level–you feel it’s not quite Pinterest-worthy when you let it all hang out. But as I hinted at before, there’s a practical reason for not eliminating all signs of body hair. And that, dear friends, is your pheromones, those lovely little guys who inexplicably work as the building blocks of attraction between two people. Since I’m no expert, let’s let defer to Columbia Health for all the ‘splaining:

There are a number of theories on why pubic hair exists, but no definitive answer. However, most sources agree that pubic hair relates to pheromones — scents that the body produces that can be sexually stimulating to others.

Believe it or not, humans have the same number of hair follicles as apes, except our body hair is generally very fine or barely visible in comparison. Yet pubic and underarm hair tends to be more visible and coarse. It is believed that the tufts of hair around the genitals, as well as under the arms, release pheromones, which may act as erotic aids.

Pheromones get trapped in the pubic ‘do when apocrine glands release an odorless secretion on the surface of the skin that combines with bacteria decomposed by the secretions of the sebaceous glands. The resulting scent is different for individuals due to a genetic complex called the Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC). Studies suggest that women are attracted to men with very different MHCs than their own, perhaps because genetically diverse offspring may be more able to fight off disease. For some people, scents from these areas are noticeable and consciously increase sexual arousal. For others, pheromones might not be obvious but may be detected subconsciously. For more information about pheromones and their effect(s) on sexuality, look for James Vaughn Kohl and Robert T. Francoeur’s book, The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality.

Mmm, hope all that talk of bacteria and bodily secretions didn’t get you too hot and bothered. But at least it’s Sunday, and you’re not at work–so if it did, do you readers (…literally?) But before you run off to that extracurricular, let me finish. You know how when you’re falling in lurve, or just some form of overblown lust, and the scent of your partner makes you lose your s-h-i-t, weak knees and all? Suddenly you’re sniffing your t-shirt for remnants of him or her like a voracious animal (that’s not just me, right?), yearning for the next time you can get all up in their sweaty nooks n’ crannies? Well pubes have a lot, or a little (depending on your grooming preferences) to do with that. Many people believe that the less pubic hair you or your partner has, the less likely this phenomenon is to occur, potentially leading you to all the wrong people. I even know a few uber-hippies who engage in anti-shaving periods (everywhere, that is) when they feel they’ve been gravitating towards capital-J jackasses and want to theoretically press the reset button on their sexual attractions. That’s not the path I’m advocating for, necessarily, but I think there’s a little something something behind it.

So whether you’re fed up with the wrong-smelling goons who keep coming your way, sick of scratching that nether region itch, or just looking for an abrupt life change to spice things up and sick of the spontaneous haircut-routine, I highly recommend experimenting with a little pubic hair nonchalance. Take it easy on those little guys, for once–what did they ever do to you? Nothing but try to get you some good loving, it would seem. Let them go to work, finally, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll reward you for being so bold.

*

On a related note, The Guardian UK explored this topic a while back and then asked readers what they believed the point of pubic hair was. Below, a selection of the best answers for your perusal:

– Free dental floss and a subtle reminder of exactly what you did last night.

– Pubic hair serves to trap pheromones; it might also serve as an important visual cue, giving information on the sexual maturity status of a potential partner, as well as focusing attention on erogenous zones – kind of like the baboon’s bright red bum. I’ve also heard that it can be a cushion to protect against all the bumping and grinding that can occur in these regions.

– So it can be shaved into all manner of amusing shapes.

– It serves as a sort of dry lubricant. Hair against hair moves more readily than skin against skin.

– So Frenchwomen can appear mysterious.

– I think it’s to make your genitalia better looking. Pour exemple, look at a bald man and he looks older than a man with a full head of hair. Therefore John Thomas always looks better with a bit of pubic.

– To provide a more comfortable chin-rest.

– To plait when you are bored.

– It adheres to the bathroom soap bar, thus enhancing it’s exfoliating properties and thereby reducing minor skin complaints.

– Pubic hair in some countries is like doing a funky dance or buying girl a drink at a club, it is shown to each other and if liked then the couple shall mate. Honest.

– Surely it’s to keep a body lice circus that will travel with you where ever you go, to amuse you on long train journeys? Although I’m not sure others would be amused if I were to a) have a look on a packed train and b) have body lice.

– If your pubic hair has a point, you’re not shaving it properly.

– If you don’t know the answer to this then you must be a lousy lover – down with shaving!

– Velcro?

– Animal magnetism. Sheep have curly hair, don’t they?

Categories: Reflection.

5 replies »

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