Is Shaving Pubic Hair Unhealthy?
Musings on Shaving
Until the early 1980s shaving of pubic hair by women was so rare that it was considered taboo. Not even pornography featured pubic hair shaving as a common practice. The push to show everything and allow the camera to capture porn intercourse in as visible a way as possible lead to pubic shaving becoming the dominant paradigm in porn. This, along with the popularization of the Brazilian Bikini Wax, lead to young women adopting this practice. The most recent research on the prevalence of this personal grooming practice shows that it has been done by most adult women (62%) at one time or another. That doesn't mean 62% of women shave, just that they have attempted it at least once. Why such a huge paradigm shift? Pornography lead the way so that an entire generation not only learned about sex via pornography (Baaaaad Idea!!!) but also swallowed the idea that bare is the new 'normal'. Well, shaving is indubitably not natural and increasing scientific evidence indicates it is in fact unhealthy. There is also a common misconception that pubic hair is unclean. Gynecologists and Urologists (ostensibly experts in this) tell us that pubic hair is NOT dirty, unless it is unwashed. Shaving is NOT a hygiene measure, washing is. Shaving pubic hair carries particular health risks, read more here. Yet, alas, we have an entire generation of women deceived into thinking their beautiful quims to be essentially dirty, and by extension, their pubic hair too. Of course, the other aspect of this is an unrelenting campaign by the beauty products industry to make us all feel there is something wrong with us so we then buy their products in order to feel more confident. They sell us (women AND men are now being urged to remove body hair all over their bodies, how grotesque is that!?!!) both the idea of our essential ugliness, and we believe it, and they sell us their cancerous and otherwise risky (shaving cuts and infections) products so we then feel better about ourselves. Soap and water is all that anyone needs to be hygienic anywhere on their body. Alas, the psychological cancer of this anti-body-hair campaign is also reaching out to men, as a new largely untapped market, and i regretfully see and feel (the stubble and ingrown hairs, yuk) the results of this campaign. It really is a campaign (as in war) on all our tender psyches and egos telling us we need to removed the visible sign of our sexual maturity in order to be seen as sexy. The irony is heavy, pun intended. The science of this is clear: surgical sites that get shaved as pre-surgical prep are more prone to infection at the surgical site than skin that is left un-shaved for surgery. Also, a recent study's findings indicates that shaving pubic hair makes one more at risk for skin infections, including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). It's best to leave your own pubes unshaven for any sexual interactions with a partner you don't know and trust, your pubic hair is part of your body's protection against STIs. And if your chosen partner shaves her privates, this study might indicate a higher risk of her having an infection that would be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, let alone any mucous membranes you might decide to apply to her nether regions (like your mouth, full of permeable membranes and blood supply ready to whisk microorganisms into you, on noo!). While i'm at it, avoid flossing just before you have any kind of fluid exchange activity (kissing, any oral, unprotected penetration) with a new partner. Flossing, especially if you don't floss regularly, can cause micro-tears in gum tissue, making you more susceptible to infection.
All this is not only ironic but paradoxical as well. The idea of pubic hair dirtiness/unsexiness in contrast to the actual biological fact that pubic hair marks us as sexually mature (as a secondary sex charactaristic) and no longer biologically children. Nowadays, unshaved pubic hair is so rare it is seen as a fetish. Per Merriam-Webster, the word fetish as a sexual meaning is this : 'a sexualized desire for an object (such as a shoe) or for a body part that is not directly related to the reproductive act (such as an earlobe)'. Pubic hair is clearly related to the reproductive act, it is right there adorning the skin of the female and male reproductive parts. Pubic hair as a pubescent development is all about sex and sexual maturity. How can we go from this basic biological fact of our bodies to pubic hair being taboo and fetish? In fact, in girls, the first two signs of puberty, i.e. beginning sexual maturity, are breast development and pubic hair, which occur withing months of each other. So they way we were biologically made to look as mature sexual beings is to HAVE pubic hair. This basic fact of our nature and how the biological aspect of our sexual being is meant to BE is at direct odds with the current 'norm' of pubic hair shaving among women (and increasingly among men). The health risks of shaving pubic hair aside, how did we allow ourselves to be so thoroughly duped into risky, expensive, and self-shaming grooming practices? It's the military industrial complex, keeps us in a state of self-loathing and other-loathing, and keeps us buying stuff we don't need. It's disturbing and not a healthy way to be in our minds or in our bodies. Spread the word, not the infections!! :-) Peace