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The Pubic Hair Dilemma Part I: To Trim or Not to Trim?

By Shaina Gaul
 
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Why can't we just rewind to the 70's? It seems like everything was a lot simpler back then when it came to women's sexual health and standards of beauty. Those were the days when women could strut around in "fur bikinis," as Holly Madison would say, and still feel sexy and irresistible.

However, things have changed. According to a recent survey done by Harris Interactive for the Vagisil Women's Health Center, 25% of women report that they closely trim their pubic hair with scissors or clippers. In addition, 23% report shaving some of it off. This has given rise to an entire trend in which women shave their pubic hair into various shapes and sizes.

From a health standpoint, the practice of shaving pubic hair is not exactly recommended. In fact, the medical professional supervising Vagisil's study actually advises against it. Dr. Adelaide Nardone, M.D., FACOG is a clinical instructor of Ob/Gyn at the Brown University School of Medicine, and she is quoted as saying that "Women should be aware that hair removal in the genital area can make it more susceptible to irritation, trauma and infection." Yikes!

So if it's not healthy, why do we do it? Well, for the same reasons that women do a lot of things. To feel clean and well-groomed. To help minimize vaginal odor. Some women prefer it for aesthetic reasons, and some women believe that their partners prefer it. The list goes on and on.

The point is that the argument can go either way. Personally, I started shaving because I thought that's what my boyfriend wanted. Then, when I broke up with him, I kept doing it because I liked it. Every woman makes her first choice based on how she perceives shaving, and then makes her second choice based on how comfortable and enjoyable the first experience was. So, to trim or not to trim? It's all up to you, girl.

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Shaina Monfils is a feminist and freelance writer living in Iowa. View more of her writing at http://www.toasterbyte.com.

Add a Comment10 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

As a man I prefer natural as opposed to shaved or trimmed. That being said do whatever makes you happy, my fiance trims because she likes how she looks better that way and it is her body. I also haven't been with many women so I've never been with anyone who was super hairy or with anyone who shaved completely so who knows how I'd really feel if I encountered either (which I won't since I love my fiance).

July 3, 2013 - 8:49am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I personally feel that to stay healthy and feel good women should trim public hair. It's all about cleanliness of body.

October 3, 2012 - 2:56am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Great to hear from the guys! My man also hates me to be completely shaved as he dislikes the "Little Girl" connotations...he likes it groomed a little but I am very blonde so I don't even need to so that for him. I think men that like a woman to be completely shaved are a bit porn image obsessed as it is not very womanly looking. I would be creeped out by a guy who wanted me to look like a child down there.

March 12, 2010 - 3:42pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I AM A MAN an yes i love pubic hair on woman bu they do have to bikini trim it meaning the sides an around the main area so as long as it is well groomed. sometimes it lookes very sexy even to shave the bottom area where the labia is and leave the top area semi thick and well groomed and wow, what a turn on! I in love with my wife and i could not resist getting her pregnant she looked so sexy when we were just going out 14 years ago.2 children later and she is still sexy because the semi shaves as put it.but ladies please don't completely shave it , it looks like nothing!no form or anything and the only reason guys tell u they like it is because if we say we don't then u won't give us any!

February 12, 2010 - 12:13am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am a man that absolutely loves pubic hair---it makes a woman look like a woman not a little girl. This all started b/c of porn and has had a large impact given porns huge following now in our society. Women keep it full and thick down there--it is there for a reason. I have dated many women who are hairy in the privates and no guys it doesn't smell. As long as a woman is hygenic it will always be fresh.

November 5, 2009 - 11:33am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

As a quick follow up to this (also a man writing this), I assure you most guys do not want ANYTHING you would see a woman do in a typical porno. All that fake screaming, etc is something that only those who are completely repressed might want and I don't think you'd like to go out with one of those guys.

July 3, 2013 - 8:52am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Yea pubic hair shaving is by and large influenced by porn. To the last poster, women have been shaving their pubes /body hair long before you, your wife or this country existed but you can't deny the current trend is porn driven. It's more of an indirect influence so this doesn't mean your wife and probably most women that do it are trying to look like "porn stars". Its the result at least in part of our (men's) and expectations. And yes there is some corporate influence on the whole. Maybe not your wife in particular but hair removal's big business..

July 20, 2009 - 4:48pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

My wife and I have been married for 32 years. She has been trimmed or shaved for as long as I can remember. Including the 4 years we dated prior to marriage. Why? Contrary to the first commenter, it's certainly nothing to do with with looking more attractive for me or to mimic a porn star or the lame excuse of "corporate" influence. No big business brought about this decision. For her it is much more comfortable, cool (as in temperature not fashoinable) and she prefers the smooth/clean feeling. She shaves her legs, pits, and with a just few additional strokes includes her pubic region. She has been in the medical profession for over thirty years and to my knowledge, this has never resulted in any health issue. I know she has recommended shaving to our daughters and has mentioned it to her friends/co-workers.
I certainly wouldn't impose my taste upon her in this regard to appeal to my aesthetics (although I admit I do prefer this look and feel). She shaves her pubic hair for the same reason I shave my beard. Comfort.
Finally, there are plenty of great women role models around. Women can and do find them. I find it demeaning (OK, acually stupid) for some man to suppose a woman would make this choice after having selected a porn star as their role model.

July 16, 2009 - 5:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am a MAN who loves women to HAVE PUBIC HAIR... it's sexy... it's mysterious, first time you dont know the color the shape...
yes trim bikini line and maybe trim a little if it gets long...
but I HATE a totally shaved women and a small strip---though better than none at all-- is not a turn on for me...
ladies: STOP... most guys do not dig it ... ASK THEM!
its porn stars and corporate America trying to convince you that your body is wrong... trim. yes. Shave entirely NO.
plus let's make a deal now: NEVER be influenced by PORN STARS....these are mostly sad women who couldn't succeed till they started having sex on film... can we have better role models PLEASE?

May 3, 2009 - 5:47pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Haha.. yea hair is sexy but unfortunately big business running the show

June 24, 2009 - 3:28pm
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