Shave Your Pubes Off NOW!

By Timothy Chilman

email: timothychilman@yahoo.com

A conspiracy theory is sometimes defined as an idea which not many people believe. So, by that definition, here’s a conspiracy theory: you should go and shave off your pubic hair RIGHT NOW. OK, so the American Heritage Dictionary, Answers.com, the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the Collins Dictionary, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, Dictionary.com, the Free Dictionary, the Macmillan English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Reverso, the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Vocabulary.com, Webster’s Dictionary, Wiktionary, Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Wikipedia, Wordnik, WordReference.com, and the Wordsmyth English Dictionary don’t share this definition. But one of them used to.

I worked in Australia over a decade ago. One day, I noticed “stuff” on my

A lady friend shaved her pubis, and you should, too. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Mighty Rod of Thunder and ignored it for a while, hoping it would go away. A night came when I was at home and bored, so I shaved my testicles. And why the hell not? Apart from anything else, at the age of 29 I had grey pubic hairs. In a certain light, my penis looked like Richard Gere.

The next day I decided it was time to see a doctor about that stuff. Being shaved didn’t bother me because, hey, he’s a doctor, and he’s seen everything, right?

So I toddled along and explained my problem. The doctor asked me to “drop ‘em” and I complied. Thrush was diagnosed, possibly brought on by the unfamiliar, humid ‘Straylyan atmosphere. I noticed him giving me funny looks, but I get those all the time.

A month or two later I was back at the doctor’s with an unrelated, non-genital problem. I made an appointment for a few hours hence. When I returned, the receptionist wore a shit-eating grin. I guessed its cause. I was SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED that the doctor was so narrow-minded and had violated his Hippocratic oath. The moral of the story is that when you have to show someone your shaved willy, you keep your undies on and pull it through the hole in the front.

I’m not the only one to have this kind of problem: a lady I know shaved her “furbelow” at age sixteen. I was impressed not only that she was sexually active at this age, but that she was sufficiently aware sexually to give it a bash. She had a motorcycle accident, injuring herself so severely she was carted off to hospital. When she was prepped for the operating theatre, her lack of pubes was seen, and she spent the next two weeks getting dirty looks from the staff.

I wouldn’t want to be shaved in hospital. I used to go out with a nurse who told me that within the wonderful British National Health Service they lather up with soap, which gives a crap lather and dries out the skin. I got her to shave me but had to ask her stop as she was cutting my organ to shreds. I pitied her patients on these occasions, however many hospitals now consider shaving to be counter-productive, so she should have no shortage of employment.

The reasons for shaving your pubis are that it increases sexual sensation – you get sensations you wouldn’t otherwise get – and it looks smart, just like my shaved face looks smart.

Germaine Greer believes that a woman who shaves off her bikini spides is a slave to society who is enforcing patriarchal standards. Silly bitch. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Many women in the US do it. Islam is associated with pubic shaving, which the Crusades brought to Europe. Conversely, Sikhs are forbidden from cutting their hair. In Japan, pubic hair is often omitted from pictures for legal reasons, and in the West in Ye Olden Days pubic hair was airbrushed from nudey photographs, surprising many a young man when he first saw action.

A survey found 30% of sexually active U.S. women go bald compared to less than 10% in Europe, 10% in Japan, 10% in Southeast Asia, and 70% in the Indian Subcontinent. A survey of US males by the Wahl Clipper Company found 16% shaving their nether region. Pubic shaving is more popular amongst BDSM aficionados, swingers and nudists. Some human ethnicities are naturally without pubic hair. In the orient, such a lady is a “white tiger” – a man-killer.

Hair is only found on mammals, possibly because it helps a warm-blooded creature maintain a constant body temperature even at night. Humans are less hairy than other apes. We have the same number of hairs as a chimpanzee, but ours are shorter and thinner. The less hairy is your mate, the less likely they are to have fleas, and you will spend less time picking them. We’re programmed to find hairlessness attractive for this reason, although the Body Shop tells us thirty percent of a woman’s body is supposed to be hairy and therefore depilation is unnatural. The Body Shop disapproves of the GBP280 (USD 540 and rising) million spent by women in the UK every year for depilation purposes. But surgery and computers and houses and aeroplanes are equally unnatural, and I’m rather keen on all of them.

You could get rid of those pubes with a laser. Photo: Wikipedia.

Germaine Greer and her ilk think that a woman who dispenses with her “bikini spider” is a slave to society who enforces patriarchal standards, but if you think the glass is half full it is a way to proudly expose the body to examination. Whatever the reason, if a woman gets more oral sex or enjoys the feel of her panties rubbing against her mons veneris, she’s unlikely to care, while oral sex upon a woman who retains her pubes has been likened to eating with a beard. Pubic depilation by men, on the other hand, thumbs its nose at the association of hair with masculinity, and exposes the body while you’re at it. And after impromptu oral sex, neither gender is embarrassed after conducting a conversation and finding a pubic hair between the front teeth.

Better yet, men benefit from the “Canary Wharf effect”. Canary Wharf was, for a while, the largest building in London. The building looks larger because the surroundings were levelled. This is one reason for the popularity of pubic depilation amongst male porn performers.

The currently fashionability of pubic shaving is usually said to have started, as with so many things, in the 1960s. A strong case is made for depilation in general coming into popularity in 1915, with the appearance of sleeveless dresses and a Harper’s Bazaar advertisement showing a toga-clad lovely raising her arms to reveal hairless pits. Advertisers enthusiastically sold products to solve a problem that women previously didn’t know they had. In the 1940s, Betty Grable is said to have brought legs into the picture, assisted by shorter skirts. While Egyptian pictures show men without beards, men only really got into the habit of shaving their faces in 1903 following the invention of the disposable razor blade by Gillette.

Pubic shaving is unhealthy in a couple of ways, which could justifiably put some people off. Ernest Hemingway found it reminiscent of pre-pubescence, which is bad, bad, bad, but surely even a recent father would not be reminded of little girls by a mature woman’s vastly different form? People might be allergic to shaving cream, but hypoallergenic ones can be found. Women who experience heightened genital sensitivity during menstruation may also prefer to give it a miss.

Several reasons have been advanced for the evolution of pubic hair. In other apes, the vagina reddens when the lady is “up for it”. Humans walk upright, so this doesn’t work. Pubic hair draws attention to the sexual parts of a being you know to be mature. Pubic hair also acts as a lubricant between moving parts and disperses the pheromones contained in perspiration. We can live without these, can’t we? In mice, pheromones are vital to a good shag, but many people say they don’t work on humans.

The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilisations to write. They can also claim the first recorded human use of contraceptives in 3,000 BCE, making them from crocodile dung and clay. The Egyptians, ahead of their time in all sorts of ways, also invented waxing. Strictly speaking, it was sugaring; using hypoallergenic goo made from oil and honey. The Greeks and Romans followed suit, as they generally did. Greek nude statues show men with pubes but women without.

The most common method of hair removal is shaving. Everyone has his or her own method of shaving, but nobody will disagree that better results are produced by taking a long, hot bath beforehand. Shaving has been known to result in itching, although it never did for me. Itching can, I hear, be avoided by using antiseptic cream or baby powder. When I first shaved my lingam I found my testicles adhering to the side of my leg, a sensation not felt since before I had the kind of hairs I could sit on, but I don’t get this any more, either.

Shaving doesn’t last long at all, it can produce a rash and stubble feels awful. Let’s consider the alternatives.

I once contemplated buying depilation cream, which doesn’t smell like it used to. I looked at some in a chemist one lunchtime. But I was working in Edinburgh, which is extremely socially illiberal, and not wanting to be seen by colleagues I turned tail and fled. The chemicals used are highly alkaline and therefore harsh and should be spot-tested first. Some depilatories are intended only for the legs, so ensure the product is suitable for the pubic zone. They shouldn’t be used on inflamed or broken skin

Plucking is another method. Apparently you never know how many pubic hairs you have until you pluck them, but when you get into it, it becomes “strangely hypnotic”. Don’t yank the hair or it might break.

Waxing would be worth trying. If you do it at home during the day, be prepared to answer the door with wax in inconvenient places, and if you do it in the evening, someone will without a doubt require to use the bathroom while you’re in the middle of the lengthy and painful procedure. Best do it when everyone’s in bed, and hair should be at least 3cm long. Waxing hurts, not as much as childbirth but more like stubbing your toe. I once had a bikini wax in Bangkok. You should have heard me scream. People with disturbed skin should skip this paragraph, whether they have varicose veins, diabetes, moles, warts, broken or inflamed skin or, basically, anything out of the ordinary.

We can also resort to lasers and electrolysis, although less adventurous purveyors won’t oblige. The pubis is a sensitive area, after all, but pubic hair removal by these means is certainly possible.

Electrolysis kills hair at the root through use of a blunt metal tip discharging a small electric current, changing the pH of the skin from a neutral 7 to a highly caustic 14. The skin is not penetrated. It isn’t the electricity itself that has an effect; rather it is the chemical by-product sodium hydroxide. Electrolysis is painful. We can thank ophthalmologist Charles E. Michel for electrolysis, which he stumbled upon while trying to improve the vision of patients with ingrown eyelashes.

Laser treatment employs beams of light to kill follicles. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It does so affront me when people spell it “lazer”. One website quotes a price of EUR 315/USD 420/GBP215/UAH2,625 for laser treatment, but more than one treatment will be required – perhaps half a dozen at two month intervals, because only hair in its active growing cycle is affected. Due to the interaction of hair and pigment, tanned or dark-skinned people should avoid this body-improvement technique.

Electrolysis is applied to individual hair follicles, while lasering has an area effect. This makes laser treatment faster and cheaper for those who are compatible. Laser hair removal was discovered serendipitously in the 1970s when a scientist accidentally exposed part of his arm to a laser, which burned the hair off without damaging the tissue. Months later a bald patch remained.

Epilation is removal of hair at the root, as opposed to depilation, which is just cutting. Electric epilators can be had. Epilators typically use multiple discs as tweezers. The Epilady is politely described as a “market failure”, which doesn’t do justice to the screams it elicited. Contemporary products offer painless hair removal, but you can go first.

Threading hails from the Middle East, where it is known as fatlah or khite. A twisted thread extracts hairs as it’s rolled across the skin. Anecdotal evidence is limited, although I’m reliably informed it works on eyebrows.

This has been a pub(l)ic service announcement.

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One thought on “Shave Your Pubes Off NOW!

  1. ANON 02/10/2012, 11:23 am:

    So this is what pornstars are following? like, really? cmon now. Its basically saying in other words [ in my opinion] if you shave your groin area of your body, you will die and become a slave

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