Stylin’ the Androgenics

One of the great mysteries about human beings is why we have pubic hair (androgenic hair). All other mammals have thick hair all over their bodies and finer, sparser hair in their genital area. Humans have almost no body hair (Mediterranean men excepted) and quite an impressive bush of pubic hair.

Why? Nobody really knows. The best guess is that pubic hair and armpit hair grow in areas where pheromone secretion takes place. The theory is that the hair traps these erotic scents to help us attract members of the opposite sex. This would also help to explain why teenaged boys refuse to bathe – they instinctively know they need all the help they can get to seem attractive to chicks.

There’s also the theory that pubic hair helps keep us warm, but most people don’t have an issue with cold genitals whether or not they have hair there. And if it were true that we have body hair to keep us warm, we would have evolved with a lot more body hair, especially on our feet, hands, ends of our noses and other places that are always cold.

Some theorists believe pubic hair helps keep the genital areas cleaner and free from bacteria, but that’s a crazy theory because what could be a better breeding ground for bacteria than a warm, damp, dark, hairy place?

Other theories for the existence of pubic hair include:

  • making your genitalia look better just like your face and head look better with thick, luxurious hair
  • free dental floss
  • to indicate whether anyone else has been using your soap

Whatever it’s doing there, the recent trend, especially among teenagers and 20-somethings, is to get rid of it all.

Prostitutes in ancient Greece and Egypt actually started this trend for hygienic reasons and as a clear indicator of their profession. For a long time in various parts of Europe only prostitutes shaved their legs and armpits, too. I forgot to ask if that’s still the case.

In North America, however, female body shaving has been going on in some form since May of 1915 when an ad executive with the Wilkinson Sword Company (Gillette) designed a campaign to convince women that underarm hair was unhygienic and unfeminine. Within 2 years, sales of razors doubled as women frantically removed their unsightly body hair.

Because of the porn industry, where women shave their pubic areas for more graphic and detailed views of their pudendas, pubic shaving and trimming has become accepted in the mainstream.

Rich people in Victorian England liked to collect the pubic hair from their lovers as souvenirs. (I don’t know why this was only a hobby for the rich. I’m guessing 19th century poor people’s pubes came with a lot of unwanted tourists.)  Anyway, Victorian men would pin their lovers’ pubic locks to their hats to prove their virility or they’d exchange pubic locks as signs of affection.

The Museum of St. Andrews University in Scotland has a snuff box collection. One of the snuff boxes belonged to King George IV and is full of the pubic hair of one of his many, many, many mistresses.

If you’re thinking of giving your nether regions a bit of a trim, maybe the video below will help give you some style ideas.

*** Before you start indiscriminately trimming your “down there” area, however, be aware that removing the hair around the anus makes it impossible to pass gas silently. It’s a fact. Look it up.


31 responses to “Stylin’ the Androgenics

  1. I ran the gamut about shaving styles in my life. Its true that the current mainstream acceptance of what in North America is called “The Brazilian” (A waxing from front to back) it appears that the “freaks among us have made the migration back to the more hirsute styles. It may be that whole “its different” aspect to what men see in porn but I ALWAYS have preferred at least a reminder that the woman I am with is of age – I HATE the nagging feeling of being the
    “turtle” and gotten to the finish line before the hare.
    Annie Sprinkle (Porn star) once said “I feel so old – I remember when girls had hair on their pussy’s”

    BRING BACK THE 70’S ‘FRO!!!!!

  2. I’ll never understand any of that. As far as underarms go, both times that my left arm was broken, I could not shave there and it was really bizarre. Call it corporate commercial foolery or whatever, but I prefer my underarms to be clean-shaven. I did not like my underarm tuft.

  3. Men and women now shave everything in Italy. Just like in the states, your making some kind of statement if you expose your hairy regions unshaven.

    I personally can’t stand shaving my armpits or my bikini line. Legs I don’t mind. I search high and low for those boy cut bikini bottoms just to avoid the unpleasant feeling of shaving my crotch, but grudgingly remove the armpit hair once summer is in full swing.

  4. HAHAHAH!!! There you go…you’ve totally thrown me for a loop again!

    A few posts ago, there was a serious discussion on free speech.

    Now we’re talkin’ about pubes!

    Never a dull moment, at the XUP! 🙂

  5. Lebowski – Ummm…errr…. Ya. Thank you for that very indepth précis of the situation as you see it.

    Linda – A very wise choice of comments under the circumstances.

    Dr. Monkey – Thanks Doc. I like to take it back to our primate roots every once in a while.

    Geewits – I guess it’s all a matter of what you’re used to. I don’t mind the underarm so much, but find it’s a really weird sensation running in the summer with hair on the legs.

    LGS – I feel it’s important to get this information out there so we’re all more knowledgeable and can live better, more meaningful lives.

    Christine – Well that’s sad news about the clean-shaven Italians. America has had such a big and not always good influence on the rest of the world. (PS- I totally agree about the bikini line thing)

    Violetsky – Oh no! It’s such a cute video. It wouldn’t have spoiled your breakfast at all. I think it’s by the same guy that does Art Attack. I’ll check it again when I get home but it was working when I stuck it in there.

    MM – I was reading something about the 10 great mysteries of humankind, believe it or not. And this is one of them.

    Friar – I make up for it by being really boring in real life.

  6. In your research did you stumble upon the merkin?

    In the victorian era lice outbreaks forced people to shave their pubic hair and this was so indecent (only whores shaved) that women wore little pubic wigs on a belt – these pubic wigs were called merkins.

  7. As soon as I read the first sentence I knew this would be a hilarious one. The whole idea of collecting pubic hair as a souvenir is….. words fail me they do. And these are the people who wouldn’t say leg in mixed company and used limb instead.

    @mudmamma – Funny, I just heard about merkins last weekend. How extremely bizarre.

  8. It makes me itch just to think of it. When my first baby was born the hospital staff shaved me completely. As the hair regrew, a torture of itching and prickling ensued.
    There is not enough time in the world to create (chevrons!) patterns in hair.
    For my second child’s birth, I stayed home till the last minute. Once was more than enough.
    How do you come up with this stuff?!

  9. As Himself, an elder, spends more time in the sauna at the local pool with a cadre of ’40 something daters’ this topic has come up a few times. It is the concensus of these men that the uncovered version is what is being offered in our town at this time.
    Thankfully Himself has indicated that he hopes this is a trend I’ll not be taking up. There will be no special surprises for him.

  10. This post was hilarious! And that video was well worth clicking through to YouTube. It all actually made me laugh out loud, as did the comment about the merkins. SO funny.

    Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  11. My vague memory of (the research on) the campaign to get women to shave their armpits (in North America) was that it suggested only those “dirty” immigrant women didn’t do it….

  12. Mudmama – I don’t know how I missed the merkin. That would have been a great addition to the original post – but thanks for adding it! I wonder if there are photos available anywhere?

    Ellie – Too late.

    Jazz – Ya, the Victorian era was a bizarre combination of total debauchery and surface virginity.

    Mary – I think people wax their wazoos these days instead of shaving. While there isn’t the itching problem upon re-growth, I can’t imagine the initial pain of removal.

    Jay – Nicely coy.

    Kimberly – You’re welcome. Is the video not working directly from the post? I can’t access it at all from work, so I’ll have to check it at home later.

    Daphne – Are you talking about the 1915 campaign? How old are you?

    Grace – An excellent scrabble word! And one that would generate some interesting challenge conversation as well.

    Friar – So, you’re saying he wasn’t really a magician, but a wig-maker?

  13. When I tried to watch the video through your site it says: Embedding disabled on request. Watch on YouTube (that’s a link to it)

    It goes right to it on YouTube but I couldn’t get it to actually play through the embedded clip.

  14. Glen – Okay, let’s say you were bald. If you shaved all the hair off the rest of your body, would your head hair grow back? Is this a rule or something?

    Grouchy – It’s not my mind. These are actual scientific theories.

    Kimberly – Oh well, as long as you get there eventually, I guess.

  15. If you were bald the hair on your head does grow back. On your back. Out your nose. Your ears. Who knows where else that crazy hair will grow next…

  16. Cedar – I’m sooooo glad. I often dismay, disgust, disappear, disavow, disown, dismember and disillusion, but I make a point of never disappointing.

    Woodsy – Ewwwww!

    Glen – But what if you electrolisized all the hair off your body. THEN would hair grow back on your head?

  17. This is how you people spend you free time?

    Die now. It will leave more oxygen for me.


  18. Gracious – (Never had anyone been more ironically named) Why are you wasting your time reading all this instead of out there breathing all that precious oxygen?

  19. Well put. It is a choice. But to many women out there are scared to not shave because of the crap we go through when we don’t. We women have so much “drilled in our head” when we are growing up. Almost like a brain wash. Some say it has to do with medical reasons. Although, not only have I asked many (over 20) Dr’s if it hurts anything in or on a women to NOT shave her pubic area. All, ALL said no. But most did say, that since the shaving habits have come around, more women are having more problems down there. A large increase of bladder infections, yeast infections, uterine cancer are just a few. Reasons for this is simple they say. Its like the hair follicles in your nose. They are there to help keep things out of your lungs and body while inhaling. The pubic hair is there to help keep things out of that area as well. And when you shave, or trim short, you take down that barrier not to mention, the shaving creams, jells, lotions, toilet paper, etc…get in very easy. As for the statement you made—“Some theorists believe pubic hair helps keep the genital areas cleaner and free from bacteria, but that’s a crazy theory because what could be a better breeding ground for bacteria than a warm, damp, dark, hairy place?”—The theory is correct in the fact that the bacteria that does grow there is your own from your own body. This means that your body is ok with it, and you will not become sick from it. It (pubic hair) does help keep out foreign germs and bacteria. Just like a man hood tool should be very clean before entering. Any toys a women uses should be very clean and dried well before using. Just like you can make a women very sick down there by going from anal to vaginal sex. That is very dangerous for a women. I think that went a little bit on a tangent as a reply….sorry….
    Truth be told, it should be the choice of the women with out fear of being ridiculed by others. And trust me…most men speak that they want a women shaved, but in heart, they just want the hole, with or with out hair. They also fear being ridiculed from time to time by wanting a nice grass land as well. Not all, but some any way. Now, some men really do like the women to look like a child, you should worry about most of those men I feel. Women are the hardest on other women. They all think you must look like barbie, Paris Hilton, or some other actress or model.
    Thank you for taking the time to write that bit.
    your hairy mistress