The rise and fall of the Bush

It is no secret that part of our human rite of passage is growing pubic hair during puberty. Thick coarse hair sprouts from our nether regions and continues to grow as we do. In fact we are the only Mammalian species that has thick coarse pubes. You may hate them, you may embrace them or maybe you don’t care either way but the practice of how and what we do down there has been part of cultural practice for hundreds of years.

 

So why do we have Pubic hair?

Science is a little grey on the exact reason why humans have pubic hair but there are several reasons hypothesised as to the reason behind the bush on men and women. Pubic hair creates cushioning and relieves friction during sex, and also intended as a “dry lubricant” the idea being that it is easier to rub hair against hair then skin against skin.

 

Pubic Hair keeps the genital area the optimum temperature during sexual arousal which can be theorised as an evolutionary response. The hair creates warmth but also allows for air flow to cool the area if it gets too hot, therefore giving it the best chance to regulate given the environment to ward off infection but also to keep the genitals the most fertile which, evolutionary, would lead to the best chance of procreation.

 

From an evolutionary standpoint, pubes are also thought to be designed to help attract mates. The hair, down there, is connected to the apocrine glands that secrete lipids, proteins and pheromones which cause body odour. This body odour changes when females especially are fertile, signalling to potential partners that they are ready for mating. The hair can act as a conductor and assist in wafting the pheromones as opposed to the sweaty body smell.

 

Despite the idea of catching and containing sweat, pubic hair is also theorised to keep bacteria away from the genitals, and in many studies shows that people who have shaved or have no pubic hair have a higher risk or history of STIs than people who have pubic hair.

 

So Why do people shave it?

 

Plucking pubic hair dates all the way back to the Egyptians where they would use copper tweezers or a sugar mixture to wax the hairs during Cleopatra’s reign. Women were depicted in paintings with pubic hair as a black triangle covering their nether regions or without.

 

Shaving was not the norm, having wild untamed bushes, or even manicured bushes were the standard well into the 1900s. Even well into the 70s porn celebrated women and men with thick hair below the belt. During the 80s and the 90s porn stars’ appearances became more critical, more in demand for sleek, trimmed and presentable pussies and penises, setting a trend that would soon begin to dictate how the world perceived the standard nether region. Higher rise leotards and swimsuits meant women were trimming their pubic hair to fit the fashion and remain pristine and spruce.

 

It wasn’t until the mid 2000s when waistlines on jeans dropped dangerously low at the front and underwear became scraps of triangular material that the amount of trimming reduced hair to almost non-existent. Brazilian waxes grew in popularity in salons and soon the Porn industry had reversed, having gone from having “shaved” as a niche to “Hairy” as the niche and “shaved” as the norm for both men and women.

 

This shift in the expectation in porn media also led to the expectation of what people understood was the norm when it came to sex and over 50% of young women believed that they needed to shave their Vulva’s to be socially accepted for sex and over 70% of young men expected women to have shaven vulva’s.

 

Many individuals report that a shaved vulva increases sensitivity during sex for them. Whether or not that is fact has yet to be definitively proven. While others report that it makes them feel sexier. For men the saying is “it makes it look bigger” and the trend has similarly followed. Men have also seen how men in porn are portrayed and adapted similarly; trimming or getting rid of the hair completely. For both genders the idea that pubic hair was in the way of or compromised oral sex also began to take over as an excuse which was not as forthcoming in the past.

 

During the Naughties (2010 onwards) Pubes began to make a comeback when celebrities started announcing that they were once again wearing that ‘70s’ look, and quoting the bush is back. Feminists began using growing out their hair as a symbol of taking back the power of their bodies and people regardless of their gender also took on growing out their pubes, underarm or leg hair as a reflection of self love- Loving the skin and hair of the body that they had.

 

Is this a trend that will rise and fall? Or was the brazilian wax the trend that is set to disappear? All we can say is that if you choose to remove or keep your pubic hair, choose to do it for you, because it makes you feel sexy and confident and helps you love your body and the skin you’re in.

 

Stay Tuned for our tips and tricks for trimming, shaving, maintaining and styling your hair or not so hair.

 

At your Service,

 

Tiffany

Ohzone Adult Shop Consultant, Educator and Shaver

 

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