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25th February 2013

Should we be itching to talk about pubic hair removal?

Gwen Ellis takes a look at how porn has influenced our sex lives and body images

I have a friend who doesn’t mind her partner’s genital area being hairy because it feels as though she’s having sex with a ‘real’ man. I then asked if it makes her feel like a ‘real’ woman to leave her froufrou untouched and her answer was no. She should be hair free, she said. So, why does he expect his girlfriend to be bare down-below? My guess: because women are bare in porn.

Over the past 30 years, porn has had a huge influence on our sex lives, even down to how we manage our pubic hair. A lot of the female population wax or shave their labia because it is what men expect them to do. The expectation is that women, during sex, should be neatly trimmed at the very least. God forbid that you should get down and dirty with a guy when you’re sporting the overgrown hedge look.

I myself have often undergone full deforestation and stripped my lady garden bare, making myself look like a prepubescent nine year old in the process.  Even if I’m not having regular sex, the expectation is that I should be well groomed at all times like some kind of show dog, just in case I get lucky after one too many g and ts.

Even though the majority of men in porn are also stripped of their pubic hair, most guys choose not to go for the full on Christmas turkey look. What is more, women don’t expect them to. That said, some do take the plunge and pornify their bodies these days, though they seem to be in the minority. Perhaps I haven’t accredited the possibility that this is a tricky situation for both men and women alike. So, should we all just abandon our razors and live out the Bohemian dream? As appealing as that first sounds, maybe not.

What I think makes my friend’s partner a ‘real’ man is the fact that he is unwilling to subject himself to a time consuming and uncomfortable pubic shaving regime just because porn stars do. He’s living in the real world and he is a ‘real’ man because he’s doing what he wants to do and he’s comfortable with himself. This is something which we should all be aiming for.

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