Manscaping, landing strips, lightning bolts—pubic hair can come in all shapes and sizes.
Some people groom it for purely aesthetic reasons, while others—people with vaginas, in particular—do it because it makes them feel sexier or cleaner, or because it enhances sensation during sex or masturbation. And then, of course, there’s the added advantage of not ending up with hairs in your teeth during oral sex.
Turns out, the majority of us are doing at least some kind of maintenance down there. A 2017 Cosmopolitan.com survey found that 92% of the respondents aged 18–35 groomed their pubic hair in some way. Around 69% of men trimmed it regularly, while 57% of women removed it completely.
But like most things on our bodies, pubic hair does have a function—namely to help protect our genitals from friction that can lead to infection. Shaving, plucking and waxing can sometimes lead hair follicles to be more vulnerable to infection and can also cause ingrown hairs and hyperpigmentation. And another US study found that the number of visits to the ER because of pubic-hair-grooming mishaps increased significantly between 2002 and 2010. So, you know, groom at your own peril.
Whatever you decide to do with your pubic hair, let us say this: Make sure you do it for the right reasons. If you’re doing it because your partner asks you to or you think it’s the “right” thing to do—even though you don’t feel comfortable with it—you should definitely reconsider. But if it gives you a confidence boost and makes you feel better about your body and enjoy sex more, we're all for it.
See all the results from the Cosmopolitan.com survey on pubic hair.