Dear Dr G,

I am a 49-year-old man who is hygienic, fit and healthy.

I’m involved in a new relationship and my partner, who is 10 years younger than me, has commented that my pubic hair is somewhat unsightly and non-hygienic.

Frankly, I have never considered pubic hair to be off-putting. I shower twice a day and make it a point to wash my pubic area with “premier” shampoo. Despite this, my partner is still keen for me to go “Brazilian” down under.

I would like to take this opportunity to put Dr G on the spot for your opinion on pubic hair.

What is the physiological purpose of pubic hair? Are there any benefits in shaving the pubic region?

Can you give me any counter-argument I can put forward to leave my pubic area au naturel?


Malaysian not keen on Brazilian

Pubic hair is the terminal bodily hair which starts growing in the genital during adolescence.

With the rising level of androgens in young adults, the pubic hair becomes coarser and generates secondary sexual characteristics, and even considered to be sexually attractive.

In fact, the term pubephilia describes a sexual attraction to pubic hair.

Among the upper class in the 18th century pre-Victorian Britain, for example, pubic hair from one’s lover was frequently collected as a token of love.

While many cultures regard pubic hair as erotic, both men and women are expected to cover it up at all times.

In recent times, the practice of shaping – or even removing pubic hair completely – has increased. But is this a good idea? Physiologically, the role of pubic hair is to allow sweating around the genital area, which is associated with the secretion of pheromones and in turn triggers attraction from the opposite sex.

However, pubic hair grooming has also been associated with skin injury and infection.

It is estimated about a quarter of groomers have had at least one injury in their lifetime because of this practice.

As the skin around the pubic area is more sensitive than the rest of the body, there is a higher likelihood of it becoming irritated by a blunt razor, waxing and other grooming methods.

This increases the risk of ingrown hair, razor bumps and allergic reactions.

During sexual contact, the risk of transmission of cutaneous (skin to skin) infections such as the human papilloma virus, syphilis and herpes is heightened.

Research has also shown that men who keep their pubic hair have lower chance of getting genital warts.

It is believed that the pubic hair acts as a shield to reduce frictional skin contact during intercourse.

Removing pubic hair obviously requires some effort, gentleness and focus.

For men who are still determined to keep up with the Joneses and have clean-shaven genitals, regular grooming in private is clearly needed as hair growth is usually rapid.

The American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who believes in the harmony in humanity and nature once said: “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you!”

It may seem appealing to give a pubes a clean-shaven look. It is also important to remind ourselves that masculinity is often associated with the hairy coarseness and ruggedness of the natural state of things.

To Malaysian not keen on Brazilian, Dr G says: “Study the natural pubes, love the natural pubes and keep the cleanliness of the natural pubes. Then, it will never fail you!”

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