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Pubic hair fetishism

Female pubic hair

Pubic hair fetishism, or pubephilia, is where a person becomes sexually aroused by the sight or feel of human pubic hair. Others may consider pubic hair to be aesthetic and a characteristic of maturity.



Social conditioningEdit

At puberty, many girls find the sudden sprouting of pubic hair disturbing, and sometimes as unclean, because in many cases young girls have been screened by their family and by society from the sight of pubic hair.[1] Young boys, on the other hand, tend not to be similarly disturbed by the development of their pubic hair, usually having seen body hair on their fathers.[1] However, to a young boy, the sight of the female pubic region is usually a mystery, and young girls are taught to "guard" their "private area" from inquisitive young eyes and hands. Young girls[where?] are also taught that the sight of a boy's pubic area is rude, immoral and even repulsive.

A United States study by Alfred Kinsey found that 75% of the participants stated that there was never nudity in the home when they were growing up, 5% of the participants said that there was "seldom" nudity in the home, 3% said "often", and 17% said that it was "usual". The study found that there was no significant difference between what was reported by men and by women with respect to frequency of nudity in the home.[2]

In a 1995 review of the literature, Paul Okami concluded that there was no reliable evidence linking exposure to parental nudity to any negative effect.[3] Three years later, his team finished an 18-year longitudinal study that showed that, if anything, such exposure was associated with slight beneficial effects, particularly for boys.[4]


In ancient Egyptian art, female pubic hair is indicated in the form of painted triangles.[5] In medieval and classical European art, it was very rarely depicted, and male pubic hair was often, but not always, omitted.[6] Sometimes it was portrayed in stylized form, as was the case with Greek graphic art.[7] The same was true in much Indian art, and in other Eastern portrayals of the nude. In 16th century southern Europe Michelangelo showed the male David with stylized pubic hair, but female bodies remained hairless below the head. Nevertheless, Michelangelo’s male nudes on the Sistine chapel ceiling display no pubic hair. In Renaissance northern Europe, pubic hair was more likely to be portrayed than in the south, more usually male, but occasionally female.

By the early 17th century, female pubic hair appear in pornographic drawing and other forms of art, such as those by Agostino Carracci. By the late 18th century female pubic hair was depicted in Japanese shunga (erotica), especially in the ukiyo-e tradition.[8] Hokusai's picture The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, depicting a woman having an erotic fantasy, is a well-known example. Fine art paintings and sculpture created before the 20th century in the Western tradition usually depicted women without pubic hair or a visible vulva.[9]

Francisco Goya's The Nude Maja in the late 18th century has been considered as probably the first European painting to show a woman's pubic hair. The painting was considered pornographic for the time period.[10] Gustave Courbet's L'Origine du monde (The Origin of the World, 1866), was also considered pornographic because it showed the exposed female genitals in their totality with thick pubic hair.

In more recent times, female adult entertainers who appear nude on stage, film or photography more commonly remove their pubic hair. The presentation is regarded as more erotic and aesthetic, while others consider the appearance as unnatural.


In the erotic novel My Secret Life the narrator "Walter", an evident connoisseur of female pubic hair, talks with clear delight of a fine bush of a Scotswoman's thick red pubic hair:

"The bush was long and thick, twisting and curling in masses half-way up to her navel, and it spread about up her buttocks, gradually getting shorter there."

In another part of his autobiography Walter remarks that he has seen those "bare of hair, those with but hairy stubble, those with bushes six inches long, covering them from bum bone to navel." And he adds reflectively – "there is not much that I have not seen, felt or tried, with respect to this supreme female article."

In like vein, in the "Memories of Dolly Morton", an American erotic classic, the attributes of Miss Dean are noted with some surprise (she is stripped and beaten for helping runaway slaves) – her spot was covered with a "thick forest of glossy dark brown hair," with locks nearly two inches long. One man remarked,

"But Gosh! I've never seen such a fleece between a woman's legs in my life. Darn me if she wouldn't have to be sheared before man could get into her."

The book relates the misadventures of Dolly Morton and her companion Miss Dove who venture into the American South to help with an Underground Railroad.[11] They are captured, flagellated and raped, and Dolly Morton is forced to be the mistress of a plantation owner.[12] The book is written as the memoirs of Dolly Morton after she has become a madam.[13]


Among the upper class in 19th century Victorian Britain, pubic hair from a lover was frequently collected as a souvenir. The curls were, for instance, worn like cockades in men's hats as potency talismans, or exchanged among lovers as tokens of affection.[14] The museum of St. Andrews University in Scotland has in its collection a snuff box full of pubic hair of one of King George IV's mistresses, possibly Elizabeth Conyngham, which the notoriously lascivious monarch donated to the Fife sex club, The Beggar's Benison.[14]

Within the contemporary gay community, so-called bears have a distinctive preference for all types of male body hair, including pubic hair, as the shaving/waxing ("Manscaping") of any part of a man's body is generally frowned upon.[citation needed]


Female pubic hair and vulva labeled infographics

Pubic hair covers the frontal genital area of adult females and males and adolescent females and males, as pubic hair is located on and around the sex organs of females and males, the crotch, and on the inner-thighs (or femur) at the top of the inside of the legs; these areas form the urogenital triangle pubic hair region and hypogastrium pubic hair region around the pubis bone. Although fine vellus hair is present in the area in adolescent, pubic hair is heavier, longer and coarser hair that develops during puberty as an effect of rising levels of androgens. Pubic hair is an androgenic hair (or body hair) and is a secondary sex characteristic.[1][15]

Male and female pubic hair texture varies from tightly curled to entirely straight. Also, pubic hair varies in colour as pubic hair does not always match head-hair. Curly or wavy pubic hair is common, even if head-hair is straight, although in the far east where black straight head-hair is common it is matched by pubic hair that can be described as 'black, short, straight and not thick but rather sparse'.[1][15]

Pubic hair patterns can also vary due to genetic admixture and ethnicity.[1] Patterns of pubic hair vary between sexes. On the majority of females, the pubic hair patch is triangular and lies over the vulva and mons pubis. On the majority of males, the pubic hair patch tapers upwards to a line of hair pointing towards the navel (see abdominal hair), roughly a more upward-pointing triangle.[15] As with underarm hair (or auxiliary hair), pubic hair is associated with a concentration of sebaceous glands in the area.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Morris, Desmond (2007). "The Pubic Hair". The Naked Woman. pp. 192–202. ISBN 0-09-945358-4.
  2. ^ John Bancroft (2003), Sexual Development in Childhood, Indiana University Press, pp. 146–147, ISBN 0-253-34243-0
  3. ^ Okami, P. (1995), "Childhood exposure to parental nudity‚ parent-child co-sleeping‚ and 'primal scenes': A review of clinical opinion and empirical evidence", Journal of Sex Research, 32: 51–64, doi:10.1080/00224499509551774.
  4. ^ Okami, P.; Olmstead, R.; Abramson, P.; Pendleton, L. (1998), "Early childhood exposure to parental nudity and scenes of parental sexuality ('primal scenes'): An 18-year longitudinal study of outcome" (PDF), Archives of Sexual Behavior, 27 (4): 361–384, doi:10.1023/A:1018736109563, PMID 9681119.
  5. ^ Stuckey, Johanna (2007). "The "Holy One". Cross Quarterly for the Goddess Woman. 6: 4.
  6. ^ Barcan, Ruth (2004). Nudity: a cultural anatomy. Berg. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-85973-872-6.
  7. ^ Hollander, Anne (1993). Seeing through clothes." University of California Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-520-08231-1.
  8. ^ Screech, Timon (1999). Sex and the floating world: erotic images in Japan, 1700-1820. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-86189-030-6.
  9. ^ [1]. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  10. ^ Bruce, Teresa M (1997). "Pornophobia, pornophilia, and the need for a middle path" (PDF). Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. 5 (2): 393–406. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-21.
  11. ^ DeCosta-Willis, Miriam; Martin, Reginald; Bell, Roseann P. (1992). Erotique noire. Doubleday. p. 90. ISBN 0-385-42308-X.
  12. ^ Library Company of Philadelphia (1996). 1995 Annual Report. Library Company of Philadelphia. p. 28. ISBN 1-4223-6128-4.
  13. ^ Slade, Joseph W. (2001). Pornography and sexual representation: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 55. ISBN 0-313-31519-1.
  14. ^ a b Perrottet, Tony (December 14, 2009). "Secrets of the Great British Sex Clubs". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  15. ^ a b c Sherrow, Victoria (2006). Encyclopedia of hair: a cultural history. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 315.