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Dr Phil: Body hair (video)

Hello there, I’m Dr Phil and today we’re going to talk about why people shave their body hair. The answer is: I’ve no idea, other than it’s purely a fashion thing. In the 70s, Dr Alex Comfort wrote a book called The Joy of Sex, and it featured a fairly hirsute man and his unshaven hirsute partner. He was a keen advocate of armpit sex – doing all sorts of things with your armpit; not shaving it, just the smell of the pheromones – those sexual hormones were a very keen aphrodisiac. He even advocated smothering your partner’s mouth with your armpit if you were trying to have a quiet orgasm. It may not be your thing, but the point is that back in the 70s hair was all the rage. Nobody shaved it. Now, everybody seems to think they have to buff and polish their genitals. I suspect that’s partly because of a certain type of movie.

I think it is a bit peculiar that people would want to look as if they were prepubescent. I don’t like it at all, and it’s not, physiologically, a very good thing either, because the pubic hair is there for a reason. It acts as a buffer during all of that bumping and grinding. People often find that if they shave off all of their pubic hair, not only is it very uncomfortable to have the procedure done, but they find that sex is more uncomfortable as well as there is no natural buffer there with hair against hair. So you really don’t need to do it at all.

Occasionally people do get excessive hair – they get something called hirsutism. Some conditions like polycystic ovaries can lead to excessive hair in places you don’t want it, but the normal hair under the armpit, under the legs, around the genitals, is there for a reason. Perfectly natural. And before you spend a fortune getting it removed, and 10 years of electrolysis, ask your partner. This is really interesting: a lot of men like a wee ‘tache on a woman. A lot of men actually like a slightly hairier woman. Women seem to think that they have to shave everything off but actually a lot of men find it attractive. So it is worth asking first.

Also, a lot of men now go and have a ‘back, crack and sack’ job. Again, completely unnecessary. A lot of men seem to think that their penis will look longer if they shave the hair off – they shave the pubic hair into a funny ‘V’ shape. That’s pretty much a telltale sign for SPAX – Small Penis Anxiety compleX – and, again, completely unnecessary. Size doesn’t matter. Certainly, shaving a lot around the base of your pubic bone isn’t going to make your penis any longer really. It might look so, in certain angles of the mirror but, generally, best keep your hair on.

A little bit of a tidy up every now and then doesn’t matter, that’s fine. A bit of topiary! But certainly you don’t need to go for the full-on shave. It costs an awful lot of money and can make sex painful.


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Written by: Dr Phil Hammond
Edited by: Dr Phil Hammond
Last updated: Friday, October 20th 2017

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Comments on this article

Posted by rani on 30/07/2017 at 10:22

i have a hair on my body and i realy dont like this i want to remove this for ever what should i do?

Posted by sue on 13/10/2012 at 05:25

hair in vagnial arer frustrations my parer try cuting it come back please

Posted by carlos spicyweiner on 28/09/2010 at 03:16

Totally agree - the sexual discomfort can be even worse if the shaved area has grown a bit - much like a mans chin with 5o'clock shadow - very abrasive - its a shame people are such slaves to what they perceive as fashionable or normal. Years ago genital wigs or mirkins were all the rage.

Posted by Martin on 18/08/2010 at 12:26

feels like constant pressure on anus area, like need to go bathroom but don't. Thought might be hernia but doctor said no, no outward evidence of rectal/prostate cancer, no blood, no problems going to bathroom, did have serious lower back trauma 1 yr before systoms, should i go to proctologist, or gastrologist, or?