Andrea l. de maria your hair down there- a pubic hair story

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Andrea l. de maria your hair down there- a pubic hair story

  1. 1. Your Hair Down There: A Pubic Hair StoryAndrea L. DeMaria, PhD, MS Health & Human Performance College of Charleston demariaa@cofc.edu February 18, 2013
  2. 2. Margaritas with Friends•  “I feel like I am the last woman on Earth with hair down there.”•  “Is it the norm to remove all pubic hair? I feel like we never see pubic hair….anywhere….these days!”•  “Do you recommend that I remove my pubic hair? I don’t want to scare the next guy I have sex with!”•  “What is the best way for me to remove my pubic hair? I hate those bumps that I always get.”•  “Removing my pubic hair hurts, but I still continue to do it. Beauty is painful….right?”•  “I would never get a Pap without shaving my legs and pubes first…that would be just wrong to do that to my doctor. And, he’s hot, so I don’t want him to think I am gross.”
  3. 3. And….MORE Margaritas with Friends•  “I think my boyfriend likes my pubic hair. He twirls it in his fingers, and makes a pouty face when I shave it all off.”•  “One time I had the salon wax all of my pubic hair, except for a little hair heart. It made me want to show my vag to everyone.”•  “When I wax off all of my hair, I tend to inspect my vajayjay in a mirror a lot more. It looks kinda…weird.”•  “I think I might get vajazzled for our anniversary. That will rock his world. Best. Girlfriend. Ever!”•  “I get more oral sex with a shaved kitty cat. She loves when it is silky smooth. She could stay down there for hours.”•  “I wish waxing was cheaper so I could do it more often. But, I guess it does turn my boyfriend on when I let him shave me.”
  4. 4. My Research
  5. 5. The History of Hair Removal•  WWII: normalized hair removal for femininity, attractiveness, beauty/social advancement•  Pubic hair considered a contemporary trend –  “Hairlessness norm” –  Medical, artistic, cultural practice for centuries •  Egyptian and Greek art and artifacts –  Data/reports from physicians and mainstream media –  Cultural trends •  Bikinis/thongs •  Public figures •  Return to childhood
  6. 6. Pubic Hair in the Media•  Playboy centerfolds (1953 – 2008) –  Barbie doll ideal –  Hairless –  Little variability in labia•  Pubikini (1985)•  Sex and the City•  The Doctors
  7. 7. Who Removes their Pubic Hair?•  Men (60 – 80%) and Women (70 – 90%)•  Among women: –  Heterosexual –  Younger age –  Having recently received oral sex –  Higher genital self-image –  Higher sexual function –  Under or normal weight –  Yearly income > $30,o00 –  5 or more lifetime sexual partners –  White
  8. 8. When is Pubic Hair Removed?•  Mean age: 13 to 26 –  Mean age of total removal•  Prior to: –  Premeditated sexual encounters –  Clinical visits –  Special occasions –  Regular cleaning/maintenance•  1 to 2 times/week
  9. 9. How is Pubic Hair Removed?•  Methodologies –  Shaving with razor or electric razor –  Waxing –  Hair removal cream –  Trimming with scissors –  Threading –  Sugaring –  Plucking with tweezers –  Laser/electrolysis
  10. 10. How Much Hair is Removed?•  Majority of women remove all or most hair
  11. 11. Fun Stuff Down There!•  Vajazzling•  Merkins•  Tattoos•  Piercing•  Dye
  12. 12. Why Remove Pubic Hair?•  Neater/cleaner look•  Improve genital appearance•  Pubic hair is unattractive•  Visually please/arouse sexual partner•  Sexual partner prefers it•  Clothing styles demand it•  Reduce irritation during sex•  It is a societal expectation•  Clinicians prefer patients with no pubic hair•  It makes me feel sexy•  Reduce genital odor•  Labor
  13. 13. Clinical Complications of Pubic Hair Removal •  Ingrown hairs •  Rash/Razor burn •  Cuts •  Severe itching •  Skin infection •  Folliculitis/contact dermatitis/vulvitis •  Risk for STI transmission and acquisition •  Potential benefit: incidence of pubic lice has gone down
  14. 14. Clinical Complications of Pubic Hair Removal•  UCSD –  ER visits due to pubic hair removal-related injuries increase by 5x since 2002 –  Mean age: 31 years old –  Men: 43% of injuries –  Girls under age of 18: 30% of injuries –  Cause of injuries: •  Cuts from razors: 83% •  Scissors: 22% •  How wax: 1.4%
  15. 15. Recommended Safe Removal Strategies•  Trim longer hair with scissors or electric trimmer before shaving•  Soak area in warm water/use moist compress before shaving•  Lather with shaving cream or gel and allow to sit a few minutes before shaving•  Use fresh, clean razor blade•  Never share razor blades•  Shave in direction of hair growth•  Stretch the skin slightly when shaving•  Wash shaved area with soap and water, blot dry•  Assess cleanliness of salon•  Ask questions about training and technique•  Ask if salon is up to health code standards
  16. 16. Genital-Related Products
  17. 17. 10 Rules for a Healthy V1.  Lay the groundwork 6. Use tampons wisely2.  Have smart sex 7. Rethink powders3.  Do not douche 8. Loosen up unless recommended 9. Bathe right by clinician 10. Don’t stint on birth-4.  Skip the scents control device5.  Don’t overprotect maintenance
  18. 18. Study Your V!•  Grab a mirror and a bright light•  Straddle a mirror•  Locate all external genitalia –  Understand the ins and outs of your V•  Insert fingers into the vagina to feel bumps/interior folds that allow for expansion during intercourse and birth –  Can use water or Vaseline to aid if dry –  Note how fingers go down and back at angle
  19. 19. Elective Genital Surgeries•  Vaginoplasty –  Tighten the vagina•  Labiaplasty –  Labia minora (inner labia)•  Vaginal rejuvination –  Combination of vaginoplasty and labiaplasty•  Hymenoplasty –  Repair torn hymen

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