February 13, 2013

Neuroses about feminine hygiene: The present (pubic hair removal)

A further case of the similarly unwholesome climates of the mid-century and our Millennial age is an unhealthy obsession with feminine hygiene and a compulsive set of rituals to try to relieve their anxiety, only to worsen their self-doubt and, in all likelihood, to worsen whatever minor problems they might have had. Radically altering the ecology down there is likely to wipe out the good flora and leave only the bad guys left.

There is a parallel unwholesomeness among males, who begin to feel ever greater disgust toward female sexuality, beyond basic taboo feelings and warping their minds back into a pre-adolescent reflex of "ewwww, you put your thing-y in her what-y?!?!?!" The closest case outside of developed societies is the pervasive fear and disgust of female sexuality found among tropical gardening cultures (horticulturalists), such as those found in the Amazon, New Guinea, and much of black Africa.

I've split this topic up into two posts, the next one covering the douching craze of the mid-century. This one will cover the past 20 years.

Well, I finally figured out what the whole removal of hair down there trend is all about -- the re-emergence in our society of extreme OCD thoughts and behaviors about hygiene. Us dudes have tried to figure it out for awhile, batting ideas around without simply asking the girls themselves. You can't do so in real life, but the internet has recorded plenty of frank discussion from girls who wax or shave it off.

I won't provide links because they're all over the place, though Yahoo! Answers and comment threads at various chick-only sites (e.g. Cosmopolitan) were pretty helpful. This article from the Atlantic is the best single source, including an estimate of just how common it is -- 60% of 18-24 year-old females are bare sometimes or always (higher for college students).

Whether offering a reason spontaneously or when asked directly, the hair-removers over and over use words related to hygiene and disgust. Hygienic, gross, clean, fresh, eww, disgusting, sick, icky, nasty, etc. Occasionally they mention a better feel or smell when they're sweaty after a work-out, again a hygiene theme. Sometimes they mention personal comfort. And they only rarely give reasons about oral sex or intercourse feeling better, their appearance looking prettier or sexier, or some other sex-related reason.

In sum, it is rarely out of concern for someone else, like looking prettier for the boys. All of their other style choices point the other way -- not wearing visible make-up, not adding volume or waviness to their hair, not wearing jewelry, not smiling, and so on. They are trying not to invite boys over to chat them up, which would creep them out.

An ongoing fixation about, and ritualistic maintenance of personal hygiene smells like OCD, and indeed the hair-removers often emphasize how inflexible they are. It's not like your favorite color being red, where sometimes you'll wear other colors without feeling disgusted. Rather, these girls use phrases like, "I can't stand it", "it makes me feel ill", or "Having hair down there is kind of annoying to me and I'm a huge neat freak."

For their part, the guys who chime in to these discussions tend to offer the same hygiene and disgust-based reasons. So, even to the small extent that girls are catering to male demand, that too is heavily influenced by hygiene/disgust. However, because it is on the internet, there are a lot of desperate nerds ejaculating praise about how much better it feels to hoover a waxed floor than a shag carpet. Note to dorks: shouting enthusiasm for muff-diving will not help you lose your virginity.

Pubic hair removal is a phenomenon of the past 20 years only (see here, and an academic reference in the Atlantic article). And sure enough, that's when we've seen people grow more obsessive and compulsive about hygiene, most clearly visible in the rapid adoption of hand sanitizers and antibacterial everything. Back in the '80s, it was common to walk around outside with no shoes or socks on, weather permitting, but that feels so dangerously unclean to the OCD masses of the 21st century.

Was there an earlier era of widespread OCD and an unwholesome anxiety about feminine hygiene? Well, definitely not the '70s, and not much of the '60s either -- somewhat in the earlier part, but fading out even then. As usual, we've got to go back to the mid-century to find our closest parallels. And it's even weirder than the current mania for lawn-mowing.

17 comments:

  1. I prefer the feel of a little fur. The bald eagle is too slick; it just doesn't feel right. Of course, I'm not an OCD germaphobe.

    It also doesn't smell right and that speaks to your flora assertion.

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  2. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Apparently, European prostitutes used to shave down there, to show clients that they didn't have diseases.

    Charles Darwin(why him, I don't know) also claims that it was common practice in the Mideast during his time(mid-19th century).

    It seems to be a sign of distrust between the sexes. Boys are freaked out that girls might be sleeping around and infected; girls think that guys are boorish enough to think this.

    -Curtis

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  3. Anonymous4:29 PM

    How do you think it relates to a horticultural social structure?

    -Curtis

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  4. I have to say, reading up on "New Germ Theory" and parasites made me feel more Nazi. Exterminate the pathogens!

    Anonymous, I think agnostic has mentioned that sleeping around has actually gone down. There is data on STDs to back that up, and of course pubic lice must have declined even more!

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  5. "How do you think it relates to a horticultural social structure?"

    In their economy, gardening is easy enough for women to do -- it's not large-scale agriculture. So women do the productive work, while men loaf around and occasionally beat each other up. So in the female mind, men are useless and bothersome.

    We've had more of that since the entry of women into the workforce, but that doesn't seem to be very strong by itself, or else the '80s would've been full of bitchy sassy women.

    I think it has more to do with how independent women are, not economically, but security-wise. When crime rates fall, women feel less of a need for men as protectors -- not like having to beat a guy up, that's only occasionally.

    But more like as a form of insurance or deterrent -- go out to a public space with one or more guys, and the odds that some punk will fuck with you drop off a cliff. If you're all alone, you can be easily isolated, and the predators will go after you instead.

    Really, when was the last time you heard a girl refer to a guy as "my hero"? Doesn't have to be a violent vigilante -- even the guys in Footloose get called heroes for just standing up to other high school dudes.

    On the male side, with little role left as protectors / deterrents, they're just loafing around, albeit plugged into simulated club fights and tribal warfare.

    The female mind now sees men as less necessary, both because the threat of violence in everyday life has fallen so low, and because they're now such drifting loafers.

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  6. "I have to say, reading up on "New Germ Theory" and parasites made me feel more Nazi. Exterminate the pathogens!"

    But most bacteria aren't vicious pathogens. For all you know, killing off so many bacteria has selected for stronger germs, both through elimination of the benign right away, and gradual adaptation of the nasty ones to whatever you're throwing at them.

    Millennials are a whole lot more sickly than '80s kids who ate food out of the dirt at an early age. One of the hallmarks of OCD, especially w.r.t. hygiene, is that they don't evaluate how well they're doing as a result of their rituals. All signs may point to them being worse, but going through the rituals just makes them feel more secure, so they keep on messing themselves up.

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  7. Giving oral sex to a female? Who does that?

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  8. Rifleman5:21 AM

    How do you know reducing female public hair some how eliminates "useful" bacteria and leaves people more prone to infection?

    And what about female underarm hair? Are you a fan of that too? Should women allow their underarm hair to grow out naturally?

    And guess what, women really can be "gross down there". If you are into hairy women or women who don't bath that much so be it. But it seems almost like you are trying to rationalize your own public hair/female body odor fetish.

    Have you met that ironrails guy? You two out to team up.

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  9. Anonymous8:10 AM

    I hate bristles scratching my pecker. Not pro -or con- bald eagles, but girls who go all Yasser Arafat don't make a fella feel welcome.

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  10. "I hate bristles scratching my pecker."

    Natural hair isn't bristly. You're talking about stubble-y regrowth after removing it. That, or you shave your own hair, making yourself too sensitive.

    Males seem to be removing their hair for a different reason. Looking through their answers and discussions, it's kind of hygiene-related. Mostly it fits in with their broader body image insecurity. Like, "will this make my junk look bigger?"

    Well, it is however big it is, and girls want to feel it inside them, not look at it. Shaving, trimming, etc. is more to boost the guy's fragile ego when he takes long looks at his own cock in the mirror or by tilting his head downward.

    Just like shaving chest hair to see the results of bench-pressing. It's not about being athletic and capable of performing physical feats -- sprinting, leaping, aiming / throwing, hitting, etc. It's just about "how do I look naked?" It's pure faggot narcissism.

    And again, ultimately boiling down to insecurity from having so little experience with girls. Girls aren't fixated on whether you wax your chest or not, as long as you're fit.

    Simple real-life experience teaches that and relieves a guy of any adolescent insecurities he may have had about body image. But for the Millennials, who have so little experience interacting with other people in real life, they're staying stunted longer in that "what will girls think???" phase of middle school.

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  11. "How do you know reducing female public hair some how eliminates "useful" bacteria and leaves people more prone to infection?"

    Part of the function of pubic hair is to trap bacteria away from the sex organs themselves. Removing it removes a key barrier. Also, the mechanism of removal leaves lots of tiny invisible scars that present further opportunity for infection.

    But you're missing the main point, which is generally don't fuck with nature -- it got there by surviving millions of years of natural selection. You don't even have to able to articulate what specific benefits it provides, and what specific harms would result from its alteration.

    For example, another perhaps even greater function is to send pheromone-like signals to potential mates. Ditto armpit hair. That would explain why it starts growing out around puberty, and why those "sweaty t-shirt" studies show that men can unconsciously detect the scent of ovulating females, and find it more attractive.

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  12. "And what about female underarm hair? Are you a fan of that too? Should women allow their underarm hair to grow out naturally?"

    That's a spastic, spergy way of approaching it. That all cases are exactly the same, so an answer here LOGICALLY requires the same answer there.

    In general, though, just do a Google image search for female armpit hair and you'll see it isn't that bad. We rarely see it like that these days, and so debating it is mostly abstract, hypothetical, and clueless. But it's not as bushy as guys' hair. Women are far less hairy overall.

    And for all we know, we're missing out on subtle babe pheromone production. Kind of like if we genetically engineered our food to provide basic nutrition but to possess no smell whatsoever.

    "And guess what, women really can be "gross down there"."

    Sure, but pube removal doesn't prevent that (if anything, makes it more likely).

    Guess what: if a girl really does have problems and smells gross -- don't go down there. So simple that animals would know what to do. Only modern autistics who live in an abstract virtual world wouldn't know how to respond.

    "But it seems almost like you are trying to rationalize your own public hair/female body odor fetish."

    Wrong again -- it's the pro-shaving side that is insistent and inflexible, recoiling like small boys when they see pubic hair. And obsessing about what it would look like, before you've actually seen a girl naked. Those intrusive thoughts, inflexibility, and a womanish hysteria about "ewww gross!" are the hallmarks of OCD.

    Guys who find hair removal weird are more simply puzzled by how, when, and why it started, and that there seems to be something unwholesome about so many women and men obsessing over and compulsively altering their pubic hair. You get weirded out when everyone around you is so insecure.

    We don't have the tell-tale inflexibility, obsessive thoughts, insecurity about hygiene, etc., that the OCD group does. Like, it's no big deal at the end of the day whether the girl we're with, or looking at an image of, is totally natural, somewhat altered, or fully altered.

    We've got our preferences, but it's more like for hair color, height, body shape, etc. Just because a girl doesn't meet our exact standards for every trait doesn't mean we're going to freeze up and go limp like the faggot OCD-ers.

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  13. It's hypothetically possible that we're losing out on good pathogens, but I'd say the balance of evidence is against it. People used to be filthy and die much earlier, public health measures have greatly increased lifespan. And a lot of the chronic ailments we have now, per Ewald, are likely due to infections as well. Researchers frequently find health/lifespan differences between the rich/educated (more prone to SWPLdom) and the revolting masses that they can't easily explain (often attributed to stress), behavior exposing them to pathogens seems a candidate. Maybe there's a downside to our cleaner environment in that we're more prone to allergies, but on balance we live longer.

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  14. Anonymous9:05 AM

    >you're talking about stubble-y re-growth-

    Yes. Go bald, stay bald=good. Keep a raccoon down your pants=good. Pick one, ladies!

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  15. "Maybe there's a downside to our cleaner environment in that we're more prone to allergies, but on balance we live longer."

    Not for most of sedentary history, only very recently did lifespans, heights, and qualitative health measures begin rising.

    And that wasn't because we added to nature through interventions -- we subtracted some of the grosser effects of an even greater violation of nature, i.e. adopting agriculture and sedentism.

    Removing pubic hair isn't in the same boat. It's yet another example of the very long history of human beings worsening their health due to their hubris about improving upon nature, including iatrogenic harm.

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  16. Well i think different people have different tastes, some like such hair and don't have any hygiene problem and some just can't stand them.

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