Please tell me: Why do women bikini wax?

OK, here’s the question I’ve always wanted to ask someone who would answer me honestly — maybe my readers can help me out: Why oh why do women get “Brazilian bikini wax” treatments?

I understand bikini-line hair removal if you’re talking about the hair that shows when you’re wearing a bikini. (Duh.) But I DON’T understand why women are waxing the whole pubic area (or creating cute designs). To make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding, I went to’s Beauty site and read this:

Basically, with the Brazilian, hair is removed in the front, back & everything in between. Most of the time a ‘landing strip’ is left in the front, but some clients opt for everything removed.

Whoa. “front, back & everything in between”? How can our most sensitive areas withstand this kind of torture? Are women who inherited the perks of our feminist crusade putting themselves through procedures more painful than four-inch heels? Is it for a lover’s delight? Is it to — oh dear — look prepubescent as a thrill? I don’t get it.

Is it an age thing? Something young women do, like piercings (more than earlobes) and tatoos? Is it a fantasy thing? (If so, whose fantasy is it, and where did it come from?)

Call it a generation gap (I’m 64), but I’d really love to understand this. I think it has something to do with sex, though it’s hard for me to figure out what. Seems to me that hairless friction would be rough and unpleasant on our tender “front, back & everything in between.” And what happens when the hair starts to grow back bristly?

Clearly I’m out of touch. If you have an opinion or experience to share, please comment, whether you’re female, male, in favor, against, waxed or bushy. I’d appreciate it if you’d state your age, just so I can get a sense of whether this is an age thing or not.


  1. HyunChard on September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    As a guy i think women take hair removal or waxing for their sex appeal to be more appealing. Like me i like smooth skin for me to l**k it. Yah know.

  2. Anonymous on February 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I shave and both my lover and myself enjoy the smooth skin. I believe its more sensual without the hair. I can feel more of him. Also wwe are both very oral. Its a wonderful treat to lick and taste without any hair in the way. We shave one another. Its quite a treat. A very erotic and sensual experience. I feel very pampered when he does this.

  3. Anonymous on February 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    My wife's pubic hair is very coarse and when she shaves it's like making love to a hedgehog, so she just trims. I have been shaving since shortly after we got married and find that once you learn the techniques it's easy to maintain without bumps or irritation. She is in her 40's and had an early menopause. I in my 60's and we have a mutually satisfying sex life that greatly contributes to our marriage.

  4. Anonymous on July 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Hello Joan,
    I had a radical prostatectomy 6.5 years ago and am on androgen replacement therapy. after re-reading the patch instructions, I started shaving the patch placement areas. The maintenance was annoying, but medication improvement gave me my "mojo" back. I have had two areas treated with IPL for permanent hair removal. What a clean fresh feeling it gives! It is so nice that I am getting a "brazilian" this Friday. I am 72 years old and find that no hair is very exciting. My wife is yet to be convinced. Ed K

  5. Joan Price on October 23, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Anonymous, I almost didn’t let your comment appear because I (and many of my older readers) find the word “cunt” offensive. I don’t think you meant it to offend (we’re all different in how we respond to sexual vernacular) and I thought it was interesting that a couple in their sixties both wax, so I let it though, but I had to restrain my itch to edit your wording!

  6. Anonymous on October 23, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    We are in our sixties and both wax. There is nothing like bare cunt on bare penis.

  7. Shen on September 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    As a young woman (22) the trend intimidates me. I don’t want to wax or shave my pubes (though I do keep them trimmed for my own convenience) but I have to wonder what will happen when I open up for a guy and he doesn’t like what he sees. I’m strong enough to stick to my guns, but it annoys me that what’s natural is looked down upon. America seems determined to destroy smell, hair, healthy bacteria and everything else that makes life… life!

    My impression was that porn stars shave so that it’s easier to see what’s going on. …including the bumps of their irritated flash. Ouch!

  8. Joan Price on July 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    What interesting comments you’re contributing, thank you!

    I asked Lou Paget, author of several books about sexuality, whether shaving/waxing was a trend among young women, and she told me that it was, just like the hairstyle of the moment that everyone had to have. She said it developed because porn stars go hairless, and the young men expect that’s what women look like, and the young women comply.

    Let’s keep the discussion going — I’m learning a lot!

    — Joan

  9. RICK on July 17, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I’m 56, and my lady friend is 47.
    She recently got the urge to shave.
    It was not at my request. I have always been with hairy women and have always appreciated the bushy look.

    She trimmed the hair once, and weeks later had a Brazilian. She had meant to retain the hair in the middle, but lost it due to miscommunication.(She speaks spanish, the beautician – portugese.)

    I find the lack of pubic hair interesting, and am enjoying it as a novelty. It does provide better access to the outer labia. She enjoyed a new experience as I helped her view her clitoris in a mirror. Still I can’t wait for the hair to regrow.

    I’ve told her that the lack of hair is creepy. I don’t mind it in porn, as the greater exposure of the labia helped me develop oral skills when I was younger. In person however, it just make a woman look like child. I’d choose picking hair from my teeth over the image of a young girl while having sex, every day of the week.

    My friend remains fond of the idea of having less pubic hair, but has agreed that some hair will remain. I’m hoping she will let it grow back all over, and that the next time,we can just trim it with scissors.


  10. B0ng0 on July 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Gals, even without any make-up,high heels,tatoos,jewelry,piercings and wax jobs, we guys would still adore, seek,worship and dream of what you have that is so wonderful.

  11. paula on July 1, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    This is for “anonymous.” Anything that helps us enjoy our bodies is a good thing. Your story about enjoying a waxing is interesting.

    My age is showing! I keep talking about shaving, which was the thing in the 60’s. Now it’s waxing. I’ve been conflating the two terms.

    You know I really worry about men who need to see infantile pubes to get turned on. I am for consenting adults doing whatever they want to sexually, but messing with children, and getting turned on by a woman who looks like a child, is just plain sick.

  12. Anonymous on June 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Alright, clearly I’m alone here. After 6 years of no sex, I’m finally out of a creepy marriage. I went on a quest to rediscover my own sexuality, by myself. I realize I never actually accepted my own genitalia and decided to bring it out of hiding! It was a rite of passage even to have another human being see me (my darling esthetician at Aveda). It didn’t really hurt that much, but felt heavenly afterwards. It took almost another year before I got to show it off to a lover, but at 57, it’s been an interesting journey. It has everything to do with acceptance.
    Enjoy the perfection of your day!

  13. Rhea on June 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    This ‘fashion’ has come to thanks to the multi-billion-dollar pornography industry. Its roots have to do with trying to introduce men to getting aroused by girls (who don’t — guess what — have pubic hair). Even though your average man may not be able to articulate why he wants this, it is commonplace for young men to basically require their female partner to shave.

  14. paula age 56 on June 16, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Oh, p.s. I’ve always just let the few little hairs hang out the sides of my bathing suit. Foliage.

    I’m actually happy that new dark pubic hair is growing back in since I got an estrogen ring.

    I shave my legs, but not underarms.

    Shaving, natural, It’s all good.

  15. paula age 56 on June 16, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    My lover wanted me to shave all my pubic hair off. Reason: so it wouldn’t get stuck in his teeth. (It might occasionally have tasted icky too, but he didn’t say.) He’s good at oral sex, and I could see his point.

    However, the hair on my crotch is the only hair on my body that’s never been cut, and I have a thing about hair, so I refused. (I still see him.)

    Also I thought about razor stubble, having to keep shaving it, and the sort of low level of violence that would do to my treasure place. Possible irritations. Not to mention that it would look infantile and at my age maybe really silly. I’m a natural girl.

    I do think it’s cool how humans choose to decorate themselves; perhaps the deco shaved pubes are about that.

  16. Anonymous on June 16, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I thought it was for oral sex (male to female).

  17. kat on June 16, 2008 at 4:55 am

    Some men love the hair. The more, the better. Those are the guys I want to be with!

  18. Joan Price on June 15, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Thanks for starting the comments.

    “Anonymous,” this is news to me — I appreciate this information.

    40licious: I love your phrasing: “…if a man is not interested in my foliage as is, he probably should not be traipsing around in my garden.”

    — Joan

  19. Anonymous on June 15, 2008 at 2:25 am

    According to a scholarly Moslem woman from Syria (with a graduate degree in Arabic and Islamic studies), it is an ethnic custom of Moslem women (from Latakia and Aleppo, Syria)to remove all body hair except for the eyebrows and head hair by waxing with a mixture (a paste left to dry on the skin)made of lemon juice and sugar. She said it is the custom of brides to remove all bodily hair on just before the wedding and keep removing the body hair throughout the marriage. (Men do not remove any of their body hair, according to tradition.)

    In some countries, people of one ethnic group let their body hair grow to distinguish themselves from indigenous people who may have less body hair.


  20. 40licious on June 13, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Joan, I’m glad you asked. Waxing, for me, is a form of masochism. I occasionally use a cream if I’m going to be seen in a bathing suit and don’t want the, uh, weeds showing. I’ve come to the point that if a man is not interested in my foliage as is, he probably should not be traipsing around in my garden.

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