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January 22, 2019

To shave or not?

Hi Valentine,

I am in college and some girls were talking about shaving their pubic hair. What is the point of this? Do men like it? Is it a must?



Oh Hilda! There is a whole industry dedicated to grooming pubic hair. You can get it all taken off that is known as a Brazillian, named for the first women known to do this.

There are beautiful beaches in Brazil and many women wear thong bikinis on them so they took all their hair off because it is thought to be unattractive. Then there is the ‘landing strip’ where you take everything off and leave a little line.

You can get everything removed but leave enough for an initial e.g. A for Andrew (might be a nice surprise of your man likes that type of thing). You could go all out and get some bling on your vajayjay that is called vajazzling.

Many salons in Nairobi offer what they call ‘bikini waxing’. It is painful because it entails putting hot wax on your bikini area, letting it cool and then stripping off the wax so that it carries the hair with it. Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

I think women always trimmed their pubic hair and kept it neat. Waxing has however, been made famous in the last 30 years by a culmination of things, but pornographic movies are really to blame.

In an effort to make sure that as much of a porn star’s genitalia is visible on camera, they started shaving. Women felt the kind of pressure that you are feeling right now, as you imagine that your friends are on to something and you want to be cool too, and so they started getting it done.

Random trivia: a merkin is a pubic wig, typically worn by porn stars for the odd occasion when they film a sex scene that requires pubic hair. Anyway, men initially thought it was naughty and now some claim to love a bald vagina. Some go as far as to say they will only give cunnilingus to a woman if she is clean shaven. Others love a full bush, in fact a man I know went as far as to call it ‘a verdant bush’.

Hilda as with all things sexual, it is up to you. Do you like your bush? Do you want to try shaving? Please do not use razors to shave your pubic hair as you will get razor bumps and that is highly unpleasant.

You could try Veet and other hair removal creams; or you could be brave and walk into a salon and get a Brazilian. Some women say they are able to relax and enjoy sex more when they are clean shaven.

Some like to mix it up and surprise their lovers every so often. I suggest you experiment and find out what works for you, that is after all what university and life are all about. Hilda, it is only hair, it will grow back.




A friend told me something surprising this week: lubricant can interfere with conception, so if you are trying to get pregnant you should only use lubricants that are designed with conception in mind.

It got me thinking that in all the years I have written this column we have yet to cover conception or trying to get pregnant. Is there a position that works best? What is ovulation and why is that the best time to have sex? What can your man do to aid conception? Are there foods that work and those that don’t? Are their some traditional aphrodisiacs I should know about?

Over the next few weeks, we will be covering that. As always, I can’t wait to hear your conception story. Is there something that surprised you on your way to baby? Talk to me [email protected]

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