Dear Dakini Leah,
What is pubic hair for? I mean, evolutionally? What purpose does it serve? I’m not interested in removing it, but my husband would like me to. He doesn’t really pressure me, but he makes it clear he would prefer I get rid of it. I’m not going to shave it just because he wants me to, but I think I would feel better about keeping it if I knew what purpose it serves.

Mary, Grand Junction, CO

Before I answer this question I received last week, let me mention Mary (not her real name) is a sensual crone in her 60s and has been married for three decades.

Hi, Mary! 

Thank you for the question! Whenever anyone has asked me about pubic hair, I’ve always answered from the perspective of empowerment: pubic hair is the visual cue a man or woman is sexually mature. Whether you trim, wax, create a landing strip, or let it go au natural, do it because it makes you feel sexy.

But you are asking more specifically, what purpose does pubic hair serve from an evolutionary standpoint? In other words, how can I stand bushy and proud in the wake of my husband’s desire for the prepubescent look? Serendipitously, I came across a wonderful answer last night in Sheri Winstons’ Woman’s Anatomy of Arousal. (If you don’t yet have this book, get your copy!)

Pubic hair, Sheri writes, does indeed grow for an evolutionary reason. It holds the lovely aromas of sex, which traditionally, have attracted lusty males to copulate and propagate. The intimate, earthy, holy fragrance of sex is enticing.

I’ve noticed aroma changes changes as a woman cycles: it’s a different fragrance when she’s menstruating, another when she’s ovulating. I don’t know for sure, but I would imagine the scent changes again in menopause. (What have you noticed?) I do know the fragrance is yet again something new the morning after, when her Yoni is perfumed with her man’s sexual juices.

The aromas can be an acquired taste–or smell, if you prefer. (Do you remember the first time you wrinkled your nose at the smell of coffee when you were a child?) Our modern culture, sadly, has many women convinced the aroma is more odor than fragrance, and tries to sell us products to mask the musk. Infection, of course, can create a foul smell. But there’s a chasm of difference between that and your natural ruddy redolence. Kerry Riley in his book, Tantric Secrets for Men, notes that one of the top worries women have is the smell of their female parts. I think this is tragic.

Tantra puts a high emphasis on sensory experiences. The wonderful smells of sex add priceless depth and nuance. No two lovers will produce the same smells as you two do. Anyone can smell like deodorant, but at what cost? You’ve stripped away a bit of your unique essence, and it’s essence that creates the intimacy we all crave.

And while we’re on this topic during the month of sex medicine…Partners, you who love odor-conscious women, you can be a healing force with a bit of sex medicine of your own: as you’re worshipping Yoni, tell Her her spice is nice. Convince Her with your enthusiastic, head-first dive into Her juices. As she heals the wound of self-consciousness, you can watch Yoni unfold, unfurl, shimmer, and uplift you both to sacred bliss.

So, wonderful goddess Mary, I would still advise you to trim (or not) your garden’s fragrant bush in whatever way empowers you with sexy confidence. In the process, consider your essential, one-of-a-kind, evolutionarily-enhanced bouquet, and be proud of it.

Do you have a question about sex, Tantra, or relationships? Send it to Dakini Leah at

I’m Dakini Leah. I help committed couples over 50 overcome obstacles to sexual intimacy so they can have the deep connection they crave and deserve. Want to learn more?

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