My lover’s bush is thinning. Can Rogaine bring it back?
—G.C., Banning, California
We doubt your lover will find it enticing if you bring Rogaine instead of lube to bed—and it likely won’t have any effect, says Dr. William Rassman of New Hair Institute in Los Angeles. “There’s maybe a 10 percent chance it would do anything, and even then it wouldn’t be substantial growth,” he says. Are there other options? Believe it or not, some people have pubic hair transplants. Rassman completes one or two of the procedures each year, taking follicles from the back of the head and replanting them near the genitals. Although he can’t explain it, Rassman says straight hair from the head usually grows wavy (but not curly) below the waist.
Aren’t merkins, or a pubic toupee, also an option for thinning pubic hair?
—J.M., Memphis, Tennessee
True, a merkin may do the trick. Pubic wigs, which date back to at least 1450, were originally used by prostitutes and the elite to cover syphilitic pustules and gonorrheal warts, which tended to be more visible after ill-advised treatments with mercury. Some women also shaved to prevent or treat crabs. With the introduction of penicillin, merkins are now just fashionable. Crafted on the Isle of Merk from nylon or hair (human or yak) and secured with spirit gum or a G-string, they sell for anywhere from $40 for basic curly black to $200 for imported designer shapes such as a heart, strawberry or padlock.
Why does the Advisor perpetuate the myth that women in ancient Greece routinely removed their pubic hair? This fiction is contradicted by centuries’ worth of vase paintings and other Greek art showing the thick black pubic hair characteristic of Mediterranean women. The single source that historian Paul Brandt cites for this no-hair canard is a scene in Lysistrata in which a character says she singed her hair with a lamp. Relying on an ancient comedy for credibility is like historians 2,500 years from now citing Jon Stewart as the authority on American grooming habits.
—T.C., Lynnwood, Washington
You’re right on the point—the evidence suggests that women did not routinely go bare. This is according to classics professor Martin Kilmer, who in 1982 argued in "The Journal of Hellenic Studies" that the Lysistrata passage translates as “short-haired.” Likewise, Greek vases show only trimming. Kilmer traces the idea of bare Greeks to a 1968 book that argued men at the time feared the vulva and so made women shave clean, which makes no sense. Instead, women likely plucked, singed and trimmed their pubic hair to expose the vulva, which was considered to be sexually attractive—and still is.
Last summer, before going on vacation, I gave myself a Brazilian. It was painful, but my wife loved it and I kind of liked it too. My wife has been asking if I’m going to do it again, so I found a salon. However, my wife may be upset if another woman touches my penis. What should I do?
—W.K., Kansas City, Missouri
Tell your wife you want another Brazilian but would rather have it done professionally, and ask if she would arrange it and go with you. We’re guessing she isn’t as concerned as you think about a waxer wearing latex gloves repositioning your penis, especially since it’s for her benefit. But if she is, she can move it herself.
For answers to reasonable questions relating to food and drink, fashion and taste, and sex and dating, write the Playboy Advisor, 9346 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210, or e-mail email@example.com. The most interesting and pertinent questions will be presented in these pages each month.