January 29, 2020

Hairy Penis? That’s Totally Normal

Having hair around your genitals — including on the shaft of the penis — is just another variation of the human body.
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January 29, 2020
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It’s common to wonder whether your genitals are normal, and in particular, if you are too hairy or not hairy enough in your nether regions. If you’re a penis-owner wondering if your penis is too hairy, just know there’s a huge range of genital appearances.

If you have hair on the shaft of your penis, you might think something is wrong, but the truth is that hair on the shaft is not uncommon. This may look like the pubic hair area extending an inch or two up the shaft, or it may be a few stray hairs that can pop up anywhere from the base to the top of the penis.

There you have it: a hairy penis is entirely normal. Here’s what else you should know about having a hairy penis and managing your pubic hair. 

Why You Haven’t Seen A Hairy Penis

Since we don’t see many other genitals in our day-to-day activities, our ideas about what’s normal often come from the internet, particularly pornography. 

“We have made porn the de facto sex educator in this country,” Siegel says. “Many people shave their genitals because that's what porn stars do. Contrary to popular belief, most people do not shave their pubic hair,” he said. 

It’s important to remember that for most people, having a hairy penis does not have an impact on their sex life. You can have fulfilling sex (for you and your partner), no matter what your hair situation is, Siegel says. 

If you want to remove the hair on your penis, you can shave, pluck or wax. Each hair removal process has some benefits and downsides: shaving is less painful initially, but can lead to ingrown hairs; waxing is painful upfront, especially on an area as sensitive as the penis; plucking is good if you’re only trying to remove a few hairs. Any hair removal can lead to stubble (uncomfortable for you and sex partners), so many people find that hair removal isn’t worth the effort, Siegel says. 

Whether you trim your hairy penis or get rid of the hair altogether comes down to what makes you most comfortable. Some people like removing hair because they think it makes their penis look bigger, or they think condom usage is easier without hair. Others just prefer the experience of having a hair-free genital area. However, there’s no need to remove the hair from your penis if you don’t want to. 

Does A Hairy Penis Reduce Pleasure?

Although some people opt to shave or wax their penis, there’s little biological or social reason to do so, Siegel says. “How one feels about hairy or hairless genitals is usually connected to other issues like genital self-image and body acceptance,” Siegel says. 

Some people enjoy sex more with shaved genitals, while others find that pubic hair provides added friction that feels great. Really, it’s up to personal preference between you and your partner, if applicable. 

Reasons For A Hairy Penis

Having hair on the penis shaft begins at puberty, just like hair growth on other areas of your body. 

“It is considered an outward sign of hormonal changes that signal reproductive ability,” Siegel says. “It will usually start to grow around the base of the and spread outward toward and around the penis.”

Despite it being almost universal, pubic hair remains a bit of a mystery. 

“No one really knows why we have pubic hair,” Siegel says. “In addition to an expression of reproductive maturity, some believe it may provide a bit of cushion from the friction of intercourse. Others think it may be a way of trapping odors and pheromones to add innate attraction, similar to arm hair. Like other types of body hair, it may also serve to trap bacteria, lice and other pathogens as a way of protecting the genitals from disease.”

No matter why it’s there, the truth is that most people will encounter a hairy penis (their own or a partner’s) during their lives. 

Hairy Penis? No Problem. 

Although you might see porn stars with smooth shafts, in reality many people have some hair on their penises. If you have a hairy penis, the choice to remove all or some of the hair is yours, and yours alone. While you might like the feel of less hair, you also might find you like your hairy penis in its natural state. Any choice you make can be the right choice for you.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

The team is here to provide you with the most medically-accurate information around sex, sexual wellness, pleasure, relationships, and dating. Every article we publish is vetted by our medical review board, ensuring that readers are provided with answers you can trust.

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