Humans are vain creatures, and not even our private areas are safe from our obsessive grooming habits. Men and women have been modifying their personal bits since ancient times, with ancient Egyptians removing pubic hair using sharp flints (ouch)! Today the world of sex grooming has evolved far past what our ancestors could ever have imagined. Here are some of the most popular and strange sex grooming habits, and expert advice on whether you should join the trend.

Anal Bleaching

Anal bleaching, a practice that vaulted to public consciousness thanks to Hollywood films such as "Borat" and "Bridesmaids," is not quite what it seems. Rather than using actual bleach, the process involves applying a skin lightening cream to a freshly waxed anus in an effort to brighten the skin tone. The skin around our anuses, penises, and vaginas darkens around puberty as an effect of sex hormones, Medical Daily reported.

Read: Educated Young Women With Higher Incomes More Likely To Shave 'Down There'

This darkening is perfectly natural, but some have chosen to lighten in an attempt to emulate a look made popular by pornography. According to Cosmopolitan, the procedure is far from risk free, and in fact can sometimes do more harm than good (if you equate having a perfectly white anus as being “good” that is).

"There have been a few reports of burning, irritation, and even scarring from this practice," women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider told Cosmopolitan.

There are also risks of complete discoloration, or ending up with a completely white bum, which isn’t a good look for anyone regardless of their natural skintone.

Vaginal And Scrotum Bleaching

Like the anus, the vagina and male scrotum also darken with puberty due to the effect of hormones. Like the anus, some individuals choose to whiten these areas with the help of lightening creams. Vaginal bleaching refers to lightening the labia lips, not the actual internal parts of the female reproductive tract. Scrotum bleaching refers to lightening the scrotum, the area of the male reproductive organ that hangs outside the body and holds the testicle.

This process has similar risks to anal bleaching and could lead to burning, scarring, or complete discoloration of the area.

Nipple Bleaching

Women’s nipples can change in color due to a number of factors such as menstruation and pregnancy. For example, some researchers believe that the darkening of the nipple and widening of the areola associated with pregnancy acts as an evolutionary bullseye to help the baby locate its food source, the Coastal Bend Breastfeeding Coalition reported.

The chemicals in nipple-lightening creams are similar to those involved with anal, vaginal, and scrotum bleaching and therefore carry the same risks.


Waxing the pubic area is a common practice among both men and women. Although it can be painful, it's one of the longest lasting hair removal techniques, following only laser hair removal. However, despite its popularity, there are a number of risks that may cause you to second guess this common spa treatment. According to The Huffington Post, bikini waxing can lead to increased risk of developing ingrown hairs, scarring, and burning. Also, new studies have shown that waxing also increases the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease as it can weaken or break the pubic skin, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter more easily.


Vajazzles are a fairly new pubic grooming process that involves adorning a waxed or shaved pubic mound with adhesive jewels which are meant to last for about five days. However, according to health experts, this is one pubic grooming habit that you are best to ignore.

“If you’re putting glue on skin that’s raw from being waxed, you’re really creating a nice environment for bacteria to grow,” Dr. Suzanne Merrill-Nach, a San Diego-based obstetrician and gynecologist told Time. According to Merrill-Nach, after a wax it’s best to give the skin time to “recover” from the recent trauma and placing glue on the raw skin is a recipe for disaster. If you must bejewel your private area, it’s best to wait a few days after the initial waxing before you do so.


Vajacials are an increasingly popular spa treatment used to help exfoliate and rejuvenate the vaginal skin. According to ABC News the treatment helps to remedy some of the ingrown hairs and red bumps that can be caused by waxing and shaving the pubic area. The procedure begins with a cleanse and anti-bacterial wash of the bikini area. This is followed by a mask that gets rid of skin cells that trap hairs, and ingrown hair extraction using a pair of tweezers. Women can also opt to have a skin lightening cream applied at the end.

Though it may sound pleasant enough, skin experts emphasize the fact that these treatments are truly unnecessary. The vagina and surrounding area is perfectly capable of looking after itself, so really anything more than a gentle cleanse in the shower is not needed.

"The area around the vulva is extremely sensitive and using chemicals down under is absolutely not advisable. It's important to keep your privates hygienic and soft, and for that, you don't necessarily need to go to a spa, “ explained clinical cosmetologist Dr. Anusha Manini to The Times of India. “Cleansing it with mild soap water, medicated PH balance solution and applying coconut or olive oil will do the trick."

See Also:

Should You Shave Down There? Pubic Hair Grooming Associated With Higher STI Rates

Will Pubic Hair Make A Comeback? Waxing Increases Risk Of Skin Infections And Possibly STIs