Trends (1998): Shaved

In celebration of Adult Empire’s 20th anniversary, we look at some of the porn trends that shaped the company’s history. In this edition: SHAVED porn.

We’ve all heard of the landing strip, but what about the martini glass, Bermuda triangle, and postage stamp? All have been popular styles of pubic hair grooming over the years, yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming trend in adult entertainment during the past two decades: fully shaven.

It certainly wasn’t always that way. Early porn was full of hair, and not just the famous handlebar mustaches of stars like John Holmes. As late as 1996 (one year before Adult Empire got its start), preferring a hairless vagina “was considered to be a bit of a fetish,” according to writer Louisa Sanders. In the same year, famed sex expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer fielded a question in her advice column that framed “shaved” as a bit of a kink. Indeed, if you dig back into Adult Empire’s archives and take a peek at some of its earliest porn offerings, there’s nary a bare bush in view.

As the ’90s turned into a new millennium, however, society — and porn — began stropping its razor. When Dalene Kurtis appeared fully shaven in Playboy in September 2001, she was the first-ever Playmate to do so. She later won Playmate of the Year, signalling that a hair-free look had caught on with adult entertainment fans. In a reversal of the situation as little as a few years previously, hairy porn became the niche, and shaved movies became the standard.

Nevertheless, trends may be inching slowly toward more of a balance. Both VICE and AVN have tracked a surge in the popularity of a hairier look, and mainline stars like Carter Cruise have proudly rocked a unshaven bush in some of their most popular movies.

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Adult Empire 20 Years

Feature (1997) | Shaved (1998) | Interactive DVD (1999) | Contract Girl Era (2000) | Compilations (2001) | Anal Obsession (2002) | Reality Porn (2003) | Gonzo (2004) | Cuckolding (2005) | Oiled (2006) | Celeb Sex Tapes (2007) | MILF (2008) | Parodies (2009) | Firsts/ Doubles (2010) | Rise of the All-Natural Girl (2011) | Family Roleplay (2012) | Threesomes (2013) | Interracial (2014) | BDSM (2015) | Star Showcase (2016) | High-End Erotica (2017)
Additional sources: Detroit Free Press (21 April 2006)