What Is a Pubic Wig?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

A pubic wig, also called a merkin, is artificial hair meant to cover a person's genitals. This type of wig is often used by women for the purpose of covering their genitals during performances, such as in nude movie scenes. Sometimes female strippers and prostitutes may wear them to cover a hair-free vaginal area. These wigs are often used to provide sexual pleasure as well, such as when a person has a pubic hair or pubic wig fetish. Men who dress as women or women who want a change just for fun may wear them as well.

A pubic wig may be worn to help enhance sexual pleasure.
A pubic wig may be worn to help enhance sexual pleasure.

While most people are familiar with wigs that are worn on top of the head, there are some that cover the genital area instead. These wigs are typically worn by women, either over a shaven genital area or over their own pubic hair. As with other types of wigs, those intended to cover the pubic region come in synthetic, animal, and human hair forms. They also come in various shapes and styles to meet the wearer's preference.

Pubic wigs have been worn to hide signs of sexually transmitted diseases.
Pubic wigs have been worn to hide signs of sexually transmitted diseases.

Sometimes strippers wear pubic wigs to entertain customers. The artificial hair can be part of the act or may be worn to cover a bare genital area. In some cases, they may even wear the artificial hair to keep their own genital area out of sight, even as they strip off their clothing. Prostitutes may also wear them to please clients.

Often, performers use pubic wigs as well. A movie actor concerned about performing a nude scene may wear one for modesty's sake, for instance. In fact, wearing this type of wig may prevent unwanted genital contact when actors perform scenes depicting sexual activity.

A person might also wear a pubic wig for sexual pleasure. For example, a woman may experiment with these artificial hairpieces to spice up sex with her partner. She may also don this type of wig to please a partner with a pubic hair or pubic wig fetish. Sometimes men who enjoy dressing as women wear them to cover their male genitals as well. Additionally, a person may wear a pubic wig just for fun.

In the past, pubic wigs may have been used in a couple of different ways. Some women wore them to prevent pubic lice, as they could shave off their own pubic hair and then don wigs as they wished. Prostitutes also may have worn them to hide signs of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from their clients as well.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


Did the government make these to ensure we all become diseased?


@alisha-- Actresses also wear pubic wigs so that the film doesn't get a high rating. I guess there is some rule about that in films and covering up with pubic hair solves the problem. I heard that quite a few films would have been taken off the market if actresses hadn't worn pubic wigs in them.


I read an article the other day about an actress' decision to wear a pubic wig. Her reason for wearing one in a film actually had nothing to do with modesty.

The film was about an older time period and she had to wear the wig to fit into that historical era. The trend these days is to get bikini waxes, so of course, that scene where she was to be nude would have been funny without a pubic wig.


Wow, I really can't believe that merkins (the original name for pubic wigs I believe) were originally made to hide the signs of sexually transmitted diseases. What a disturbing thought! Although it does make sense, since protection from and treatments of diseases like syphilis were probably unknown of in the 1400s.

I'm still surprised that despite knowing or at least guessing why a prostitute would possible wear a merkin in that time period, that clients continued to see them. It's basically a guarantee label for disease.

Thankfully pubic wigs are no longer worn for this reason. I've personally never seen one myself and don't really see the point of it except for use in theater and cinema. Obviously, many people outside of these fields do take interest in it, because it could have easily disappeared otherwise.


@strawCake - Interesting. I didn't even know something like this existed. I can't imagine who originally thought up the idea of the pubic wig.

I don't think I would be into wearing something like this. Also, I find it strange that some of them are made out of human hair. I definitely think it would be a bit weird to wear another person's hair in that area!


I go to strip clubs occasionally, and I can promise you that strippers do not wear pubic wigs. Ever. The "bare" look seems to be extremely in style these days. I don't even think I saw a girl with a small amount of hair "down there" last time I was at a club.

I was curious, so I asked one of the dancers about it. She said that most clubs actually require the ladies to be clean shaven. Supposedly most men prefer the shaved look, and the clubs are trying to attract the largest amount of customers they can.

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