To resolve an argument, I set off to trace the roots of the pubic wig. Everything you ever wanted to know about Merkins, but had more sense than to ask-
The Oxford Companion To The Body traces the merkin back to 1450, a time when the bidet was a distant prospect and personal hygiene fell well short of the mark. Pubic lice were common – so some women, fed up with the constant itching, just shaved the lot off and then covered their modesty with a merkin.
The Guardian (second piece down, has even more merky facts).
One of Peter Sellers’ roles in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film _Dr. Strangelove_ was U.S. President Merkin Muffley. This gets two risque’ locutions past the censor at once, since “muff” is another slang term for female genitals or pubic hair (as in “muff-diving” for cunnilingus).
As Merkinstock values its customer service orientation, the company provides a comprehensive training program designed to familiarize you with basic business management, merkin history and the Merkinstock product line. […] Successful completion of the program is based upon the customization of your own merkin and your ability to properly attach, adjust and clean the merkin in the presence of a trained Merkinstock employee.