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kill pill: part eleven (reclaimed) – ‘o pussy where art thou’

pussylove

Image courtesy of WE LE MIR

Coming off the pill and the unexpected death of my pussycat has left me wondering what it means to truly love one’s pussy. Throughout my life, caring for my vagina has been about altering its appearance, or concealing its machinations somehow. I’ve been like a Sim waiting for directions. Stories about hair, or lack of it, are all I have to offer. Tampons are similar story, but the question has been how to get to a Coles, because they absorb the tampon tax, or how to get organic tampons, because they’re better for you. All in all, there’s a sad-looking yellow diamond above my head, I move a lot like an algorithm and I’m often unsatisfied. I fear I wouldn’t know Pussy Love if it crawled into my lap.

But surely there’s a happier ending to this story.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away… I had my first Brazilian wax. It was for a character I created in an acting class. Much of my self-exploration is prompted by the needs of a character that I’m asked to play, or a character that I’ve created myself. This creation was a cosmetic surgeon and she approached her body and her life very scientifically. There was hand sanitiser, fake tan, prescription medication, skin serums, surgical tools, an appointment-based BDSM relationship, hospital scrubs and strong perfume. To her, pubic hair was messy and dirty and unruly and it didn’t “fit” into her idea of herself.

The result of the Brazilian wax was an erotic and exposing feeling. I was so “fleshy”: boobs, tummy, vagina, legs and no hair to break things up. The whole area was extremely sensitive, too. I liked it. But the extent of maintenance required following the initial wax was a shock to me and to my wallet: this lotion to avoid ingrown hairs, that lotion to reduce redness, this lotion to protect the skin. All the products thrust at me – just moments before the scheduling of my next appointment – seemed to do what pubic hair does naturally. Not only that: pubic hair doesn’t cost and I can grow it myself. Something didn’t feel right.

I had the opposite experience when I performed in a production called The Blue Room, which was set in England during the 1980s/90s and written by David Hare. I played the role of The Model: a teenage coke addict on the “up” in London’s fashion biz. The role was really demanding. But never mind the skimpy costumes or the nudity or the British accent or my parents in the audience or being eaten out while delivering a monologue or the stilettos or the finely ground icing sugar I had to rack-up into lines and snort while delivering an earnest speech about how “mam” was going to kill me: the director, Sara Tabitha-Catchpole, wanted a full bush, and that was the most daunting thing about it. What kind of reaction was it going to get? How many people in the 00s/10s see fully-grown pubic hair? Plus, I mean, I was single at the time and what if “the one” arrived and I was unkempt? What would he think of me?!

Well, he did arrive, and he thought it was smashing.

A few weeks before opening night I started seeing someone that I subsequently fell – stumbled, stacked, tumbled, crumbled – in love with. Granted, I crash-landed into an unrequited love, but a significant proportion of my misplaced passions were undoubtedly due to the warm reception he gave my un-waxed/un-lasered/un-plucked/un-shaved vagina. In response to my nearing-on-absurd apology for its untamed state, he replied, ‘Sshhh, it’s good, it’s womanly.’

Is It? Was it? Am I ecstatic or outraged?

Then there was the night a group of drunk college boys came to the show and sat in the front row. Now, to give you a sense of just how close the front row was to the performers, I had concerns that those sitting there would be able to smell my vagina. But I reassured myself that no one would sit in those seats, because everyone knew there was going to be nudity and no one in their right mind would choose to position themselves that close to the action when it wasn’t a striptease.

WRONG.

But I now know for certain that my vagina couldn’t be smelt, because I heard the entire running commentary those college boys shared about my body, sexuality, vagina and pubic hair as I performed to a full house of theatregoers. Never did The Model’s rage have so many colours. I once read that Helen Mirren walked off stage when she heard a mobile phone ringing in the auditorium. If she’d been playing The Model that night the performance would’ve turned into The Black and Blue Room faster than you can open your Playbill to check if the brutalised college boys were on the cast list.

A couple of years ago, I took Character Creation classes, which focused on developing an actor’s unused energetic / emotional / physical / spiritual / psychological muscles. One of the muscles I found “weakest” was close to the earth, close to the womb and close to my sexuality. When asked to drop my energy and connect with it… I felt nothing. I even found it hard to feel the ground beneath my feet. Lately I’ve wondered whether that experience of “numbness” had anything to do with the pill, because the sensations through those parts of my body and energy field have completely changed since I stopped taking it. These days I feel my heartbeat in my feet.

And maybe that’s where Pussy Love begins.

Beneath my feet, beneath my hair, my skin, my body and what I choose to do with it. Maybe Pussy Love is an intention, not an action. Because, looking back on my experiences, I’ve only ever taken pussy action upon instruction, or out of a desire to have my pussy accepted by others. So I may not know what Pussy Love looks or feels like, but the fact that I want to know now must be the first step. Wanting to love my vagina must come before loving my vagina.

And, maybe, we’ll live happily ever after.

One thought on “kill pill: part eleven (reclaimed) – ‘o pussy where art thou’

  1. Madeleine, you are so talented. Fantastic piece of writing. I Will try to love my pussy a bit more now. Lots of love, Ellen D

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