(sex)uality: the hair down there
A friend recently told me of her experience dating a guy who was a real gem. When things started getting intimate, he stated that she needed to “deal with” her pubic hair (and the fact that it existed) or they would not work out. She politely asked him to leave and never call again.
Are we really at a place in society where young people feel comfortable giving their lovers hair ultimatums? Luckily, my friend is incredibly confident, both in herself and her body. She was able to stand up for herself. For a lot of us, being that assertive can be challenging, especially when naked with someone you fancy, and if you aren’t particularly body confident to begin with.
To explore this topic, I thought it might be fun to tell you about my own journey. I have tried a few hair removal techniques and have had mixed feelings about the hair down there.
With puberty came ridiculously painful periods, fantastic breasts and strange new hair. Mum talked to me about shaving the underarms and legs, but we didn’t discuss the hair down there. It was quite uncomfortable and sometimes pulled or stuck out. I remember daydreaming about it all falling off. Occasionally, I would sneak some scissors into the bathroom with me and give it a trim. Generally, it felt like a real annoyance.
As a young adult, with my own income, I began waxing. I am not going to act tough. Waxing your pubic hair is the absolute worst. Sometimes the wax is too hot and you burn. Sometimes your beautician uses wax strips instead hard wax. Goodbye skin. Sometimes the hair follicles come out and your skin bleeds. Sometimes at the cheap places, you get paranoid that they will double dip and give you an STI or a flesh-eating bacteria. For the next 24 hours, you can’t go to the gym and your pubic region glows red. For two weeks of hairlessness, you have another two weeks of itchiness as it all grows back again. It also costs at least $45. Waxing your pubic hair is the absolute worst.
Each four weeks or so, I would spend the money that I could use to buy something worthwhile like a Ninja Turtles bra or a knight helmet beanie, on someone pouring super hot wax onto my genitalia and tearing the hair out. Why? Because the pubic hair was uncomfortable. Really?
Eventually, this became too much for me. I decided to go and get it all lasered off. Just like my pubescent fantasy, it was supposed to just fall out and never come back. I directed the laser technician to take it all off. I went three times. By the third time it became obvious that the laser would work on the front hair, but the under hair was too blonde to get zapped. This would not work.
At this point, I gave up. Beyond trimming before going to the beach, I was all hair. It was liberating. It wasn’t the first time in my adult life that I had my pubic hair, but it was the first time that I didn’t care.
Why do some find my decision to go natural “gross”? They don’t know any better. Mainstream media doesn’t show us pubic hair anymore. I can’t remember the last time I saw lady pubes in a Hollywood film unless they were a punch line. Porn fetishises youth to the point that pubic hair is non-existent. Television shows us an equally sparse picture. Between battles, torture and mass murder, who has time in Game of Thrones to get a wax? Yet Westerosi salons must be doing a booming trade, for I cannot remember the last pubic hair I saw on that show. In the media today, your female role models come hairless.
I’m grateful the laser didn’t work. Having my pubic hair has become a blessing for me – it is a beautiful, feminine part of my body, and I love it.
I share my story, not to convince you to go natural – do what you want to do with your hair. I tell you because the idea of anyone being shamed for having pubic hair is repugnant to me. Anyone who behaves as if they have a right to decide what happens to your pubic hair is not worth your time.