I have a tempestuous relationship with my pubic hair. Most girls do. The cash and energy to pour into permanent laser hair removal is a long-awaited and farfetched fantasy that causes conflict in itself. I mean, what if sporting a bush the size of your own head suddenly springs back into fashion? How is it possible that the coat of your most sexual and desired region is genuinely out of fashion? The truth is, I like my pubes. When I’ve not shaved for a solid three months and I can pet my snatch like my very own unkempt creature, I feel like a freaking Amazonian. I feel primal and filthy. When you reach the point that you seriously could not care less about being clean-shaven (vaginal Shangri la), it is unbelievably liberating. Herein lies the question though; if I can appreciate my own pubes, why is it that I can only feel truly presentable to men when I’m shaven?
No man could possibly understand the extent to which pubic anxiety takes hold when sex is introduced. I’ll give you a brief examination of what the hideous cycle entails in my books. It goes a little something like this:
1. Shaving is a procedure which takes years to fine-tune. Generally girls will begin this at about thirteen when the first signs of pubic hair growth are discovered. It’s a time when razors are still a novelty and you don’t have the capacity to realise the grotesque commitment you’ve made until much later. This activity involves standing bow-legged in your shower, feeling around your nether regions while you grapple with finding plains of skin to run your razor over, knowing full well that if the skin isn’t appropriately taut then you are going. To cut. Your vagina. You’re lying if you say you haven’t done it at least once. It’s one of those rare pains that hurts your dignity just as much as it does physically. Of course, you could always pay the $60 to have an Asian woman pour hot wax onto you and inflict the searing pain of a Brazilian. Or you know, buy the Veet home waxing strips, because that tanned bitch on the box isn’t weeping so you don’t have a clue what you’re in for.
2. Planning sexual contact is ideal. If you know when to expect it, it won’t catch you out the day before you’ve shaved when your crotch looks like the last days of Dresden, or the day after you’ve shaved when your labia is starting to feel like a cat’s tongue when rubbed. God help the man who rubs his cock on a vagina three days after it’s been shaved. Although, the single day your snatch feels like chamois leather may actually be worth the virtual hell that surrounds it. To ensure that the shaving doesn’t irritate the skin, talcum powder on the vagina works a treat, especially when the previously innocuous white powder gets caught in the creases of all your clothes and you find yourself standing in front of a mirror with one leg up on a bench-top puffing that ridiculous shit onto your own crotch.
3. The last stage of the cycle involves waiting for a fortnight for your hair to grow back while your pubic skin punishes you with conditions you’d once thought only possible with the most revered of venereal diseases. I mean, it’s still entirely possible to have sex at this stage, just in the dark knowing full well that your pride is on the line. Then again, that’s how sex generally happens anyway.
I remember reading Wetlands by Charlotte Roche (the ultra-feminist, hideously frank novel that you cannot eat a sandwich to) two years ago and finding myself truly fascinated, and wanting, more than anything, to be like her protagonist Helen. At one point Helen asserts her belief that people should simply shave their prospective sexual partners into whatever cut gets them the hottest. Why should it be the responsibility of the individual when they’re wholly doing it for the person they’re going to fuck? I hate the idea of shaving for men (a little known fact is that shaving the female genitals evolved in Western culture from Italian Renaissance paintings whereby the pubic hair would be removed because it made the women less sexualised beings in their own right. A woman with pubic hair is one with too much passion). A woman’s body should be coveted as the goddam sexy figure it is, including the pubic hair that grows on it. If a man is going to fuck you, it is a nothing if not a privilege and any man who genuinely feels compelled to complain if a bush is present is not the sort of guy you want porking you to begin with. There’s the logic. Why then do I find it so difficult to comply with my own rationality concerning the subject?
I’ll be honest, I get aggressive about this topic. A little too much. I was having a conversation concerning this with a friend at a pub a few months ago; I vaguely remember complaining because the landing strip I’d spent months perfecting had accidentally been shaven off in my hurry to get ready (this was an optimistic and totally naive move at the time because I was not getting laid). Anyway, a male acquaintance of hers who had inadvertently overheard our conversation leaned over and said, “good, all girls should be totally shaved”. Should be? It is my pussy, I am allowing you access to my body and you’re telling me what should be going on with my own pubic hair? Of course, in silent retaliation to this comment, I did not shave for several months afterwards. Dear god, the guy looked like the ultimate missing link as well, he’d be lucky to get a soup bowl of pubic hair let alone a vagina with some on it.
Ultimately, I think that all women should have the ability to make their own choice. To consciously consider their actions and understand why they feel compelled to do so. You should feel equally as sexy with your chamois vagina and your vaginal mane. There is nothing objectively wrong with either and if a guy is prepared to call you up on your lack of procedure regarding shaving your pubic hair, then he’s clearly not valuing the opportunity he’s been given as much as he fucking well should.