Okay, so an obsession of mine is pubes. Yes, that’s right. Those frizzy, springy little curls that cover our nether regions consume possibly 45% of my mind everyday (55% is what I want to eat). Day and night, night and day these thoughts go round and round in my head.
You know when you’re little and you can’t get to sleep and your mum or dad suggest counting sheep? Well, these days, I count pubes; people I’ve met, imaginary people, famous people; black, blonde, red – all the colours of the rainbow. Do I need therapy? Or perhaps a merkin covered stress ball?
Recently, I stumbled upon a blog I wrote when I was a mere, wide eyed and bushy-tailed (mind the pun) 19 year old. Scrolling down to find the first post, I was hardly surprised, it read: “To Have Hair or Be Bare?”
This made me sit back and reflect on my own pube/pube-less encounters I’ve had over the years. Has my opinion changed? Have I learnt anything? If so, what?
So, let’s travel down the rabbit hole and visit the pube-o-sphere.
Everyone knows that entering the world of sex and bodily fluid sharing is generally pretty darn awkward for the most of us. I was no exception in this case. As an insecure teen embarking on her first sexual experience I wanted to normalise it as much as I could and I felt this could be only achieved by conforming to society’s expectation of no hair (not even a damn ingrown). So, I shaved and shaved until I clogged the shower drain and my parents had to ring a plumber. (DISCLAIMER: Pubes or no pubes, it was still awkward AF with flying limbs, lots of grunts and stomach rolls).
But, I was not alone. Many of my girlfriends found themselves in predicaments where they were not ‘groomed’ as such for the night and would either hold their breath and go with it or head home; horny, sad and questioning life.
This was around the time I wrote my first ever piece “To Have Hair or Be Bare” which tells the story of my friend and I as young, innocent souls attending a (rather dull) house party because some girl’s parents were away. My friend, let’s call her Amy for the purpose of this exercise had been having “good banter” with a hot American guy who was known for his womanising antics. Personally, I found him excruciatingly annoying – but hey, that’s just me.
She had decided then and there that she was going to sleep with him, however, there was just one thing holding her back. Her very own vagina. Well, the outer hair that covered it. So, as the go-getter she always has been, she took matters into her own hands and I quote directly from the blog, “rummaging through cupboards and shelves, we came across a razor… but this was the stainless steel, heavy duty, father’s razor. Off my friend went, shaving and shaving, till there was near to nothing left.”
I then went on to ask the question “when did this happen?????”
I tossed up some ideas, “did one guy wake up one day and decided that he didn’t like vaginal hair and spread the word to his mates who follow him around like a fucking lapdog and thus, their opinion rapidly changed too?? OR did a guy sleep with a girl without a bush and thought “so, this is what they do now?” and then the phenomenon erupted? I will ask this one more time, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN????” – Cap locks; clearly, I was pissed off.
Okay, so a few years on and what’s happened in the pube-o-sphere?
- I had a boyfriend for five seconds who responded to my “isn’t my snail trail cute?” with “can you… kinda not? And maybe you know, keep it trim down there.” Safe to say the relationship only lasted five seconds due to “irreconcilable differences.”
- I’ve had boys tell me they only like girls who rock an “aeroplane strip”. I had to politely remind them that if they were to be so specific about what vagina’s they will and will not enter, that it is best they get the actual term right: landing strip.
- As backpackers my friend and I found ourselves in a screaming match with a guy who likened girls who have pubic hairs just like girls who are lazy and don’t got to the gym. (He was from Australia, of course and I spent the rest of the time in the hostel death staring him).
- Just earlier, when I texted my mate saying “Pubes – in five words or less” he responded with “rich bush can be hip.” – Translate that as you feel fit.
When I’ve asked female friends their thoughts on ridding themselves of any hair I usually have a combination of “I feel like I have to” – so I suppose that aspect hasn’t changed, and this makes me sad. Others say they like the idea of feeling “fresh” and “clean” (a colleague of mine actually said that she loves the feeling of being like a dolphin – soft and smooth). According to my mother, feeling fresh and clean is something I wouldn’t know about, so perhaps I am not the best person to comment.
However, generally the answer I get amongst both sexes is “pfft, whatever, who cares?” And maybe that’s all it is? Dolphin or rich bush – you choose, who cares?
So, a few years on am I any wiser? Nope. I’m just slightly hairier and give far less fucks (and started googling where to find Merkin covered stress balls).