I used to date a guy in grad school for whom shaving was pure misery. He got razor burn nearly every time. He’d let it go for a few days, and then I’d get whisker burn. (If I was lucky. Other times, we were so deep into poststructuralist theory that we were always already studying.)
I’ve been thoroughly shaved (serious TMI alert!) only for pelvic surgery and childbirth. No, shaving is no longer standard for giving birth. But if they think you’re possibly gonna need a c-section, out comes the blade. My midwife apologized about it, profusely.
The re-growth was miserable. Itchy, bumpy, red, stubbly. You want the antithesis of sexy? Ooooh, honey, I had it!
In the porn world, those itchy bumps can be photoshopped smooth or covered with makeup. The rest of us can’t photoshop as we go. Nor is adjusting positions to camouflage bumps the hottest way to approach your partner in bed. Expect a chirpy article on that from Cosmo, one of those days: “Nine Sizzling Ways to Hide Your Razor Burn in Bed!”
And so, when I read even fairly civilized discussions of removing pubic hair like this thread at Em & Lo’s, I react allergically to the men who expect women to depilate their ladybits. Women’s decision to do so for their own pleasure is another matter, though one that’s now highly, highly constrained and hopelessly entangled with porn images and men’s expectations. But the guys! The clueless, it burns! Worse even than razor rash!
As you’ll see from the Em & Lo thread, a common complaint among men is that they get hair in their mouths and – just when their partner is about to see stars – they have to stop and cough up a hairball. Giving their gals oral sex turns into a tragic reprise of Bill the Cat. Fellas, I have one word for you: plunger. That’s the effect you’ve got that gals don’t. Removing a hair from your bottom teeth is an entirely different operation than us untangling one from our uvula. By these dudes’ reasoning, men ought to be hairless from their kneecaps to their belly-button, if they ever hope for us women to go down on them.
Then there’s the obdurate cluelessness about the maintenance required. If you wax, you can’t repeat the operation until you’ve got about 1/4 inch of regrowth. That’s days upon days of furriness. Which makes waxing superior to trimming … exactly how, pray tell? As for shaving, see above: itch, bumps, redness, stubble.
But what about the equity argument? Increasingly, guys are shaving, too. Hey, if they enjoy the sensation, I say go for it. But even in a perfectly balanced world, where both men and women removed their pubes, the burden would still be grossly imbalanced. Swiping a razor blade anywhere near the vulva is visually and technically tricky. You’re navigating crevasses and valleys, not just a smooth hillock. Any slip will draw copious blood. Not to mention that you’re within mere centimeters of the pleasure dome at all times.
So when guys start scraping, waxing, and depilating their cocks, let me know. That would entail something close to equal risk. Until then, a lot of folks might be more relaxed – and thus have much better sex – with an occasional trim and regular doses of Laxatone.
Bill the Cat image found here, quite possibly in violation of copyright. I claim fair use, but if Berkeley Breathed objects, I’ll gladly take it down.