Two major things happened to me when I turned 25 this summer:
- I quit smoking
- I stopped shaving
The first one is pretty straight-forward. I’d decided a long time ago that once i turned 25, i was going to lay off the ciggies. I haven’t craved them much since, honestly (admittedly, I started late, so I only had about four years of addiction under my belt)(still, imagine if i had the same discipline with dieting) – and now one month down the road, I do feel like I closed that chapter of my life.
The second thing is much more groundbreaking to me. I have been keeping my fanny bald for almost 10 years, shaving religiously every day, getting rid of everything down there that even resembled bodyhair. And it’s been 10 happy years in many ways; i never had many side-effects from shaving, at it just seemed a lot easier to handle than letting it grow back.
But when I think back on what prompted me to shave it off in the first place, and what kept me doing it for so long, it’s not exactly driven by body positivity. On the contrary.
Last time I had pubic hair, I was a freshman in high school, and at 15 I hadn’t explored much of boys and sex yet. I’d been masturbating for a couple of years and remember feeling very shameful about it. I told myself so many times that I would never touch myself again – I think I even begged God to take the urge away from me (even though I wasn’t raised in a religious home at all).
It just so happened that my darling virgin self went to a party; and found a boy that i liked to kiss. We even went to second base (which was a first for me too), but then, when he tried to get me to go further, I backed out. I think at the time i just really wasn’t ready, and I didn’t want my first time to be a one-night-stand; but I also distinctly remember the fear that this boy would get me undressed and then recoil from my horrible pubic hair.
Which of course is a ridiculous scenario, but bear with me, i was just a baby.
So I didn’t do it. And i remember just having the opportunity brought up a lot of different thoughts and emotions; and within two weeks, i’d said goodbye to my lady-bush and decidedly “made myself ready” for my sexual debut (which didn’t occur until about a year later).
What’s really sad about it is that i felt like i had to conform to this bald, porn-like ideal in order to be considered attractive enough for a man to have sex with me (Because never mind how i felt, right? As long as the man is happy and deems me desirable). And that i would be so ashamed of my natural body, and blame a man’s rejection on myself, before it even happened…
Now it’s growing back. And I kind of dig it, the little soft, brown curls that are just starting to sprout. Yet i am not looking forward to what i remember as very messy periods (but now that i’m on the tampon-wagon, i’ll probably not even notice it)(also if you never hear from me again, i died of TSS).
As I’m writing this, i also realise that I’ve never actually had sex while sporting a full bush – and i’m starting to look forward to the experience.
– Fat Medusa