Thursday, May 2, 2013

Shaving in America: Do You Really Need to Shave "Down There?"

Reading Tuesday's Dear Prudence letter about the woman whose husband refused to have sexual relations with her until she was bare "down there" made me realize that's something I've not talked about here. I do have very strong views on the subject, so here we go.

If you're not completely dense, you get that I'm a natural redhead. Aside from having tempers and being really good in bed (supposedly; I haven't taken a poll of all the natural redheads & the people they've slept with), natural redheads generally have fair complexions & sensitive skin. My husband even said at one point "Your skin hates you," a concept I turned into some sweet commercial copy for myself in a commercial acting class.

Growing up, I hated that I could not get a tan to save my life. The only choice I have for skin color is pale white and lobster red accompanied with pain. Then we have the freckles, some of which also pop up in the sun. The only ways I can get tan are 1) get a second degree sunburn and let it heal (which happened once but was super, massively painful; I went swimming without sunscreen & decided to lie out in the sun on a float) or 2) get a spray tan. Even tanning at home would lead to me having orange skin since I'm not a pro & most likely would screw up the application of the self-tanning lotion.

I don't think I hated my former friend more as a child than when I got that second degree sunburn on the tops of my arms & my boobs while she had a tan on her back with "I, a heart, and the name 'Josh'" spelled out, having achieved that with spelling it in sunscreen and lying down for a while. Yeah, I hate all you bitches who can do that!!! I'd end up with a sunburned back if I tried it.

So, we've established that my skin is sensitive. In my age, it's gotten worse and will likely get even worse as I age further.

This means shaving & hair removal is not fun for me. Thankfully, I can use Nair or Veet (I'm liking Veet better since they have a sensitive skin formula) on my legs since shaving gets way too labor intensive for me. As a perfectionist, if I don't get every last bit of hair off I feel like I wasted my time doing it in the first place. Chemical hair removal is the perfect option if you are also like this & hate missing stuff when you shave. It's the only thing I'll use for my legs. Shaving my underarms is manageable since it's a smaller surface space & I can reasonably get all the hair off.

My attitude on shaving is I do it when I'm good and ready. I don't do it on a daily basis or even a weekly basis; I do it when I feel uncomfortable with the hair length. If I feel like it's too long or just don't want to see it anymore, that's when I handle it. Or if I'm going to a dressy event & feel my armpit hair is starting to look like Paula Cole's from the "I Don't Want to Wait" video. Check it out if you haven't. My sister called her "Armpit Girl" after we saw it. Personally, I don't want my underarms looking like that. I also deal with my legs if I'm going to be wearing a skirt or shorts someplace & my leg hair is starting to look like my husband's in volume.

Down there, though: how many guys actually care about that? I've had my whole attitude & practices on shaving forever, even when I was single. Guys I dated by & large didn't care. Now, maybe you'd argue that I enjoyed some pretty girl privilege here or the fact that I was willing to have sex made it irrelevant for the male population by & large. I have no idea; none of my sorority sisters ever mentioned that being an issue for them.

I personally feel like shaving is one of those things women do for other women. They don't want other women making fun of them or getting catty about it. I've never felt the need to compete with and be catty toward other women; of course, I always made sure when I was checking out guys at the club I was in a spot away from other women. One way you can tell I'm straight? When other women would be too close to me or my vantage point if I was out someplace as a single person, my first thought was "Move it bitch, you're blocking my light!"

Exactly one guy I ever dated brought up the subject with me of doing something about "down there." He's also the same guy who bugged me about paying on dates & was described by a friend of mine as having "the social skills of a rock." I call him Condo Man.

Condo Man lived in a condo (duh) & had lots of pictures of women in bikinis. I had a strong feeling I was the second girl he slept with & he was 8 years older than me. One day, he decides to ask me about shaving or waxing down there.

I told him the truth: there's two ways that area's going to look. You have the choice of hair or little red bumps. It made wearing an average swimsuit hell for me when I started getting hair since I had the choice of hair poking out or getting irritation to remove the hair.

I tried to Nair it once; that caused little red bumps. Home waxing caused me to bleed & suffer serious pain; I'm a pain wuss & probably didn't have the wax hot enough. Direct shaving didn't work either since I still had the freaking hair there & it hurt like hell afterwards.

Dick move to tell a naturally redhaired woman you won't have sex with her if she isn't going Brazilian. I accused him of wanting me to look like a 10 year old girl. Natural redheads (at least this one) & waxing do not mix: look at the after pics of my eyebrow wax in The Wedding Saga series if you think a professional wax wouldn't result in bad fu for me.

A natural redhead tampering with her "down there" area isn't going to look like some tanned Brazilian chick after waxing: she's going to have little red bumps that hurt like hell and won't be in the mood for wearing underwear, much less having sex. Forget about oral.

So, hypothetical guy, my suggestion to you if you're obsessed with having a woman who looks like she moonlights as a porn actress or Playboy model: don't date a natural redhead. If that obsession trumps the awesomeness of the natural redhead, you will just piss her off & God knows what she might do after you suggest she go inflict this pain on herself to make you happy. Plus, it defeats the entire purpose of getting rid of the hair since no one wants to be intimate if they've got those little red bumps from irritation. Why put yourself through that? By the time those little red bumps are gone, the hair's growing back.

Check out the comments on that letter. A bunch of people were defending this guy & I had to wonder if they'd ever dated a woman with sensitive skin. Some of us can't just "shave it off." If some men want to volunteer for that task & make it relatively painless for the woman, then I'll give some leeway.

If you could find me a cheap/low cost method to get rid of hair permanently without ever having to do the area again or having nasty side effects someplace, I'd consider it. I would love to never have to do hair removal again so long as the hair on my head still grew. Electrolysis is NOT cheap & it's time consuming, not guaranteed, simply not a viable option in my opinion.

You know, my whole skin thing is probably a good reason I'd never be considered to be a Playboy model. I have never had an afro or anything crazy but my centerfold pictures would have little red bumps or hair unless they airbrushed those bumps out.

Come to think of it, has anyone seen a nude model or porn actress who was a natural redhead? I haven't & if you do, I'd love to ask her about her hair removal secrets for "down there" since I'm sure she can't go on camera with the little red bumps and I doubt filmmakers love her so much they're going to spend more in editing & post production just so she can have sex on camera. Is this some other fetish section I'm not aware of in porn? It does seem to be a fetish in reality (at least with people I've encountered online & in real life, including my high school boyfriend) so I wouldn't be shocked if that was a separate category. They have clown porn so surely there's a category for this one. Maybe everyone dies in it, though.

If anyone is capable of killing someone from the intensity of sex, it would have to be a natural redhead.

Condo Man summed up the 1 in 100 guys who bothered me about things no one else did. 99 guys in a room never bothered me about things that he did. The funny thing is he bothered me about things other women get bothered about but in my case, those things never came up. If 99 guys won't bother you about something, why would you go out with the 1 who does? That question always came to mind when dating him & having fights on these issues.

Heck, if people think my husband isn't good enough for me they'd have wanted to kill Condo Man among my many jerky exes! I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if Condo Man were still single. He made me look functional & normal by comparison. He even made me look social; it was probably a turning point for me on that front.

People commenting thought this guy was watching a lot of porn or had a woman on the side. Well, if my husband tells me to be hairless after 18 years of marriage I'll tell him what I told Condo Man & how shitty that is to say to a natural redhead. I'll also have to insist on an open marriage; I realized my limit on celibacy is if you put me in a period longer than what I experienced when I was single. I didn't have even a year of celibacy after losing my virginity & I'm still trying to figure out how many months would cross that limit. I think it's within single digits though might not be less than 6 months.

I have to calculate this since then it does make it fair for me & my circumstances. The reason for this? I did a fair amount of dating once I got out of my hometown (after that, I managed to have summer relationships with guys who didn't know me in the past), had no shortage of interested guys & sex is a basic human need. Sorry if that upsets the Puritans but it is & if you knew my family, it's a small miracle that I'm not totally frigid or married to Psycho Boy. Recently found out that ex-friend didn't take God's bitchslap seriously & made the same mistake AGAIN. Sort of confirmed I made the right choice & made me say "Wow, my sister's got a much bigger heart than me since I couldn't call someone who neglects their kids a friend of mine."

Ladies, I say do what you're comfortable with and if some guy dares to tell you to be bald he'd better be willing to do the same for you. I didn't really ask Condo Man about it but he didn't go hairless for me so that tells you something. If he's got sensitive skin, he needs to be thinking twice about demanding a woman do that for him if she's got the same thing.

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