So, my spooky webmaster tools have told me that folks have been arriving at my blog by searching the phrase “shaving down there.” Y’all, I have been wanting to write a post about this for a very long time. But I don’t have the answers.
There is no solution to the problems that arise when it comes to shaving down there (that is, removing the hair from your vagina zone). It is but an enigma. The great paradox of femininity. Every question only begs another question.
Why even bother?
That’s the first question. I personally feel more comfortable with myself when I have taken steps to remove my hair “down there.” Why? The patriarchy, probably. We’re trained to believe men are hairy and gross, and women are supposed to be made of porcelain. If you’re a woman and you happen not to be made of porcelain, you’d better start trying to look like you are, because it’s important that nobody ever realize that you’re made of skin and sweat glands and body parts.
So it’s bullshit to feel like you need to shave your vagina. But I still do, because I feel like guys would be put-off if I didn’t. What guys? I don’t know, because I literally never interact with boys these days, working in an office of 15 women and spending the rest of my time on the computer. Nonetheless, I’m living my life as though I might just be naked in front of a guy at any moment and I’d better be ready.
I am just a person who likes to have her vagina hair under control. It sucks that porn and MTV have made me feel like this is something I have to do, but it also makes me feel more comfortable, especially in sexual situations. I already have quite enough body-related self-consciousness when a guy sees me naked, so if there’s something I can do to put my mind at ease, I’m going to do it.
And thereby reinforce the patriarchal expectation that women are delicate childlike flowers. Shit, feminism is hard.
What’s the best method?
Let’s assume nobody in college is getting pubic laser hair removal (if so, can I ask how you talked your parents into paying for that? Seriously I’m curious). Chemical epilators like Veet or Nair are really not suited for your vulva, so that’s out of the question (there are “bikini zone” products, but they warn you not to use them on “sensitive areas” which seems pretty contradictory to me). You’re left with two options: waxing and shaving.
Shaving is great because you do it in your shower, by yourself, and you don’t have to pay anybody to help you. You just get a razor, put on some kind of shaving cream (I use my conditioner, which is why I always have such sexy beach waves “down there”), and have at it. You can shave whenever you want to, but you’re never going to get the totally smooth effect of waxing. If you aren’t trying to be completely hairless, shaving is probably your best bet.
But if you are, you’ve probably tried waxing. I’ve never tried to wax that area myself, because it sounds like a scene out of a Saw film, so I go to a salon and pay somebody to do it for me. It’s expensive and awkward and painful, but in the end I get to feel really impressed with the smoothness of my vulva.
hair vs. time graphs
The real problem I have with waxing is that you have to wait for your hair to grow back before you can do it again. If you’re someone like person 1 in the graph above, shaving is probably the right choice for you. But if your preferences are closer to person 2′s, you have a bit of a dilemma. Do you get your wax once in a while and deal with the waiting period, or give in to shaving, knowing you’ll never be as thorough as you’d like to be? (Person 3 is happy to just let it be, so she’s not really important in this conversation, but I wanted to include her for representation’s sake. Hey there, person 3! Rock on!)
As a person whose preferences fall around line #2, I haven’t really made up my mind on what the best strategy is to handle the vulva-hair situation. Thoughts, comment-friends? Also, which one would guys prefer when it comes to women whose vaginas are relevant to them? Assuming for a brief moment that all guys like the same thing, which clearly isn’t true. Leave me your insights!
(Originally published at That Girl Magazine)