In Praise of Body Hair

Body hair is one of those things that I don't really understand people disliking. I mean, I understand how shaving or waxing can make you look more neat, whether it's your pubic hair or your chest, and ok, to be honest, I can understand having your back shaved or waxed, especially if it's uneven. But other than for a brief dabbling with the novelty of smooth skin, or if you do a lot of roleplay where being shaved makes sense (like ageplay, for example) I just don't understand it.

I don't shave my armpits, and I don't shave my pubic hair. I like the way the hair looks on my body- in fact, I often wish it was a little thicker. I particularly love the way the boy buries his face in it. I shave my legs sometimes, and it's definitely a concession to fashion, though I'm less fastidious about it since my girlfriend said she liked it when I didn't shave my legs, because it seemed more intimate.

I find hair, particularly pubic hair, to be incredibly sensual. And even more, I love the way the labia peeks out from it- it seems naughty for some reason, but adorable at the same time. People complain about hair in the teeth, but to be honest it just takes a little skill to deal with that tactfully and without the other person knowing. And I'd rather than hair in my mouth than ingrown hairs near my tongue... ick!

There's a lot of support for this idea that pubic hair or armpit hair is somehow dirty, and while that's focused on women, men are starting to pick up on it too. Hairless rates are going up, and it's not as rare anymore to find men having their own beauty salons to get tweezed and waxed. I've met many women who wrinkle their noses at the idea of pubic hair.

And I find it kind of sad, because I love the way that hair traps that musky smell my body just sings out to, I love the wiry softness of chest hair against my cheek, the fuzz on a boy's bottom, the tuft over a girl's clitoris. I don't think of myself as a "hairy sex worker", but I suppose I am- it's weird to me that hair is a fetish, not the norm.

At the same time, I'm a big believer in body modifications. I guess what always concerns me is the idea that people are changing their bodies, not out a conscious desire to claim their body, but rather to blend in, to not be treated with disgust by a lover. Is it coincidence that Debby Herbenick's studies on sexually acitve women and pubic hair show that women receiving oral sex or not in monogamous relationships are far more likely to remove their hair? I don't think so. I remember when a lover told me my pubic area smelled "weird"- later I discovered it was because I was ovulating. I never let him go down on me again. It was incredibly upsetting, and, years later, I still worry about it.

Whether you shave it off, trim it neatly or let it run wild and thick, reflect on why- is it for a partner? For you? Or for society?

Categories: body stuff, gender, hair

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