body hair, feminism, hairy pussy, shaving pussy, pussy shaving, vagina hair, pubic hair

A version of this article written by Chloe Cotter also appeared on Elephant Journal.

At one point in my life I dedicated thousands of my hard-earned dollars towards subjecting myself to relatively painful sessions of waxing, shaving, laser, and electrolysis, on various parts of my body that I felt at the time needed to be perpetually smooth. 

I’m not a particularly hairy person, but rather, for a period of time longer than I’d like to admit I equated having smooth, bald skin as being a fundamental part of what it meant to be beautiful, attracting male attention and pleasing sexual partners.  

Have you ever felt like this? 

You're (we're!) not alone.

A crazy study was published recently reporting that the vast majority of American women groom their nether regions; white women do it more than any other race; over half of the women surveyed (3316) said they groom for sexual purposes; 21 percent stated because their partner prefers it that way, and 31 percent because they feel it makes their vagina look “nicer,” which suggest that they thought the researchers were referring to kittens rather than their sexy-time organs.

Damn… the patriarchy is alive and well my friends, alive and well.

As for the rest of the women who groom themselves (I feel like I’m talking about a damn horse when I use that term in this context), they reported it was for “hygiene reasons” although any medical doctor will tell you that having the pubic hair we’ve evolved with naturally is what decreases infection and disease, and shaving/waxing increases the chance of STDs, ingrown hairs, cysts and other awful things you definitely don’t want to experience down there.

Today, sometimes I shave, but most of the time I don't.

And in thinking about the reactions I've had to that, plus the self-confidence journey I've been on since making that decision, I wonder about the rollercoaster that is pussy shaving fashion and the larger idea of the patriarchy and the deep pockets of advertisers (among other things) dictating how a woman’s choice in dealing with her body hair a) determines how attractive she is, and b) has an impact on her personal confidence and self-esteem levels.

Rocking the “hairy triangle” (try searching that one on the google) is a newly adopted way of being for many modern women, often as an anti-patriarchy, pro-feminism political statement.

Which is interesting because of the fact that we all naturally have hair all over our goddamn bodies, and allowing ourselves to let that be our natural state should never have to be a political statement (I know I’m preaching to the choir of visible minorities who have been lightening their skin, wearing wigs, and otherwise altering their bodies to look more something and consequently more attractive and aligned with what advertisers and therefore the general public say they should look like). 

Nicole has a lovely story of a time hooking up with a boy she’d been dating for a few months and him pausing them in the middle of their lovemaking to ask if he could shave her puss for her, taking a tone to suggest that perhaps the reason she was unshaved was that she was somehow unable to do so herself. And moreover, that he would prefer her other than how she was. (Spoiler alert! He was never to be seen again!)

Men seeking control of the female appearance; men having control over the female appearance, pussy shaving trends, hijab wearing - I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty goddamn over it.

Let me ask you, kind reader, what motivates your grooming habits? 

For us, it’s about comfort above all. Freedom above all. Normalizing the having of body hair or the not having of body hair, is secondary to the freedom of being able to have both whenever it’s convenient and aligns with your personal values and motivation. 

Thousands of dollars on hair removal? Hundreds of hours dedicated to depilatory procedures? Clogged drains? At some point those things stopped feeling like freedom to me. 

A soft bush, no more stubble or ingrowns, thousands of dollars and hours saved, and comfort in my own skin... Freedom! 

And, to answer the question on everyone’s mind - Do boys mind the bush?

Yes! Of course there are boys who mind. But those who do don't make it into my phonebook, let alone my pants.

But men on the other hand do not mind at all. Men do not notice your body hair or lack thereof because they’re too caught up in how goddamn lucky they are to be this close to a goddess; how transcendental sexual union with you is, going deeper and beyond the tiny part of this galaxy that cares about the superficiality of our body hair.  

(Also, any women I've been with have not minded, and themselves had already seemed to have read this post in a past life)

When your choices are tempered by what someone else has deemed to be attractive in their ideal partner, are you truly free?

What does a future with said person look like?

Why does anyone care what my armpits look like? My pubes? Why do I care about anything other than feeling comfortable?

I like to believe that we are on the path towards a world where everyone is given the freedom to be themselves, however that manifests for them. And maybe a bunch of women running around with hairy armpits and having to endure the disapproving eyes of their mothers, tinder dates and clueless girlfriends is the step that’s being taken in that direction at this moment. 

What do you think furry kitties?

And if you’re interested, we’ve written a couple great articles about how to keep your vagina smelling fresh and pH balanced, and also how to keep your bush and soft parts smooth and velvety.