When I was 12, my body wasted no time getting right down to it: my period came, my boobs grew, and my formerly smooth body became a hairy situation. Hooray for puberty.
Despite my newly transformed body, not too much changed when it came to my grooming – especially the grooming of my undercarriage. Honestly, I could barely be bothered to shave my leg hair in the summer, let alone shave my bikini line or pubic hair. It didn’t even occur to me as something that needed to be shaved. Your underarms were one thing, but anything below the belt? It felt a little unnecessary.
Fast forward to my junior year of high school when a girlfriend who was sleeping over asked if she could change in front of me.
Sure, I scoffed casually. What do I care?
Five seconds later, I was staring at a perfectly hairless vagina…and suddenly very aware of all the hair between my legs. From that day forward, I began religiously shaving not just my bikini line, but all of my pubic hair.
Yes, even in the winter.
Eventually, it became such an ingrained part of my beauty routine that I didn’t bother to question whether or not I wanted to be doing it. Until I did. Call it a feminist awakening from a radical college experience, but in my early twenties, I finally started to ask myself the big question: what was the point of shaving my pubic hair?
Did I enjoy it? That was a fat no. Did it make me feel sexy? Um, not really. So, was it for the sake of the guys that were seeing me naked? Maybe?
I realized it was because I had convinced myself that being clean-shaven meant “beautiful,” a narrative no doubt pushed by my high school experiences and our societal standards of beauty.
Since then, I’ve stopped shaving between my legs except for the occasional clean-up around the bikini line. But no blade touches my vagina. Here is how this decision to ditch my razor helped improve my sex life.
1. My Vaginal Health Has Improved
Our nether regions are extremely sensitive, some more than others. However, no matter how tough your skin is down there, it is likely going to clap back when exposed to harsh razor blades.
That means itchy little red bumps and ingrown hairs galore. Now, there are obviously products and techniques you can use to prevent this kind of discomfort – for me, personally, none of them worked.
Shaving may not have impacted my internal vaginal health but it made the area all around a straight-up battle zone. My vaginal area became sensitive to the touch…which is a shame considering that’s half the fun of foreplay for me. Plus, looking down at those rashes of red bumps didn’t make me feel super sexy. Shocker.
Since I ditched shaving down below, it’s been a whole new world. My skin has been unblemished and soft. This has not just made me feel more comfortable in my day-to-day life, but it has improved my sexual experiences and amplified my sexual confidence.
2. I Feel More Confident
You know when you discover something that’s just you? Like when you finally get the right haircut or you discover the aesthetic that makes you feel confidently, authentically yourself? That’s the feeling that growing out my hair has given me.
Rocking a full bush has made me feel more womanly and more myself than ever before, which has made me more confident in and out of bed.
3. It Feels Like a Glorious F*$# You
When you get to the bottom of it, we have been conditioned to shave ourselves smooth because of the good ol’ “P” word: patriarchy. The male-gaze has dictated that the standard of beauty is “Pamela Anderson Smooth” for decades and it feels incredibly empowering to buck that sexist ideal.
If shaving yourself head-to-toe makes you feel like your best self, then gear up with some shaving cream, girlfriend. But that never felt like me, no matter how much the guys I was sleeping with might have enjoyed it.
Committing to a lifestyle choice that was also a big f-you to the system feels doubly good, don’t you think?