Skepticism

The Truth about Waxing, Brazilians, and the Horror of Hair

Waxing. A mystery to some, a horror to many. Having your hair yanked out by the roots in the name of beauty doesn’t appeal to everyone, but as around 92% of women shave their legs, it’s clear that most of us don’t like to be hairy. So why do women go for the razor rather than the waxing salon?

Waxing seems sort of like a cult; those already indoctrinated can’t imagine life without it, but to everyone else it’s something strange that other people do. So, I’m going to stand as an advocate for waxing, and hopefully give you a few interesting facts at the same time.

Pain is subjective, of course, and one woman’s kick is another’s tickle, but I’m usually a bit of a wimp when it comes to hurting, and I have to say that I don’t find waxing anywhere near as painful as people make out. To clarify, I use a professional salon, I don’t do it myself, and on the one occasion I did try to self-adminster, I simply couldn’t do it. I chickened out and washed the wax off. But a professional waxer has it over in minutes, and it’s only really the first strip that hurts, and even then only for a second. It’s not as bad as, say, having your ears pierced, but that doesn’t have anywhere near the same reputation. I wonder why.

So, what are the facts and the myths about hair removal?

First off, shaving does NOT make the hair grow back thicker. It just looks that way cause you sliced it off at the thick end, which then becomes the tip. But that’s still a negative for shaving, in my book. Bring on the wax! Waxing, as the rumour goes, can in fact weaken the follicle, and may in some cases lead to a reduction in hair growth, or finer, weaker hair. But be warned! Improper waxing can make more hair grow! A bit of science from a study on hair removal:

“Plucking also gives rise to alterations of the mesenchymal sheath of the hair follicle mainly leading to hemorrhages and a distinct edema entailing an increase in the volume of both the dermal papilla and the underlying “papilla cushion” of Pinkus. The different break types can be due to inappropriate plucking techniques or may depend on different subphases of the anagen stage.”

From Effects of plucking on the anatomy of the anagen hair bulb. A light microscopic study, Bassukas ID, Hornstein OP, Department of Dermatology, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg.

Here’s an explanation of some of the jargon.

The lesson there is, get yourself to a qualified professional. At least if they do cause you to turn into King Kong, you have someone to sue.

Legs and underarms are fine, but the really interesting topic is bikini. Some women aren’t bothered, and that’s groovy, but personally I can’t stand peepage. However, I had always drawn the line at a ‘sensible’ line, until I started to research this article. I read so much about Brazilians, I finally thought “you know what, don’t judge it til you’ve tried it”. So, I got on the phone and made a booking.

A Brazilian isn’t the removal of all pubic hair (that’s called a Hollywood), but the removal of everything (front to back, seriously) except a small patch as a sort of ‘X marks the spot’ marker I guess. I didn’t fancy being that bald, so I opted for what’s called a ‘Mega’, which is a compromise between a Brazilian and Britney.

‘Brazilian’ is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s not particularly popular in that country. Rather, it’s named after seven Brazilian-born sisters: Jocely, Jonice, Joyce, Janea, Jussara, Juracy and Judseia Padilha who pioneered the look at the J. Sisters International Salon in Manhattan.

My main concern before going was the indignity. I’ve had leg, underarm and bikini waxings a-plenty, but not underwearless, and not, y’know, right round there. And there. But the waxer, Yasmine, was great. She just chatted about mundane stuff and got on with it so professionally and quickly, I didn’t have time to feel self-conscious. After all, she does it all the time. It was over before I knew it, and I have to admit, I really like it. I don’t think I’ll have quite so much removed next time, but I will certainly go further than I used to. I’m not worried about any paranoid Freudian theories about looking pre-pubescent, I find that a silly objection. I doubt most men secretly desire children, and I doubt most women want to emulate one. It’s just not relevant.

You know me well enough by now to know I’ll talk about anything, and I don’t believe in sacred cows. Everything is fair game for debate, discourse, and discussion. Taboo subjects cease to be so if you talk about them. So, if you’d like to share your own opinions on the benefits or bores of hair removal, or tell me why the au naturelle life is superior, I’d really like to hear it. And if you happen to be a guy, your perspective would also be most welcome. Let the pain begin!

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59 Comments

  1. Wow, talk about sacraficing for the greater good. I have been curious about doing it, too, but it looks like we had the same reservations… I just don’t… you know.. they’re not doctors…. they just should seeee that…

    But it’s motivating to hear the someone else did it and had a positive experience. Additionally, I have only ever had my eyebrows waxed, twice. ::shrug::

    I have sooo many arguments with people about the hair shaving and thicker growth myth, now I’ve got an annoying link to send them to support my point. :]

  2. I suppose my main objection to the whole waxing business is money, plain and simple. getting my hair removed by a professional regularly is waaaay more expensive than picking up a pack of cheap razors to see me through those leg baring summer months until I can once again grow my winter coat. also, if i’m gonna pay for someone to cause me pain, I’m gonna make it far more exciting than waxing.

    re: brazilians, you have many less hangups than I. the one and only time I dared to go bare, I definitely felt like and eight year old. my naked va-jay-jay creeped me the hell out. also, razor burn and itchy regrowth as well as increased maintenance makes that style a definite no no in my book.

    Huzzah for TMI time!

  3. What I find interesting about the whole deal is that there isn’t nearly as common for guys to get hair removed down there. I guess guys in porn do it, for visibility’s sake, but it’s not like I’d know anything about that. *cough, cough*

  4. I’ve always wanted to get my legs and my girlybits done, all in one session, just to get rid of all that hair for a few weeks. But it costs too much! I’m pretty low income, and I can’t afford it. Sometimes I get a lip wax done, but that’s _necessary_.

    Not being a fan of shaving, I tend to stay pretty hairy. I wear long pants almost all the time, and my husband doesn’t care about the fur as long as I keep my girlybits trimmed. That’s no problem. I just borrow his beard trimmer once a month and keep the bush manageable.

    I do, however, want to get a swimsuit that’s got those little shorts so that I don’t have to shave quite so much in the bikini area for those times I want to go swimming… I’m not embarrassed by my leg hair, but I don’t want my pubic hair showing. Ugh.

    Totally TMI here, I know. But you did ask.

  5. I have never heard anyone blog about this before. (Of course I never searched…) thank you.

    You can tell its a man’s world when they still haven’t figured out a permanent, painless way to hairlessness. (What man wants that!). I think they are missing a big money-making opportunity.

    Even budget salons do eyebrows cheap these days. It’s messy and not worth it to do that stuff yourself. I’m too chicken to wax anything else. But, I’ve been wondering about laser hair removal. They promote some deals. How permanent/pain free is it? I’m skeptical (naturally).

  6. My wife opts for waxing and it barely costs us anything. How? Every few weeks, she asks to make an appointment with me, and for about 30 minutes, I become a Master Waxer.

    The process is quite simple, and it has become even easier now that we just do touch-ups. She loves the results, I love the results, and we’re not dropping $90 at a salon.

    In fact, I really shouldn’t have used the word “wax” because we prefer to use a sugaring solution since it doesn’t stick to the skin when yanked. As a bonus, this stuff is very easy to make at home… it’s just a cooked mixture of sugar, water and lemon juice. A batch isn’t even fifty cents.

    I will admit that it has been very interesting to watch this trend develop over the years. These days about 75% of our female friends do some level of south-of-the-border styling, up significantly from even a couple years ago.

  7. @idoubtit: If you do decide to try lasers, pay very close attention to the pricing. Some places will advertise what seems to be a reasonable low price, but chances are that is only for a single session. Thing is, you might need 6 – 8 sessions before an area is fully zapped.

    The permanence is extremely varied. But even if it does clear an area 100%, you will still have new folicles spring to life at some point in the future.

  8. >You can tell its a man’s world when they still
    > haven’t figured out a permanent, painless
    > way to hairlessness.

    Hey, who says only men can be scientists or inventors?? Why hasn’t a woman come up with the solution? :)

  9. Writerdd, may I ask why?

    I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it actually. I hardly ever wear makeup. I polish my nails sometimes, mainly to stop myself from biting them. I dye my hair.

    I guess I just do what makes me feel better.

  10. actually, I think the whole hair removal obsession is more telling that we live in a man’s world. my personal solution to the hair dilemma is to just tell my boyfriend to think of me a a big cuddly teddy bear when he complains about my fuzz. actually, i just tell him to shut the hell up because I don’t complain when he’s too lazy to shave and looks like a hobo.

    i like being smooth as much as the next lady but laziness+realization that the whole endeavor is pointless>vanity

  11. I am wondering about men waxing. As a rather hirsute brute, I am occasionally embarrassed by back hair, which gets worse as I get older. I would consider waxing. Any guys out there who do that? How do women feel about men with body hair? (Please note: I have no interest in waxing my “manly bits.” Deal with it.)

  12. “We ain’t nothin’ but mammals… ”
    but of course that information doesn’t help those of us who feel more … awkward, about personal space, and discussing so-called intimate parts.

    Personally, I’m an anything goes kinda bloke – I have no qualms about anybody seeing any part of me, and no subject is TMI. I’m not special, my body is not sacred, or even private – and for some reason I assumed that skeptical, scientifically-interested people would be the same. Perhaps there are just natural boundaries bred into us, or maybe if we’d grown up in a different societal environment we’d feel differently about propriety and all that. I know that attending a ‘clothing-optional’ hippy festival for the last few years has broken down many of my former personal space barriers. I highly recommend it to anyone. (I’ve gotten good at tongue-biting when it comes to all the woo-woo that goes on at those gatherings.)

    On to the topic: I’m a guy and I keep my genital area tamed riiiight back (but not shaved completely), because, left unattended, it can turn into a bit of a ‘fro. I get positive feedback from alllll the ladies (when I’m single) for putting some effort down there.

    My opinion is that I really don’t care what girls do with their private hairs – unless, of course, I’m going to be interacting with them – in which case, I really like to see what style they’ve gone with (runway, bald taco, etc). For some gals it seems like its almost a fashion statement, up there with how they do their nails, their hair colour, what clothes they wear, and body piercings. It’s one more part of the body to customize! And that’s an awesome thing!

    I prefer not, but I don’t even mind if a girl has let it go au naturelle… at the end of the day it’s all just window dressing :)

    On that note you could even say that, like many other personal grooming habits, waxing private areas can be one of those subtle signals to potential mates.

  13. I’m not a gorilla type but for many years my wife’s waxed my back which makes summer golf and hiking cooler. As for waxing anything else…, what ever makes you and/or your partner happy!

    I shave my head and if there was a way to perminantly be done with the shaving I’d go with it. I suppose laser is an option except for your head and it’s very expensive.

  14. > Writerdd, may I ask why?

    I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it actually. I hardly ever wear makeup. I polish my nails sometimes, mainly to stop myself from biting them. I dye my hair.

    I guess I just do what makes me feel better.

    I can’t fault you for wanting to feel good–I guess that’s what we all want. I do think it’s interesting to ask myself questions, and follow every answer with a ‘why?’ My ‘why get rid of all this body hair anyway?’ conversation was illuminating and uncomfortable, because I realized my desire to have those bald shiny legs was a product of my environment and, in a vacuum without gender-based grooming expectations, I would be quite happy as a considerably furrier person. It’s the hostility that I meet as a noncompliant woman that makes me uncomfortable, not the hair.

  15. I love TMI time! I’ve not had a partner who was waxed below the belt, but I have to imagine that it is better than shaving. The problem with shaving being rough patches (immediately or after a day or so.) And if you’re around right after the shave you may occasionally encounter the odd hair that didn’t get washed away. Ptui!

    Personally I have gone shaved a couple of times. Didn’t really do much for me, but I have nothing against it save the itchy regrowth.

    Like LOLkate my vanity is overcome by my laziness. And like James Fox I would totally go for permanent back hair removal. And I’d consider going for everything from my neck up (except my eyebrows/lashes). I hate shaving the beard/mustache. But I also hate having them longer than 1cm or so. Dilema!

  16. @95percent: There is quite a bit of peer pressure for women to conform to the shaved legs/armpits standard. I even got comments in high school when my sister decided not to shave her legs during the winter (as she’d be wearing long pants all the time.) And then decided to continue not to before running track in the spring. I really couldn’t figure out why the dude thought it was any of his business…or mine.

  17. @Grimmstail: I experience the pressure on a regular basis–it was hard at first, as I spent all of last summer skipping around in knee-length shorts with my ultra-femme cousin who kept saying things like ‘we should get you a razor’ and ‘don’t you want to look like a girl?’ I’m obviously female, so my body is automatically assumed to be comment fodder for every passing person regardless of their relationship with me. Thus being fuzzy has become important to me. Bonus points for your sister–I never would have been brave enough to defy gender norms during the trauma that is high school.

  18. Once in a while my wife surprises me with a close trim down there, which I find pleasant as a variation. I don’t think I’d like zero hair, since, er, tongue sensation is important. I sometimes think I should trim myself, or maybe even razor shave for the same reason – variation but I don’t give it too much thought, frankly.

    The notion that shaving might be related to prepubescent loving would be a convenient argument only for perverted psychologists and/or policemen.

  19. I’ve always felt that if all you women would get together and agree to stop shaving (and wearing makeup and other affectations) we guys would have no choice but to date you anyway. I think, and my girlfriend agrees, that women primp mostly to compete with other women, not to impress guys. We really are very easy!

    I don’t have a real preference between a woman who is hairless down there and one who merely trims, but I am against a full bush when it comes to oral sex!

    Me? I use Veet or Nair on my scrotum and buttocks, and merely trim everything above the shaft. It’s a lot easier than shaving and less terrifying than waxing. You hairy guys should try it on your backs.

  20. I am a complete wimp, so I don’t wax. I also don’t want to leave it in someone else’s hands to rip out my hair “down there”. I personally enjoy shaving. It just feels like I’m spending time on myself, sort of pampering.

    At first I would just shave the area that matters, and leave the bush. My boyfriend (now ex) sometimes commented on it, but I ignored him for the most part. I shaved once, probably for a stupid reason, and I sort of dug it, but let it grow out again. But a few months ago I made the decision to start shaving it all off, comfort-wise. Sure, lots of people want their junk to look nice for their partners, but I don’t have a significant other right now. I’m just doing it for me because it feels, and looks good.

    As for pubic hair style for men. I prefer it tamed, but not completely shaven. It really didn’t like it when my ex shaved it all. I didn’t really make a huge deal about it, because it’s his body, and it’s not THAT big of a deal!

  21. I’ve always thought it a bit strange that women choose to trim their pubic hair, but no more strange than the vast sums of money they expend on haircuts, nails, make-up etc.

    As for the pain of waxing and shaving, is it any worse to the pain and damage done by high heals? Frankly both seem equally barking to me.

    Also, I’ve never heard of men shaving their pubic hair. That seems like madness to me. I’ve always been gratful that we blokes get a free pass when it comes to grooming: shave face once a week, short back and sides haircut every 2 months (no need to bursh or comb it, ever).

    And to be honest I wouldn’t shave my face except for the fact that though I’m 29 my beard growth is as whispy a 14 year old’s. Although I trim the weird ear-and-nose-hair I’ve developed in the last couple of years, from time to time as it tickles.

    Given the changes of fashion, I wouldnt be suprised that in a couple of years hairiness will be back in.

  22. Wow, interesting comments! Thanks for sharing :D

    What the historical/society justification for hair removal are tend to vary by culture. For example, in the Middle East, it’s considered unhygienic to not remove hair, but then again it’s really freaking hot and sweaty out there. Interestingly, Muslim women are not allowed to have anyone except their partner wax their genital area, and are not allowed to pluck their eyebrows (although they can pluck in between them).

    But in Western culture, it has certainly been dictated by fashion. At one point, it was anathema to not be hairy. So yes, we’ll likely come full circle and hair will be in again. That said, I’m not a fashion follower, so it’ll make zero difference to me.

    I don’t agree with some of the psychological assessments of why women choose to remove hair (and also, we aren’t the Borg, I’m pretty sure each woman has very individual motivations and justifications for it!), and I particularly reject the ‘peer pressure’ theory, at least for my own motivation. If I ever gave a flying hoot what other women think of me, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. As for what men think of me, hmm. Men in general? Nope. I’ve been called all sorts of things by judgmental prudes, and although I wear my feminine sexuality firmly on my sleeve (those of you who have met me will attest to my lipstick-and-heels style), I do it because I like to feel groomed, and because I like specific individuals to react a certain way. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care what others think of me at all, and in business it’s particularly important to present a well-groomed-but-authoritative image. I can’t cut a huge business deal if I don’t feel confident, and smooth legs, high heels and pink cheekbones make me feel confident. But I’ve yet to find any sort of justification about why that’s wrong. I really enjoy the grooming, I love the feeling of the silky-smooth skin after the waxing, and I love the way it looks. If that makes me vain, I’m proud as hell to be vain. If an accident of genes gave me good pins that I like to maintain and show off in a superficial way, that’s no less valid than the brains an accident of genes gave me too.

    This is a longer response than I intended! But thanks for all the feedback. In response to the question about hairy men, I love a hairy chest, the more ‘Tom Jones’ the better. Hairy backs I can take or leave, but they don’t put me off.

    Oh, and if I’ve persuaded anyone to try waxing, and you’re nervous about pain, take two ibuprofen an hour before you go.

  23. A few weeks ago, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and went for a BC&S wax.

    Apart from a bit of pain during the S portion (plus the fact that the S is pretty stretchy, so pulling the skin taut can be fun, holding onto it whilst the wax is being pulled isn’t), the whole process was an interesting experience, albeit interspersed with moments of abject terror that she was going to pull my testicles off along with the hair.

    I think I’ll stick to trimming though.

  24. I do like the bare look in pr0n, but not to the point where I’d insist on it for a partner. I once shaved my own crotch (out of boredom), but the rest of me is so hairy(*) that it just looked silly.

    (*) ironically excepting my scalp — advanced male pattern baldness!

    PS: The font for your site seems to use “small-caps” style numbers, which really foils “leetspeek” spelling!

  25. I’m curious now about the (thwarted?) purpose of pubic hair now. My understanding is that the hair down there acts as a scent catcher, and as we have hairs protecting our nasal mucous membranes, so pubic hair helps protect women’s mucousa from atmospheric irritants.

    What are the effects of long term, constant waxing of the bits? Mightn’t it be less hygienic than letting it grow out?

    Or maybe I’m just ignorant. :blush:

  26. Regarding the physiology of why human have hair. That directly relates to my nitric oxide research, hair provides a niche where the bacteria I am working with can grow better and produce NO/NOx from the ammonia in sweat.

    Hair on the scalp is to provide NO/NOx to the brain through the emissary veins that pass through the skull. It also reduces heat loss because the scalp skin must be thin and well vascularized to allow for NO/NOx absorption.

    Under the arms (certainly not for heat conservation) the NO/NOx is produced near lymph nodes and major arteries. The NO/NOx is added to the lymph flow from the arms and hands, which are the major contact points with the environment. NO/NOx is important in processing of antigens by the immune system.

    In the genital area, the NO/NOx these bacteria produce is strongly antimicrobial. No doubt it helps to prevent overgrowth of the wrong bacteria.

    The major trigger for hair growth is testosterone (in both males and females). Testosterone synthesis is regulated by NO. Low NO increases testosterone synthesis, more hair grows, more NO/NOx is produced, testosterone synthesis goes down.

    I think the infertility associated with being hyperandrogenic is due in part to low NO (as are the other symptoms associated with it).

  27. To me, more than anything, it’s just one way for me to say, “I put effort into my grooming. For me, for you, for us.” I like the way it looks, and I like the way it feels… from either perspective.

    What I’m finding even more interesting here is the lengths to which we are going to avoid the “inappropriate words” – despite the fact that in this context they are entirely appropriate by any reasonable measure.

    Why is that?

  28. I started shaving my legs because I started racing bicycles (when in Rome), and that pretty much means you’re doing your ass & balls too. I can’t ever go back, although wifey hates the stubble.

    Turnabout is fair play, no?

  29. Thanks for the links, buggy! Yours was from the opposite perspective, I see, so we can now truly say we’ve covered all the angles :D

    OK, enough with the puns. JanieBelle, good point about the euphemisms, I guess it’s part of the effort to keep the site fairly nannybot/search engine friendly. But I’d have no issue referring to ‘vagina’ in a medial posts, perhaps it’s because I’m concurring that waxing is a fairly frivolous activity.

  30. Briarking: “I’ve always felt that if all you women would get together and agree to stop shaving (and wearing makeup and other affectations) we guys would have no choice but to date you anyway.”

    Since the species managed to reproduce just fine before the relatively-recent advent of modern female shaving, I’d say evidence is strong for your theory, BK.

    My girlfriend does not shave or wax at all. I like that. There is nothing wrong with a bit of downy hair on the lower leg. What I really don’t like is leg stubble. No shaving = No stubble.

  31. what a great conversation you’ve started, teek!
    a few years ago, i began to wonder why we are expected to shave, and thought maybe i could find discussions about the topic online. there was nothing. the only things google provided were fetish porn sites.

    i thought it was weird that no one else was questioning this, at least not in any sort of public way. i guess that goes to show just how ingrained the idea is.

    i went a few years without shaving. i liked it, but for the most part agree with what a lot of the other commenters have said about the hassle of having to defend your hairiness to others, plus, i have very coarse hair and it tends to get a bit painful after a certain length.

    now, i shave in the summer with an electric (not the smoothest, but it’s quick and looks fine). sometimes i let my pits go…maybe it’s the contrarian in me.

  32. Geez, t.

    I hadn’t even thought of that when I posted my Cinderella story.

    Adjust as necessary, with my blessing. The unedited (though with a few corrections for spelling and grammar that I had missed) version is posted on my blog and submitted to Sugasm.

  33. I guess it comes down to markets: You can get a full leg wax, with bikini line for about $40 in NYC mid-week, but then again, there are two salons on every block. I tend to let a winter coat develop because my skin is painfully dry in the winter and my legs are covered with either pants or tights. Every spring I go into my local waxing joint with the best intentions of keeping it up over the summer, but since you have to wait for the hair to reach a certain lenght to get waxed again, I invariably end up shaving my legs because I’m too impatient.

    I used to go for threading for my eyebrows, which gives a really nice line and is only 5 or 6 bucks in the South Asian communities by me, but I’ve returned to waxing–faster and less painful in the end.

    I don’t have any problems with hair removal as a cultural practice. I certainly don’t feel oppressed by it. After all, men spend a heck of a lot more time shaving their faces (duh, not ALL men, but it is still the norm). Personally, I prefer a clean-shaven man, so why shouldn’t I shave my legs? Compared to plastic surgery and ridiculous diets, it is a pretty harmless beauty ritual.

  34. I don’t feel peer pressure as a woman to shave. I’ve never really cared what other people think of my fashion as long as I like it. But having hair is uncomfortable to me. I like the feeling of pants better when my skin is smooth.

    I shave every other day, everything except the tops of my legs where the hair is too fine and light to see. It’s easy to maintain. It takes less than five minutes. The trick is to use a good razor and change it as soon as it starts to get dull.

    My husband spends more time shaving than I do. In fact, with short hair he has to get his hair cut every three – four weeks. So who really is the slave to fashion?

  35. I started shaving my girlie bits when it came up on a women-only parenting forum a few years back. I hated it at first since the grow-back itched like hell, but once I got used to shaving it every day just as part of my shower routine, I liked it quite a lot for a couple of reasons.

    It makes it much, much, much easier to keep things clean and smelling halfway decent when I’m having my period, and I feel like a few seconds every day in the shower is WELL worth that benefit. And the other reason … well, “tongue sensation” on completely smooth skin is absolutely out of this world. (He liked it too.)

    I got waxed a couple of times a year or so ago just to see if it was any different or more or less convenient. I didn’t keep it up because of the cost and because of having to let it grow out to a certain length before having it done again. I can see doing it for a special occasion maybe, a weekend where I knew I was going to be spending most of it in bed (blush), but otherwise I just keep things shaved and it’s easy and cheap.

    Legs … I have fine, blonde hair so I let it grow all winter. When it gets warm enough for capris, I shaved up to mid-calf. I’m up to the knees now, and I’ll probably have to go up to the shorts line when it quits freakin’ RAINING. (In Oregon, we hope and pray that summer falls on a weekend this year.)

  36. In the name of science, I’d like to propose an experiment, if the ladies who shave, like it, and feel no social pressure to do so are game. Would anyone be interesting in taking a shaving hiatus of a month or so and reporting back as to the responses you get from friends, family, random people on the street, etc? Anecdotes are fun and all, but I’m curious about the possiblity of selection bias.

  37. I’ve been with women who shave completely, who don’t shave at all, and pretty much ever conceivable combination and variation on that theme. Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not trying to brag numbers or anything like that, just that Several of the women I’ve been with would change their minds about such things a lot, especially in my younger years (when I was with younger women, on average). I can’t speak to motivations, but I can speak to reactions. Personally, I find that I don’t much care. If that’s how someone likes it, that’s how I like it. I’ve discussed the whys and wherefores before, and even suggested that some people try something new (sometimes they like it, sometimes not), but in the end, it pretty much boils down to comfort – and not mine. I want to be with someone who is comfortable and happy with themselves, not someone who is doing something because they feel like they’re supposed to.

    Personally, my tastes and preferences are as broad-based and varied as all of my tastes regarding women. Women come in a great variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, and these can be combined in more ways than I’d ever try to count, especially when you start bringing in customization like haircuts, tattoos, and shaving. I’m a fan of pretty much all of them. If pressed, I’ll confess to preference for long hair (on the head), but that’s more to do with a hair fetish I have than anything else, and since my own hair is quite long enough (almost ass-length), it’s a minor concern all-round.

    As to the other half of the species – well, take everything I said about women, apply it to men, and you’d be more or less on the right track. Personally, I do none of the above. I haven’t owned a razor since 2003, and have no plans to change that in the future. I wouldn’t let a human person withing three feet of my head with scissors or other hair-cutting implement except in the direst emergencies, and, masochist though I am, sharp objects must stay at least eight inches away from any fun and interesting dangly bits (how’s that for a euphemism?) at all times.

    If pressed, I’d likely trim/shave/whatever at least once upon request from an appropriate (or inappropriate, as the case may be) personage. having never done it, I’ll freely admit that I don’t know if I’d like it or not. I have used the same logic to get people to try shaving before (see above), but I’ve never been curious to do so myself. Such is life sometimes, no?

  38. Ordinarygirl: My husband spends around £40 every 5 weeks having his hair cut at a super trendy salon (that’s $80). He shaves his face every other day, taking forever over it. He spends thousands every year on tailored business suits. I never have my hair cut professionally. I get him to trim the dead ends once a year, and that’s it. So, yeah, it cuts (ha ha) both ways. Having said that, he has a high-powered job where appearance is extremely important, which is pretty much the only reason he spends so much time and money on grooming. On holiday, he’s a scruffy beardy beatnik.

  39. Hey, brushing my cat this morning, I remembered an interesting incident… once when I took my cat to a professional groomer’s, she (the groomer) asked if I wanted her (the cat’s) crotch shaved. (Yes, I see the pun. You can have it.)

    When I jawdropped at her, she cited cleanliness and comfort, two of the three human purposes you’ve mentioned. (And the cat’s spayed, so the third wouldn’t apply.) These were actually not unreasonable (Gremlin is a very shaggy longhair), but I wasn’t planning to bring her in regularly, and no way could I maintain her in such a condition myself. (CLAWS!)

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