Of all things COVID-related, personal care—or lack thereof—lands at the top of many of our lists.
Showering today? Meh, maybe tomorrow. And hey, I actually like my dark roots showing, thank you very much.
On and off over the last three years in my newfound singledom, I've gone to various lengths to groom my bush. Curious about what the cool kids do, I started my new pubic hair journey by asking my closest friends in our self-titled "Snatch Pack": How do you wear your pubic hair?
New Orleans is most certainly an anything-goes sort of town, variety being the spice of our communal life, so what I heard didn't surprise me. The petite ginger got a Brazilian once and couldn't close her legs for a whole day because she was in such pain. Then she tugged at her thick horsetail mane of hair on her head and said she has a lot of hair everywhere. She would never, ever get another Brazilian.
The polyamorous friend with nearly translucent, beautiful skin who sometimes models S&M wear and other interesting garb said she waxes occasionally because it looks nicer in the photos. Last summer, though, she, her girlfriend, and her husband all had hairy armpits, and I'm guessing their pubes were grown out to match.
The Canadian transplant yogini sometimes keeps it tidy and sometimes lets it catch a breeze. She's a big advocate of skinny-dipping, so that seemed logical for her.
Then there's the comedian in the pack. She said she was full-on natural. "Let him hold that stuff out of the way," she said, gesturing a brush-back of pubic hair before pretending to go down.
I was dating for the first time in decades, hence my search for answers. I knew that porn stars wax or shave completely, so the audience can get a better view, but in my research I'd come across a couple of cool articles that acknowledged a new movement in the UK to honor the bush–to let it be what it was meant to be, wild and free.
I will admit this here and now: I'm not a particularly hairy person. And my ex-husband never suggested I was anything but fine in the pubic hair department, although I did usually trim the lawn with a razor when it occurred to me to do so.
So here I am now, in COVID days, with the prospect for entertaining someone after months of telephone flirting and isolation. We're gonna risk it. We're gonna hook up. And so now I'm going to do something about the hair between my legs, if only for the novelty of the endeavor.
I got my first Brazilian in Kansas City. I didn't hate it, although it's weird when an aesthetician of Russian descent descends on your lady bits with a magnifying glass to get all the last stragglers. I could walk afterwards and was fully operational the next day. I've had maybe a half dozen Brazilians since, although I always ask to leave a landing strip. Completely bald strikes me as pedophile territory, and I have to draw the line.
Enter my mail order "pubic hair wax kit" from Flamingo. I open the box and am greeted by the instructions booklet: "Read before you rip." I like this company already. They have a sense of humor. The inside lid reads, "Women are strong, smart, beautiful, funny and hairy."
Included in the booklet is a detailed drawing titled Pubic Area Anatomy with proper terminology. I'm beginning to feel more comfortable. That looks more or less like me, I think.
Now I need to decide where to do this. The perfect spot would be seated in front of my balcony French doors. The light would be great, but so too would be the view from across the boulevard if Mr. Creepy has a telescope.
I opt to stand in the bathroom instead. If this doesn't go well, I still have a week and a half before my romantic encounter. I'll start right on the edges of my bikini line. The kit isn't approved for a Brazilian, and although I'm plenty flexible, I'm not willing to attempt that in the moment. I'd need a second glass of wine.
I pull one sticky strip away from the other and place it on my skin, rubbing in the direction of the hair growth as instructed. The rip comes from the other direction. The first yank goes well enough. I look at the evidence on the yellow strip like a kid contemplating an ant farm behind glass. Ok, now the other side. This one doesn't feel so hot. Maybe adrenaline helped with the first strip, but this one? OUCH!
Well, let's try a third strip. I smooth it into the crevice where my thigh meets my bikini line, right over that tendon, take a deep breath, and rip.
Oh no. What have I done?! Like my friend, my skin is nearly translucent. I don't know if my thin skin or the glass of wine is to blame, but I stare down at a blossoming blue bruise the exact rectangular shape of the sticky strip.
I do not believe Flamingo is to blame. I don't. Their kit is charming, their packaging stellar. I suppose I feel like I should have known better than to attempt my own pubic hair waxing. But I did it anyway.
I'm keeping the rest of the strips. Later I'm going to try them on my shins, maybe next week my armpits. Because, hey, what else is there to do in a pandemic? I'll text the Snatch Pack and let them know how it turns out.
Amanda Boyden is an American author and recipient of Nerve.com's Henry Miller Award for Best Literary Sex Scene in Pretty Little Dirty. Her latest work, I Got the Dog: A Memoir of Rising was released on September 15th, 2020 and is available for purchase here or on Amazon.
More on Amanda Boyden: "Rape, infidelity and the detonation of a marriage: Novelist Amanda Boyden's tumultuous life has led to new memoir