A Bush of One’s Own

24 02 2012

This post is from G.B., about how, whether our V’s are hairy or hairless, what’s important is feeling sexy.

Apparently, I have a bushy bush. It’s kind of wild, a little on the coarse side, and definitely red, thanks to a paternal genetic trait that promptly disappeared after I was born. Well, to the public eye, that is. Perhaps that element of mystery has endeared me to my pubes over the years, but it hasn’t always been a nest of hairy happiness.

My first intercourse partner once made a comment – a joke, I’m sure he would argue – about my lengthy locks. “It’s like they’re trying to stop me from getting in!” “With that attitude,” I wish I had said, “you bet!” But as we all know, life’s best retorts are imaginary and such was the case in this moment between naïve teenagers.

I would, however, like to give my 17 year old self a bit of credit; until that moment, I had never suffered from the systemic fragile vaginal self image that so many women experience. In fact, I was quite pleased to have my vulva be the topic of conversation; I just would have preferred that I be the one leading it.

If so, I would have said this: For something that doesn’t really matter at all, it certainly matters a lot. No one seems to be able to refrain from commenting on hairy vag’s, balding vag’s, or all the styles in between. Everyone seems to voice their opinions with lots of authority and very little grace. And since we all have some pubes, why wouldn’t we talk about the one thing we have in common?

For me, it comes down to pleasure. No one gets to comment on how I run my sexuality or sexual body because no one else knows exactly what I like, how I like it, and certainly not why. Why does anyone like a shaved vulva that looks like a pre-pubescent’s? Why does anyone like a furry vulva that feels like you’re eating your cat alive? No one knows and at some point, we’re all going to have to deal with that, primarily by accepting that the things we each like are not the same as everyone else.

When I think back to the 70s and those classic pornographic photos of women with bushes dark and light, I am reminded that what we find sexy is often tied to cultural trends. Yes, it’s true that in the capitalist industry of video porn, it might be easier to see what’s happening with less hair in the way, but sometimes I’m more interested in how it feels – good, caring, hard, hot, quick, or slow – but mostly, strong and sexy. And for some, strong and sexy is seeing more and having less.

I think it’s problematic when we change our bodies to match a version of sexuality we’ve been taught, rather than to reflect the sexuality we’ve been able to explore. Engaging in a heated argument that will never have a winner makes us all losers as we become rudely preoccupied with the trimmings of strangers rather than the desires of ourselves.

The fact remains that what I find attractive and empowering to my sexuality may very well be the one thing that makes you cringe. And what I find nauseating may be that thing you spend hours fixated on in order to drop trou with confidence and passion. Regardless of whether we sport stubble or a mullet, we should applaud each other’s dedication to our curly down-theres and look forward to teaching our daughters the biting come backs we wish we’d said.

I’ve had my words and my wars, yet somehow my pubes have come out on top!

Words to live by.

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