“That was amazing, but if we’re going to do it again, you’re going to have to shave your twat.”
I sat on the edge of the bed in shocked silence, not certain if I had heard correctly. My performance was spectacular, but there wouldn’t be an encore unless I altered my physical appearance? Did someone actually say that to me?
“I don’t like body hair. It’s disgusting,” he elaborates. Ah, wonderful.
I gathered up my clothes and left, feeling dirty and ashamed, mortified that my ladybits were, apparently, an overgrown forest that, to some, was disgusting. Even after they had enjoyed the privilege of frolicking in my meadow.
I understand that some people have preferences for that kind of thing, and sure, I’ll be happy to discuss those preferences. But “you’re going to have to shave” because “body hair is disgusting?” Please. I mean, really, what gives you the right to dictate my genital grooming habits?
This wasn’t the first time my labia had been the topic of discussion between myself and a partner. Anyone who knows me well also knows that I am more than happy to talk about my marvelous mound, that I appreciate it for it’s pleasant plumpness, that I could not be happier with my copper-red pubic hair, that I take vitamins specifically to keep my labia moist and cheery because, really, who wants angry, dry vag? But it was the first time someone told me that what I do with my labia is wrong, even disgusting, and it was the first time I was shamed for what I consider to be my vulva’s natural beauty.
That was years ago now, but there are times (like when I am carefully cropping my comely crimson crotch coiffure) when I remember that night, and feel the flush of shame that so often seems to surround the female genitalia. Society tells those of us with ladybits that we should be quiet and meek, put others before ourselves, never aspire to reach beyond our male counterparts, and, for goodness’ sake, never, ever discuss periods, vaginal dryness, scents eminating from our nethers, or the state of our labia. That is, unless we’re telling the beautician how we’d like them waxed.
In recent years, more and more of my friends are falling into this strange kind of vaginal conformity. They buy the appropriate vag products and potions, they make regular trips to the salon to be waxed. They tweeze and epilate, douche and powder. They use vagina deodorant. They put their bits through (completely optional) torment so that someone else can look at them and give them a seal of approval. I even have a colleague who (knowing that I am “cool with vaginas”) has spoken to me about labiaplasty.
This is beyond my ability to fathom. I’ve not had an enormous amount of sex partners (numbering in single digits, for sure) but I have never gotten someone out of their pants to look them over, then criticize their body. When I can actually feel safe enough around someone to undress them, and let them undress me, their body hair is the last thing I am thinking about. If I want someone’s clothes off, I want that person, all of them, part and parcel, moles, freckles, cellulite, wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, all of it. I revel and delight in their individual beauty and uniqueness, I’m not holding them up to some standard of physical (or simply genital) beauty. I expect a bit of the same.
If I do you the honor of disrobing for you, this is my Code of Conduct for Labial Interaction.
You’re not John Holmes. I’m not Jenna Jameson. I don’t expect you to be perfect, huge, circumcized (or not) so please don’t hold me to some artificial standard of labial beauty. While we’re at it, don’t hold me to any standard of beauty. I’m beautiful unto myself.
My labia stopped being perfectly pink when I hit puberty. The only people I know with perfect, petal pink labia undergo an incredibly unhealthy bleaching process. That’s natural labia, buddy. Shut your mouth. Well, unless you’re putting it to good use.
No part of me is ever to be referred to as “yours.” I am, and will always be, entirely my own. I’m not going to go around telling you to wax “my” nuts, please don’t tell me to shave “your” twat.
I consider our sexual interaction to be a mutual gift. In case you never learned this from your parents, we’re appreciative of gifts, we don’t criticize them or make demands.
Above all else, be kind. Would you be hurt if I told you that we’d have to tie a weight on your penis and stretch it a bit because, golly, it’s too short to do the job? I’m a human being, not a sex toy. That kind of thing would hurt my feelings, too.
I’m fairly certain that I’m not the only woman in the world who feels this way. With all the societal conditioning that tells us that we absolutely must conform to this waif-thin, blonde, big-breasted, waxed, vajazzled standard of beauty to be loved, the last thing a lady needs is for a person with whom she shares her body in the most intimate way imaginable to criticize her tender, private, and uniquely beautiful parts.