Yesterday I prepared for a first date, and – as I always do – I briefly contemplated shaving my legs. I love my body hair: it’s sexy and gender affirming and if someone doesn’t want to fuck me because I don’t shave then they’re not someone I’d want to fuck anyway. I don’t find it difficult to love my body hair, but the thrill I get from saying ‘fuck you’ to gender roles doesn’t cancel out the fact that I’ve been taught all my life that I shouldn’t have any at all.
Content note for internalised misogyny.
I don’t give a fuck if you care about my body hair… except that’s not quite true, or I wouldn’t have that moment when I wonder if I should shave.
I want to not give a fuck about whether someone cares about my body hair, but it’s not that simple. Being socialised as female means that a tiny part of me will always look at the longer, darker hairs on my legs and feel a little piece of myself twist in disgust. I feel like a bad feminist to admit that even a tiny, tiny part of myself hates the little hairs that cling to my shins and calves and ankles. I’m not a shitty feminist though – it’s just internalised sexism.
The flicker of doubt I have when I’m preparing to fuck a straight cis guy for the first time scares me, because it suggests that I am willing to change myself to make them more comfortable. The pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards doesn’t go away just because you know that those beauty standards are bullshit. Although I know that my body hair is sexy, I give many, many fucks that someone else might think it’s just the opposite.
It’s been over a year since I shaved my legs, but the last time I did it probably was because I was hoping to have sex later. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with you if you do shave your legs as part of your first date or pre-fuck rituals, but for me it’s not about feeling sexy or powerful or prepared for sex – it’s about me defining my self-worth by my desirability. Shaving doesn’t make me feel good, it’s all performance and anxiety that somehow with body hair I’m too much, or maybe not enough.
Too hairy, too stubborn, too feminist; not attractive enough, not femme enough, not fuck-able enough.
Nowadays I trim my underarm hair and my pubes with a pair of nail scissors when they get annoyingly long. A packet of five unused (men’s) razors sits in one of my drawers, but I’m fairly sure I’ll throw them out before I ever use them. I find it comforting to curl my fingers in my pubes. I’m cocky enough about being good at sucking dick that if my body hair bothers you so much that you don’t want me to blow you, that’s entirely your loss. I love my body hair.
But for now I still have to tell myself that I don’t give a fuck if you care about my body hair.
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