Body hair: trying not to give a fuck if you care

An afab person lies back, naked and showing their pubes and underarm hair. Black and white photo.

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.

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.

Sinful Sunday badgeSinful Sunday is run by the fantabulous Molly Moore – click the kiss for more sins…

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10 Comments

  1. Your body hair is sexy and anyone who wouldn’t want to fuck you because of it doesn’t deserve to be with you anyway.

  2. I hear you. For me it’s not my leg hair, I’ve not shaved in forever (I think I might soon though, I miss the feel of silky smooth skin) or armpit hair but the hairs on my chin that give me similar feels. I wanna be okay about it, but I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s ‘ugly’ and once I notice it, I have to pluck. Weird isn’t it, how we attach so much meaning to hair.

  3. I think your body hair looks sexy as fuck. I wish my pubes did that smooth thing that seems to flow in towards your vulva. I am so with you on running fingers through it though, I am very happy with my current bushy bush

    Molly

  4. Oh god I really really feel this. For me it’s underarm hair that I want to grow out and I tried and then the internalised misogyny got to me and I started shaving them again.

    You look really sexy with your body hair. Fwiw I find it really helps to see AFAB people doing what they want with their body hair. I think that’s how we change the societal bullshit, sharing our sexy, hair selves!

  5. Your words have so much truth in them – it is so wrong that women have to conform to an idealised standard of beauty.

    Fuck that! You are stunning as you are – this image proves it.

  6. I do care about your body hair, and not just because it’s so delicious, wild and primal, but because of this. This lovely, moving and deeply personal essay. Seriously, you are an enormously important part of my learning, a great teacher and just plain heroic. As well as hella sexy. That image…

  7. I used to not shave my legs. My partner preferred it that way and I loved not shaving. I didn’t think much about it until I had to go to the ER and I felt judged for it. There is too much societal pressure and judgment that can get into our heads. I wish I could not give a shit again. I did try growing out my armpit hair and just couldn’t rock it the way you do. It looks sexy on you and it’s great that it is gender affirming for you. 🙂

  8. There is so much we need to unlearn (btw, you should link this up to this weeks Quote Quest) about those messages society teaches us. Body hair is beautiful and you should be free to be who you are without shame. But I also totally get where you’re coming from.

  9. I like that approach: it is all about what makes you feel comfortable and what makes you feel good. And we should never sculpt ourselves for others. Confidence and feeling comfortable is what makes people hot for me, not if their body shape, gender, or the amount of hair on their bodies.
    I really like this picture of you.

  10. for me it’s how one feels about their body and how sexy they feel. i love your look and attitude. it looks great on you and You rock it

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