The battle of the bush

Bathroom razor

Not that long ago I spent my Sunday morning investigating the history of pubic hair – shaved pubic hair to be exact. The reason for this scientific exploration of the various hair styling of a woman’s (or man’s for that) lady or blokey bits, is that I read  that Cameron Diaz had declared her position in the long-standing, epic battle of the bush.

She has included a chapter in her new health guide, The Body Book, called “In Praise of Pubes”, in which she enthusiastically outlines the benefits of female pubic hair. According to media reports, her argument goes like this.

“I hear that there’s a big fad these days of young women undergoing laser hair removal on all of their lady bits,” Diaz writes.

“Personally, I think permanent laser hair removal sounds like a crazy idea. Forever? I know you may think you’ll be wearing the same style of shoes forever and the same style of jeans forever, but you won’t. The idea that vaginas are preferable in a hairless state is a pretty recent phenomenon, and all fads change, people.”

Well, my “research” – alas for Cameron who is actually one of my favourite actresses and is also the same age as me and much better looking but still single – found that the preference for a hair-less V-Jay Jay has actually been around since the ancient Egyptians.

It seems those dudes and dudesses weren’t keen on body hair and used to remove it all apart from their eye-brows. A useful distinction that many women should keep in mind today if they’re feeling particularly ruthless with their tweezers.

In Roman times, hair removal was also often seen as an identifier of class. The wealthy women would remove their body hair with pumice stones, razors, tweezers and depilatory creams.  Then there was threading which is often still practised openly in markets these days but on one’s eyebrows and not any hairy issues down under

The first razor was invented in the 1700s by a Frenchman (naturally) but it had a habit of taking off more than just skin so it wasn’t until the 1880s when a dude called King Camp Gillette created a much safer razor that the device became universally popular.  That said, I also read recently that sales of razors are decreasing rapidly because of the current hipster trend for blokes to look like lumber-jacks even if they live nearer the beach than any mountainous bushes.

As history shows, women have long found ways of removing body hair, but in 1915 the first female-specific razor was launched, which also coincided with a Harpers Bazaar issue featuring a model with hairless under-arms – and we’re all still replicating that ideal some 99 years later.

Ask any woman, and it’s highly likely that she’s tried the vast majority of hair removal techniques available. Some are more successful than others. Some are more painful than others – just check the waxing scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin because that was actually real. And today some are more permanent than others.

Although pooh-poohed by Cameron, the latest incarnation is permanent laser hair removal and to me her argument has rather large hairy holes in it. Anyone aged under 45, has grown up in a society where, rightly or wrongly, hair has been the enemy and I don’t think we’re going to be changing decades-old hirsute habits anytime soon.

From the hairier-the-better days of the 70s,by  the time we got to the 90s, the vast majority of us were trimming, plucking or waxing our nether regions to fit into societal norms or to squeeze into those ridiculously hipster jeans that were all the rage at the time.

And since the 60s, bikinis have become smaller and smaller to the extent that these days they actually resemble postage stamps – which is perhaps a new contemporary usage for stamps since no one actually posts letters anymore. Likewise, with undies, which in the 21st Century are the polar opposite of bloomers. I painfully remember wearing g-strings religiously throughout the 90s because I was in my 20s, my arse was pert, and therefore I could. But I think by the time I got to my 30s, I realised they were the most uncomfortable underwear ever invented and stopped wearing them forever.

The year before last I started laser hair removal – and talked my part-time housemate into it too. To say we are devotees is an understatement.  Without going into too much detail, I am now in the enviable position that I never have to buy another razor again.  And these days my friend regularly exclaims rather loudly at the extraordinary wonder of it all given she was once a “hairy bloody Italian” and is now no longer.

The need to shave any part of your body at the last minute because you are going to the gym, wearing a sleeveless dress, or ducking to the beach is gone. And I can wander around in my undies in changing rooms – which admittedly is not an overly common occurrence but I’m trying to make a point – and not have to worry (a-al Miranda in Sex and the City) about any caterpillars peeking out.

So I guess in the historical, clearly hypothetical, battle of the bush, I would be on the opposing side of the fight to Cameron.  But that’s the way it should be. In my opinion, when it comes to pubes, you can have them long or short, curly or gone completely if that’s what you’re into, because it really is about whatever tickles your fancy.

This blog was deleted six months ago due to, um, me being a knob and imagining all manner of potential issues with it being out in the blogosphere. I’ve calmed down now and decided not to self-censor any longer. 

The a-hole quotient


It appears that in life, no matter how chilled you try to be and how much you attempt to accept people for who they are, you can still encounter a-holes. And sometimes they’re in your bedroom.

I was chatting to a friend recently who’d just come out of a tumultuous relationship, which likely lasted longer than it should have. Within a few weeks of their initial meeting, a number of warning signs were apparent. But you know what it’s like in the beginning you’re prepared to forgive almost anything, because you’re often thinking with other parts of your anatomy and not your head.

In such circumstances I’d like to say that I’ve always stood my ground, and upheld my long-held, probably slightly over-the-top lofty, principles when it comes to new relationships, but I can’t.

In the first few weeks and months of a new coupling, I’ve been known to turn a blind eye to glaringly obvious issues such as massive age differences and a general lack of suitability on every single level full stop, to signs of chronic alcoholism and potential homosexuality. All because I thought I was in love or maybe just because I was lonely.

It’s obvious to me now that it was my clitoris that was doing the thinking back then. And it clearly was not used to thinking at all because its decision-making (if it was at all possible of doing such a thing) was utterly appalling. That can be the only reason that some of my ex-boyfriends were ex-boyfriends and not one night stands whom I should’ve quickly forgotten with the passage of time.

But one thing I can say, regardless of their long-term suitability, none of them were a-holes. They all were generally nice fellows who would make someone – male or female – a good husband, just not me. It appears I’ve always had a fairly good barometer when it comes to spotting an a-hole before getting into a relationship with them.  Thank the lord for small mercies.

Unfortunately others are not so lucky. I’ve heard stories from friends or just acquaintances – many with a rather beautiful ‘rescue gene’ which a-holes seem to prey on – about time squandered on people who at first seemed worthy of the effort but in the end were just a waste of time, space and energy. They definitely had an a-hole quotient.

Often they have excuses, many many excuses, for their bad behaviour which usually results in the innocent party being sucked into their a-hole vortex for longer than is ever advisable. They will also usually offer to change, even though they’ve been displaying the same narcissistic behaviours for decades with or without the help of a shrink.

Of course when one has the misfortune of being married to an a-hole then it becomes a whole lot harder to walk away, especially if there are kids involved.

Another friend and I were talking about this concept the other night and came to the conclusion that forgiveness is always a good idea but only when it’s warranted. But in life you also can come into contact with a-holes in the workplace that you have to put up with because that’s what professionals do. Even if they do display the attributes of being megalomaniac monsters bent on destruction because of their world-beating narcissism – or so I’ve heard.

And sometimes, unfortunately, your path crosses with an a-hole and there’s naught you can do about it but try very hard to not get sucked down into the depths of their despair.

And, if all else fails, it’s always a good idea in my opinion to shout “Go fuck yourself” as you walk out the door and into the light.


When love comes to town


A while ago, two people from two different parts of my life met and fell in love. I was their common denominator but as soon as they saw each other I quickly ceased to exist. Love is a powerful and blindsiding beast it seems.

A few months later I saw them again and they still only had eyes for each other. Their public displays of affection were so beautifully obscene, in my horribly jealous opinion, that I regularly shouted “get a room dudes” at them as they pawed each other like pussy cats trying to find soft sexy spots to fall asleep.

Many months later still, these two people are now one couple, living as one household under one roof, and are still into each other as much as they were that very first day. I don’t make fun of them anymore because I now only have to call one phone number, instead of two, which saves me both time and money and I am, after all, part-Scottish.

Back then, during long phone conversations with one of the parties, I would listen and provide helpful advice but my ability to identify with their blossoming love story was limited because I didn’t think I’d ever felt like that about anyone at all.

Sure in various states of drunkenness over my two-plus decades of dating, I’d pronounced to my family and friends that I’d found “the one” only to be single again in two minutes, two months or two years. I seemed that he was always Mr Right Now and very little else.

About four months ago, I said to a girlfriend who was having boyfriend trouble that the next time I had love in my life I would cherish it and I would nurture it. But first of all, I said, I would do whatever it took to make sure he was worth the effort before giving up part of my soul again because I didn’t know how much more of my soul I had left to give. I am so pleased that I have stuck by that pledge.

But now today, I fear, I have turned into one of those dreadful love-struck Romeo’s sarcastically mentioned above. It must be karma. Admittedly, my newfound relationship has yet to go public – well apart from me writing about it in my blog but surely that‘s not the same thing? So at least I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself by lustfully staring at my paramour – let’s call him B – in a variety of social settings.

Indeed public outings have been relatively limited thus far. Most of the time we just hang out at our respective homes and talk about almonds, about altruism and about awesomeness. And then before we know it, the time vortex beats us up yet again and it’s past midnight on a Monday night and we’re illogically shaking our heads at what the fuck happened.

While it’s still too early to know whether love has come to my town just yet, the denouement – to use a wanky screenwriting term that makes me sound like a dick – of the situation appears relatively clear. That is, we know we both like each other a lot, and that every night we spend together seems to pass much too quickly, while every day we spend apart seems to pass much too slowly.

I really have no idea what it all means. But for possibly the first time in my life, I am trying very hard to not over-analyse or over-dramatise what’s quickly becoming a soul-enriching experience.  Each day brings with it new information and new feelings, but also a new awareness of what might be possible, maybe one day.

But one thing I do know is that, like BB King once sang, if love does indeed come to town, I’m gonna jump that train. If love comes to town, I’m gonna catch that flame. What a bloody great idea.