Welcome to the jungle: Shaving shouldn’t be an expectation for women

Sex Edna delves into womanly landscaping is a sexist and stupid standard

Sex Edna is a sex and advice specialist for MOVE Magazine. She’ll take any and all questions about sex into consideration, but she’s really just making it up as she goes along like everyone else. If you think you’ve done something too different or too weird, Sex Edna probably has a story about messy situations or awkward interactions to match. She uses a pseudonym to protect her identity and the identity of her partners.

We all get excited when we’re about to get some action. Even if it’s unexpected and out of the blue, it can turn your day around. But if you are a woman and getting down to some surprise business, many of us have had the horrifying revelation.

“I didn’t shave.”

It may be your armpits or your legs, but the worst monster to deal with is pubic hair. As for women, there tend to be certain expectations with your landscaping. If you watch any sort of porn, most women are practically bald down there. If there is anything, it is some sort of fancy design, possibly a landing strip or a charming heart.

Men are expected to do some upkeep to maintain a level of respect for who they sleep with, but it’s not the same. Some trimming or minor shaving will take care of most of what is there. It is much more involved and a pain for women, quite literally. Long-term and effective ways of removing pubic hair are expensive. Laser hair removal treatments, usually an annual affair, can cost up to $500 per session. Brazilian waxes, which can last for several weeks, can cost up to $80 a session. That’s a lot of money to live up to a man’s pornographic fantasy, so women are often stuck with the good ol’ razor.

Anyone who has used a razor to shave their pubic hair knows that it is not only a process of going again and again to get the close, smooth shave, but that it is usually only good for a day or two. After that, hairs become short and prickly and hellishly painful. Skin often becomes irritated, red and bumpy. It takes several days to heal and for hairs to reach a length where they are soft and comfortable again.

They say beauty is pain, but it shouldn’t have to be, especially when it is an ideal that is constructed just to please whatever person you are having sex with. Even though it seems to happen over and over again, it feels like some women don’t have a choice. We are scared to be ostracized by those we want to be intimate with because of the hairstyle we are rocking on our vaginas. If women judged men based on how hairy their testicles were, we would be living in a much different world.

But there’s a secret that most people won’t share: As long as everything is clean, and you’re with someone you want to have sex with who wants to have sex with you, no one will care. Let your hair grow. Don’t mess with your stupid pink razor. And, if you are sleeping with someone who shames you for what you decide to do with your body hair, they don’t deserve your temple of a body. Find someone who is deserving, even if it’s just yourself.

Have a question for Sex Edna? Send it to sexedna@themaneater.com or tweet at us @SexEdna.

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