Tuesday, April 25, 2006

patrolling the love perimeter

Or: A Stripper's Guide to Shaving Her Twat

When I tell people I'm a stripper, one of the first things they want to know -- especially if they are women -- is how I get the hair off my mons. It's not the first thing most people want to know, of course. The first thing they want to know is "Are you serious?" ("yes") and the second thing is "What is it like?" -- a question in its essence unanswerable, to which the response, depending on when and how you ask, might be "Great!" or "It's a job" or "Bite me, gringo."

Fortunately, the third question many people ask is altogether concrete, the answer simple, straight-forward and useful: "How do you shave your pubes?" they want to know. Good question.

Before I stripped, my pussy was never depilated. In fact, I had a low-level grudge against women who did this recreationally. It's not for me to say how much foliage another person needs, but I always thought the fetish for a clinically manicured snatch was a little weird, especially when it was men demanding it. At best, it seemed childishly squeamish -- yeah, hair holds in the scent. But if you don't like the smell of pussy, you don't need to have your head between my thighs in the first place. Awww, did you get a hair in your teeth? I just swallowed a good four tablespoons of your cum, you sissy. At worst, the desire for a vulva as smooth and hairless as an unripe fruit seemed to hint darkly at a pedophilic urge.

Now, some girls are blessed with a wild bush and shave for fashion's sake, to accomodate a pair of lowriders or a bathing suit. That's a rather different thing. As it happens, my hair has always been natively rather neat -- short, straight, and contained in a neat delta around the vital area itself. So until I became a stripper, I had never needed or wanted to give my pubes even a trim. I shaved my twat for the first time a half hour before I drove to my first titty bar audition.

I didn't mean the act to have ritual significance -- it was just something I'd been told I needed to do -- but it took on certain heavy overtones, nonetheless. I remember being in the shower with one of those pink-handled disposables in one hand and my vagina in the other, wishing I knew what to do. Struggling to remember anything my more fashion conscious and sexually adventurous friends had ever told me about shaving the delicates, I was pretty sure I didn't even have the right equipment. I'd been told good things about various expensive "women-only" brands of razor. I'd been told that I should pay someone to do something called a Brazilian wax. But at this time in my life I barely had the quarter tank of gas to drive myself across town to the titty bar. If I'd had the money for a $16 razor -- let alone $50 to have a Swedish woman cover my labia in gum-soaked rags and rip them off -- I wouldn't have been here in the shower with my vagina and my razor in the first place. I would have bought myself a sandwich and called it a day.

I remember looking down at my poon pleadingly, as though it might offer me advice. I remember thinking it was pretty weird that I, of all people -- the girl who couldn't shave her poon -- was going to be a stripper. I remember speculating about what I might buy with the money I made. Maybe a razor. No, fuck it. A hamburger and new pair of shoes. I remember feeling about ten years old. And then I just reared back went for it.

I lathered up with Ivory soap and proceeded to scrape and chammy and buff that razor around every which way, trying to make it shape to the contours of an area that contains very few flat planes or straight lines, and all too many shy and delicate folds of flesh. I cut myself again and again. Little trickles of blood meandered through snowy white suds. When I was done, my poon was covered with little dabs of toilet paper like my dad's face on one of his hangover mornings, and I was running my fingers over the rest, fascinated with the silky, slippery smoothness of it.

That wasn't the worst, of course, as anyone who has shaved their pubes knows. The worst was two days later when the ingrown hairs grew in -- sharp, angry little corksccrews of hair drilling their way to the surface, raising red welts and bubbly pus-filled whiteheads. During my first stint at stripping, bikini bumps were a fact of life for me, like crying and brushing out my wig.

C. changed all this for me. Yup. It took a boy to show me how to shave my poon. Not that C. habitually shaves his own or anyone else's pubes. But the boy has a face like a vagina -- the same unlikely combination of gnarly Irishman bristles and baby-soft skin. Guess who else commonly has this problem? Black guys. What do black guys, my boyfriend, and my vagina have in common? Many things, probably. But for my puroses, special shaving needs. Fortunately, while they do not make special razors for my boyfriend or my vagina, they do make them for black guys. They are called Bumpfighter, and they are awesome. When I started dating C. and shaving in his shower, the fortunes of my quim changed forever. In the past few years, I have shaved my naughty bits hundreds if not thousands of times, and I have learned a thing or two. The days of ingrown hairs and vaginal shaving accidents have thankfully passed, and I now pass on my hard-won knowledge. Without further ado:

1. Trim the excess. If your pubes are more than an inch long, shaving them as-is will be like hacking through the jungle with a machete: doable, but sweaty and exhausting. Basically, if there is enough hair there that you CAN grasp it firmly, pull it away from the body, and trim close to the hairline, then do it.

2. This will leave your tang with an adorable little burr cut. Enjoy this part. It's cute. Rub it for good luck. Make your significant other come and take pictures of it. Pretend it's your only son and he's been in a lot of trouble his whole life but you think that under the circumstances joining the Marines may be the best thing he could have done, so while you have a lot of conflict personally about seeing him plunge into the moral abyss of war, plus of course you are scared stiff for the physical and mental safety of the baby you carried in your body for nine months, you are still bravely hoping for the best.

3. Dry your tears and start softening up the remaining hair. If you have time, soak in a hot bubby bath for at least ten minutes. The hair will soak up water and become easier to cut. If time is an issue, take a shower and put conditioner on the fuzz. Do something else for a few minutes while the conditioner soaks in. Make putting conditioner on your poon the first thing you do in the shower, and shaving the last.

4. When you are ready to shave, assume the position. A second-position plie works well for former (or current) ballerinas. One foot up on edge of the tub in a Victorious Hunter pose is good, too.

5. Grasp the vagina firmly. This is a dominance move. It is all very well to play and have good times, but your vagina needs to know when you mean business.

6. Pull the inner edge of the right labia over to the left, creating a smooth, taut plane of flesh across which the razor can easily navigate. Shave inward, towards the inner sanctum. This is the direction the hair grows, all the way around the vagina. To prevent ingrown hairs, you will always shave in the direction of the hair, so the razor will always be moving from the outside toward the cream-filled center.

7. Shave slowly and keep firm pressure on the razor. You don't want to have to go back over the area more than twice. Don't be too ginger. If this thing can squeeze out a baby, it can handle being shorn. As long as you pull the flesh taut, you will not cut yourself. And if you do, put some toilet paper on it and don't be a baby about it.

8. On your first attempt, you might not want to shave the full monty. You may elect to leave a little landing strip along the sides and/or a Hitler mustache across the top. Hearts, initials, and other fancy shapes are probably also best left for a later attempt.

9. Consider some hedge-trimming around the back door, as well. It's easier and not as scary as it sounds. Just bend over, squat a little, pull one rosy cheek to the side and shave along the inner margin. Repeat to other side. It seems tricky because you can't see what you're doing -- well you can try to use a mirror, but trust me, it only makes it more confusing -- but you'll get the hang of it.

10. DO NOT NEGLECT AFTERCARE. This is where you really determine whether or not you get ingrown hairs. There are products on the market that claim they will prevent or get rid of bikini bumps, but I have never found one that was worth a damn next to Bumpfighter razors and simple hygiene. Wash the area gently but thoroughly, preferably with a light exfoliant scrub, a few times a day for the first couple of days, and allow to air-dry before putting on panties. An astringent like witch hazel or men's aftershave will cause the skin to pull back around the hair, giving the hair a better chance of growing out without nasty complications. If you do get an ingrown hair, Neosporin will kill the infection, and a combination of witch hazel and mashed up aspirins will fight the inflamation.

And there you have it. If I can save just one person from a bad case of razor burn in a vulnerable area, it will all have been worthwhile. Feel free to comment if you have your own poon-shaving tips, want to comment on my technique, or have any other questions you feel I may be uniquely qualified to answer.



patrin said...

Fierce. And brilliant.

milf-sir69 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Grace said...

Just so you know, the deleted comment was spam for a MILF site. Now you know.

patrin said...

Oh....just tried commenting on your most recent post like 2 times, and I'm a bit drunk which didn't help, but now I get it. You're screening what comments can actually be posted! Woohoo! I'm SMRT.

Lord of the Barnyard said...

found your blog somehow. the idea of an erudite stripper is, uh, titillating.

following a discussion of the proper use of the word chode and the word choad i read a post on a random blog which was partly about men shaving. (proper usage: the former, same as taint. the latter, girthier than it is long style penis and probaly an urban legend) and then this. good stuff. probably useless knowledge for me, but hey.

Anonymous said...

Found this blog on boingboing. Best. Blog. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had never thought to pull the labia to make it a straight surface... Now, there's a good technique! In all seriousness, this was helpful!

Morgan said...

This, as are all of your posts, is priceless. I'm hooked. It's like taking a walk down Memory Lane. Tried to find you on Facebook with disappointing results. =(

Unknown said...

So I started reading from the beginning, and this is the post on which I choose to comment.

Brilliant! Being a black woman, shaving down there is a serious source of discomfort, and I've never found a way to avoid bumps/ingrown hairs that didn't involve spending a fortune on some potion. Thank you for the advice. Googling bumpfighters now.

Oh, and like what I assume must be a large number of girls, I'm contemplating the idea of stripping because my day job, while wonderful, isn't paying enough to cover even my student loans, so I'm doing research.

Unknown said...

Oh, and my dad (also a black person) uses an old-fashioned straight razor and never has ingrown hairs. He also has the most perfect goatee and sideburns you've ever seen.

MrMike said...

I doubt you even look at these posts any more, but I'd like to add my name to those who are impressed by your writing ability.
And to say that, I much prefer the natural look in women and am nostalgic for the days when you could tell this stupid joke:
what do you call six strippers standing on their head?
A six-pack of Busch.

(I told you it was stupid)