I'm not someone who has experimented too much with different modes of body hair removal. I've never used a laser on my armpits, I rarely groom my brows, and I got my first and only bikini wax just two years ago. A simple, cheap razor is the star of my head-to-toe shaving routine — which, yes, includes my vagina (technically vulva, but come on) — and all I thought I'd ever need.
I started shaving down there when I was 15 and had found what I thought was a legitimate reason to tame the gnarly hairs: sex. For years, I kept up the completely bare look, despite feeling too naked for comfort, and like I was only doing it for validation from my then-boyfriend. After we ended things, I decided to stop with the maintenance and let the hair do what it wanted — save for a few scissor trims — for over a year.
Until one sunny Sunday recently, when, thinking about bathing suits, I got the urge to start again and decided to take care of things with the unused Venus trimming gadget I'd had stored underneath my bathroom sink for months. I skimmed the instructions (this is, after all, a battery-operated device that goes near your labia), which were easy enough: Turn on, trim with the 5mm comb, shave with the metal blade. I pulled my skin taut and went to business as slowly as possible to avoid a blood bath. With each short, careful stroke, I felt like, this time, my pubic hair removal was less about my perceived sex appeal and more about taking care of myself for myself. Go ahead, roll your eyes, but it's true.
Within minutes, my bikini line was completely bare, and although I could have, I didn't remove all the hair elsewhere. Instead, I crafted a triangular landing strip, stood up, and admired my work. Because for the first time in almost 10 years, I liked the way my pubic hair looked — and I really liked how I got it there.