Weeks ago, I straight up stopped shaving my body hair, despite the fact that I have a boyfriend who sees me naked quite often. Although I have shaved a few times since the summer ended, I don’t actually remember the last time I did it. I’m incredibly hairy right now, but even though we live in a society that thinks I should bless bae by resembling a naked mole rat at all times, I don’t really feel self-conscious about it.
I’m not avoiding hair removal to make some sort of political stand. My reason for being incredibly hairy right now is actually pretty boring. First of all, it’s wintertime and neither my legs, nor my armpits, nor my midriff is getting any public exposure. Second of all, I’m cheap right now and would rather spend over $35 on a dress or a few meals than getting my butt crack waxed. So, yes, I still subject myself to some serious societal conditioning–I remove body hair because I think I look unkempt with hairy armpits and a visible happy trail while wearing a crop top. But I deviate from the “rules” by not really putting my boyfriend’s opinion on my body hair into consideration.
I’ll admit: I used to be a lot more worried about it. I’m currently in my first relationship, and in the earlier stages I made sure my body was smoother than a seal. I even started getting Brazilian waxes semi-regularly in the early stages of our relationship (a practice that still has its benefits when I want to rock a bikini, but otherwise feels a little excessive). I wanted to look as presentable as possible, but over time I started caring a lot less. Sure, that first realization that he was running his hands along my super stubbly legs was a little embarrassing, but these days they’re combing through a maze of thick leg hair. My armpits, the parts of my body I’m usually most anal about keeping hair free, are growing wild and free, and he hasn’t cringed in their presence. Even downstairs in the pube department…I haven’t shaved or trimmed or done anything down there in weeks, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a wax in several months. That doesn’t stop him from, er, enjoying the many benefits of my vag.
Sure, maybe I lucked out and happen to have a boyfriend who isn’t disgustingly shallow, but I suspect that a lot of guys care a lot less about female body hair than we think. Still, if you’re a straight girl dating a straight dude, I think it’s a good idea to do a little experiment: Go without removing your body hair for a while and see how your boyfriend reacts. Here are three things that happened when I stopped shaving around my boyfriend:
1. I learned about his real thoughts on female body hair.
My boyfriend seems to be a lot more chill about female body hair than I thought. I mean, he’s never gone out of his way to talk about how gross female body hair is, but I think a lot of girls–myself included–expect the worse. But I realized that he, uh, really doesn’t care. And if he does, he hasn’t said anything about it. Wow, it’s almost as if…he likes me for my personality or something crazy like that! But no, with all seriousness, a guy who actually cares about you and appreciates your intimacy–sexual or otherwise–will not care if you have pubes or skipped a few shaves. If that’s all it takes to turn them off, they must be pretty petty.
It’s also important to know that talk is cheap. You might think that you have a BF who is super progressive and claim that he’s not grossed out by female body hair. You might show him a photo of some chick on Instagram with pink dyed armpits, and he’ll go, “Cool!” But maybe he’s just lying to get on your good side. Or, he’s fine with the idea of body hair, until he’s actually with a girl who starts getting hairy. Go a couple of weeks without shaving and see what he has to say. Alternatively, your BF might be openly disgusted by the idea of female body hair and say that he thinks it’s gross when women have hairy legs…only to not really notice your burgeoning stubble or blossoming belly hair. Maybe he just thinks hairy women are gross because he’s been conditioned to think that way, but when faced with it IRL realizes that he doesn’t really care all that much. Who knows? You won’t until you stop shaving for a bit.
2. It gave me an idea of how he would react to my body in the long term.
I know that there’s this nasty stereotype of women “letting themselves go” the longer their in a relationship. While this is often used as a way to shame women who stop wearing makeup around their boyfriends constantly or dare to gain a little weight, there’s some truth to the fact that the longer you’re with somebody, the less you care about impressing them or looking like you spent 10 hours contouring your face. The longer you date somebody, the less you’ll start caring about shaving from head to toe before hanging out, too. So, was my BF to see the hairier side of me? Yes, he was!
Honestly, if a dude can’t get used to the idea of you getting more lax about your beauty routine, he’s not ready for anything serious.
3. It helped me feel more comfortable and confident around him.
I found that being able to present myself as a human being who doesn’t always feel like shaving my bikini line or letting my leg hair do its thing around somebody I care about is very freeing. It’s like, the last layer of hiding, the last layer of superficial BS…it’s the “what you see is what you get” factor. Being able to feel that level of comfort–especially while breaking the rules of “femininity”–helped gain trust between me and my BF. It’s just nice feeling, period.
These results might not be enough for some of you to skip those pits, but if you’re looking for an enlightening and potentially fun challenge, consider ditching your razor for a few weeks and see what happens. Give it a try, you’ll learn a lot about your bae and yourself.
Does your partner have strong opinions about women’s body hair? Would you ever start removing your body hair for your significant other? Do you Tell us in the comments!