Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Plus ça change

The story goes that the great art critic John Ruskin refused to consummate his marriage to his young bride because he was horrified at finding she had pubic hair. He was used to seeing paintings and statues. That was in 1848 and you’d think young men these days would have a pretty good idea of what women look like down there.

Well, you would be wrong: apparently, some men still find women au naturel repulsive. A few weeks ago, a 38-year-old Times reader, who had just started seeing a 27-year-old man asked the resident sex adviser, ‘Do I need a Brazilian waxing?’ because her new lover had remarked on her ‘lack of grooming’.

That is shocking in itself, but even more outrageous – and sad – was the answer.
There is something hugely irritating about being forced to conform to an aesthetic ideal instigated and perpetuated by the porn industry, but, like keeping one’s armpits and legs smooth, it is now expected. If your boyfriend has been conditioned to expect a tidy Brazilian, he may genuinely find anything else very off-putting.

Though the feminist ethos of your ‘take me as I am’ argument is perfectly valid, your boyfriend’s reaction is instinctive — and in the face of something that is honestly perceived as a turn-off by one partner, rational arguments simply do not work. The good news is that, as “issues” go, this is a pretty small one and, hey, if the relationship doesn’t work out you can return to your old ways.
So, there you have it, ladies, if you want to please your man, you have to take your cue from porn stars. Nice!

Talking about being groomed, I wonder whether the man in question uses an antiperspirant or whether he prefers to stink like his Neanderthal forebears. There is a certain male sales assistant in my local Primark whom one cannot approach for fear of being suffocated. What do you bet he too is very particular about his woman’s toilette?



  1. I read that too and was completely stunned. Nothing like that was occurring among my friends when I was at university. In fact I remember the slight disgust - in men as well as women - when the Brazilian was first noised abroad. The woman made it quite clear in the article that she kept to a neat bikini-area triangle and wasn't a woolly mammoth.

    There was a bit in the article you didn't quote - where it warned her that, unlike shaving the legs and arms, which have robust skin exposed frequently to the air, both shaving and waxing there causes all manner of red lumps, ingrown hairs, and painful/uncomfortableness. So just how sexy is that?

    I'm disturbed too by the completely bare pubic area. Ask the guy if what he really wants is a little girl. That should shut him up.

    As for the 'conditioning' - undo it! Find some 70s porn to put on!!!!!l

  2. Most women I know take this attitude: you want me to wax my nether region? Sure! After you.

    I just can't see how one could have a good time in bed with someone so picky about hair. And men educated/conditioned by porn are going to be pretty terrible anyway, considering what supposedly "works" for women in those publications. My advice would have been for her to run for the hills.

  3. You will be delighted to know that the "bush" (not Kate, no no no!) is making an underground return. Passé is the trip down Copacapabana and Ipanema in certain circles who should shape the trends of the decade to come. Or so the story goes...

  4. Unfortunately the Brazilian thing is not the only thing from the world of porn that is seeping over into "mandatory" general expectations and norms for women. However, it is certainly one of the most annoying. I can't imagine what the stubble must feel like when it grows out. Ouch, I am never finding out!

  5. lady jane grey22/11/2009, 10:31

    Let me please take the liberty and use some of LULU's words, becasue I'm so with her on that:
    "Ask the guy if what he really wants is a little girl"

    And reading Perfumeshrine's comment I thought "oh, it's a pity, I'd love the come-back of Kate Bush, she's such a hero of mine...."

    Anyway, it was nothing grumpy here this time, I rather had a good Sunday laugh - thanks for that !

  6. And what about what women want?

    I'm with Trina - if men want a nice smooth body to get close up and personal to, they should be prepared to shave their bits too.

  7. Just tootling about after the Frostrup piece. Haven't seen the (un)referenced story. But have to question the woman's lack of judgement. Is she after a toy-boy who has no sense of adventure, no manners, and apparently no sense of humour? Or is he stinking rich?


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