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?