Why is a man's "shock" at a woman's hair her problem?
It sounds so authoritative when you read it from the “Sex Counsel” of the austere Times Online. When a recently separated 38-year-old wrote to the paper about her new 27-year-old lover’s shock at “what he saw as my lack of grooming,” she naively asked if “a permanent tan and Brazilian wax should be deal-breakers … or am I just hopelessly outdated?” The reply from columnist Suzi Godson was clear — it’s the latter. Wake up, over 35-year-old lady, because “Things have rather changed in the genital grooming department.”
“Grooming down there is now considered to be normal, on a par with manicures, blow drying and eyebrow waxing,” Godson counseled, leading every woman on the planet who doesn’t manicure, blow dry, or eyebrow wax to immediately throw in the towel and die of shame. “Indeed, any woman who dares to be less rigid in her styling, as you have found, risks being labeled as bucolic, unsanitary or possibly French.”
After a quick tutorial on porn, prostitution and modern pube fashions, Godson explained that the letter writer’s boyfriend was having an “instinctive” reaction — you know, the kind of instinctive reaction one has from apparently growing up with the expectation that his partners all resemble adult film actresses. The same instinctive reaction that might lead one to be disappointed his partner isn’t tan. In England. In October. “There is something hugely irritating about being forced to conform to an aesthetic ideal instigated and perpetuated by the porn industry,” Godson admitted, “but … it is now expected.” So put aside that “feminist ethos” and commence deforestation.
At no point in her wisdom-dispensing did Godson ask the woman if she herself might enjoy experimenting with a walk on the bare side. It’s hair! It grows back! Nor did she conversely say that maybe after a little open conversation, her new beau might appreciate a woman who looks and feels different than his previous lovers. She didn’t ponder if this wasn’t a case of getting-to-know-you misunderstanding. She didn’t offer an invitation to the writer to first figure out what makes her happy, and if that shocks her suitor, who needs him?
No, instead she declared that when it comes to turn-offs, “rational arguments simply do not work,” and then went through a litany of the drawbacks that await the letter writer whether she inevitably shaves, waxes or goes for laser hair removal. “Imagine burning-hot, extra-strength Sellotape being ripped from delicate skin … and now treble the pain.” You DO want to get laid, don’t do?
There are indeed “instinctive” deal-breakers for everybody, stuff that just will not fly in the bedroom under any circumstances. But the querent and her lover already had sufficient chemistry to consummate their attraction. Why then is the Times’ counsel shrugging that if a man “has been conditioned to expect a tidy Brazilian,” what needs to change aren’t his expectations but her pubic landscape? Godson expresses disdain for “being forced to conform” but assumes there’s no alternative. But the thing about conditioning, for both men and women, is that it can change and soften. It just works better when you’ve got a little hair to apply it to.
More Related Stories
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Pope Francis: Atheists are all right!
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- Is recreational pot use safe?
- How I ended up in a pyramid scheme
- My bipolar partner beat me
- Teenagers care more about online privacy than you think
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- Kicked out of the mall -- for an anti-cancer hat
- Why do men pretend to be women online?
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Is Pittsburgh the next Portland?
- Tornado survivor to Wolf Blitzer: Sorry, I'm an atheist. I don't have to thank the Lord
- Donald Rumsfeld worried that marriage equality will lead to polygamy
- San Francisco Giant Jeremy Affeldt apologizes for homophobic past
- Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies
- Federal court strikes down Arizona abortion ban
- I'm not achieving my dreams!
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11