Mr. American Express
I was a 17-year-old college sophomore, and he was a 26-year-old credit card salesman that caught my eye on campus. I know…not the best start to a love story. Rest assured; the love story is not about him.
He exuded sex appeal. His smile, his dark eyes, and his natural flirtatious energy were capturing the loins of most college girls that walked by – including mine. As I tried to briskly walk by him to avoid the awkward, “No, thanks”, he nearly clotheslined me with his arm.
“Fill this out and come back to me. I’ll give you a mini back massager.” He winked and handed me the credit card application.
I hastily filled out the application that I had no business filling out.
“Done! Now, where’s my back massager?” I used air quotes when I said the words ‘back massager’, and he chuckled.
“Damn, girl! You don’t play around do you?” Apparently, he was impressed by my diligence and fast turnaround time. He handed me a little white box, told me to enjoy it, and smirked as I snatched it from his hand.
Being the vibrator Queen that I was (and still am), I saw anything that vibrated as an opportunity to be…creative. I was off to my dorm room to test this thing out. Taking it out of the box, I saw it was one of those little handheld massagers with four ‘legs’. My wheels were turning as to how the hell I could position this to make it a decent vibrator. What can I say? I’m a masturbation opportunist. I digress…
Anyway – to my massive disappointment, the damn thing didn’t even turn on. I was now stuck with a non-functioning, four-legged vibrator, and soon-to-be credit card debt. Me being me, I stuffed the ‘back massager’ back into the box and waltzed my sassy ass right back to him.
“Back already?” He had an heir about him – not cocky, but definitely more than confident.
“Don’t get a big head. I’m back because the vib…back massager you gave me is busted.”
After some playful banter and a new ‘back massager’, we exchanged numbers. I know…that escalated quickly, right?
We talked on the phone, he met my friends, we spent time together, and we inevitably got…physical. As a serial monogamist, this “hook up” vibe was new to me. The only relationships I had up until that point were two long-term boyfriends of three years a piece!
I’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
One night, my roommate was staying at her boyfriend’s apartment, so I invited Mr. American Express to my dorm. We started making out, and he quickly moved south with his mouth – something I was NOT expecting. Like most women, I was taught to be insecure about my body; especially my vagina.
Naked, I laid back on my unstable bed that rested on cement cinderblock risers (ahhh…college life). I kept telling myself that he was older and more mature than college guys; that he’d probably seen so many bodies, and I had nothing to be insecure about.
He parted my legs and kissed my thighs. I remember being so impressed with the sensuality of the moment. He was taking his time. And then…
“Ya know, you should take a Bic to that thing.” He looked up at me from between my legs.
How I didn’t vomit on the spot was beyond me, but I kept my shit together. Being so young, I didn’t know to be furious – I only knew to be mortified.
Yup – I THANKED him for his oh-so-worthy criticism of my body. My SEVENTEEN-year-old body. Apparently, the pubic hair on my thing wasn’t that off-putting, because he continued. My entire body was tense, and I had a lump in my throat the size of Texas. I could feel my legs instinctively wanting to close. I had instantaneously become disgusted with my body; the same body that I had shared with two amazing boyfriends who never said a word about my pubic hair. Were they lying the whole time? Were they disgusted, too? Were they telling their friends how repulsive I was? Everything I ever thought – or didn’t think – about my pink parts, was now in question.
“Baby…,” he rubbed my inner thighs, “…you need to relax and enjoy this. Just lay back and let your nerves go.”
I closed my legs and pulled his head up. “I’m all set, thanks.”
I was crawling out of my skin. I put on a smile to hide the extraordinary embarrassment I felt. He left soon after that, and I never (to this day) confronted him about his sub-shitty choice of words.
Needless to say, our dating experience was short-lived.
Hairless or Bust!
I shaved for the first time that night, and NEVER again let my pubic hair grow. Ever. I spent the next 22 years obsessively tending to my pubic hair, including spending thousands of dollars on laser hair removal – which, by the way, did NOT permanently remove it. At 39-years-old, I was so over shaving every day. Razor burn sucked. I hated stubble. I hated it all. To be honest, I felt like an imposter. As a Certified Sex Coach, how could I hate my own damn vulva?!? I needed to do the work to move through this – fast.
So, waxing was my next option. It was affordable, and easier than shaving every day. I texted a waxing specialist that came highly recommended. I bombarded her with a million questions.
“Sure thing! I just need about two weeks of hair growth before your first appointment.”
Wait…what?!? Two weeks?! Fuck no!
“Aye…never mind!” I texted her and quickly shut it down. Two weeks was NOT happening.
Months went by. More shaving, more stubble, and more vulva-directed hate. I couldn’t do this anymore.
I opened up Instagram. I messaged the waxing guru, and we set the appointment.
The next two weeks were going to be a total mind fuck. I anticipated zero intimacy with my husband. I warned him, so he wouldn’t take it personally. To be totally candid, I didn’t even expect to have any self-love sessions either (yes, women masturbate – eye roll). I was that repulsed by my pubic hair. I hadn’t seen more than a millimeter of hair on my body in 22 years.
Two weeks had passed, and I became (almost) desensitized to seeing some foreign follicles on my lady parts. I would stare at it in the shower, and glance down a few times as I got dressed. I must have asked my husband to look at it a thousand times. I think I was waiting for him to affirm my fears and tell me how gross it was – but, he never did.
The Final Shift
The wax appointment came and went. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a wave of relief come over me when I looked down and saw the smoothest skin I’d ever seen in my entire life. A razor didn’t hold a candle to this wax stuff (pun intended). I’ve since gone on to become an avid wax client, and still prefer no hair. However, there’s a BIG difference in my relationship with my pubic hair.
During the four to six weeks in between wax appointments, hair makes an appearance. I’ve learned to love the softness of the baby hair that slowly grows in (no stubble – thank you wax!). I am not repulsed, nor do I avoid intimacy in between appointments. I have zero urges to shave, and frankly, I’d be happy if I never saw a razor again. I never thought that one waxing appointment at 39-years-old, would be the catalyst to unlearning societal messages that I’d held onto for decades.
For the record, I have since paid off all of my credit card debt, and my Hitachi wand blows that four-legged shit show of a ‘back massager’ out of the water. So, Mr. American Express, that ‘thing’ you wanted me to “…take a Bic to…” – it’s called a vulva…and mine prefers wax.
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