As part of my “getting ready for my wedding” To Do List, along with Get Pedicure and Find Temporary Home For Joey The Mean Hamster (And Maybe Forget To Pick Him Up), my best friend and Maid of Honor made us appointments to get our undercarriages waxed. Many episodes of Sex in the City had made me fearful of the amount of pain this would cause, but after pushing my son’s enormous cranium out of the same area without any pain medication, I thought that I would be able to handle it. I was slightly apprehensive, I thought, but anxious to try an new, balder crotch.
For various reasons, the appointments were canceled and I breathed a larger sigh of relief than I realized I was holding. I thought about it a little, as I drove from florist to photographer back to florist again, trying to figure out why every cell in my body was rejoicing at the news, and I finally figured it out. It wasn’t the pain, I was fine with pain. Even the uncertainty of how much it would hurt didn’t bother me as much as it would some. No, I had been terrified of seeing my own naked, fleshy vagina.
My biggest fear (besides being stuck in a roomful of earwigs dancing interpretive dances) has always been that I would somehow end up in a room with a bunch of women, learning to love myself, while sitting on crocheted pillows in a semi-circle and talking about channeling our Inner Goddess. It wasn’t the incense or herbal teas that freaked me out, it was the thought of the leader of the group pulling out hand-mirrors and forcing us to look at our own genitals. Something I never, ever really want to see up close and personal.
I mean, even after having my babies, given the option to watch myself push my child from my body, I’d quickly insisted that the mirror on the ceiling (it was a progressive hospital, not Hotel California) be tilted as far away from me as it could so that I couldn’t catch an accidental glimpse as I shifted positions or something.
I know. I KNOW. I shouldn’t be afraid of looking at what makes me different than the boys. I should embrace it. Perhaps hang art on the walls, pictures, maybe of flowers spread open like labia. Maybe I should, instead of shuddering in terror at the thought, have a sculptor make an exact replica of my vagina to wear as a necklace. As a symbol of power. As a symbol of giving life. As a symbol of being A Creator.
Before the feminists start throwing copies of Betty Friedan’s classic, “The Feminine Mystique” at my head, screaming about how I’m sending out the Wrong Message about being female means that I must embrace the genitals, let me assure you this: I am an equal-opportunity genital hater. While I like their function, I don’t really want to sit around waxing poetic while staring dreamily at The Penis either. Genitals, to me, are just kind of weird looking.
What, me, neurotic?
While to most people, the prospect of coming eye-to-proverbial-eye with another person’s genitalia is something that happens voluntarily after a few too many Long Island Iced Teas, I’m a recovering nurse, and I once worked on the floor where babies are delivered. Trust me when I tell you with absolute certainty that there is such a thing as an ugly vagina. I’ve been eye-level with enough of them to know. Pregnancy, of course, adds swelling in the darnedest of places leading to something that we in the industry refer to as “cheeseburger crotch,” which is exactly what it sounds like: your vagina has been replaced with a cheeseburger.
Working there, while it did get me accustomed to being flashed by random strangers, did nothing to alleviate my fears. In fact, it may have enhanced them slightly. Because it was then when I realized that my husband really WAS lying to me when he said that “it looked the same.” Or if he wasn’t lying, I personally am the proud owner of the ugliest crotch on the planet. Way to boost my confidence, Daver.
And while I am a certifiable crotch-o-phobe, I’m surprisingly laid-back when it comes to land (or man) scaping of the pubes. Anything to cover it partially up, right? Providing a few rules are met by myself and The Daver, we’re all good:
First, no pubes that can be measured in inches. While I appreciate the au naturale look proudly sported in 70′s pornos, I don’t want pubes that could double as dental floss. Also, especially in bathing suit weather, pubes cannot hang out of the side of the crotch, no matter how little time one has to prepare for said beach. (this goes without saying, of course, that men should probably avoid thong Speedo swimsuits. Particularly if they want to stay married to me)
I certainly don’t mind a full bush, providing the spider legs don’t seep out the sides, because I would be forced to spend the entire day staring at your crotch. Which is probably not a good thing. Lastly, while one should spend SOME time maintaining the garden, anyone with a weekly theme–complete with dyed hair–is probably someone I’m not interested in having The Sex with. Because then I am probably not the only one who has The Sex with said person. Also, I would wonder who had stolen The Daver’s brain and replaced it with kinky Cheese-Whiz if he shaved his hair into a heart, because that is SO not his thing.
Sometimes, being a crotch-o-phobe makes me feel slightly guilty, like this must imply that I’m some sort of buzz-kill prude that people don’t want to invite to parties lest I scream and soil myself at the sight of a nearby penis or something. Then I remember that some people are opinion-o-phobes (Allodoxaphobia), or teenager-o-phobes (Ephebiphobia) and I feel a little better about myself. Everybody has their thing, right?
If being afraid of naked crotches is my thing, what’s YOUR thing?