I Lie About Why I Shave So I Don't Look Like A Bad Feminist

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woman sitting near water

I am terrible at removing my own body hair.

I'm bad at shaving. I've got terrible eyesight and wear glasses. If I'm in the shower, I'm as good as blind.

My legs usually look like someone let a power mower just do its own thing. 

I traumatized myself with waxing. Before a hot sex session, I decided to give the dude in question a bald surprise using a kicky at-home kit that promised an easy, pain-free experience.

I lie about why I shave so I don't look like a bad feminist

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He was shocked, but not by my hairlessness.

Instead, he got to contend with the quasi-diaper I'd rigged to catch all the blood seeping from my front bottom where skin used to be. 

Huge chunks of my sister's wedding shower are a blur to me because right before it started I decided to Nair my legs and somehow managed to get chemical burns. 

What I lack in sex skills I make up for in calamity. 

Verily, I am bad at removing my hair. 

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This is problematic only because well, I hate body hair

I've deluded myself about this issue for years. 

Instead of admitting that it was my lack of skill and laziness that kept me from embracing my hairless glory, I said it was girl power.

Feminism meant I didn't have to submit to some man's sex fantasy by denuding myself of hair put there to keep me safe, healthy, and warm. 

When I learned more about feminism I realized that it was okay to do something to my body if it turned me on, even if it was something potentially loaded like body hair removal. 

That's when I started blaming my sensitive skin for my hairy legs and massive 70s era bush. 

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"I'm too sensitive," I'd preen. "I will die."

It's true that I have sensitive skin (shout out to the near-constant hives I get from just being alive). 

It's also true that someday I will die.

Neither of these things has anything to do with why I wasn't going to the trouble to properly remove my hair. 

Ultimately it was sexual greed that led to me embracing a dolphin-like slickness everywhere but my eyebrows and scalp. 

I sought out a professional to remove my pubic hair, sure it would be awful, but eager to give a professional a whirl. 

The experience was every bit as awful as I thought it would be, but the sex I had made the entire experience totally worth it. 

Every sensation was heightened. I was constantly aware of my own body. I felt shivery and new. 

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It also made me aware of something else: I didn't like the way body hair looked on other women. 

My belief that hair removal was a personal choice hadn't changed, but I could no longer deny seeing hair on female legs or vaginas and thinking it didn't look good. 

I feel like a terrible feminist! It's like, I've made a discovery that turns me on and at the same time unlocked this patriarchal deep brain programming. 

I'm coping with these feelings the best I can. 

It's pretty easy because it doesn't come up much. 

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Thus far no women in shift dresses with long leg hair have asked what I think about their decision to let their leg mane fly free in the wind.

That's just not the kind of world we live in.

If we did, even then I'd say I salute the broad in question, but to me, hairy legs paired with a neon pink bandage dress are as mismatched as wearing plaid and polka dots. 

But power to her all the same.

Who am I to yuck someone else's hard-won yum?

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is an editor, former Senior Staff Writer for YourTango, and the former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek. Her bylines have appeared in Gizmodo, Yahoo Life, Jezebel, Apartment Therapy, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows, and many others