When you're 20, grooming every part of your appearance – from your haircut to your eye makeup – is meant to draw attention. It's not the rebellion, reaction to the world around you when you're a teen, or the calm self-realization, growing-into-your-skin motto of your 30s. It's about sex. Sexuality is pervasive when you're breaking into new relationships, shedding that school-girl idea of romance, or just discovering your body. And with that comes a whole lot of planning (and later, baggage).
Contrary to what the movies show you – beautiful people in the throes of hormones going at it under perfect light settings – it isn't that synchronized. If you know sex is on the agenda (a woman ALWAYS knows), there is an awful lot of planning involved – what to wear, what not to wear, how to initiate said act, where to do it (not the car, not the beach, thank you very much) and most importantly, when to book your parlour appointment.
Call it peer pressure, inexperience, or just plain confused emotions, getting ready for the act to me meant syncing my mind and body with my heart. And because of a misplaced infatuation, I was too paralyzed to do any of that. It was easier to concentrate on these tasks at hand. Get clothes, read everything about it on the Internet and remove hair. From everywhere. Even today, showing any bodily hair (save for that on your head) is frowned upon. Left one strand on your underarms? You're a bear. Forgot to pluck one rebel hair out of your chin? Spend all day convincing everyone about your manly hormones. And with each passing decade, the line of control is getting minimal. Hair down there is a no-no. Porn will tell you, your best friend will tell you, and that stupid American show you mentally live in will tell you.
I made sure it wasn't a busy day, because really, who wants to talk about pubes in public? I checked discreetly with my friends about who would be the best to have a go at my hoo-ha. A thin plastic panty was handed over for me to wear after every vacant hair was trimmed with a pair of scissors while I waited for wax to heat up. The parlour girl pulled out a knife which resembled a big ice cream stick, and off we went.
She started out inch by inch, as minuscule as possible and I asked the other girls in the parlour to play some music. It was like being in the operation theatre without the anesthesia. The closer she got to 'the' area, my bravado melted like the chocolate wax. I might have yelled, I might have told her once to stop and forget about the whole thing, that I had changed my mind and that no guy is worth it. But I stuck it through. Like a lotus blooming in an instant, I didn't feel conscious when another girl piped in to check if the job was squarely done. It was, and the first sensation I felt after wearing my clothes back on was an odd softness. I walked a little funny, full of feminine confidence and not quite ready to examine my heart.
Of course, soon enough I had to confront the fact that I wasn't ready at all – for the sex or the wax. My soul said it was unfair that someone as strong-headed as me was bowing into peer pressure and what the world expects out of women. It was the wrong person, wrong time and wrong reason. It took me a while to understand my own body, and longer to understand my heart.
A lot of my friends tell me that they are regular with their bikini-waxing sessions because they feel clean 'down there'. But really, who are we kidding? If no one is seeing it, I am just making do with a trim.
Juhi Baveja is the social media editor at Fashion101.in. She is into obscure poetry, movies no one sees and books only she can read. She blogs every now and then on www.quicksilwr.tumblr.com. Read more posts by her on her Fashion101 Blog