By: Radhika Sanghani

By the next day, I’d forgotten about the cutting incident. It seemed to have miraculously healed and I spent the entire morning feeling deliciously smooth. I even spent a full twenty minutes admiring my naked body in front of the mirror. The mass of hair that had used to terrify me and make me feel anything but sexy was gone. Post-shave I felt like a New Woman.

A few hours later, everything changed. I sat on the loo to pee and screamed in agony. The urine was trickling against my cut and it was more painful than anything I had ever experienced. I couldn’t pee without crying. I was fucked.

The only option was to dehydrate myself and not pee. I wandered around school for the next couple of days in a state of misery. Dante’s seventh circle of hell had nothing on my life post-shave. I was thirsty and faint and had to stop wearing mascara because I cried so much every time I peed.

On top of that, the hairs had already started to grow back as stubble. It was itchy as hell and I couldn’t stop scratching. I had to hide in corners in public to scratch my vagina, and I winced whenever the outer lips rubbed together. In the mirror, it looked as hideous as it felt. The stubble made my poor lady bits look like a middle-aged man’s beard.

It took four days for the cut to heal and I spent every evening writing I hate my life all over my diary in five different felt-tips. Eventually, I worked up the courage to tell Lara exactly what had happened and she laughed so much she cried.

When I mentioned it again four years later, she was still laughing.

“Oh my God, I totally forgot that,” she sniggered.

“It wasn’t funny,” I snapped. “It was agony and I’m never letting a razor go anywhere near my vag again.” I paused. “So what do I do instead?”

“Why don’t you use a cream?”

I raised my eyebrows at her. “I can’t really see a cream having much effect down there. The hairs are kind of thick.”

“No, it’s fine; the creams are designed to work on all types of hair. Why don’t you go ahead and trim, and I’ll go to the supermarket and buy the cream?”

“Okay, but if it goes wrong, I’m blaming you,” I warned as I chucked her my wallet and walked into the bathroom to start the preparation. I hated trimming my pubes. I didn’t know what length to trim them to, and Lara was useless in this area because she was so fair her entire body was hairless. I doubted she had ever had to decide which hair-removal method was best because she definitely didn’t have any. I’d noticed in Year Seven when we changed for swimming.

I started trying to pull the hairs together in clumps so I could trim them in mini sections. I channeled my inner hairdresser, sectioning the hair in between my fingers and cutting the ends of it. I snipped away as best I could, struggling as I did the lips. The hair fell away into the loo bowl and eventually I was left with a relatively evenly trimmed vagina. I leaned over so my head was in between my legs. Then the door swung open.

“Jesus, Ellie, what are you doing?”

I snapped my head up and pulled my dress back down. “What happened to knocking? I was checking for stray hairs but I’m tempted to give up on them now.”

“Yeah, you can just get them with this,” she said, as she triumphantly waved a tube of hair-removal cream and a bag of M&M’s. As I reached for the chocolate, she threw the cream at me.

“I figured we’d need extra chocolate for this. We can eat them while we’re waiting for the cream to de-hair you.”

I rolled my eyes but dutifully pulled my dress up. Lara groaned. “Ellie, I seriously wish you wouldn’t just whip all your clothes off without some kind of warning.”

“What? I went to an all-girls school.”

“We went to the same school.”

“Exactly, so you should be fine with it. How much of this stuff do I put on?”

She examined the packet. “Right, you need to make sure all the hairs are covered, so I’d just put loads on if I were you. And then we leave it for ten minutes but you’ll probably need fifteen because it says leave it on for two minutes longer for tough hairs.”

“Twelve minutes, then.”

“You’re standing in front of me with your vagina out. Trust me, you need fifteen.”

I slathered the white cream, which stank worryingly of chemicals, over my pubes. Then I sat on the loo with my legs spread wide open so the cream wouldn’t wear off against my thighs. Lara was lying in the empty bath, passing me M&M’s.

“I don’t understand how a cream can be as effective as a wax wrenching the hairs out. How can this stuff do the same thing?” I asked.

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