By: Radhika Sanghani

I exhaled loudly. “Look, I know I sound a bit crazy. But honestly, it just feels like a burden now. Even if I did meet the right guy, he would run a mile if he found out I’m still a virgin. It just makes me look weird—kind of like I saved it for him. If I can get rid of it with an ONS, then I’ll feel so much freer after, you know?”

“Did you just abbreviate one-night stand?”

I ignored her. “I promise I won’t regret it. I’ve thought about it a lot and I know it’s the right choice for me. I just want to get this humiliating experience over with as soon as possible. Please help?”

“Oh, fine. Let’s go to Mahiki. Prince Harry and his friends go there, so at least you’ll lose it to someone who can pay for an abortion if you need one. Besides, it’s cheaper on Mondays for students.”

Hours later, Jez still hadn’t texted Lara back so she decided she would look for an ONS of her own to take her mind off him. We decided to wear black to respect the impending death of my virginity and picked out two short dresses from my wardrobe.

“Okay, so if I’m planning on getting down and dirty tonight, I need to shave my legs.” I paused and then carried on. “And more important, what am I meant to do with the hair down there?” I whispered. “You know what happened last time.”

Following The Bite Job, I had decided it was time to get rid of my pubes. A quick poll had revealed that all my classmates had been shaving their vaginas since they turned fifteen but no one had thought to tell me. I realized where I had gone wrong in leaving my pubes au naturel. I was too embarrassed to ask my friends for more info so I researched the topic online. It didn’t take long to learn the difference between a Hollywood and a Brazilian. Every website and magazine said that the au naturel vagina had only been acceptable in the seventies.

I realized I had to sort out my bush immediately because if I ever met another guy—or, more likely, got run over and had to wear an operating gown in hospital—I would be a laughingstock the minute they took my pants down.

I began my task right away. I ran a bath, and with grim determination climbed into it, brandishing my pink Venus razor. Shaving cream was too expensive to bother with, so I took a deep breath and reached for the shower gel. It was empty. Typical.

There was a bottle of shampoo and conditioner on the side. Conditioner was basically the same as shower gel, right? I figured it would be fine and slathered it all over my pubes. Then, without really knowing what I was doing, I started to shave the triangle area. My never-cut pubic hairs immediately got tangled in the razor and it started yanking them painfully. I persevered for twenty minutes before I realized I should have trimmed them to start with. I grabbed some nail scissors and started.

I finished snipping away with the scissors and went back to the razor. This time it was much easier, and the hairs disappeared. It got trickier around the more delicate areas, where I tried to pull the skin taut for a cleaner shave. When I got to the lips, I was navigating in total confusion. I was so terrified of cutting something important that I just left all the hairs on the side of the clitoris. I rubbed around with my hand to check if there were any other obvious patches I’d missed, but I couldn’t find any.

Until I headed down south and realized with horror there was a line of hair going up to my anus. I had no idea if you were meant to get rid of this bit too, but I figured I may as well finish what I’d started. I held my bum cheeks wide open and leaned forward in the water, wishing I hadn’t put so much bubble bath in. I held my breath, carefully shaving upwards. It was hard to keep the razor close to the skin but I managed to get most of it off. I swapped sides and then breathed out in relief. I felt like I’d just had a grueling Pilates class.

I was about to climb out of the bath into the comfort of my dressing gown when I remembered Lara saying the lips were the one area where boys didn’t want hairs in case they went down on you. There weren’t exactly any boys queuing up to go down on me—but then, I reasoned, they wouldn’t if it got around that I had a hairy vagina. With a resigned sigh, I pulled the lips apart as far as I could and found the hairs growing only a few millimeters away from the clitoris.

Picking up my razor again, I slowly started steering it around the delicate parts, wishing I had invested in a special bikini razor.

Then I screamed. I had cut it. I had actually cut my clitoris.

I grabbed the showerhead and turned the cold water on max. It numbed my vagina, and gradually my cries turned into self-pitying whimpers. I had another peek at it and it looked okay. It was only a tiny nick. I thanked God that I hadn’t accidentally lopped the whole thing off. I got out of the bath and dried myself gently before limping off to bed.

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