The Claremont Indecent: Not a Barbie body

A small brush sits on top of two stacked bars of soap.
Sex columnist Cross-Campus Pining debunks the idea of “the perfect female body.” (Courtesy: Monfocus/Pixabay)

Claremont, welcome back to the column. I hope that spring break and midterm season has treated you well, and that you’ve been able to let off some steam in the bedroom (either by yourself or with others). This week, I wanted to debunk the myth of the “perfect body” that we see plastered all over porn, TV and social media. 

I think a lot of people, myself included, have probably spent days — maybe even years — of our lives focused on our body hair. Most of us have been socialized to want to remove this hair, whether through shaving, waxing, tweezing, laser, threading, sugaring or one of the other millions of painful and expensive methods. 

The very first time I hooked up with my ex-girlfriend, I had been going through a no-shave winter season. I was just coming into my queerness. One of my more out friends was growing out her armpit hair so she could bleach and dye it pink, and she inspired me to do the same. But, when I was in bed with my ex, clothes off, I suddenly felt so self conscious of not only my hairy pits but also my legs. I felt sweaty and manly and unattractive. Neither of us said anything about it, but as soon as I got home, I shaved every inch of my body and continued to do so until we broke up. 

That was way back in high school, and I have a very different perspective on body hair now. Don’t believe the rumors that body hair is unsanitary or unattractive. I know personally, especially as someone with darker hair, I was so excited when I was allowed to start shaving my legs. Then it was my armpits, and then everywhere else. Now, though it’s taken a long time, I’ve finally learned to love my body hair and let it be. 

Just recently, I had an unexpected hookup and hadn’t thought at all about the state of my body hair until I was looking it in the face, but it literally didn’t matter. Neither of us cared at all, and it was totally fine. For a long time, I felt that I needed to shave before every hookup, or they wouldn’t want to go down on me or have sex with me. If anyone ever gives you any kind of judgment for the way you choose to have or not have body hair, they are not the kind of person you should want to be around. Besides, having pink armpit hair is way cooler than having none at all. 

Another body taboo that’s top of mind for me is period sex. Whether you’re someone who gets a period or gets with people who do, it can be a messy situation to navigate — literally and figuratively. 

If you’re like me, you know that not everyone’s period is regular. Sometimes I’ll go months without it, and other times I’ll be spotting for weeks. My freshman year of college, I finally decided to go on birth control to try to get a more regular period and so I would have an extra layer of protection amidst the Claremont hook-up scene. The side effects of birth control are different for everyone, and when I first got on the pill, it caused me to spot every day for an entire month. I had just settled into a nice routine with my casual hookup, and I couldn’t just say I was on my period for a week, because it did not stop. Luckily, he was super chill, and it didn’t really change things. I did have to navigate taking my menstrual cup out and putting it back in in a random CMC bathroom, but we made it work. 

The funniest period sex experiences I’ve had have been with super horny guys. Often, as clothes are coming off and we’re getting closer to having sex, I’ll be very clear and upfront about it if I’m on my period. One hookup in particular is coming to mind, because, in the moment, he seemed super okay and on board with still having sex. We put a towel down on the bed and hoped for the best. Things were going great, until he took a closer look and saw that there was actually blood on him. He freaked out and made us stop. Total vibe killer for literally no reason. 

Period blood is natural and normal, and nothing to be fear. It’s no reason not to have sex as long as all participating parties are enthusiastically consenting. In fact, it can even act as a natural lubricant and help things slide into place. If you’re worried about making a mess, put down a towel like I do or hit the shower. Don’t let that time of the month stop you.

I hope you head into this week with the important reminder that your body is amazing! Regardless of how you compare with what you see on a screen or in a magazine, the right answer for you is the right answer.

Until next time,

Cross-Campus Pining

P.S. Have thoughts, questions, concerns of your own? This completely anonymous Google Form is just for you: go.tsl.news/indecent. Share away!

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