One of the first things I did after I graduated high school was to stop shaving my upper lip. The hair growth was minimal at the time, really, but the contours of my lip were enough to make shaving uncomfortable, and in no way whatsoever could I get my lip to ever feel as “baby soft” smooth as my cheeks. The too-short-to-see stubble would aggravate me all day, which would lead to me rubbing at it, which would lead to redness and more soreness. The cycle was frustrating at the least, and more often downright embarrassing. I tried growing the fully connected goatee to accompany my budding mustache, but due to some genetic quirks in my ancestry — I blame the Cherokee introduced somewhere around the time of The Great Depression — I could not grow the connecting line from lips to chin. Determined to hide what I thought was a very plain, boring slightly too soft of a chin, I grew the goatee without the connecting trails of hair between lips and chin. For over thirteen years, now, this has been the staple of my facial hair. Sometimes I grow out a bit of a beard — lately it’s during the days I work, and then I shave it off after coming home for my days off — and other times I’ve taken meticulous care to be otherwise clean and smooth every day.
Of course, my shaving days began long before I graduated high school. I started the routine of having to shave somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, about the age of 13. At first, I didn’t have much to shave; my facial hair grows slowly now, and even more so in the early days. I had my own razor, but it could go a week or longer without touching my face and I’d still look smooth, or relatively so. I didn’t have to start worrying about shaving more than once every 4 or 5 days until my 10th grade year, the first at the high school from which I eventually graduated. It was during my time at this high school that I also discovered the shaving regimen that has stayed with me through this day.
Beginning my 1st grade year I started playing soccer (football, for the rest of the proper world). I fell in love and played spring and autumn seasons every year throughout all 12 years of grade school. During my middle school years I started developing a problem with the grass giving me terrible rashes and scrapes whenever I would slide in for the ball. As a defender almost exclusively, I slid in often, and found myself treating wounds after every game. To overcome this problem my father had to try wearing Bike compression shorts underneath my soccer shorts. These hugged my legs (and everything else they covered) incredibly tightly and saved my legs from innumerable more wounds over the years. Come the high school years, however, they began causing another problem. Whenever I would remove these shorts after I got home I would, every time, rip pubic hairs out. My movement during practice and games was such that hairs were getting trapped between the fibers of the compression shorts, wrapping around my penis, or both. Removal of the shorts became my most feared portion of the season.
In hopes of overcoming this terrible issue I began trimming my pubic hair in the most rudimentary fashion possible; I’d comb it out, hold the comb in place one-half inch above my skin, and shave the longer hair down. I hadn’t yet heard of electric trimmers that could provide a uniform trim length. In my mind, I was doing the best I could. The natural extension of this became to shave my scrotum, which let me tell you, looks and feels ever so much better without that unsightly grouping of hair attached. From that time forth — age 16 or so — I have been trimming, shaving, and shaping my pubic hair. While I seldom am completely shorn, I don’t believe I have had “full bush” in roughly 16 years.
Fast forward to the summer between my 11th and 12th grade years. I spent a week in southern Kentucky with the church youth group of one of my friends at a volunteer service camp. The two projects our group were assigned were to build decks on the back of two houses in the area so that they would meet local fire and safety codes. One of these houses had a small creek on the property that provided a picture perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and horseflies. Despite the bug spray being incredibly promiscuous with those of us in the group, my legs were still more badly bitten than the victims in the 30 Days of Night films. My leg hair was thick enough to prevent applying any lotions properly, so I took the only logical step I could; I shaved my legs and applied lotion liberally for the next week.
Oh my goodness, how much more sensitive the skin is on shaven leg! Wearing trousers was divine! Denim jeans became instant itch relief. Corduroy became the closest thing I had at the time to a kinky tease! One my legs were smooth, staying that way became easier than trying to let it grow out to the annoying poking stubbly stage. As an added benefit, the straps on my shinguards no longer ripped out leg hair when I took them off. I was up to 2 sports related benefits of shaving more than my face! Bonus!
I stopped playing soccer/football after high school and stopped shaving my legs because, frankly, it’s difficult for a poor college student to afford quality razor blades. The mother of my girlfriend at the time gifted me with a beard and mustache trimmer for Christmas that year at college, and with this I suddenly had a way to keep my facial and pubic hair well trimmed, a practice (with a better trimmer) that continues to this day.
A few years later, not long after I turned 21 and was living in my own apartment that I became frustrated with all my body hair. I did not — and still practically do not — grow any chest or stomach hair worth mentioning. What few hairs that grow on my chest now can all be plucked in under 2 minutes; at the time I had none. Standing naked I just looked odd, with my hairy arms up to the elbows and hairy legs up to my thighs and then this giant pale white smoothness from crotch to neck. Equipped with my trusty trimmer, my razor, and shaving cream I embarked on a journey to be rid of all my body hair from the neck down.
Holy fuck was it a resounding success! My arms, legs, and butt were soft and smooth and so damn sensitive! Everything I touched, every piece of clothing I put on, was like being caressed by a lover all over. And I looked so good! My muscles looked more defined, my skin looked cleaner, and with a little bit of lotion applied my skin soon also had a healthy, radiant glow. It was an eye opener. No wonder women like having as little body hair as possible, when they everything can look and feel so good!
I have maintained those standards ever since. My approach has adjusted for certain peculiarities of my hair and skin; for example, I never take a razor blade to my legs, face, or pubic mound any more, as they only cause ingrown hairs. Instead, I trim down with my electric trimmer and then either use an electric razor or use Veet Sensitive Skin to get down to smooth skin level. I still take a blade to my arms and scrotum, as well as to what bit of hair grows on the shaft at the base of my penis. I even trim under my arms, setting the trimmer to as close to the skin as it can get. Maintaining all of this properly means a full body trim once a week with light touch up once or twice week in the interval in high growth areas like my face. When using Veet, that means a good half-hour process between applying, letting set, removing, and showering, but it’s well worth it, especially with Mrs. AP helping apply in the hard to reach places.
So in answer to the Movember* question that is part of the prompt for Wicked Wednesday this week, no, I will not be shaving my mustache. I will, however, continue to shave everywhere else. I like the feeling of being silky smooth, and Mrs. AP adores rubbing up against me when I am. That’s a prize that can’t be beaten.
* I participated in all three Movember TMI Tuesday Posts as well as the Wicked Wednesday Movember post for very personal reasons. While I do not know anybody personally who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I do know several women who have been victims or survivors of cancer. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed and treated for skin cancer at least twice during her lifetime. My paternal step-grandmother lost a decade long battle to lung cancer that eventually spread throughout her entire torso. I saw her in her final days under Hospice care, and will never get the images of that frail woman unable to recognize the people around her out of my mind. I’ve had teachers who have survived breast cancer only because of double mastectomies. Cancer has been part of my life since a very early age, and while no amount of various cancer awareness campaigns will ever make me any more aware of how devastating cancer caught too late — or not at all — can be to a person and to a family, I do know that even getting one more person to understand that cancer is not some mysterious third world disease but something that is a leading killer in every country and that this trend can be reversed with proper funding for treatment research can lead to one more donation to help. I help when I can. Please, click on the Wicked Wednesday button below to find more information on how you can help as well.
This was a Wicked Wednesday post. Visit the Wicked Wednesday page to see other participants.
Stay SINful, friends.