I was about 17 years old when my then boyfriend convinced me that shaving my pubic hair was a good idea. He was a bit of an ass, rough around the edges kinda guy. Don't get me wrong, he loved me, as much as you can love someone at that age. His ways of showing it weren't all that healthy, which I didn't realize until many MANY years later. At that age I hadn't considered shaving ALL of my pubic hair. Literally. I gave it no thought. I trimmed it on the edges so that it wouldn't be seen in a bikini, but I didn't give it much thought beyond that. That is, I didn't until he mentioned it. Then I was mortified. "You should shave your pubes, you look like a hairy monkey". He would call it... it being my lovely vulva... a gorilla. He teased me about it. I was admittedly quite meek in my youth. I can't remember my response, but I know I didn't say what I should have said, which is "Go to hell".
After I had had enough torment, I shaved my pubic hair. It was TERRIBLE!!!! I couldn't figure out for the life of me why the hell anyone would ever do that more than once! There was intense itching, when I scratched I got angry red bumps. Once the hair started growing back it tore at the inside of my tender labia, which became sore because it wasn't used to such abuse. Not to mention it looked like I had reverted back to my pre-pube days, my vulva looked like it belonged to a 12 year old. I hated it. He loved it. Of course. But when we had sex it hurt, the friction rubbed me raw on the mound where the hair used to protect it. I was exposed. I swore I would never do it again. But of course... I did.
I continued to shave every last bit of pubic hair for over 10 years. Contorting myself in the shower to reach the hard-to-reach spots that a razor has no place going. I hated the process of shaving, but like the days before I started shaving I never questioned it once I did it. It was just what I did. One day something happened. I'm not sure what set it off, but I questioned why I shave my pubic hair. I had grown accustomed to the look of it, so it wasn't that I didn't like it. It was more like one of those days where my neck is hurting from bending so far over and I mumbled to myself, "why the hell am I doing this?" Wait a second... why the hell am I doing this?! Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Damnit. I'm shaving because a teenage boy told me to over a decade ago. I put the razor down and decided I wouldn't pick it back up. I would take back ownership of my pubic hair. I ripped it right out of the clutches of societal standards. I announced it to my husband, who was supportive, in the beginning. Once the hair started filling back in, (which happened faster than I care to admit) I felt triumphant. Even though, to tell you the honest truth, I wasn't that crazy about it. It was messy, it looked "dirty" to me. I showed my new do off to my husband (hiding the uncertainty) and... he didn't like it either. Not that I can blame him, it went from being all nice and neat with everything on display to being quite unruly and somewhat threatening. Like a mysterious beast. Like a... gorilla. No. I refuse to let those thoughts creep back into my poisoned mind. Even though Max wasn't crazy about it, (and I wasn't even sure I was) he fully supported my decision to regrow my bush and understood why I was doing it. He agreed it must be done. So it was.
Over the course of the next few years I "let it go". I kept it trimmed neatly around the edges, but I had a full on, 70's style bush. It was a masterpiece. I went full force, no half-assing this one! If it was going to be done I was going to go all the way! I ended up falling in love with it. I felt empowered that I reclaimed that intimate part of my body. I loved the protection it offered, I never feel fully exposed anymore. I even loved the look! I felt like another piece of the pressure from society fell off. I was no longer shaving just because it was what was expected of me. Eventually I ended up settling on a style that was about half the size of my full on 70's bush and trimmed so it was so unruly.
I feel like I have won this battle. If I decided to shave everything off again tomorrow I wouldn't feel like I've lost anything. I would be shaving it all off because it's MY decision about MY body. Whatever I do with my pubic hair I'm doing it for me not because someone else thinks it's more attractive. Which don't get me wrong, it is nice to do a little something special for your partner, but not if it goes against what you feel is right for you. It wasn't right for me personally because of how I feel about beauty standards being pushed on women (and men) in our society today. I have nothing against shaved vulvas, as long as it's a personal decision.
Moral of the story, when making a personal decision that is intimate to you, make the decision for you first and foremost. If it doesn't sit well with you, then don't do it. Don't do something just to "fit in" with societal standards, or because someone told you you should. Shaving pubic hair should be your decision.