"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Like a Rainstorm

I have tried to stay him for so long; way too much effort. I need to stop working so hard and just find out how much of him is really me. Maybe we will talk about that again, but not today. The whole, maintaining the façade thing was not working at all, so things were bound to change eventually. Apologies to those who thought me above "superficial". Today is a first (it might be the only) post about stuff that might seem superficial to many.

There was no rain of course. That is just a metaphor. No rain, but a flood happened anyway, a flood that came from some underneath source that has been held back for a very long time. This blog has been about an internal battle up until now. About a month ago, things went external on me, so either the blog could end, or it could morph with me. Let's try it and see how long it lasts.

A Hair Removal Story

I am a bit cheap and thought about going to a spa, or a hair removal clinic, or whatever to have the leg and chest and arm hair done. I then thought about what I already knew on hair removal from email conversations with others online.
Shaving makes the hairs tougher and does not last long before stubble comes in.
Waxing or epilating makes hairs come in lighter and the hairless state is longer. That was what I wanted. Waxing is best done by a professional, or a girlfriend who has done it before and wants to hear you squeal like a baby.

As I say, I am cheap (and have no girlfriend into SM, yet anyway), so I bought a medium quality epilator and went at it; it being my hands first, then my feet. Time for a little admiration. How wonderful not to feel and look like some sort of ape. The legs came next, right up to *there*. You might be saying to me at this point, Halle didn't that hurt?? You would be right of course, epilating is not for the faint of heart. I suppose this is the indication of just how much I wanted this evidence of male puberty and a long life of testosterone to be gone! No, it did not hurt; there was good pain. Every little snatch felt good. It took me a while to get the hang of the correct angle and pressure. Some skin got irritated in the learning process. The direction you travel across the skin matters. It was really helpful to trim the hairs down to less than a centimetre in length for the little tweezers to do their job.

I was really careful to clean up and wow, there sure was a pile of hair! I found the easy way to do this was to do the work in the bathtub (no water of course; not wanting to end my life, just the life of the fur) with a plug in the drain, then put a screen over the drain and rinse the evidence into the screen, thence to the garbage.

Now, I realize that for so many of you out there, this is old hat and if you got this far, thank you for hanging in. Maybe you are looking for some profound observations at this point. Let's try this.

I like the look and feel of my body better than I can remember.

Four weeks and a couple of easy 'touch-ups" later and I still get a kick out of feeling skin when I touch my hands. Why does it matter so much? It just does.


  1. It makes the world of difference. There is of course the feelings of such simple things like sheets on the bed or even trousers on the legs More than that however is the feeling inside, taking a step that you have always wanted to do. I have shaved on and off since I was 16. It took until 38 till I decided to never let it grow back. I am cheaper still, razer every morning - not sure I can face the pain of an eplilator !


  2. Shaving doesn't actually change the character of the hair. When you think about it, how could it? But what happens is that the stubble that grows out is the thicker part of the follicle -- until that hair falls out and gets replaced by a new follicle.

    You're lucky that you feel only the "good" pain! When I first started using an epilator, it was pretty nasty. But it gets better, because the hair that grows back is finer and weaker (pulling hair out does change the character of the hair).

    I never liked bodily hair. I see no reason that anyone who doesn't like it shouldn't remove it.

  3. I've used waxing cream of the Veet variety which I much prefer, but it is very stinky, so its less often. So most of the time I shave, but as you say, they grow back so quickly that it is a nightmare of a fight. I really want to go to get waxed professionally, but aside from being a wimp, its finding somewhere.

    My back actually is my priority - its not full of thick horrible hair, but there is some - and any at all is not what I want. But you need, so I'm told, someone to apply soothing oil for a few days afterwards and I really think that Mrs A is not going to be up for that.

    But I can cope with a little pain, so I might add an epilator to the shopping list. Is there a variety recommended as best?

    Rhiannon x

  4. Becca, the feel against the sheets is a wonderful reminder and not just the legs my dear, but the hands. I wake up and feel my hands against my face or each other and remember that is how they are supposed to feel. It is very good indeed. Yes, the feeling of having done something for myself is also important.

    Ariel, you are so right in your comment. I wonder that this basic fact of ownership has not occurred to me before. This removal of an offensive body part is life-affirming, not life-altering.

    Rhi, I have not gone after the back hairs yet, perhaps because I do not put my hands there, and don't see that hair either.
    I wondered about the creams, but am prone to rashes, so decided not to even go there.

    The epilator I got is made by Braun. It is called 'Silk épil" and has two speeds and a light built in which is very nice. The salesperson pointed out that this one is a bit more expensive than the same make but a bit cheaper because it has 40 tweezers instead of 20. As to whether it is 'best', perhaps there are some who have used these things long enough to be able to comment?

  5. Why does it matter? It matters because you are doing something important for yourself! Some things take a huge leap of faith and you did just that. It feels good to feel good huh!

  6. Well put, 'a leap of faith'. Thank you Lucy. xox

  7. When I first read this post I had a huge grin on my face. I started epilating well over a year ago and cried the first time all my arm hair was gone by the epilator. Legs followed although I found using the sticky patches easier because you could do more in a shorter time. Now I am on an almost 8 week to 3 months cycle depending on the parts. Like Ariel I hated body hair all of my life.

    But I must say you created a fountain of laughter in my throat. And if nothing else this was worth the story.

  8. I agree: genuinely not superficial. I worried about that in my early blog posts, but I think this is a very important issue and has provided useful insights already!

    Becca and I are good friends and you started a chain of interesting discussion. She, despite her holding back, is interested in the Braun 7681 number. Clearly you and her have been colluding! I think you could take someone's eye out with that!

    I get the 'can't touch, so its not there' world view. But am just that little bit enamoured by the whole backless frock thing. And hair really isn't a great accessory for that!!

    I think its a great line of blog and I'm applauding you. *claps hands vigourously*

  9. Kathryn, you know I like to keep you smiling! :)
    I too have always hated my hair, and have shaved my legs in the past, but this time it feels very different; somehow more permanent or more 'just the right thing to do'. I like the 8 week and up timeline, but discouraging it from growing at all would be even better.

    Rhi, thank you for the encouraging remarks. Becca is her own woman as you know. Happy to be a catalyst for happiness however.
    I am really thinking the back is next however. The backless frock idea has captured my imagination.:)

  10. One small step on to the slippy slope...

    Hairlessness in parts and keeping some hair growing in others is what started me on this path. Initially I told myself it would make me feel better about myself and I would live with that, errrr one thing led on to another.

    Loss of facial hair was my absolute priority and that is pure heaven!

    My Braun has worked for two of us for years and keeps going strong, hope this has not put a curse on it.

  11. The Braun choice is looking good. As you can imagine, it has had a lot of heavy use in the past month and is showing no signs of strain.

    As for the slippery slope, it feels right to do this, and I have been worried too long and it has lead to paralysis by analysis. Besides, Carolyn, I do not want to be rid of the facial hair... yet.

  12. So, if I'm allowed to keep such superficiality ;o) going! The thing that next screams out is, should I purchase such a weapon - and you girls have sold me pretty good on the idea, what is the best technique? Is having 1cm hair obligatory. I hate the thought of growing my hair again to start this work - or can you do it at any stage of growth.

    And there is no way round this question. Does it work on armpits too. There I asked it...

  13. Underarms? Isn't that a voyage on the Sea of Pain?

  14. Definitely moving away from superficial, or are we?? The hair only has to be long enough to be available to the 'tweezer' on the machine. I would say if it is long enough to feel, then it is long enough to be removed.

    I have to agree with Becca on the underarm thing. Having said that, I am not yet concerned about that area, probably for the same reason I haven't done my back.

    Keeping the hair short under the arms has been useful from a hygienic point of view; the hair traps odor. As well, I find deodorant and hair do not go well together, so shortened hair has worked well.

  15. Might as well help the superficiality along!

    I have used a Silk-Épil for a couple of years now. It's the only epilator I've tried, and I like it fine. One hassle, which I imagine is true for any epilator, is that you can't guarantee you're grabbing a hair on first try. Sometimes it just doesn't grab, so you have to go slowly and keep at it. I do it more by feel than by sight. If there's no more pulling on an area, the hairs are gone.

    I have always used it on my underarms. I've figured out a way to stretch the skin and make it flat. It's still not a fun area to do, but it's a small area.

  16. Good on you Halle.
    An underarm wet-shave takes only 5min and is painless and......another thing that does not go well together, for me that is, is scented deodorant and body odor such as sweat.

  17. Ariel, you are certainly right that the machine doesn't always get them first time. 'By feel' is the way it works better, that is, like shaving, feel the direction the hair is growing, then pull 'against the grain'.

    Ellena, to scented deodorant and body odor only one 'word'.EEEEEWWWWW!:)

  18. OK, so not scared. Epilation torture device purchased. Looks scarier in real life rather than on the page. Tonight or tomorrow, just wait and listen for the screams!!

    I'm going in girls...

  19. It is a test Rhi, not torture. These are very different, hmm?


  20. Halle, you have to do what's right for you. Some say it can start with hair removal and then you slide down the slope.

    I disagree.

    I have little body hair, but what I do have bothers me greatly. About a year ago, I began shaving what few hairs I have on my chest and I now feel so much better about myself. I still can't stand to look at myself in the mirror, but you have to do what works for you.

    In your case, you need to find the right road for your journey and you need to start somewhere. I'm glad the hair removal feels right for you.

    Calie xxx