This week, sex with a new partner is on the cards for High50's dating columnist, Louisa Whitehead-Payne. But the thought of being seen naked raises a hairy dilemma about grooming her pubic area.
My dog-walking first date with the Muddy Farmer, he of the cornflower blue eyes, has turned into six dates. He's a slow starter on the sex front ... not even a kiss yet. But, nonetheless, we like each other and I'd go there if he asked. So I figure I need to be fully prepped in the nether regions.
But what to do on the depilation front? The last time I was naked in front of a new man was decades ago. I am, in fact, sporting the full Gwyneth.
When Leonardo says in The Wolf of Wall Street that these days women have "no hair below the eyebrows" I feel a mild sense of panic. What the hell do men expect now? A light haircut? Eagle-bald? Vajazzles?
I call my best pal, Angela, with whom I share every twist and turn of my dating life.
"Ange..." I ask, "what do I do with my minge?"
"Strip the lot off," comes the crisp and definitive reply. "Nothing worse than a hoary fanny."
Grey Pubic Hair: Should It Stay Or Should It Go?
Well, that's that then. A touch of silver is clearly a no-no on the nou-nou. But I have my doubts. I am not so sure what 55-year-old farmers expect. He might find no hair at all offputtingly porny. What on earth is normal? The media is so sexualized that the bare-bottomed look could be the stuff of porn-driven fantasies for all I know.
On the horns of the hoary dilemma, I share the problem with a gay pal, who identifies immediately with the situation. He had the self-same dilemma when he finished with his partner of 15 years about five years ago. A friend even drew pictures of pubic topiary options for him on a table napkin at The Wolseley.
But it was clearly a major issue for him and, I suspect, for many of us who settled down in the eighties and have re-emerged in the over-groomed teenies. The only thing you had to worry about then was keeping your pubes in your bikini. None the wiser, I decide to investigate further.
Radical Waxing Solutions
Unfortunately, Google serves up nothing but porn videos and local beauty salons, who I rather feel have a vested interest in the more radical waxing solutions.
Then I remember another pal who is a police officer and strip searches loads of women. A real-life research sample. OK, a low-life sample, but the best I can think of.
"Jen, what should I do on the pubic topiary front?" I ask. "Keep it neat! Whatever you do, don't wax the lot. Everything droops as you age and the ones I've seen look vile."
I am now in the depths of depilatory despair. With hair, it's grey and grisly. Without, it's droopy and depressing. Perhaps I won't sleep with the Muddy Farmer after all.
I decide to get a grip. A little neatly cropped pepper and salt seems the lesser of two evils compared to him running screaming from the room at the sight of my bald, drooping, aged fanny.
Men And Grey Pubic Hair
And so to the waxer. Normal bikini line, please, thank you very much! I ask her about her male customers. There are hundreds of guys in their 50s having the lot stripped off to eliminate the aging appearance of grey hairs and to make themselves look bigger. Now I not only have to worry about my own nether regions but also what I might find in my farmer's trousers.
If only L'Oreal knew the insecurities that lie below our belts. A whole range of products could eliminate the six signs of genital aging. Visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A big plus on hairless testicles, I would have thought.
All I have to do is wait for the Muddy Farmer to make a move. Even if it all looks pretty and meets expectations, I pray that it is still in working order. It's been a while. Five years. And that is an even scarier thought...
As I later discover, you can do what you like down below. The truth is, the man will be so terrified about his own performance, and delighted to be sleeping with anyone at all, that he probably won't even notice. Do with it whatever makes you feel sexy. Because if you feel sexy, you probably will be.
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