Late last night, I was zapping through the television channels, and came across — stumbled upon, that is — one showing an “adult” film from the seventies or eighties. Not pure porn, in that there were long sections of actual narrative with people wearing clothes: just an unpretentious, low-budget movie with lots of sex scenes.
I suppose there must have been a market for that sort of thing back then. Late night screenings in college towns in America, perhaps, before the days when teenagers got access to the Internet and all the free porn they could possibly consume. There’s probably a Channel 4 documentary about the whole history with plenty of essential and entirely non-gratuitous clips of the action.
I watched a bit of the film, more out of curiousity than any desire for titillation, and I noticed one thing. In those days, women had pubic hair. Lots, quite often, and not necessarily the same colour as their coiffure. Any naked women I’ve seen more recently (which is not enough, incidentally) have been quite bald. Obviously, it’s hard to be sure without an exhaustive randomised sample, but that seems to be the norm today.
(Can I mention razor rash here, ladies? Not attractive. If you shave, and I’ve been saving my tender skin from my teenage years, although only from the neck upwards, you must apply something antiseptic to stop little pinpoint infections. I remember one Monday morning, after a particularly hectic and unshaven weekend that I had to shave to look respectable for work, and realised that I’d forgotten to buy new after-shave lotion. But then I remembered that there was some gin in the drinks cupboard: antiseptic and lightly scented with juniper berries. Well, as a temporary fix, it was better than drinking the foul stuff.)
So bareness seems to be a fashion, although how a fashion can develop about something that isn’t usually visible in public is unclear to me. Maybe women discuss these things, I don’t know. Maybe there’s page after page in the glossy magazines.
Well, I suppose at this point I should come out and give an opinion, but to tell the truth, I’m not sure where my judgement would lie. I’d like to think that I’d be open-minded if the issue came up. I have a vague fear that the hairless look is a nod in the direction of our society’s unhealthy sexualisation of youthfulness. Or obsession with artificial hygene. There, I’ve come to a conclusion. Go natural.