Men and women don’t often show their naked bodies to complete strangers in public places. In most countries that’s an arrestable offence, unsurprisingly. There is one place however that they do, and on a regular basis. The changing rooms after physically demanding sports.
The communal showers after physical exertion are one of the few places where human beings get to see a range of physical forms that would be otherwise shrouded from their eyes by clothing. Even there of course to stare at someone’s body is not what you’d call acceptable behaviour, but even the occasional glance can be enlightening.
I mention this because something struck me while showering after swimming yesterday. It’s about body hair.
I don’t have a lot of the stuff. Yes I have it in all the right places, armpits, groin, legs (though not so much yet, but increasing by the year and a very little bit on my chest. But that’s not entirely true, because Suze shaves my pubic hair once each week, so I don’t sport anything more that a light covering of pubic hair.
It’s like being prepubescent again, in the hair aspect at least. And without the angst of course. I suspect it’s the same for all boys, we can’t wait to get our first pubic hair. I remember at school actually having a friend ask me (we were in different classes so had never undressed together) if I had pubes. I told him yes, which was true, I did. But only if you looked at the very fair fine hairs from a certain angle, and in a certain light. I wasn’t lying, just not being entirely truthful.
I suppose I must have had a bit of a thing about it. I was the second youngest in the year and one of the latest to begin to show signs of puberty. It didn’t really bother me, but I was conscious of the late-onset of the hormonally driven metamorphosis that would drag me out of childhood and into the adult world.
How odd that a few short years later and I’m now shaving off those long wished for hairs because I prefer it without them.