As a part of No Sugar No Cream's #EnjoyYourVagina series, sisters, Vanessa and Veronica Wells, talk about the benefits of and their love for pubic hair, going commando and sauteeing in your essence. Listen to the conversation in the Soundcloud link above or read below. Veronica's words are in bold, Vanessa's are in regular type.
So do you remember when you first started growing pubic hair? Do you remember when it first came in?
No I don’t. Yeah, I don’t remember at all. I guess, around the same time that my armpit hair started growing so...shoot, I don’t know. 11, 12, shortly after my period.
When it came, what did you think about it?
I was expecting it to come and I’d seen mom’s pubic hair so it wasn’t anything that was surprising like ‘Oh my God, it’s here.’ I was waiting for it. I wasn’t scared or didn’t think ‘Oh this is nasty.’ I was just like ‘Oh, here it is.’
I don’t think I even noticed mine until I started wondering if I should shave it or not. You know that it’s there but it’s so natural and normal that you don’t think like...it’s not something to be removed, it’s just there.
Do you remember when you thought this is a nuisance or something I need to get rid of?
Umph. It probably wasn’t my own thought about wanting to get rid of it. Ok, so it’s either two things. It’s either it became just a lot when I was on my period, like a lot of moisture and too much down there when I was on my period or maybe people talking about shaving...which I don’t think...I don’t know. It must have been because of my period because I can’t think of another reason why it would have. It must have been during my period and I was like, ‘It’s just a lot going on.’ The pad. You know I only wear pads, well majority pads. And so that extra moisture and then it just felt really heavy down there with my pubic hair. And my pubic hair is really dense so it just felt like a lot.
So I didn’t really shave all of it, I would just trim it a lot.
I remember you coming out and being like, ‘Look I cut my pubic hair into a triangle, look I cut my pubic hair into a square!’
Yup! I would do a landing strip and I would do triangles…
How did you hear about a landing strip?!
Oh. The internet. The computer. People. I take great joy in being able to do that myself and making it look really pretty, to me. Like making it look like a triangle or looking like the landing strip. Like when I saw Amber Rose’s picture I was like ‘That is beautiful work.’
Gurl, let me tell you when I thought pubic hair was a problem and this was late.
Remember when Sex and the City came out and Miranda had that bikini on and her red hair was sticking out. And I remember sitting there thinking to myself, ‘Oh, is that a problem?’
You don’t care now.
You know I don’t...I probably only care for maybe two months.
I make sure I get that. I don’t want my pubic hair peeking out of my bathing suit. [Laughs]
And I’m always on the beach like [spreads legs] ‘You see it?’ I mean it’s not a good look if you’re doing a photoshoot but I feel like if I’m just swimming--
Right...Playing in the water--and no one’s really looking at me, I don’t care.
But there have also been times when you shaved everything off.
Yes and that was just to see what it was like. Because I have a preference and my preference is pubic hair as opposed to completely bare and we’ll get to that in a minute why. But I like the look of it and when I did it bare it was just to see... Again, I take great pride in doing things myself, my nails, my hair when I want to, my toenails, being able to do things on my own. So I’m like people are paying money to get waxed, to get themselves clean. I can do that myself. Like spreading my legs over the bathtub, lifting butt cheeks so I can get the hair. I can do everything these people are paying all this money to get a Brazilian wax. And they’re lifting their butt cheeks and having their anus in people’s faces and I can do it myself. I find joy in being able to do things that people pay for.
So I was like ‘Well people talking about getting a Brazilian wax and they love it and it’s clean and smooth.’ I don’t really like it because it’s like a baby to me and I’m not a baby. And I know you’re going to ask me why I like it so much. But being that naked I feel like it looks like a baby vagina. And you know, being at the daycare [our mom owns a daycare] and seeing a lot of baby vaginas, it’s like that looks like a baby, just bigger.
And it’s something unsettling about that.
And that’s when I find it weird men who have preferences about that. I’m like… “Umm…”
I mean, I guess that if they’re down there and it’s not hairy but… I don’t understand.
But my thing is, if you down there, peel it. [Spreads index and middle finger.]
They don’t do the maintenance.
Open it up. You not supposed to eat the hair.
Sings in Teddy Pendergrass voice, “Open it up, open it up!”
So tell me why you like.
I love my pubic hair. And you know I’m a part of the commando gang. Don’t wear underwear. And that’s probably been for about...I’m trying to think about how long I’ve been doing that now. Maybe two years consistently.
Now what made you decide to stop wearing underwear?
I remember the first time that I didn’t wear underwear. It was senior prom.
OOo you taking it way back.
Junior prom? Senior prom, blue dress.
But did you wear underwear for junior prom because that was a low back?
No I wore a thong. Which I HATE thongs.
Yeah I don’t even mess with thongs.
I hate them. It always ends up in my vagina so I hate them. Alright, so anyway, the first time I went underwearless was senior year and my dress was just very tight so I tried on a thong at first and you could see it. And mom was like, ‘Why don’t you just not wear anything?’ And I was like [makes shocked gasping noise]. And she was like, ‘What? Just don’t wear anything.’
And I was like ‘But what about secretions and…’ And she was like, ‘Gurl, you gon be fine.’ And sure enough, I was fine. And I felt so free. It just felt so nice to not have to worry about that.
But then you know I went back to wearing underwear, underwear, underwear. And then I was starting to read things-- remember that one time dad sent us a text about shaving and waxing? Do you remember he sent us a text about how we shouldn’t do that because it’s not really good for you?
He sent that to you and I.
I mean that doesn’t surprise me, at all, about dad but I don’t remember.
And after I read that, it linked to something else. I never slept with underwear on
Yeah we were definitely raised not to do that.
And reading the benefits of not sleeping with underwear on and the circulation and letting your vagina breathe. And I’m like, ‘If it’s so good for you to do eight hours of the day, then why am I not doing this all day long, everyday. And I’m like, ‘I’m just going to start doing that.’
And first I started off like, ‘Ok well, I’ll do it with jeans because that holds everything in and see to make sure I’m not leaking or any secretions or not too sweaty or whatever.’ And nothing happened. Then I was like, ‘Well, I’ll try shorts.’ And nothing happened. I didn’t leak out. Then I’ll try a dress. And nothing happened. So that was the catalyst to make me go underwearless.
But the reason why I love my pubic hair so much one, is because I like the texture of it. It’s unlike any--it’s not like the hair on my head or my armpit hair. First of all, it’s very black, it looks nice. Then it lays down, like it’s a perm.
[Laughs] It does!
And secondly, I love the way that it makes my vagina smell. First of all, I like the moisture that it gives me throughout the day. I like the way that it feels in between my thighs. And then, the smell smells like...I don’t know. I guess, vagina but it just smells good to me. Like, sometimes I’ll come home and touch my hand on my thigh and I’m like sniff sniff ‘That smells good.’ I love the smell. And I also read, when I was reading about people who don’t wear underwear, I read something about men being able to smell those pheromones.
You know we’re in Harlem and people just talk to you a whole bunch anyway and they just are attracted to women in general but I’m wondering--I wish I had done a study about the attention that I got when I was wearing underwear versus the attention that I get now that I don’t. Because I feel like there’s really something to that. It’s really like an essence, like they really smell something. Like the animalistic thing about it.
But besides what they feel, I like the smell myself so it’s for me. And I very much like the moisture. I remember I was talking to Jodi about that--and I don’t know if she does it all the time-- but we were talking about just literally sautéeing in your essence. It is just everything. It’s you and you’re just being in that. And I just love that.
The only thing I don’t like about not wearing underwear is that sometimes when you spot, it gets on your clothes.
But that’s what I love and if I didn’t have the pubic hair it wouldn’t smell that way. It wouldn’t smell the same and I don’t think it would capture it so I would be able to smell it the same. I know that that’s a fact because it’s something I also read and that’s just how hair works.
And it’s supposed to be there.
Your underwear would catch it. You would smell it in your underwear.
Exactly. But instead, I’m able to be free and just stick my hand there.
And also I like my pubic hair because I like to twist it. I like to two strand twist with it. I just like it very much. It’s comforting.
Gurl, let me tell you something. I even read that some woman said, I don’t know if it was a woman specifically but they say that you can pull your pubic hair for an orgasm.
Listen. I pull my pubic hair all the time. And it doesn’t feel sexual good but it’s like a ...I can see how that would be a thing. It feels really nice. And I do that all the time. I don’t sleep with clothes on like I said and so if ever I’m just in bed I’m like [hums] like doing a puppeter show with my pubic hair.
Yeah because it pulls the whole lip.
Yeah, it’s the labia.
I love to do that.
It’s just, I love my pubic hair, it’s great. Right now, I’m letting it grow out enough... You can see. I want it grow up more here, so I can have it be more hairy at the top. So it’s growing back now and I just love everything about it.
But you know what, something else… Ugh. I don’t want to give this person any extra shine.
Don’t call the name.
Ok, but this is the person that lived in D.C.
And so, we were making out one time and he told me that he could smell me and that he liked the smell.
Stop! No you ain’t never told me that.
And I was like ‘Well, what does it smell like?’ And he was like, ‘I don’t know, like sex.’
Hmmmm. That’s so interesting because I never smell you. I mean, we’re always naked in the house and you don’t have any underwear on now.
And I had on underwear and shorts.
Oh. Powerful stuff.
I mean, there’s probably other stuff going on too. I mean, I’m not aroused when we’re just sitting on the couch.
That probably helped. And I know that my pubic hair carried that waft of aroma to his nose.
Yeah because hair holds scent. And that’s the thing people are like, ‘Oh, let me shave my pubic hair because I don’t want the smell to, whatever. But vagina smells like vagina. And I think if--
My Marsha’s vagina. (A reference from a movie called In Her Shoes.)
--you’re clean and healthy, it’s a smell that you shouldn’t be ashamed of, one. And also, having your pubic hair and getting in touch with the smell, lets you know when you’re not healthy.
That’s right and when you need to get some stuff checked out. 100 percent. And I can tell that part too. Like, when I get the little yeasty beasties. And my pubic hair helps me tell that.
Ode to the pubic hair!
The body and what it grows, it’s just so fascinating. I’m like, ‘I grew that.’ And it does so much. Because when you think about like, when you have hair, it’s like a protectant. The hair on your head is to protect your scalp. The hair on your armpits, I’m not really sure. But your eyelashes are to protect things from getting in your eyes. And your vagina is so, I mean, anything can get in it. And the pubic hair acts as a protectant. And we’re not out here but when people weren’t wearing clothes, they needed that. And so, there’s a reason for it to be there. Not to knock anyone who likes the Brazilian but my thing is, if you’re doing it. Do it for yourself and not because you think it’s what some man likes.