Shaving your pubes can be a dance on the razor blade

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Like most people of my generation I started shaving “down there” just two-ish years after getting anything to shave. And like most people I paid the blood price every now and then for chasing the silly dream of eternally youthful looks. Trimming or shaving your pubes can be a dangerous business, we all know from experience. But there’s also an actual study to support this thesis.

Combing through survey responses from a representative group of 7,456 American adults, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that 76% shave or trim their pubes. Of those, one in four reported injuring themselves at least once in the process.

Minor lacerations were the most common type of injury, accounting for 61% of those reported, followed by burns and rashes. But 1.4% of groomers reported severe enough injuries to require medical attention. That includes antibiotics for infections or surgical interventions, such as stitches and incisions to drain an abscess.

With the data, published in JAMA Dermatology, the researchers hope to draw attention to the hairy problem—and pluck out factors that may contribute to injuries.

Diving down into the data, they examined the specific bits most likely to get nicked during a grooming. Unsurprisingly, people who whittled around their dicks were most likely to injure the scrotum and penis and less likely to injure the perineum, inner thigh, or anus. People with vaginas were most in danger of harming the pubis (the region above the vagina), the inner thigh, and vagina itself. They were less likely to injure the perineum or anus.

Groomers reported using all manners of pruning tools—electric razors, nonelectric razors, wax, scissors, laser hair removal, electrolysis, or “other.” But this didn’t seem to matter much; no one method was linked to a higher risk of injuries. That said, waxing seemed to be linked to a lower risk of repeat injuries. Also inconsequential to injury risk was how hairy a person rated themselves—the hairiest didn’t endure more harm, the researchers found.

What did seem to matter was the frequency and extent of grooming. People across all genders risked more injuries with more grooming sessions—moving from monthly to daily routines—and if they aimed to snip out all the hair down there.

In terms of what increases the chances for a serious gash, researchers found two factors: lying on your back, rather than squatting, standing, or sitting during grooming; and having someone else do the grooming.

Most groomers—94%—reported doing the handiwork themselves. But 8.5% reported having their partner groom them, 3.9% reported professional grooming, and an intriguing 0.5% were “groomed by a friend.”

The researchers note that their study has limitations, including relying on people’s admissions and memory. It’s possible that minor injuries are underreported based on faulty memories while some more severe situations were omitted out of embarrassment.

Still, the authors say, it’s clear that pubic primping is widespread and injuries are common. “Thus, injury-prevention efforts are necessary,” they conclude. They hope that the data helps clinicians tease out patients who are at high risk of injuries and come up with “clinical guidelines or recommendations for safe pubic hair removal.”

Photo by Personwithfetishes

They

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In most cases trans kids know who they are, even at a young age. They don’t tell their families they “want to be” a gender different from their body parts. They say they are that gender, and it is usually their families who have to reframe their understanding of the boy or girl they thought they had.

Even the most certain of kids and the most supportive of families face a challenge as their child approaches adolescence. Do you block puberty with medication to preserve the child’s choices about gender until later?

“They” and “their” are the preferred pronouns for the lead character, known just as J, and played by a trans actor named Rhys Fehrenbacher. J is a young teen who is having an adverse reaction to the puberty blockers and has to decide what to do. J’s parents are away caring for another family member, their return home delayed, and J’s brisk but not uncaring sister Lauren and her Iranian boyfriend, Araz have come to stay with J until their parents return.

Writer/director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh gives the film a lyrical, meditative quality. J’s parents, sister, Araz, and doctor are all understanding and supportive, if distracted. They are all so accepting that no one seems to think J might need to talk about the momentous decisions they are confronting.

We see many moments in nature, as though to locate J’s transitions within the context of the natural world. Lauren and Araz are both preoccupied with their own personal and professional challenges as well. There is also a long, seemingly improvised section that takes place in the home of one of Araz’s relatives, with Lauren and J at a large family party. Throughout, it almost seems as though we are eavesdropping on bits and pieces of the J’s world.

That is not always successful, and some of the choices are heavy-handed. But thankfully, it is not didactic or preachy. J may not know what they want, but Ghazvinizadeh has confidence that they will make the right choice, and trusts us to root for them.

Periodical Political Post *102

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The Bravest Knight

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Hulu’s upcoming cartoon The Bravest Knight will feature gay characters in lead roles. The show is based on the Daniel Errico book of the same name, the animated series focuses on Sir Cedric (voiced by former Grey’s Anatomy actor T.R. Knight), his husband Prince Andrew (Star Trek: Discovery‘s Wilson Cruz) and their adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia.

In the show, Cedric looks back on his humble beginnings as a pumpkin farmer and relays to Nia how he used his ethics, compassion and, of course, dragon-slaying skills to become one of the most respected knights in the kingdom.

Inspired by the exciting adventures her father got up to in his youth, Nia and her trusty troll sidekick Grunt put a plan in motion to make her a knight too.

Set to land on the subscription streaming service in June, The Bravest Knight also features the voices of The Fosters‘ Teri Polo, Donna Murphy, Steven Weber, Wanda Sykes, former Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, The Good Fight‘s Christine Baranski and Drag Race host RuPaul.

Beauty

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“As a transgender woman… when I try to psychoanalyse myself, I find that my desire to look female, to look feminine and to look beautiful are not exactly the same but they’re so woven so tightly that it’s kind of difficult to untangle them… the truth is I don’t just want to look female, I want to be beautiful.”

Watch YouTuber ContraPoints masterfully untangle our society’s obsession with beauty in the video below.