So far these are all from guys. Sure, it would suck to shave your face because it’s right there for everyone to see, but girls do have more area to shave. To start, I’m only speaking about what I know to be true in the (western) United States. If customs are different elsewhere, please write about it because I’d love to learn how they differ.

The age for girls to start shaving is getting younger and younger. It’s pretty ridiculous. Most girls I knew were shaving their legs in 6th grade, but my mom convinced me to wait another year. For the first few years it’s something new, exciting, and different. You feel older and even sexier to have sleek legs. Either every day or every other day you take that razor to your legs.

Some time passes, and it gets old. Shaving takes up precious sleeping time at night or in the morning. Sometimes you’ll cut yourself which can really hurt, bleed, even leave an unsightly scar. The red bumps that can occur from irritation are a pretty addition to your legs as well. If you’ll be wearing pants or a long skirt, why bother? If you shave in a hurry you’re likely to miss a spot or two, which may be worse than just not shaving at all. Soon enough you learn that the less often you shave, the slower the hair grows back after you have.

Whether you have a boyfriend may affect the frequency of your shaving. If your guy doesn’t care, you don’t feel too pressured to very often. If he really likes the smooth feel, you’ll likely want to shave more often. If you’re looking for a guy, you’ll want to look nice and probably shave more often. If you’re single and want to stay that way, you’ll do it when you feel like looking nice for yourself.

Most of the girls that I’m friends with now go a week or two between shaving. We laugh at how lazy we are. Having a boyfriend doesn’t really affect our laziness-they always seem to accept it. Once we actually do shave, we like it a lot. Guess there just isn’t enough motivation to always want to maintain that.

There are varying degrees of how much is shaved. A rising trend has been to shave your arms. That one takes quite a bit of maintenance. Another that needs frequent attention is the bikini line or all of “down there”. I don’t think that I know anyone too lazy to keep their underarms clear of hair. Girls are also expected to keep their eyebrows neat and smaller than they would normally. Plucking hurts. Some girls do their toes and tops of feet. Legs can be done to the knees, just above the knees, half way up your thighs, or the entire leg. Seems that most girls do it pretty far up their thighs. I feel bad for any extraordinarily hairy girls who have to do more than I’ve already mentioned-that just sucks.

It doesn’t seem too fair that a guy can choose to grow a beard or at least leave a chosen section unshaven, but girls would be looked at funny if they let their legs go. Stubble on a guy’s face can even look sexy, but stubble on legs is usually a turn-off. I realize that there are a few brave men out there who shave their legs, arms, etc. I have to wonder if they’re crazy to want to shave more than they have to, but it does hold a certain appeal... and I know I would want to maintain better if my hypothetical guy started having smoother legs than I did.

Now, times may have changed, its has been years since I raced mountain bikes (the kind you pedal, not the noisey, air pollut'n yonkers), but every bike race I went to, I had to shave my legs. Some guys would go full body smooth for the NORBA events. Why you wonder? Well that is a good question. Some say it helps the healing . . .less scars, no ripping of hairs on bandages. . .some say its for aerodynamics, *snicker*. . . the truth is, its looks good. At the amateur level for racing, you compete for sponsors. Power Bar, GT, Power Grip, etc they look at you race record AND how you look. A lean, mean, smooth marketing, whoops I meant, racing machine.

Now I am not talking about scraping some fuzz off my leg, but I am talking about hacking at a full body beard. Have YOU tried shaving the back of YOUR knee? Or how-a-bout the back of your thigh? The warbly knee-cap area? You have a lot of room for error when shaving 360° off the lower part of your body. Its easy shaving what you can see, but thing out of view. . .ouch! To add insult to injury, I would spend the next day heaving up hills, cutting down single tracks, and sweating like a mad man. Ouch ouch ouch ouch, damnit thoz little cuts sting.

Needless to say, it wasn't shaving, but prostrating myself for business that soured me to the sport. Shame on me, I made a job of the hobby I loved.

Pain may be temporary, chicks may dig scars, glory is damn cool, but shaving you legs is a fscking pain.

I remember being young lad of eighteen who dreamt of shaving like all the other college Sophomores. At the time, long sideburns were in, and I could barely manage peach fuzz below the ears. I envied the girls on campus who were often more hirsute than I (one had more hair on her forearms than I have on my legs). I fantasized about the cool froth of shaving cream against my skin. I even considered going to the local witch-woman in hopes of some gris-gris that would stimulate the hair follicles on my face. I lit votive candles and asked St. Wilgefortis (she had no trouble growing a beard) to intercede, but all my efforts brought me nothing...

Until my twentieth year, when inexplicably black hairs began to sprout on my chin. Ecstatic that I might finally be able to grow the goatee and mustache so popular among the bohemian set, I forgot all about my previous desire to shave. That is, until I realized that I still couldn't grow a mustache or goatee, just really unattractive scruff. So, I began to take up shaving, and found out to my surprise that it was thoroughly unpleasant. My weekly ritual invokes almost as much fear in me as a visit to the dentist. In order to keep myself from looking like some sort of scraggly lunatic, I must clumsily slide sharp metal across my skin, inevitably suffering cuts and nicks. Athough each time I lather up, I get flashbacks from The Color Purple with Celie holding a razor to Mr.'s throat, I endure this torture to ensure that my boyish looks are not marred by sparse facial hair in random and unappealing configuarions.

After I've shaved my legs, he likes to run his hands up and down them, smiling all giddy-like. It's an after-bath ritual, and it's ours. I wipe clear a little circle of mirror, twist my hair onto the top of my head, and begin applying lotion to my legs. He comes in, pretending to need to brush his teeth, and asks if he can help. All I can say is, "Please."
It leaves me feeling warm for longer than he knows.

I tell my girl friends that I don't shave while he's gone because yay for jeans! I don't have to shave for myself! but it's a lie. I love having smooth skin. I love rubbing freshly-shaven legs together as I fall asleep; I love hearing the sssh sound my skin makes as one thigh touches another. But more than that I love his hands. It's a ritual, and it's sacred.
I miss him so much.

They talk about travel and trust and they tell you that long-distance relationships are hard, but they don't tell you about the saddest things. They can't tell you because it's yours. They don't tell you that shaving your legs will make you sad because they aren't for him.

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