in praise of femmes: hair & shaving

August 28, 2008  |  essays

Thanks, all, for your thoughtful responses and life stories about butch hair in the last post.

Here’s a few of my thoughts about femmes and femininity and hair, and then I’ll ask some questions and open it up to whatever you’d like to say about the subject.

I want to distinguish here between options and personal preference – I talk a lot on this site – especially in terms of femmes and femme identity – about what I like, and I want to make it clear that those are usually my personal preferences, and I’m not trying to say that I think that’s what all femmes should be or that femmes who are not like that are not valid or are not “real” femmes or any of that crap. I hope that’s not how it comes across.

So, let me first say this, about my basic philosophies on hair: hair is a personal choice. It is also a major marker on the physical body used to distinguish gender differentiation in contemporary culture. Short hair on men, long hair on women; shaved legs and underarms on women, hairy men. This of course was not always the case; it used to be seen as very masculine for men to grow their hair long. Hair presentation, length, and social conformity are based largely on culture.

In my (unofficial, limited) cultural observation in the recent years, these differences are just getting more pronounced, although with the inclusion of gay male culture in mainstream men’s fashion, the rise of beauty products for men, the addition of “manscaping” and the metrosexualizing of fashion and beauty, beauty standards for men and masculinity are on the rise. It is not unusual for hetero/cis-women to expect their hetero/cis-men to keep their chest hair under control, to get eyebrow waxes, to keep their hair groomed.

But just because the beauty standards for men are raising doesn’t mean it’s okay for us to keep unobtainable beauty standards for women – or for anyone, for that matter. Honestly I believe we’ve got to turn the beauty culture inside out on our own personal journeys into our own gender identities, whatever flavor they may be, whatever area of the gender galaxy, to really examine what the culture dictates and unlearn the compulsory standards that can be exhausting, unobtainable, and even harmful to our bodies.

What the body does is natural, normal, acceptible, sexy – where hair grows, the stretchmarks, the veins that show through the skin, the moles and freckles, the thickness of the muscles or the tendons or the thigh or the waist or the hair. All these things are beautiful, and real.

And, in my humble opinion, are also turn-ons: the celebration of the beauty of the human body.

If you’ve never explored the potential damage and compulsory standards of beauty culture, take a look at:

So: once we start undoing society’s standards, and treating every possible option as valid and valuable for different reasons in order to make a true choice, we can start exploring what it is that we personally prefer. What turns us on, how our bodies feel the most sexy, what the soft animal of our body loves.

My initial thoughts about femme hair always go to the hair on your head, and the ways it’s worn. Being that I am very attracted to femininity, I do like long hair generally, though I know plenty of femmes who totally rock the chin-length cuts or the boycuts, I’ve even known a few with shaved heads.

I wrote once upon a time about how much I love it when femmes wear their hair up, and specifically the idea that “a woman’s hair is for her husband.” I wrote, “I know there are deep problems with this idea of a husband owning a wife’s hair, but I love the idea of it being so sexual, such a turn on, when a femme lets her hair down, that it’s private, saved for me and me alone.” And that’s just it exactly.

About body hair on femmes … honestly, my personal preference is basically bare. Very little hair, everywhere. I find shaving sexy, I find the rituals of beauty sexy (when they are done with intention and sexual connotations especially). I like to shave my lover’s legs, actually. That’s a scene I haven’t played out in a long time, but I find that intensely erotic.

I do have some guilt about liking the reproduction of traditional femininity. I know I could write pages about how it’s not compulsory, it’s resistance, celebratory, and intentional, but still sometimes I wonder if what my block is that I wouldn’t find hair particularly attractive. But I suppose I can attempt to justify this by saying that I absolutely think it should be culturally acceptible – I hate that it’s dictated as necessary by the beauty rules – but that my personal preference is skin, skin, skin. Is that because of the dominant cultural beauty rules? Yeah, probably. I can’t escape it, I was raised in it, I live in it every day. But I recognize that it exists, what it means, how it operates, and I fully support people who reject that rule and who prefer to have their hair wild and free, or trimmed and neat, or completely bare. All options should be valid.

So, now you:

I know you’ve already got a ton of things to say about femme body hair, but here’s some questions to get started:

If you’re in the transfeminine area of the gender galaxy:

  • Do you shave, wax, pluck, shape? Underarms, legs, thighs, stomach, chin? Why or why not?
  • What was your process in coming to do the hair sculpting and
  • How do you make choices about your hair? Based on sexual preferences? Cultural standards?What your lovers like?
  • How do you keep your pubes? Trimmed, waxed, shaved, au naturale?
  • What comes to mind when you see women who don’t shave?
  • Do you sexualize shaving or body hair removal?

If you are someone who tends to date transfeminine folks:

  • Do you have personal preferences when it comes to hair on the femmes you date?
  • Do you sexualize shaving or body hair removal?
  • Do you prefer hair on her head worn a certain way? Do you tend to be attracted to very specific hair cuts, styles, colors?

I’m also very curious about folks who live outside of the US – clearly my perspectives are very US-centric, and I’m not really sure what gets culturally dictated or compulsorily reproduced in other places. I have impressions, but being an outsider to culture in other places, I won’t presume to speak on it.

Please do elaborate however you’d like. And thank you, for reading and for your comments, I really like that we’re conversing here more and more, getting input from all kinds of people who live in all kinds of ways.

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37 Comments


  1. Read also Body Outlaws and Adios Barbie, both by Ophira Edut. And I do shave legs, underarms, and manicure the pubic area in addition to wearing my hair up in a french twist, half because I am a librarian and half because I think it is sexy, like you said, to let down your hair for the girl who deserves it.

    [I think Body Outlaws is the 2nd edition title of Adios Barbie? If I remember right, Mattel actually sued Seal Press over their use of the word "Barbie" and they had to retitle the book. I love the french twist - the librarian is such an added bonus! Hope you've got some fabulous glasses & pencil skirts too. - ss]

  2. Since the Ariel Levy is flowing these days, on your blog and mine, I am reminded of this article of hers from 2004 — which was the first time I saw the term "boi" in print.

    http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_9709/

  3. Hair: normally keep it long and wavy, but have recently cut it into a Rhianna/Victoria Beckham bob. Shave the underarms/legs/and wax the eyebrows. As far as the pubic area is concerned…I shave it. (still haven't gotten the guts to go get it waxed…too many horror stories…but maybe one day…)

  4. * Do you shave, wax, pluck, shape? Underarms, legs, thighs, stomach, chin? Why or why not? I shave those parts when/if I feel like it. Or if my skin is having one of those itchy cranky days.

    * What was your process in coming to do the hair sculpting and

    * How do you make choices about your hair? Based on sexual preferences? Cultural standards?What your lovers like? None of thee above. If I feel like removing hair I do, if I don't I don't.

    * How do you keep your pubes? Trimmed, waxed, shaved, au naturale? As above it really depends on my mood at any given time. Currently I am au naturale pubes, with a bald spot I've had since puberty.

    * What comes to mind when you see women who don’t shave? OH FUZZY. (Yes literally. If I'm not watching myself I might say it out loud in a fairly gleeful way.)

    * Do you sexualize shaving or body hair removal? Nope.

    I have dated femmes on occasion.

    * Do you have personal preferences when it comes to hair on the femmes you date? Nope.

    * Do you sexualize shaving or body hair removal? Nope.

    * Do you prefer hair on her head worn a certain way? Do you tend to be attracted to very specific hair cuts, styles, colors? If she's working it and excited about it, I'm working it and excited about.

  5. for me, these decisions are a compromise between what I find sexy for myself, what my partner finds sexy, and what's practical–since much of this body maintenance type stuff can be very time consuming. while I'd like to eroticize the removal of hair, the texture and sensuality of shaving and waxing, I find that it ends up being one more thing I have to take care of and my days are already so full…

    my hair is long and I usually wear it up because it is very thick/curly and that's how it's most easily managed. but I'm thinking about getting a much shorter cut sometime soon, because I feel like I'm changing as a person, and the winters where I live are long and cold and shorter hair is easier to dry.

    I shave my legs, except in the colder months since I wear tights and knee-socks and nobody sees them then. except sometimes I shave then too because I like the way nylons feel when I've just shaved.

    as for the pubes, I used to wax but don't any longer. I think my partner might prefer if I did, but I just don't prioritize it enough to put the time and effort into it. plus I like the texture and color of my pubic hair and find it kind of sexy, so I just trim it fairly short.

    I figure that any 'femme points' I might lose by not shaving various things I can make up for by having lots of cute cocktail dresses and a few nice pairs of kitten heels:)

  6. The idea of losing "femme points" die to a decision to ONLY trim one's pubic hair, even though a partner would prefer a waxing really bothers me. Why is this considered less femme?

    I'm bored with these types of expectations. And they are precisely what keeps me from being able to identify with the femme label – this kind of reversion to stereotype.

    Honey, you can switch to jeans, tshirts and give up heels forever without losing any "femme points". Femme is in your heart and brain, not on your lips or off your bikini line.

  7. I have too much hair, and I'm going anonymous in this comment because it's such a troubled and traumatic issue for me. I don't have PCOS, I think it's just plain genetic; my mom, dad and all my sisters are extra hairy too. In fact my mom spent a lot of time shaming us all about it as we grew up, and I'm certainly not over it yet.

    Hair: face, chest, nipples, arms, stomach, ass, legs, feet, toes. Everywhere.

    Shaving=pain, blood, nasty ingrown hairs, stubble after 12 hours. Waxing=too expensive to have a professional do it, hair too thick for it to work at home. Plucking=more nasty infected ingrown hairs, plus spots from skin irritation, though I do it anyway. Trichotillomania doesn't even begin to describe me!

    What's a femme to do? I have often wished I were butch, so my hair would be more in keeping with my gender. Sometimes I get so mad, like 'what the hell is wrong with me that I care what other people think???' and sometimes I see how other hairy women are stared at and I realize I'm still invested in my own image enough to try to pretend I don't have that much hair.

    I often wonder if anyone would ever find me attractive if they knew. I'm happily partnered with a woman who doesn't mind, so it hasn't come up. But I have rehearsed over and over in my mind the moment when I'd have to reveal it to a new sexual partner. I think if we were to break up, I would have to take a year to be single and pay a lot for electrolysis.

    Because we can talk all we want about overturning the patriarchy, but ultimately even most butches shave their legs (or wear pants). And so that means on some level that they think that's the appropriate way to exist in the world. And so if I want to be with one of them, I'd have to shave too. I'd like to believe that I could expand someone's horizons and open their mind, but there is so much baggage around this issue that even if someone were supportive of my choice, it doesn't mean they'd want to sleep with me. (truly though, their loss…)

    There's something really devastating about realizing that you're not in the club of cute sexy girls, and even if you look like one on the surface, underneath the clothes you're really not.

    I use a combination of methods to minimize hair showing, depending on the body part. I wear clothes that cover my midriff, and I don't go swimming. And I wonder sometimes what it would feel like to lift my arms over my head in public and not feel anxious about the hair on my belly showing. I wonder what it might be like to go into a communal dressing room, or locker room, since I simply don't, ever. I wonder what it would be like to believe that someone besides my partner would think I'm beautiful naked.

    I wonder.

    • Oh how I wish I’d caught this post to tell you, Miss Anon Hairy Femme. how lucky you are.

      I too was a femme with hair everywhere. I had a bush that was astounding. It exploded from my underpants, I wore bathing suits with shorts to hide it, yet it would find its way out anyway. I love hair, perhaps because my first view of sexuality was watching the monkeys at the Lincoln Park Zoo with my granny. when I was a tiny child. They were so hot, so sexy. I’ve been energized and fascinated by hair ever since.

      I like to groom my subs just like the monkeys do. I call my boys ass monkeys and my girls
      fuzzy toys. They balk when I tell them they must grow their hair, but they’ve all obeyed of course.

      When you grow old, you hair will thin, fall away. I could never see my own pubes, now I can and watch everything droop with horror. I am famous for talking about “lettuce” .. how the labia can fall outside and droop> it’s so sad and depressing to me. All my sexual energy was in my hair.

      When I cut my hair at 40, I couldn’t dance. I didn’t realize all my “moves” were related to swishing my long hair around. If I wanted to communicate with a lover or someone I wished to dominate or attract.. I swished the hair, I never said a word. My hair did all the talking.

      I would climb on the lover and smother them with the hair, like silk, I’d say to them isn’t it lovely to die like this-smothered in silk? They’d wiggle and protest, they’d get excited, they’d moan.

      Mine’s gone like leaves that fell from the tree in Autumn. Use yours! Carry on for me as a personal favor? Be the Hair Queen I once was? Exult, proclaim. Ravish with your Hair.
      You are BEAUTIFUL!

  8. i think hair certainly complicated my tomboy-puberty. which, in turn, has complicated my femme hair and shaving.

    my long hair was my first feminine feature, and is one of my very favoritest parts. it usually stays up because it's thick, curly and unruly, and the weather is shitty hot here, but it totally makes me feel sexy when it's loose. also, my girl washes my hair for me pretty often; it makes me feel like a princess. the best is when she braids it after, and wraps the braid around her hand, and, well…

    otherwise, i shave my underarms, but that's about it. i'm not sure exactly how that came about, but i can't imagine wearing a tank without doing so.

    i was terribly self-conscious about my leg hair when i (rather suddenly) realized as a teenager that i was the only girl left who didn't shave. but i also didn't see the point. it seemed complicated and time consuming, and the lure of being feminine (or sexy) was totally lost on me at the time. it only came up when swimming – at that point i wore long pants year-round so as to pretend i didn't have body parts. but, somehow, while i was totally okay with people being surprised/disappointed/impressed that i didn't wear makeup or girl clothes, etc., there was something a little bit mortifying about having my leg hair pointed out.

    fast-forward to when i did start caring about looking nice, being sexy, being feminine (about in that order), i was already in college, it seemed kind of "too late." like, it was maybe still unusual, but we were all way past stuff like that being a stigma (or maybe i just didn't socialize with folks who thought that way), so why start now?

    now, mostly i don't notice (once i realized that, mostly, no one else notices). and some days i'm still self-conscious about it. and sometimes it's funny. but the best thing is, actually, when it's pointed out. because now it always seems to be in the "oh, please, if brett can not shave and wear skirts and be cute, you need to quit being self-conscious about xyz thing no one else cares about," which is cute and i like being used to help people feel good about their bodies.

    i've never dated anyone – male or female – who cared at all. there are things i'd change (and others i'd have to give more thought to) if my lover preferred, but it's never come up.

  9. I have been working on a post for my blog about beauty, femininity and feminism, so what I'm about to say draws a bit from that my thinking in that piece (stay tuned for that).

    I recognize that, as a butch, your relationship to these questions is different than my own. Nevertheless, I think the structure and content of your post reflects how many of us (femmes, butches, and other sex-positive queers schooled in gender studies) are accustomed to thinking about these questions; in short, we tend to separate politics and pleasure.

    There's the prefatory feminist critique of compulsory beauty standards for women, and then, once that's acknowledged, we say–some of us guiltily, others without guilt–but I like it anyway!

    So here's my point. There's a long, long history of the feminist mistrust of beauty, which I as a femme would like to interrogate. I like to try to separate the beauty industry and anti-feminist beauty standards from *the pursuit of beauty and femininity*, which–in my view– feminism should elevate. See where I'm going with this?

    And, as for what my own Delta of Venus looks like, sorry, handsome, you'll just have to use your imagination!

  10. I have a particularly loathing for the institution of shaving, mostly because my skin is quite sensitive and I never avoid razor burn, no matter what I do. I shave my underarms, but everything south often goes untended (I put effort into shaving when I feel flirty or particularly femme and want wear a dress). I tend to feel naked and exposed when I do shave, so I prefer having a bit of a barrier between my skin and the world. I do shave my chin because it is a constant annoyance if I don't. Most of my shaving is done with men's razors.

    I generally make choices about my hair based on how I feel comfortable. My lovers have never complained about my natural state and I'm not sure what I'd do if they did, honestly. I suppose it would depend. I like to keep my hair long because I feel the most beautiful that way, and I love when people play with it (I'm a compulsive hair twirler).

  11. Okay, a proper response from this femme now (I just couldn’t resist the Levy link earlier).

    This hair discussion keeps leading me to thoughts about my relationship with the hair on my head. Thick, curly, and blonde. When someone has met me and doesn’t remember my name, they refer to me as the “curly, blonde one.” Right now my hair is long, hanging several inches down my back below my shoulders. It hangs out at this length most often, but I will, roughly every three years or so, cut it into a bob. The bob makes me feel sexy and cheeky, like a soft-bobbed flapper in 1922 who happened to leave her cloche hat at home. I like having hair cut into a style that was once so defiant, so tied to the suffrage movement, so symbolic of women’s rebellions against the structure and strangle of Victorian sex roles.

    I also like that the bob gives my Sweet easy access to the back of my neck — for instance at a bar when I’m turned the other way, and she approaches me from behind and draws her fingers across my neck in greeting (and inviting). Mmm.

    Mostly, though, my hair is long like it is as I type. Now that I think about it, long hair is such a part of what I do in bed, who I am in bed that I’m not happy, long term, without it. And yes, she does ask for it back when it’s gone.

    Curly hair can be unruly, so I mostly wear it up, particularly at work. I’m younger and blonder and, um, more female than most folks I work with, so I feel more comfortable reigning in my femininity a bit at the office. (That said, my suits have skirts and there are pearls and silk blouses and high heels a-plenty.) When it’s down I feel a bit naughty – like I am wearing my bed hair around town. Naughty is nice.

    This is probably a common refrain, but I did cut my hair really short, in college. I’d like to say it was a rite of passage related to my coming out, but it was actually a poorly conceived attempt to announce my gayness so that chicks would date me. (Could that episode ever be the subject of a lengthy post.) It was preposterous, and I quickly began re-growing it. To this day, when I see pictures of myself shorn, I cringe.

    As for the other parts, eyebrows are waxed and plucked in between waxes. My upper lip is waxed occasionally along with the eyebrows, but there is really no hair to speak of there, and what there is quite light in color. I avoid it a bit because, candidly, lip waxing hurts like hell, even without much hair.

    My legs are shaved, almost always daily, because although I love the feeling of freshly waxed legs, I can’t stand that period where you have to grow the hair out between waxes. I did grow it out once, for the Big Love Who Breaks Your Heart, because she thought I was entirely too conventional. It fascinated me to have hair on my legs, but ultimately, I knew that I was performing for her. (I would perform for her in many other ways, too. So doomed, that relationship was.)

  12. I prefer darker hair (black/brown/red) ona femme. Always have. I am also drawn to femmes with long hair. Short hair can be sexy, but in bed, my wife's long dark curls are definitely a turn on.

    As far as body hair goes, it's got to be all or nothing for me. I hate the stubble phase so either smooth or let it be long and soft.

    I can admit to feeling really special when shaving is a part of her plan to seduce me ;)

    As for the lady parts, I prefer hair hands down. Trimming is good and fine, but I like it the way it comes.

  13. It is being political for a fattie to exude sexuality. it's why I wear my hair down, daily, though I haven't always. I rarely cut the hair on my head (maybe once a year I'll have it trimmed), and prefer to let it grow long and wild. The longer my hair gets, the curlier it gets, and I LOVE seeing it cascade in spirals down my back. Right now it's at probably the longest point ever, hitting just above the small of my back at the longest point, when dry. If I pull on that longest piece to uncurl it, it reaches the top of my panties. My hair is absolutely the root of my sexuality, and probably also my personality. I do wear it up sometimes in the summer, but not for a partner. There's just too much hair to wear it down when it's hot outside!

    I shaved my legs and arms between the ages of 13-15. When I was 15, I realized that the hair on my legs still grew back soft, blonde, sparse, and pretty much invisible, so I decided that shaving was kind of pointless (especially since, at the time, it irritated my skin.) It was 13 years before I started shaving my legs again, and in fact…if I went back and checked my chat logs, Sinclair, it was a conversation I was having with you that convinced me to do it! I was suddenly feeling like I wanted to, but was having a feminist crisis about "omg, what does this mean?!" and you were like, "Dude, if you want to shave your legs, go shave your legs. Empower thyself in whatever way you see fit." Now, I love having shaved legs. It's awfully convenient that no one can really tell if I don't shave, unless they're reeeeeeally close. But I know, and I like how it feels when I slide between the sheets at night. And that's enough of a reason for me.

    When I was 18, I stopped shaving under my arms, but I started shaving there again a few years ago. It was summer, and hot, and I just was kind of annoyed by the way the hair got in the way. I felt hot and sweaty and very hippie-ish, and that was just a phase I was growing out of at the time. I'd also gone to the 2005 Queering Femininity conference, which helped me embrace my queer femme self, and I felt like it sort of gave me permission to do what I wanted with my body. So I wanted to see what shaving under my arms would be like, and I did. And it turns out, I like it.

    I make choices about my body hair based on what I like. I WILL NOT shave, or even trim, my pubes for anyone else, ever. It itches like a motherfucker, even trimming, so I won't do it. However, my trichtillomania tendencies cause me to pull my pubic hair out on a fairly regular basis, so I dunno, maybe that counts as trimming. As a redhead, I don't think I'd ever want to shave my pubes, though, because I like that I'm a firecrotch. ;)

  14. I don't have a lot of body hair at all and I never had any facial hair so it's not something that I've ever had to deal with.

    I shave my legs and under arms every day because after I take my shower or bath, I like to apply moisturizer and it feels so great on smooth skin.

    My pubic hair changes according to whatever my girlfriend's preference is at the time. I like to please.

    The hair on my head is very long and red. I change it up all the time – when it's just me and my girl, I air dry it and she loves how wild it looks. During the week, I wear it up pretty often and on the weekends I like to take my time with it so that it looks sleek. I definitely use my hair for seduction. On occasion, when my hair is wet, I will straddle my partner, flip my hair and run it down her body following the traces of where my tongue has just been. mmm

  15. um, what jess said. except i have a thing for the blondes. shaving to be sexy, is sexy, particuarly if it’s especially for me. shaving out of shame is not sexy. i find my girl hot whether or not she’s shaving.

  16. The idea of losing “femme points” die to a decision to ONLY trim one’s pubic hair, even though a partner would prefer a waxing really bothers me. Why is this considered less femme?

    I’m bored with these types of expectations. And they are precisely what keeps me from being able to identify with the femme label – this kind of reversion to stereotype.

    Honey, you can switch to jeans, tshirts and give up heels forever without losing any “femme points”. Femme is in your heart and brain, not on your lips or off your bikini line.

    Yes, I agree with you. I'm sorry, there was some intended sarcasm that I guess didn't translate well into text–what I choose to do with my body does not affect my worth as a person in any way, and nor would I compromise on my own happiness or comfort to impress others. But this is something I think a lot of women struggle with, still…as evidenced by this whole discussion.

  17. Hello everyone!

    I am new to this blog; I discovered it as a link at http://sublimefemme.wordpress.com.

    First I just want to say I love when you (Sinclair) speak of a femme's hair being "so sexual, such a turn-on" that is exactly what I have been contemplating lately…I usually wear my (shoulder-length) hair up (or "back," really) in a low, pinned-up poneytail/quasi-bun, and only let it down for "special occasions".

    For a while, I had an internal struggle about cutting my hair. I would like a bob (similar to Katie Holmes') but I love how (literally) "letting my hair down" for my (past) butch partners made me feel: incredibly sensual, powerful and sexual, with a hint of yummy, naked vulnerability.

    …And so I thank you for perfectly articulating what has been going through my mind as of late….

    And as for my hair, I have decided to let it continue to grow; but I plan to cut my bangs, as I think it would frame my face nicely…

    As for hair removal:

    I shave my legs and underarms (almost everyday; once I see or feel hair- it's gone!) below my belly button (as needed,) toes and knuckles (on occasion- the hair is fine and doesn't grow very fast). I'm contemplating investing in a no!no!

    (http://www.my-no-no.com/)

    but it's a bit out of my budget right now!

    I do not pluck or way my eyebrows; although they are full, they still maintain a flattering, natural shape (which is why I don't bother).

    Transitioning from female-to-queer femme has been an interesting process for me; in the 5 years that this took place, I also went vegan, lost 55 pounds, put away my Dickies work shirts and chain wallets for skirts, feminine (but simple) jewelry, and a downright obscene number of purses and shoes! This entire process is, however, an on-going one (and I still have the Dickies shirts hanging in the back of my closet, for sentimental reasons!)

    Nevertheless, in discovering and loving my queer 'femme-ininity', I find that my hair removal rituals become sexy, self-esteem boosters.

    And when I see women who don't shave, I think it's great and oftentimes an attractive quality.

    :)

  18. * Do you shave, wax, pluck, shape?

    I shave my underarms, my legs, and sometimes my arms. I tweeze my eyebrows (though not as often as I should, I admit). I like the ritual of shaving my legs before a date, knowing I'm shaving them for a reason, hoping to have my intended flirt object touch my legs. Smooth legs are so sensual. I can't stand the way stubble looks through nylon and under skirts. If I'm wearing shorts/capris and have stubble, I clearly had to wake up entirely too early. I will not do fuzzy legs under a dress or skirt. I tried it when I was in my teens and rebelling against expectations. It just didn't fit my sense of aesthetics.

    * How do you make choices about your hair? Based on sexual preferences? Cultural standards?What your lovers like?

    Personal aesthetic standards, laziness, likelihood of having my legs seen (if laziness applies), and I'll take a lover's wishes into consideration as well. The stronger their preference, the more likely I am to follow it.

    * How do you keep your pubes? Trimmed, waxed, shaved, au naturale?

    Trying to peek up my skirt without so much as a drink first? For shame! ;) Okay, I'll fess up: I change it up depending on my mood. I bounce back and forth between trimmed, shaved, landing strip. I love totally shaved in theory but in practice a) I like the way my little auburn landing strip catches the light, and b) stubble there = reverse beardburn. Reverse beardburn = just not good for anyone.

    * What comes to mind when you see women who don’t shave?

    Their legs/underarms, you mean? Because if I see a woman who doesn't shave her Bermuda Triangle, usually I'm already happy with the situation in question leading up to that unveiling… Legs/underarms, well, for some reason I find underarm hair grosser than anything else. Even on het men. It traps sweat, it traps body odor… yes, it can be sexy and loaded with pheromones, but the naked curve of an underarm is so much sweeter… And legs, well, I love the feeling of silky smooth legs. If I see hairy legs in pants or shorts I don't care, for some reason, but hairy legs under a skirt or dress (excepting billowing hippie skirts) get to me.

    * Do you sexualize shaving or body hair removal?

    Oh yes.

  19. My hair maintenance comes down to whether or not I feel like it that day. This stems from the fact that I simply don't care to spend very much time grooming myself. I look damn good from dawn to dusk, and daily, obsessive shaving is just not part of my self-care rituals!

    When I make great effort to shave, I'll get as much hair off my legs as I can – from ankle to hip. I also clean up the pubes except for what my girlfriend calls a "tuft" on top. I don't really have any face hair, but sometimes out of paranoia, I get that whole "face wax" at the salon where they get all of the real or imagined face hair from your chin to your forehead (excepting the shape of your eyebrows).

    Honestly, if I knew it turned on my partner to have a super clean shaving everything, I would seriously think about doing a little more often. I like to please a top, but luckily my girl is easy to please!

  20. Let’s see.

    “Can’t Buy My Love” by Jean Kilbourne is essentially the book version of Killing us Softly, but is more updated.

    “Venus Envy” is very interesting….can’t remember the author, and it isn’t unpacked. “The Politics of Women’s Bodies” edited by Rose Weitz is another good collection.

    Here’s a post I wrote on being a feminist and shaving: http://essinem.blogspot.com/2008/07/shaving-revisted.html

    Because me? I pluck my eyebrows (not a lot, but nonetheless), and I shave my legs and underarms. I also completely shave my vulva…not every day, but usually at least once a week.

    I keep my hair long and grabbable. I like being able to do creative things with it, and have people wrap their hands in it.

    Interesting post.

    I’d like to try and sexualize shaving, but I’ve never done it with a partner. Mayhaps something to try…

  21. Ahhh hair. What can I say…. the only hair you’ll find on my body is the hair on the top of my head. I shave everything, EVERYDAY. And not because I’m an excessively hairy person, I’m actually not that hairy at all. I just love the way my body, my skin, feels. The softness, the almost chewy texture it takes on when its been shaved bare, and then massaged and moisturized. I love the feeling of an almost heightened sense of femininity. The game that ensues from all of it. The I have a secret, you know what my secret is, and you want to discover it for yourself. The mix of naughty and somehow sweet. It gives me power, and control, and confidence. And in the end, I give that up to you. The butch.

  22. I’m always a little hesitant to weigh in on the questions for femmes, simply because while I’m a feminine type of girl and that femininity is definitely deliberate in some ways, I’m bisexual and I guess I tend to hear “femme” as a primarily lesbian label in my head. But, this one’s interesting (they all are) so here goes.

    - I shave my underarms and legs, and very occasionally my forearms. I wax my eyebrows and pluck them between waxes, and I shave my pubic hair. I shave because I love the way smooth skin feels, and because there’s something almost exposed and vulnerable about a hairless body, which is very sexy to me.

    - I think I started shaving when I was twelve, and as I got older I started to question why I was doing it and stopped for a while, but I found I felt less like me when I let the hair grow. These visual markers of femininity are so much a part of my identity, I dislike letting go of them. And there’s a -ritual- to it all that I love. My whole family is full of anxiety issues, and as a result, we all have little routines that make us feel calm and confident and happy about our lives, and one of mine is hair removal. It’s a way of putting things in “order” for me, although I don’t see anything actually disordered in hairy bodies.

    - I choose what to do with my body hair in part simply because I like it that way (probably due to cultural attitudes, but also my personal preference) and also because smoothness is sexual to me and I like that. Also because everything bit of me seems more sensitive when hairless. The exception is pubic hair. I’d shaved it all off a couple of times before out of curiosity and found that I enjoyed the increased sensitivity, but I thought it looked really weird. Then I had a lover who asked to shave me — not for me to shave, but to do if for me — and the reaction to my smooth skin was so wonderful, I was hooked on the idea. It got me a lot friendlier with my genitals and forced me to get comfortable with how they look, and now shaving is both a part of my routine and something I feel really good about. Also, I find it makes oral sex much more enjoyable for me.

    The hair on my head is dark blonde and curly, and it’s currently just shy of chin length. It sometimes gets past my shoulders between cuts, but this length is the one I like best. I like having the nape of my neck exposed. I might want to get a tattoo there someday. But right now, for example, I am wearing a halter top with a low, low back, and I love all this -nakedness- between that and my short hair. And it makes for a really lovely pulling length — just long enough to grab in a fist and hold me firm, but not enough for someone to accidentally put a hand down on in bed and hurt me unintentionally. I only like pain when it’s deliberate. :)

    I sexualize the hell out of shaving. I shave in the shower and like few things better than to go straight to bed afterwards, all smooth and sexy.

    When I see women who don’t shave, I usually notice (I was surprised to realize this stood out to me) and find myself considering the rest of their appearance. I always think it’s neat to see hairy-legged women in skirts, for example. While I’m all about staying hairless myself, I think there is something really cool and interesting about femme body hair — that little bit of playing with gendered expectations, if that makes sense. I’m sure some just don’t particularly care about the hair and simply aren’t bothering, but it always strikes me as intentional if I don’t know otherwise.

  23. If you asked anyone to describe me, my hair would be the defining characteristic. Long, red and curly. It is pretty much always down because I never have time (or to be fair the ability!) in the mornings to put it up well. My hair is not really mine; it is communally owned. If I cut it or died it, there would be trouble. As a result it feels transient – when people compliment my hair it doesn’t feel like they are complimenting me as much as something I happen to possess, for now.

    As far as body hair is concerned, I shave/Veet my legs because I feel more attractive with shaved legs and because when they are shaved I enjoy the sensations of being touched by cloth and other people. I generally only do my lower legs though, because the hair on my thighs is soft and blonde so I can’t really see the point. I don’t especially enjoy the process but I like the results so I put up with it.

    Pubes: one ex liked the au naturelle look, though possibly because she (feminine) didn’t like to trim at all.
    Now I tend to use hair removal cream for some, though not all, of my pubic hair. I’m not a fan of the bumps, but it’s liveable and better than just trimming, which is what I do for the rest.

    Underarms: shaved. I agree with previous posters, I’m not a fan of underarm hair. I do vividly remember realising that I needed to shave under my arms when I was younger.

    Facial hair: I pretend it’s not that and hope that everyone else does the same! It’s fine and blonde and I can’t afford to do anything about it.

    I tend to be attracted to women with long dark hair, with the occasional special blonde thrown in. I have no real pubic hair preference, as long as it is trimmed somewhat.

  24. @Kate: My hair is not really mine; it is communally owned. If I cut it or died it, there would be trouble.

    To give a counterpoint, I also have curly red hair and this is an attitude that has always made me incredibly angry. My hair is MINE, it’s on MY BODY, and I hate when people touch it without permission, “suggest” forcefully that I should style it a certain way, or otherwise act like they have any authority whatsoever on the subject of my hair. People do this all the time, and it makes me feel horribly, terribly violated. I would never have thought anyone would embrace that attention.

  25. @linaria: To give a counterpoint, I also have curly red hair and this is an attitude that has always made me incredibly angry…People do this all the time, and it makes me feel horribly, terribly violated. I would never have thought anyone would embrace that attention.

    I totally had the same reaction, linaria! This is something I have often struggled with, too.

    Kate, it’s interesting to think of our long, red, curly hair as communally-owned. I’m not sure if I could re-frame it as “something I happen to possess, for now,” largely because as a femme-presenting woman, I already feel acutely that my body and presence are assumed to be the communal property of any man who is intrigued by it (either for attraction, or—because I’m fat—ridicule).

    I have worked in downtown Seattle for many years now, and it got really old really fast to get catcalls and comments from men when I walk into work in the mornings. It makes me feel vulnerable, exposed, unsafe and like the attention is my fault since I choose to present as overtly pretty and feminine. I also feel like I bring it on myself because I do intentionally present as overtly sexy because that’s a radical political act as a fat girl. I feel embarrassed, too, like I must be performing “femme” wrong if these stupid men can’t tell that it’s not for them.

    At one point, I would have had to answer to my friends if I cut or dyed my hair, but these days I think I have a friend group that is pretty respectful of people’s right to do what they wish with their bodies and presentation. There have been many times (usually after a particularly aggressive encounter on my way into work) where I’ve just wanted to go home and dye my hair brown. I do sometimes long to know what it would be like to not have all this sensual, beautiful hair, or for it to at least not feel like something everyone (but me) owns.

  26. hmm.. where to start. I am basically hairless. I shave underarms, legs, and girly parts. I am a fan of the eyebrow waxing, kinda like a fetishy thing. And when feeling brave will get a bikini wax with a little extra (ouch!) taken off. I love the feeling of my skin, my skin rubbing on someone else’s. Having someone rub their hand up my smooth leg is unbelievable. Holy Crap do I like it. It is very seductive. The smoothness of it all. I def use it to my advantage when trying to attract someone. My hair on my head is a competely different story. I just cut about 2 – 3 inches off, so now it lays just under my shoulders. Red, Curly, Ringlets. I love my hair, not to be cocky. I think it shows off my personality before you get to know me. It’s pretty wild. I live in the Big Easy so it is quite humid in the summer, so it is almost always up. Once the weather cools off, it is always down wild, vibrant red, and very curly. My hair is a tool in my seduction game. Up, down, in her face, across her back.. you get the picture.
    I have never really had a preference about my partner. It is a non issue with me. Whatever they like, want, have is fine by me.

  27. I’m really interested in this question – perhaps because my own approach seems to have very little method or reason. I’ve spent ages interrogating femme beauty measures amongst myself, my (butch) partner, and my queer genderfuckery friends, and none of us have any kind of definitive answer (which I think is a good thing), save that women should present their bodies as they wish and as feels comfortable. Incidentally, I was really excited to see the recent release of Exploring Queer Feminities – anyone else read this? Shows a beautiful variation in femmes and femme beauty.

    So, I made the following depilatory decisions (which change often, according to mood and occasion).

    Head-hair – I’ve always had long wavy hair, and always loved it. However, I recently went into a chain hairdressers (first mistake), and asked for a rockabilly cut, which would emphasise the curls. They gave me a chin length bob and blow-dired it poker straight. I nearly cried (I hate hairdressers at the best of times, so am far too scared to speak up in the chair – people, learn from this!). However, now it’s curly again, I’m quite keen on it. I even want to try going shorter one day (sticking with the femmey style), but right now, I want to get back to my beautiful comfort zone.

    I do shave my legs. I like the feel of smooth legs when a hand is run up them, and I like the way they look in a skirt. I didn’t shave for a couple of months this summer, but that was mostly because I broke my arm and didn’t want to wield a razor with my other arm. I decided that I wasn’t that keen on unshaven legs, but would be quite happy to go there again (out of laziness, if nothing else). Thinking about waxing, just to cut down on maintenance.
    I do trim my ladygarden – keeping it at a reasonable length is (for me) an act of consideration for my partner, but shaving is not only itchy, it is incredibly problematic for me because of the origin and connotations of the act. The unedrcarriage – well, I do see how smoothness can improve sensation, but it’s hardly the be-all and end-all.
    I do pluck my eyebrows – I love the groomed 40s/50s look, and love recreating that (red lip, red nails, groomed brows and knowing smirk).
    I don’t shave underarm. Looking at the above comments, it seems as though this may be the greatest taboo of all, carrying connotations of bad hygiene. Not true. I like having my hairy pits, and see it partly as a tribute to those women who made it possible for us to define our own femininity, and partly just because I like the way it looks.
    Finally, my moustache, which is reasonably long and dark (it’s not massively noticeable, but it’s there) – not only do I not wax(ow!), but I love to put mascara on it when I go out queering it up with mates (yes, with the red lippie). I absolutely love my moustache. It reminds me of Frida Kahlo, it’s a lovely way of reconstructing gender without compromising my femme mojo (mascara darling – all-purpose femme weapon!), butch friends have started copying me as a way of saving footling around with spirit gum and hair (note to drag kings – it also works on sideburns, and is a very natural looking way of working facial hair), and, best of all, it suits me. After all, why wouldn’t it?

    Basically, I really enjoy interrogating beauty standards for straight women, and seeing how these standards affect queer femmes. One of the best bits for me about being queer is reconstructing my gender in a way that fits me.

    Colleen – think Beth Ditto, and be proud! Femme is what you make of it. Don’t worry about teh menz – they think that, by virtue of being female in a public space, you’re ‘doing it for them’. Queers can usually tell the difference.

  28. I didn’t necessarily say I embrace the feeling that my hair isn’t quite mine. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time, having been bullied because of it for many years when I was younger. Even now I can be walking down the street and people will randomly yell “you ginger bastard” at me, some going so far as to equate red hair with a need for sex. I’m not sure how that works, since having sex has not so far turned my hair another colour!

    When I was younger I had long hair, and then my mother told the hairdresser to cut it short, without telling me. As a result I had awful hair for a few years and felt very unattractive. Now it’s long and is attractive and the way I am treated by people has changed. So, it is nice to feel attractive, although I do wonder what the reaction would be if I had a different hair colour.

    I’m not sure I’m explaining this very well. I have a very complicated relationship with my hair really. I don’t like my hair being my defining characteristic for so many people, and since it used to be bad hair it feels transient now, therefore not quite mine. On the other hand I’m finally at a point where I do like my own hair so I don’t mind other people appreciating it as long as that isn’t all they appreciate about me.

    When I say that my hair is communally owned, I mean by friends and family, not random people I don’t know. I was being flippant though there is some truth in it – people have very strong ideas on whether it would look better straight or curly for example. Certainly people would think I was crazy if I dyed it, but then I probably would be. Time enough for that when I go white at some early age. I’m not entirely sure that this is different from the reaction my ex got when she dyed her hair from its natural blonde to black. People are used to seeing you in a certain way.

    For years the only good thing I heard about my appearance was “your hair is such a beautiful colour”. It embarrassed me and I didn’t know how to react. I’m still never quite sure, and it still doesn’t feel quite like they are complimenting me for some reason. However they are and my hair will remain the thing that people notice about me, so I just have to deal with it and get on with my life.

  29. hmm, the idea of who owns your hair is really interesting to me. i certainly used to (and may still) have a group of friends who took a personal interest in my hair (which is long and curly, though not red) – of the joke-threatening me when i'd joke about cutting it all off (which i haven't seriously considered, but sometimes it's a pain…and the reactions were so good). that attitude has always been some combination of flattering and invasive.

    but then there's my girl, who refers to my hair as "hers," as in, "ooh, i love playing with my hair," which i think is, depending on the situation, cute and/or hot.

    i also realized two other reasons i don't shave. one is my laziness combined with my ocd. part of me likes the idea of being "more femme" by shaving my legs, but i know it would drive me mad any time i didn't perfectly keep up with it (and i wouldn't), whereas my leg hair is always groomed.

    second, it's protective. the only time between six and sixteen that my hair reached past my chin was briefly in middle school when i discovered that long hair covers up your face when you look down. it was like being able to hide in public; perfect. i still have my days where i feel that way (it's just not all of them anymore =), and on those occasions all of my body hair feels like a sort of protective layer between me and the world. i think i'd miss it terribly if it were gone (being vulnerable in front of my girl is one thing; i don't think i could handle it in front of the world)

  30. Well, I don't normally shave (though that's more due to me not having an 'love life' than anything else, ha)

    I have been thinking about the body hair issue and yes, it does seem that there is pressure to being a hair-less femme from the neck down. I really don't like that, but at the same time it's hard to articulate what to do about it when you (I) would generally go along with it anyway…ugh. Terrible.

    As far as the hair on my head, here's what I wrote in another blogger's comments:

    Femme with afro right here!! I usually get really lost in discussions about femmes hair being “long” and butch hair being “short”…and I think….these people aren’t Black are they? (Teasing!) It’s[...]complicated.

    …So I’ll just speak my truth. I love my hair, though it can be trying. It’s cottony, soft and isn’t going to hang around my face; it’s more of a halo that frames my makeup, haha. I used to covet long hair, eurocentric beauty standards really cut me. It’s interesting when I see others write about femmes must/should have long hair…it’s not just a “gender” stereotype or what-have-you, but a eurocentric point of view as well. People never really seem to get past the “gender” analysis though…

  31. Hair on my head is it's natural color (dark brown) and anywhere from chin length to shoulder length.

    Body hair: I shave armpits, legs, have beautifully plucked eyebrows, and do what I have to to make sure that I don't have any other unwanted facial hair (I'm a big fan of plucking).

    As for my pubes, I used to be 100% bald all of the time. I even got full brazilians. I began to give myself brazilians. Believe me, it takes some talent to wax your own asshole, but I did it. Until my girlfriend pointed out all of my ingrown hairs and said "Baby, you don't have to do that anymore." So now I just trim them very closely.

    But only when I'm going to see her. We are long-distance, and I see her about once a month. You know I haven't seen her when my pubes are out of control (and when my nails get long and legs get sort of unkempt). Cutting my nails, shaving my legs, and trimming my pubes are three rituals I engage in with great deliberation and expectation right before a visit.

  32. I may get in trouble for saying this, but it's interesting to me that we all say "i do what i like, what makes me feel sexy" etc, but I can see the styles of hair care change over time, and "what makes me feel sexy" seems to change along with them. 15 years ago, when i came out, it was as little hair on your head as possible, but as much hair as possible everywhere else. I didn't know ANYONE who shaved all their pubic hair, and peole who shaved or waxed the bikini line were, in my community at the time, made to feel as though they had to justify themselves. So it's interesting that now, in the time of no pubes, I'm one of few femmes i know who not only doesn't shave pubic area or armpits, but LOVES butches with body hair! My butch has wonderful hairy legs, but shaves her armpits- makes me sad! I love armpit hair, I find it so sexy, i think the curve of my breast as i lay down with my arms over my head… well, it's just sexier with the armpit hair… i have been asked if i would feel differently with darker and more body hair. Mine is blonde and kind of straight and fine. I find that embarassing, though, I wish it was darker and thicker.

    I shave my legs, because I enjoy the ritual of it, and the shaved legs/ clean sheets thing. I also like the contrast with my butch. Maybe if she shaved hers, i'd grow mine out. I don't shave my pubes because I tried it and a) it looks weird on my body, and b) it itched and gave me ingrown hairs. So I trim it. And, to be fair, that may be part of why i kept on not shaving the armpits after my experimental, super feministy early dyke days- i get rashes there really easily, too.

    As for my hair, when i was a newly out dyke, I, too shaved my head. Being a blonde, it was interesting to realize how diferently people treated me when i no longer had my long blonde hair. And how often i heard "you'd be so pretty if only you had hair". AND how i had to re-learn how to look at myself, because I was so used to using my feminine appearance to judge how i looked. It was really good for me to live without that, even though now i'm more feminine than i've ever been before. I wish i could have a shaved head- high femme with shaved head and makeup- yum! But my hair is so light, i looked like a marsupial baby without hair…

    Right now it is partly a financial consideratin for me. I've had a choppy angled bob off and on for years. I love my hair long, but becasue it is very soft and fine, though thick, I have to go to a hairdresser to keep it long- otherwise it just hangs there. but when it's short, I can cut it myself. And currently, i'd rather cut my own hair and keep my money for shoes.

    I also tweeze the brows, because i, too, like the vintagey 40's movie star look to go with my vintage cothing preference and constantly manicured nails.

    As far as butches go, i like all of their hair intact, except what's on top, which i really like short, sharp and classically barber cut. I'm an old school femme that way…

  33. I guess I'm a little late to this party! Funny, though, because I was just thinking about this – the hair issue – last night.

    This morning, I shaved my underarms, my pubes, and my legs. It had been about a week for my underarms and legs. Pubes – three weeks maybe?

    Shaving my underarms is a comfort/hygiene/aesthetic issue. I don't find underarm hair attractive. I can tolerate a little underarm hair on others, but I cannot STAND underarm forests, and I hate the way my underarms feel when I'm stubbly. The stubble pokes me.

    Shaving my legs is an aesthetic thing, particularly because my lower legs are tattooed, and nothing looks prettier than my tattoos when my legs are freshly shaved and moisturized. However, I only shave the lower legs. My thigh hair is fine and blond, so I don't worry about it. And in the wintertime I tend to let my legs go for weeks, because I'm wearing pants so I don't care.

    And honestly? My pubic region is almost completely bare right now. (I say "almost" because there is some stubble; I shave with the grain, because against the grain gives me horrible ingrowns and folliculitis.) And I don't care for it at all. I don't find my bare pubic region, or anyone else's for that matter, attractive. I like hair there. I don't like a FOREST, but a nicely maintained, trimmed hedge is very womanly and attractive.

    Oh, and I love arm hair. I have never understood why women get rid of their arm hair. (Although if that is your preference, I'm not knocking it; whatever floats your boat.) It's sensitive, and pretty.

    As for hair on the head – I have no preference! Well, as long as it's not hideously trendy and as long as it suits the wearer. For instance, my GF had very long hair at one point, and it was pretty but it didn't suit her. Now she has very short, boy-cut hair, and I ADORE it. As for myself, I go back and forth. Currently I'm growing it out, and it's just about to mid-back level. In the future I will probably chop it all off again. I go through cycles.

    Oh, and I wax/tweeze my eyebrows. Nothing extreme, just to enhance their shape and get rid of the strays. My facial hair is fine peach fuzz so I leave it alone, except for when I get one or two dark, coarse chin hairs around my period (yay hormone fluctuations); those I tweeze.

    So yes. On women I don't mind leg hair, like trimmed pubes, like bare underarms, don't care about head hair. On men – eh, just don't look like Sasquatch.

    I guess I'm easy to please. :)

  34. I kind of have this special attraction to when my girlfriend wears her hair down.. When we started dating we kept it quiet for a little bit because neither of our friends knew that we were gay, we didn't keep it quiet because we were afraid but we didn't want to go through the trouble of going through the "OH MY GOD YOU'RE GAY?!?!?!" without actually having a girlfriend.. So we were just waiting to see how we were together (we were/are best friends).. But I did sleep over her house about a week after we started dating.. And we hadn't kissed yet.. Whenever she wears it down I remember that night.. When it got to be later she decided that it was time for us to kiss… So I was relaxing on her bed and she said "Hold on a sec" all slightly suspicious/sexy and went to her dresser to take the rubber bands out of her mouth (braces).. Then she walked back over to the bed and sat next to me, let her hair down, held me, and kissed me… It was all sweet and cute and sexy…

  35. I’m definitely very femme, and my orientaton is queer and complex.

    I shave my legs and under my arms, and I also shave my pubic hair into a “landing strip.” At the request of my primary lover, who is mostly cis-male. (Eh, he wears a kilt daily, occassionally does drag, and he is very pansexual, soo…)

    I keep the hair on my head long. I pluck my eyebrows into a more “feminine shape.” On my femme partners, I tend to like all these grooming habits as well. Except, I don’t really are if they shave off their pubic hair or keep it shaved into a shape or just neatly trimmed. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of me going down on them, I could care less. I also prefer my biomale partners to keep their pubic hair at least neatly trimmed.

    I find silky smooth less on femmes very sexy.

    I think the only body hair removal I sexualize is the idea of having my pubic area saved by my partner, because the blade that near my pussy *in somone else’s hand* is a fucking scary idea. It’s sharps play, which I love.

    The way I groom myself is for myself, so I feel sexy, for myself. Sometimes I take requests from lovers, but mostly it’s for me.

  36. I think the sexiest thing about a woman is her confidence. While I am totally head over heels for femmes in skirts/dresses and heels with long hair, and
    a shaved and soft body, I recognize the double standard.

    I personally prefer to not shave my arm pits, am totally lazy about my legs, but as a courtesy total shave my pubes. I am also butch and it works for me.

    But again, hair no hair, jeans or skirts, whatever choices are made, if a femme is confident about their body, that’s what makes her sexy.

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