I’m heading off on Tuesday morning for five nights in Malta and a much-needed vacation after a stressful first quarter (what else is new? – oh, I mean that stress-wise, not jetting to Malta-wise – the latter is new). Our flight is at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am, and we are requested to appear at the airport two hours in advance. To cut down on travel stress, we’ve booked an airport hotel room for tomorrow night, and I intend to head there after work for the luxury of rising at 4:00 am rather than 3:00 am, and the avoidance of taxi/tube/train panic. Worth £44? You betcha.
Besides my typical packing freakout (present and accounted for, sir!), I took the opportunity today to engage in pre-vacation grooming. I opted out of a bikini wax this time in favor of an economically advisable DIY razor-job. While I have been dreaming of a sunshine and beach holiday, I fear that even Malta will be too chilly this time of year for sunbathing, so I don’t see any point in suffering through a wax when I will likely be clad in jeans and a monochrome tee-shirt for the majority of my visit.
Nonetheless, I have plucked, bleached, and shaved in anticipation – at the very least I am hoping for a Turkish bath and a massage, and, sadly, one wishes to conform to Western beauty standards. But while I am responsible for my own grooming, it seems I am also responsible for that of my male vacation companion. I’m not complaining, per se – if one was able to competently shave one’s own back, one would be something of a medical marvel. But aside from my responsibility for sunscreen, bathing suits, itinerary printouts, and toiletries (all things he has/will forget without my prompting), I am also tasked with boyfriend depilation.
This is an act I find sort of satisfying, the primatial practice of grooming my mate. In his case, he is very self-conscious of his lower-back patch, and so with Nair and a razor I have rendered him smooth and Continental. That we will otherwise present as pasty-white Brits whose limbs have witnessed nary a UV ray for six months is unavoidable.
Besides Nair-ing his lower back, I have plucked his eyebrows and random shoulder-hairs, and shaved the back of his neck. All this is visually pleasing to me, raises his self-esteem, and is fairly low-maintenance. I don’t mind doing this at all – it is even aesthetically pleasing to me, although I love him hairy or not. It does make me wish, though, that he could do more for me in the grooming department, because it seems a bit one-sided.
While happy to pluck his hairs, wax his back, and, recently, pay for professional haircuts (in a bid to prevent him visiting Mr. Topper’s for a £7 mutilation), there’s not much he can do to return the favor. I wouldn’t let his inexperienced hands near my person with a tweezer or razor, and only trust my highlights to trained professionals. I did ask him to paint my nails once, which ended like being fingerprinted in a police station with Bogota Blackberry.
I allowed one boyfriend to shave my bits, and the experience was highly erotic, but that was a happenstance I probably couldn’t duplicate without the assistance of the type of drugs in which I no longer traffic. So I guess my question is to you is: what grooming do you assist your partner with, and what can they do to reciprocate?