Note: I am not snarking on this man, but would like to say that the BF's back situation is not quite so dire.

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?