How Shaving Affects Your Vaginal Health Might Have You Reconsidering Your Hair Removal Habits

Whether it’s to get rid of some stray hairs or make a mohawk, you’ve probably taken a razor to your girly parts at some point or another. Although you might think that using a blade won’t bother your vagina, it might do more damage than you’d realize. Beyond bumpy red skin, shaving can affect your vaginal health — and not necessarily in a good way.

Pubic hair is a very personal issue, and while some people might not mind being bushy, others prefer to be completely hairless. And that’s when the trusty razor does its thing. Problem is, a razor isn’t ideal when it comes to hair removal. “The vaginal area has skin that is so, so sensitive,” Dr. Violet Klenov, M.D., FACOG, at Vios Fertility Institute tells Romper. “Short term shaving can lead to long term issues concerning vaginal health.”

But first, a primer on pubic hair. I mean, why do we even have hair down there anyway? Well, apparently pubic hair has a lot of purposes. For starters, pubic hair can hold pheromones, reported Self. And since these chemicals can attract a potential mate, it makes sense that it would be where, well, all the action is. It can also reduce friction during sex, and more importantly, protect your parts from pathogens or other bacteria from entering the vagina, Healthline reported.

Which is why you should think twice before whipping out a razor to design a landing strip on your vag. “Shaving can expose an area of skin that can lead to infected hair follicles, sebaceous cysts, or in extreme cases, cellulitis,” says Dr. Klenov. “Plus, abrasions on the skin can cause discomfort and run the risk of becoming red and inflamed.” And if you’ve ever shaved your bikini line, you know exactly what she’s talking about. (Cue the incessant itch.)

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But if you’ve got to get rid of pubic hair (and fast), a razor might be just what you need to come to your rescue. “Pubic hair grows in all different directions and is prone to developing in-grown hairs,” Dr. Jessie Cheung, a dermatologist in New York City reports to Romper. “Before shaving, you need to prep the skin — never shave dry!” And if you think using your hubby’s shaving cream will give you the richest lather, think again. “Most men’s shaving creams have menthol in it, which can irritate the area,” she says. If possible, try to use a triple blade razor, which causes less trauma to the skin.

Determined to have your vagina as bald as a baby’s bottom? Consider other alternatives to shaving. Dr. Klenov suggests close clipping, which gets close to the base of the hair follicle without actually shaving the skin and weakening it. You can use men’s clippers to get a clean cut without actually cutting your skin. And you can always schedule a wax, too. “Waxing and clipping bypass the many issues that can arise when shaving and tend to keep hair growth at bay longer than shaving does, especially waxing when done regularly,” says Dr. Klenov. “It keeps skin smoother over a longer period of time with a low risk of breaking that important skin barrier.”

So whatever style you want for your nether region (such as a sweetheart or a martini style, for example), make sure that you take care of your pubic hair. Knowing how to use a razor correctly can keep your vagina hair-free and healthy, too.

 

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Why Can’t I Let Love In? 8 Signs You May Not Be Open To Connection, According To Experts

Whether you’re in a committed relationship or are still looking for the special person you want to share your life with, it can sometimes be hard to know if you’re fully open to receiving love. Maybe you find yourself consistently pushing away potential partners, or can’t quite seem to accept the fact that your long-term partner genuinely loves you. Whatever your case, a few subtle signs can help show you whether you’re really open, or if you have a little bit of work to do to get to that place, according to experts.

If you do realize that you aren’t as open to love as you’d like to be, take some time to do some self-reflection. “Figure out what you want and what you need in a relationship,” Dr. Candice Cooper-Lovett, PhD, LMFT, a sex therapist, lead therapist, and owner of A New Creation Psychotherapy Services, tells Bustle. “Most of us do not know what our wants and needs are, and find ourselves in situations where we are not getting what we need nor deserve,” she says. “We must teach people how to treat us.” This might mean that you can help guide your partner to specific ways of showing love that really resonate with you, like sweet notes, cuddle sessions, or spending quality time together.

Here are some signs that you aren’t fully open to receiving love, according to experts.

1. You Aren’t Willing To Compromise

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It’s definitely not unusual to have certain deal breakers when it comes to finding a partner. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable dating someone with a specific political stance or someone with certain relationship values. But if you aren’t willing to compromise when it comes to smaller issues, that might be a sign that you aren’t fully open to receiving love, Cooper-Lovett says. In a healthy partnership, you should still be able to make your own choices, but being in a committed relationship might mean that you have to let a partner’s whistling habit slide or agree not to keep peanut products in the house if they have a serious allergy.

2. You Only Date Casually

If you find yourself being attracted to people who just want to hookup and don’t want anything serious, you probably aren’t fully open to receiving romantic love, Cooper-Lovett says. Of course, it’s totally fine if you don’t want a committed relationship, but if you do, dating people who want to keep things very low-key probably won’t give you the love you want. “This may be a conscious or unconscious process,” she says. If this sounds familiar to you, take a moment to ask yourself whether you’re hoping to find love from people who are clear that this is not what they’re looking for. If so, consider being more upfront with future partners about what you want so that you aren’t disappointed.

3. You Are Scared Of Things Not Working Out

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You might think of romantic love as something your partner gives you. But even if they’re trying to love you fully and deeply, if you are constantly worried that the relationship will eventually end, you probably won’t receive that love. “It is difficult to receive romantic love if you’re not in a good space within yourself,” Cooper-Lovett says. “You would often reject things that could potentially make you happy due to the assumption that love would make things worse as if it would not work out,” she says. It’s always a possibility that your relationship won’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean that you should let that keep you from accepting love while you are partners.

4. You Don’t Prioritize Self-Love

Self-love and romantic love might seem like totally different issues to you, but they’re really more connected than you might think. “If you do not love yourself, how can you receive love from someone else,” Cooper-Lovett says. “You have to be on the quest for loving yourself and having a relationship with yourself before allowing someone else to show and give you love.” Take some time to reflect on how you feel about yourself if you don’t feel open to love from a partner. Are you struggling with self-doubt? Are you dedicating time each week to taking care of yourself? Maybe for you this means taking the time to bake your favorite pastry recipe from scratch, or working on a creative project that really makes you feel fulfilled.

5. You Expect Your Partner To Be Perfect

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“Perfectionism in the dating search process can be a tipoff that you’re not fully open to receiving romantic love,” Dr. Fran Walfish, Psy.D., a family and relationship psychotherapist, relationship columnist, and author of The Self-Aware Parent, tells Bustle. If you’ve had more than one relationship, you’re probably pretty aware that there is no such thing as a perfect partner. You’ll have to be OK with little quirks that you don’t necessarily like if you want to be open to receiving love. Try taking the time to reflect on the qualities that are crucial for you when it comes to a partner. This can help you refocus on what is really important to you in a relationship and let go some of the things that don’t matter in the long run.

6. You Don’t Let Yourself Process Breakups

If you’re just casually dating, it can be pretty seamless to move from one partner to another. But if you’re having committed relationships with people, not letting yourself process one relationship before you move on to the next can keep you from fully accepting love, Walfish says. It’s important to give yourself the time to feel your own emotions of loss and grief, even if you were the one who chose to end the relationship, she says. This can keep you from muting your painful emotions, which might also result in muting positive emotions like love from future partners.

7. You Haven’t Gotten Over Your Ex

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Speaking of previous breakups, having lingering feelings for your ex can really keep you from fully opening yourself up to receiving love from your current partner. Even in situations where you were the one who chose to end a relationship, it can be difficult to let go of someone you were so deeply connected with. “Some [people] are afraid of getting out there again so they keep their former relationship alive as a way of staying involved and not feeling single again,” Walfish says. But if you truly want to be able to accept your current partner’s love, you have to resolve any strong feelings you have about a past partner. That doesn’t mean completely forgetting them, but it does mean remembering that they are someone in your past, rather than someone who should take up a good deal of space in your heart now.

8. You Have A Hard Time Accepting Compliments

If you’re having trouble fully accepting love, one surprising sign of that is that you have a hard time accepting compliments. Maybe your gut reaction is to disagree with your partner each time they try to tell you how smart or kind you are instead of simply telling them “thank you.” “To do this means you need to connect positively to someone and open yourself up to something you aren’t comfortable with,” John Kenny, an interpersonal relationship coach with specialization in toxic relationships, tells Bustle. The next time your partner tells you that they love your passion for an issue or your amazing joke telling skills, thank them and try to genuinely internalize the compliment instead of instantly dismissing it.

No matter what is keeping you from fully accepting love, remember that you are worthy of being cherished by a partner. Love yourself first, and receiving romantic love will come more naturally to you.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Sarah – That Girl With The Idea

As I awoke with piercing pain in my head became apparent, I was wearing nothing but a sombrero and some short shorts I owned.

Why was this happening to me?

Where was I?

And what had happened last night?

My buddy Frank was lying down right next to me passed out. I shook him to wake him up. He woke up slowly and sluggishly not without putting up a fight.

So I slapped him.

He woke up with a drugged and tired look. He asked why he woke him up. I told him all my concerns and what had happened to me.

He first told me we were at Sarah’s house in Venice for a little kickback with her and her friend. He had been a few places that night but ended up there at the end of the night.

He then asked if I remembered about the dare Sarah gave me.

I said no, so he filled me in.

We had all been daring each other to do stupid stuff and Sarah with her great ideas had decided to make me take 7 shots of putrid tequila consecutively; and then do a strip tease for her.

By this time I was already pretty buzzed and by that seventh shot I was having trouble thinking or staying up straight.

I started to take off my clothes and they cheered me on.

By the time I was only in my briefs I grabbed a nearby random sombrero. I guess my inner Mexican was screaming for the sombrero even after all the alcohol I took.

Then he proceeded to tell me they all took shots and were all around the same state as me. We all started to dance and I guess I tried to climb an imaginary stripper pole I thought was there and I fell and knocked myself out.

They laughed and proceeded to take shots and dance till they all passed out on top of me. We both laughed at the story and then went on to try to find some aspirin, water, and most of all, where everyone else was.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Three Months Of Salary For An Engagement Ring? How About Go F*ck Yourself?

Here’s a re-post from one of my readers…

Felt it was worth sharing.

Engagement rings have become my cause de guerre. I’m thirty and well over half of my closest friends are either engaged or married, so these puppies seem to smack me in the face on Instagram every week now. Sure, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. Notting Hill, No Strings Attached, You’ve Got Mail, When Marry Met Sally, the first 70 minutes of La La Land… if TV Guide magazine tells me any of these movies will be on TBS superstation, my night is booked. But when it comes to engagement rings, my mouth fills with acrid bile.

Engagement rings are a massive industry. Some people blame DeBeers; I blame women. Dangerous words in these delicate times, I know. But at some point, we need to realize that women are capable of being terrible people, just like men. That’s equality. That’s progress. To illustrate this thesis, we look to Instagram.

As wedding ring/engagement photos have proliferated across my Instagram feed, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: many women post a photo of the ring and write “he did such a good job!” It’s a deflection, a humble downplay, like posting a shredded bikini pic while pretending to eat a hot dog with a caption like “empty calories, full stomach, can’t lose!” It’s meant to throw us off the scent of what it really is: a vagina-measuring contest. Because what’s really happening here is that she’s posting a photo of a commodity, the price of which we immediately start to estimate. And by we, I mostly mean other women, because they know the ring market.

An olive branch: if women just owned what they were doing with these posts, I’d applaud them for it. Remember ’90s hip hop videos, where rappers would flex in backwards football jerseys as a strobe light hit their $60,000 Jesus piece, triggering epileptic fits for unmedicated children? It was a flex, and they relished it. You didn’t see Diddy brandishing his new spinning Sprewell pendant with a disclaimer like “my friend bought me this, and he knows me so well! Thanks dude!” Today, similarly, these ladies are flexing their new ice on Instagram; but they couch it with deferential words to their buyer fiancé. I would have nothing but respect for a ring post with a caption like “Look at the size of this fucking thing! He spent more than I thought he would!”

But that would be too obvious. That would violate the weird, unspoken decorum of ringstagramming. Thus, we’re left with these thinly-veiled humblebrags that credit some hapless fellow who simply brandished six credit cards and held his breath. Not only do these dudes probably not give a shit about credit, they’re not worthy of it! When it comes to rings, you know who actually did a good job? Sam and Frodo. The ’72 Dolphins. The Motorola Razr. Heidi Fleiss. The Undertaker. Barnum and Bailey. These are first ballot ring HOFers; not your Dave.

I have a family ring from my late grandmother. As a family, we believe in heirlooms and preserving memories. Also, my grandmother was a powerful wizard who learned the dark art of splitting her soul, a portion of which lives on in the horcrux I plan to give my lady someday. The ring is beautiful, too. It’s a far nicer ring than I could buy right now from Zales or Adam Sandler.

Still, I can’t help but wonder how an Instagram post of this ring will be received. Do I somehow love her less because I didn’t spend three months of my salary on it? Do I need to buy her something to supplement the ring, to emphasize this promise?

Maybe. Or maybe I’ll take the money I saved on a ring and put it towards something nice for myself. After all, I saved. I was fiscally responsible. Dare I say… I did such a good job.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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10 Things Guys Should Never Say If They Ever Want To See You Again

Ah, men. So endearing. So easily confused. We know we women aren’t the easiest people in the world to figure out, and it’s all too easy for a guy to open his mouth and say something that’s an instant deal breaker. Whether the subject is sex, weight, or love, here are a few lines that should send you ladies running for the hills if you hear them from your dude. Feel free to add yours in the comments!

1. “What did you say your name was again?

2. “Well, I was in love with you. Now I’m not so sure.”

3. “Did I ever tell you that I didn’t actually go to Harvard?”

4. “I can’t feel anything.”

5. “Come to think of it, those jeans do make you look fat.”

6. “I forgot my wallet.”

7. “I don’t have a condom, but I have sex all the time without a condom, and I’ve never gotten anyone pregnant.”

8. “I do not smell like a strip club!”

9. “Without you, I am a spineless loser.”

10. “I cry a lot.”