I’ve been saying it for years, people…the bush is back!! The topic of pubic hair has been all over the news lately due to these American Apparel mannequins…which have set off a great, sniggering debate about female grooming patterns.
As someone who makes my living being nude much of the time, pubic hair is an important issue to me. When I first started out as a nude model, I shaved everything bald…I assumed that was what most photographers wanted.
It was a real pain in the ass, because the skin of the labia majora and mons pubis is pretty delicate, so you can’t just go shaving it every day, or even every other day, without getting pretty sore and irritated. Everyone is different, but as a brunette I have pretty coarse pubes…and I can only comfortably shave maybe once a week, at most. I get about two or three days of pre-pubescent baldness before the stubble starts to become noticeable…and then I’m in that awkward in-between stage until I either shave again, or until my pubes grow out enough to be sculpted into a passable landing strip.
Either way, that basically means I could only shoot for a few days each week. If I had back-to-back bookings, it was awkward — I was forever tearing up my poor delicate bikini area, trying to keep clean.
What’s that you say? There are options other than shaving?? Why yes, I could allow a stranger to spackle hot wax on my junk and then rip the hairs out by the roots. I did this twice, and not only is the waxing itself insanely painful, but so are the ingrown hairs I got when the pubes started to grow back. One ingrown hair got infected, and caused a very unsightly welt that took forever to heal.
And yes, I could allow someone to zap my most delicate area with a laser…but, seriously!! WHY?!
Once I’d been modeling a bit, I actually found that most photographers actually prefer at least a bit of pubic hair on a nude model. Reasons I’ve heard include: it looks more “artistic,” it proves that the model is old enough, it provides just enough cover for open-leg shots without them becoming clinical, and it adds an air of mystique/taboo. Whatever the reason, 95% of photographers I’ve shot with were absolutely fine with my rocking a modest, well-manicured bush. (The other 5% ask me to shave, which I generally accommodate if possible.) (And of the other 95%, about 10% ask me to grow my bush out even BIGGER!)
Even if I weren’t a nude model, I’d probably still keep my pubes the same: short and neatly trimmed. A huge bush is kind of messy…who has time to clean all those stray pubes off the bathroom floor? Not me! And I do like to wear bikinis and whatnot on occasion, without worrying about hairs hanging out from the edges….like those American Apparel mannequins!
Meanwhile, it’s not only American Apparel’s mannequins — their catalog models have been sporting pubes of late as well! To add to the debate, Cameron Diaz just caused a minor kerfluffle herself by advocating the growth of pubes in her new beauty handbook…and her bestie Gwyneth Paltrow has long rocked what she herself calls a “’70s bush.” So there you have it…us hairy hippies are coming out of the closet 🙂
Anyhoo, like I said, I generally keep my bush trimmed up pretty neatly…but even that sometimes confuses photographers. See Exhibit A…this poor guy wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, and photoshopped it into a sort of fur Kotex!
Fortunately for my beleaguered pubic area, I haven’t had to pay it much mind lately, as I haven’t been shooting much. I had a ton of shoots the first week of January, and then everything kinda of dried up, nakey-wise. I did spend an enjoyable afternoon in one of the Flamingo’s fabulous Go Suites shooting with a guy from Atlanta, and an enjoyable evening at the Treasure Island with a guy from Seattle….and then another interesting evening at the Hard Rock, being photographed by two older guys in town for the AVN show (they brought a slutty schoolgirl costume for me to pose in…of course). But other than that, my work lately has been pleasantly clothed!
I know, shocking — someone actually hired me for something requiring clothing!! Well, it’s true…I actually did three such gigs lately — two Go Game scavenger hunts and a convention. In the first Go Game I played Secret Agent HotPants, and just hung out at a bar in the Cosmopolitan as the players tried out their best pickup lines on me. In the second, I played a bride who had been abandoned at the altar, and had to loiter around in front of the Bellagio fountains as the players tried to woo me back. Can I just say that these scavenger hunts are the MOST fun of any gigs I do?! I only wish I could do more of them!
Now, about that convention gig I worked…that’s right, it was the dreaded C.E.S. (Consumer Electronics Show). Convention gigs can go either way — if they hire you to wear a sexy/goofy outfit and just hang around adding atmosphere, it can be fun! But this wasn’t one of those…I actually had to work, and wear a business suit, no less 🙁 Booo!!
The client was a tech industry behemoth who must remain nameless…but suffice it to say, they had a HUGE exhibit space with TONS of staff. I was actually working for a third-party, conducting interviews with show-goers about their impressions of/experiences in the booth. Don’t ask me why they needed “models” to do this…seems to me they could just use a staffing agency, but whatever! I had to apply for around 20-30 CES gigs before I finally got hired for this one, so I was happy to have a job.
Incidentally, I was starting to feel a bit like chopped liver after applying for all those gigs and not getting hired — what the fuck?! If you’ve ever been to CES, you know that there are a thousand bimbos at every booth, and not all of them are that good-looking — why was I having such a hard time?? Well, I’ll tell you — many of these convention models came from out of town to work the show!!! I worked with girls from L.A., Phoenix and Chicago…damn foreigners, coming here to Vegas and stealing our jobs!!! Why, I oughta build a fence, to keep them bimbos away from our local gigs. Grrrr!!! The ones from L.A. are the worst, always talking about their “career” and what pathetic B-movie their agent is getting them an audition for. Meanwhile they’re so broke and desperate, they come all the way to Vegas to work a stupid tradeshow just for a few bucks! I saw this one particularly pathetic old hag I remembered from CES 2006 (!!!) — an “actress” and ex-NFL cheerleader, who even back then was talking about how she needed to get a “real’ job. Well, here it was 8 years later….and she was still up to the same old shit. Sobering!
Anyway, as mentioned, my gig was mind-numbingly boring…but the people-watching was the BEST! Hordes of nerds, geeks and dorks, strutting up and down the aisles in their Google glasses (I learned an awesome new term for them: glassholes!) and Dr. Who t-shirts. Meanwhile, every exhibitor in the convention center tried to lure them into their booth with bells, whistles, dancers, DJs and scantily-clad all-purpose bimbos. It was like a circus!
My own gig was disappointingly staid — the client was pretty conservative. But watching their booth staff hustle was priceless — you could tell they were all under a lot of pressure from corporate to sell, sell, SELL!!!! They made everyone wear these awful company-branded tracksuits, so that they resembled nothing so much as a team of state-owned Soviet gymnasts, slaving for Mother Widget. They probably made them bunk up twelve to a room, with a $2 per diem! Even funnier, they made all the blonde female employees stand on the perimeter of the booth, like in-house booth babes, trying to lure in more shlubs and nebbishes. Ha!!! Welcome to my world, ladies…aren’t you glad you got that M.B.A.?!
Now, most of the booth staff were fairly young, so you might argue that they were just paying their dues on the way up…but even better/sadder was watching the older staff try and out-hustle the young’uns, for fear they’d be put out to pasture in a youth-worshiping labor market. Towards the end of the day, you could see it written in the lines on their tired faces — did I sell enough widgets to keep wifey in Lululemon, junior in college and little Susie in ballet?! FUCK!
Seriously though, I am so glad I am not stuck on that corporate treadmill — I’ve seen the way it grinds people up! You work your entire life away for The Man, and then when you get too old they throw you out on your ass. No, thanks! I know I can’t model forever, but I still like being self-employed…and I’ll gladly take whatever steadily deteriorating gigs I can get for the rest of my life rather than kow-tow to some bourgeois suited motherfucker dangling a 401(k) on a stick. Ugh!
So meanwhile, I was pretty bored during that convention, to say the least….but I figured out a way to make it interesting for myself, on the last day. The booth I was at featured a display of some bullshit shtick they called “augmented reality,” whereby you can overlay animated cartoon shit over live streaming video…and that gave me an idea. I decided to augment my own reality, with a little help from a friendly fungus…and it was the best decision I ever made!!!
Talk about Fear and Loathing — I wandered around that convention center on my lunch break in a state of blissed-out awe, staring open-mouthed at all the lights and dancers and weird costumed booth babes, navigating my way through a sea of identical glassholes, until arriving at the most amazing thing ever: a three-story-tall 3D HDTV in the LG booth, which was playing a non-stop reel of 3D videos featuring orcas, butterflies, mushrooms and more all flying out straight into your face! I put on a pair of glasses and sat there on the carpet watching it for about 30minutes straight, completely entranced — it was just like being at Burning Man, just with corporate logos! I got so swept up in it that I turned to the guy next to me: “This shit is a trip!!!” Then I realized he was some uptight motherfucker in a suit and tie, cautiously edging away from me. D’oh!!!
After that I wandered over to a sort of lounge area, where some boring-ass speaker was giving a talk about some stupid new widget, and I just sat there in a chair and marveled. It was just like being at Center Camp at Burning Man, half-listening to some bozo rant and rave on the stage while you sit there and enjoy your trip. Really, the parallels between CES and Burning Man were astonishing!
Anyway, one thing I noticed while wandering around was that not every booth babe had a lame gig — there was one booth that had their models dressed like Austin Powers babes, and another had their girls costumed as slutty nurses. Still another booth had a guy in a giant gnome outfit, and then there were the hula babes out in the lobby, hanging out in a Margaritaville-branded Jeep blaring Beach Boys songs. I wish I could make a vow to never do another boring-ass gig again, and only agree to accept fun ones like that — but I’m afraid I’d go broke! For some reason, I hardly ever get the fun jobs when it comes to trade shows. (Although now that I think about it, I am playing a giant piece of candy next week at the Convenience Store Owners’ show.)
So now that CES is over, “convention season” is in full swing — every week there’s some new show coming to town. Last week was an especially kooky convergence — the SHOT show (guns, hunting accessories and lots of stone-faced Russians) and the AVN show (porn, dildoes and high-school-dropouts). It made for a really freaky mix!!
My Arkansas girlfriends were in town for the SHOT show, exhibiting their stun guns and other personal protection devices — as mentioned, they all work for a man who has the distinction of holding more patents than any man in the State of Arkansas history; he just keeps coming up with new ways to zap attackers! His latest invention was the “Hike ‘n’ Strike,” a hiking stick with a stun gun cleverly concealed in the handle — that way, if attacked by a bear, mountain lion or rapist while hiking, you can defend yourself! LOLZ!
Meanwhile, my photographer friend Ben was also at the show, working on a TV project that sprang from his excellent and well-received book on gun culture, Gods, Guns & Guts (in which I am featured, being as I am a handgun owner). So even though I wasn’t working the SHOT show, I went over anyways to check it out…because it’s SO freaking fascinating!! Unfortunately I got there right at the end of the show, so I didn’t get to see much…and even though after the whole Sandy Hook thing I vowed not to pose for any more gratuitous gun pics, I just couldn’t resist posing with one or two of the insane monstrosities on display…for anthropological purposes, ya know?
My girlfriends were in town all week, so I spent some time hanging out with them after-hours as well. One night we went to Hyde nightclub at the Bellagio…YAWN!!! BO-ring! The one thing I found interesting about the evening was, my girlfriend had booked a table for us using this new app called PartyPetition, where you basically state your budget and then nightclubs “bid” on your business. It asks you for your age, your budget, and the number of guys/girls in your group…and it has the option for you to add a photo, I guess so they can see how “hot” you are, and bid accordingly. Scandalous!!!!! That kinda shit is exactly why I abhor the nightlife scene. Apparently, my girlfriend failed the application process because all we got was a $700 offer — $700 for one bottle of vodka, that’s it. Say what?! According to the people who run this app, that’s a bangin’ deal — sure, most clubs charge $350-400 for a bottle, but that’s not including tax & tip, which makes $700 (allegedly) a bargain. I’m no mathematician, but that doesn’t make sense to me: say the bottle was $400, and they charged 10% entertainment tax [as per NRS 368A.2009(a)]…that brings you to $440. Add a generous 20% gratuity to that (gratuity calculated on the base price of $400), and you’re at $520. Sooo…$700 is a deal how, exactly??!?!!?
If you do want to try this app, my advice is to: a) have a female book it on her credit card, b) have her say she’s 21, c) say there are 6 other females in your group, and d) do a Google Image search for a Girls-Gone-Wild bachelorette party, then attach that to your petition. THEN see what kind of offers you get!!!!! I would have tried this out for myself just to see if it worked…but the app isn’t available for Android yet.
Anyway, another night we all went out to the Hard Rock, to watch all the porn industry people hanging out the night before their big awards show. It was amazing!!! I took a small dose of shrooms beforehand, and it really made the scene dreamlike and surreal — everyone talking ridiculous lines of bullshit, drinking, smoking, eyeballing porn “stars” and swaggering mightily. I love watching the porn actresses at these events — it’s their time to shine, and they walk around all dressed up like it’s Slutty Prom, with slavering hordes of guys following them around with cameras and Sharpies. Meanwhile, come Monday it’s back to the grind — they’re nothing but a piece of meat, ready to have dicks poked in every orifice like cloves in an Easter ham. Ahh, Fortuna!
Meanwhile, during all of this fun, tragedy struck! The local alt-weekly that I’ve been writing a column for the last year or so, Las Vegas CityLife, is going out of business….the way of all other print media 🙁 So, I’m once again out of a job. It wasn’t like I made all that much money writing for them…but it gave me an air of legitimacy, being a print columnist…ya know? Unless I get some other amazing offer, my plan is to finally figure out a way to monetize this blog, but I have less than zero idea how to use WordPress, so it’s gonna be a tough slog. I did sign up for a WordPress meetup.com group, and I’m going to their meeting in a few days to see if I can get some tips. We’ll see!
Now on a final note, I had to go renew my medical marijuana card (you have to do this every year, at considerable expense). As previously mentioned, the kind people at Dr. Reefer helped me out quite bit with the application process and whatnot, but no matter how many friends you have, you still end up having to go to the damn-ass DMV to get the actual card. Arrrgh!
Having done this several times in the past, I remembered that at least they consider you “handicapped” because you have a medical condition…so you don’t have to wait quite as long, since the handicap line is way shorter. Because of this, I decided not to drive all the way up north to the suburban DMV I usually use (it’s waaaaaay up north…they built it back during the construction boom, when tons of housing developments were expected up there. When the recession hit, the construction stopped…and now no one goes there, so it’s usually a pretty quick in and out).
No, because I had handicap status, I thought I’d take a shortcut and just go to the DMV branch by my house — mid-town Vegas. BIG MISTAKE!!!! First, the sour-faced fat-ass at the Information desk refused to give me a Handicap number, so I got a General one — something like G560, when they were only on G400. Arrrrrgh!!! Second, because this DMV is right in the middle of Vegas, all the poor people who don’t have cars or gas money go there — so it’s always a clusterfuck. Third, the place was especially jam-packed the day I went because it was the first day undocumented immigrants were allowed to apply for a driving permit!! That place was WALL-to-WALL with tired huddled masses!! Fuck!!
Not a problem, I said to myself — I’ll just go run some errands, and be back by 4:59pm, when they close the doors. Surely they won’t have gotten to my number by then! So I went out and did my thing, and even checked back around 4pm to see that they were still only on G480. Arrrgh! Meanwhile, I was in the middle of a home-improvement project, so I went home and worked on that for awhile before heading back to the DMV at 4:59.
Sure enough, wouldn’t you know it — they had already called my number!!! WTF!!!!! You tell me — how does it take 2 hours to get from G420 to G480….then 45 minutes to go from G480 to G560?!! I’ll tell you how — those lazy government fuckers take their sweet-ass time all day long…but once 5 o’clock hits, they wanna go home. Since they have to serve everyone in the building who already has a number, they finally fire up the engines and start moving!! Of course they always tell you to get to the DMV first thing in the morning for fastest service…but I’m here to tell you, that’s total bullshit. If you live in Vegas, and you REALLY want to blow thru the DMV quickly, here’s my advice: head way up to the North Decatur DMV and get there around 4:30pm (on a Friday is even better, since they all really wanna get home). By the time you go through the Information line and get a number, you’ll only have to wait an hour or less.
Meanwhile, since I missed my number I was shit out of luck, and had to give up and go home. Once you miss your number, that’s it. But when I went back a few days later, I took my own advice and went up north around 4:30pm — on a Friday. The woman up there knew what the fuck was up, and gave me a Handicap number (I knew that other bitch was wrong, but there’s no arguing with government employees), and I was in and out in less than an hour. SO THERE!!! Fuck you, Sahara DMV….you suck fucking ass, and you smell even worse!!!!!