lisa marie corley | greenville, sc


July 2007

How hard are your (private) edges?

You had to know this was coming. I mean, with all the talk in the previous post about ENTIRE body shaving…..geesh, you just HAD to know I’d take it a step further.

Before I head in the obvious direction, I’d like to take a little side trip — ass hair. Personally, I don’t remember that phrase ever entering my consciousness, but a friend touched on the subject recently.

“You know,” he said, “there’s a theory that all body hair radiates from the ass.” Apparently, on many men it’s at its wild & wooly thickest there at the supposed origin. “God, you wonder in the locker room if some guys are trying to hide small mammals back there.”

I had no idea what to say to that, so the conversation pretty much ended there — well, after the uproarious laughter subsided. I was curious to see if this was a topic that others thought about, so — you guessed it — this morning I googled “ass hair.”

OMG…..this led to so many fits of uncontrolled laughter that my cats are now staring at me with a mingling of concern, curiosity, and borderline fear.

One college student, facing a personal hygiene problem which never, ever, EVER occurred to me, has issues which repel, horrify, and amuse all at once. A wannabe male stripper asks his female roommate to assist with his problem (“when Joseph disrobed, it appeared as if a small dog had curled up on his buttocks to take a nap”) the night before an audition. On YouTube, three friends argue while playing cards, and come to a profound conclusion that “your ass hair doesn’t have any friends.” A reporter for an internet site attempts to conduct a serious, informative play-by-play while having his ass waxed by an apparently sadistic female who continually yanks “roadkill” off his nether regions and shows it to the camera.

I learned that ass hair seems to be a concern for most men, whether for hygiene, logistic, or vanity reasons. I also learned that ass hair doesn’t really enter the radar of most women….in my search this morning, their comments are almost nonexistent on the topic, unless they are referencing a male friend or significant other. My guess is that women are not that concerned with men’s back-door area since it really doesn’t serve a purpose for us.

OK. Now that my abs have rested a bit from the belly-laugh workout and my cats have found sweet little slumber spots on my couch, we can turn to the final topic — or at least *my* final topic — relating to body hair.

The Brazilian wax.

I’m not sure why, but in the last 6-8 months this has come up in casual conversation with a lot of my women friends. One person heard that one of her colleagues undergoes this procedure regularly. “Oh my God,” she said, “can you imagine how much it would ITCH when it started to grow back?”

Another woman I know endured the procedure herself. “It was very weird getting it done,” she said. I mean, you’re spread out in all your glory in front of a stranger. “It really helped that she [the waxer] was very professional.”

Yet another friend has a friend who tried it for the first time many months ago. The two of them had gotten into a fairly detailed conversation. “I really wondered,” my friend shared, “if men’s obsession with the Brazilian had a connection to pre-pubescent girls.” Frankly, I’d wondered the same thing, so I leaned forward to hear this other woman’s take on it. “But my friend’s husband said no, absolutely not. There’s nothing little-girlish about a woman’s body, even with the pubic hair gone.” The waxing was so “very well received” by the husband that my friend’s friend has kept it up. Ummmm……quite literally. ;-)

As I thought about it more, I wondered if men learned to like the Brazilian because, in all likelihood, their favorite porn stars do it. I’m more comfortable believing that than the thing about little girls. That just creeps me out.

I found an informative article on a college newspaper site. Going completely hairless is a growing trend, and not just among women. A few excerpts:

Danielle Nobbs goes to Studio 505 to get her bikini wax…..[she] explains that this is all worth it because she likes how a Brazilian wax looks and feels. “It’s not only about how it looks,” she said. “It’s about bringing my sexuality out in the open. Women are brought up that sex and their private parts are bad or dirty. This kind of gets things out in the open. My private parts are not hidden anymore, and I shouldn’t be ashamed,” she said.

This trend occurs more often among women, but according to USA Today, increasing numbers of men are removing their pubic hair also. “I shave completely down there,” said senior Chris Baldwin. “I prefer women who shave, so I figure they would prefer it if I shaved also. It’s a trend that’s common and acceptable among college males and females. Shaving seems cleaner and more maintained.”

Brandon Ratcliff, a SCSU student, agrees. “I don’t shave but I trim,” he said. “I like to clean it up and make it look presentable for the opposite sex. I prefer women who don’t shave completely down there but leave a landing strip. Completely bald makes me feel like a pedophile. Also oral sex is much better with someone who shaves.”

Not everyone who shaves their pubic hair has a boyfriend or a sexual partner. “I don’t have sex but I still shave,” said Lesley Christianson, a junior at SCSU. “I like how it feels, and besides I look at it this way: it’s like having a summer home and mowing the lawn every once in a while in case you have visitors.”

I found a blog entry in which a woman describes her first Brazilian. She decided to have it done because she was going on a lengthy, scantily-clad trip in which she didn’t want to be bothered with shaving. Waxing would last 3-6 weeks. Most disconcerting were these comments:

It hurt like a mother fucker. I let out a pretty hefty yelp at least twice. And yes the waxer had my legs open, fidgeted with my labia, ripped my pubic hair from the corners of every available space on my “privates” and even asked me to sit up doggie style, while she made sure all the surface area was completely “handled” correctly. My skin was swollen, red, and burning directly after the waxing. I was instructed to take ibuprofen and put arnica gel or cortaid on my suddenly prickly-pubic- chicken skin to reduce the initial swelling.

Yikes!! But there were some interestingly encouraging observations:

It felt totally great after about 24 hours! The smoothness of my own skin “down there” was titillating to say the least. I couldn’t believe that it could be so soft. And yes, I found out a few days later that it increased sensitivity in all the right places at all the right times, which made up for any pain or discomfort that I experienced.

Well now, that is *hands-down* the best reason I’ve come across. Enduring pain for pleasure is totally understandable. Am I right? I mean, that’s not just me, right? You feel that way, too, I’m sure…. right?

You agree, don’t you?



How hard are your edges?

While playing the lively game “Who Would You Do?” with a friend, she revealed that she enjoyed flirting with a mutual acquaintance. I was a little befuddled by her choice, because I never gave him a second glance. Yeah, he’s nice…..has a great smile….is attractive. But, I said, he seems too……gee, I don’t know….. metrosexual, I guess. I just wanted to mess up his hair and get him dirty. It would also help, I told my friend, if he had some sort of interesting perversion.

Fast forward to weeks later. The few times I’d seen this person, I’d entertained myself by imagining him with a laced leather thong and a skull-and-crossbones nipple ring under his clean-cut attire. When that got boring because of its extreme unlikeliness, I would try to figure out his appeal. Or, rather, non-appeal. There was something just a little……off. Ever-so-slightly askew. Out of register. Soft. Maybe even girly. Not gay, mind you……just…..hmmmmmm. I couldn’t put my finger on it at all.

Then it hit me. The man has no hair on his arms.

I looked around. Yep, arm hair there….and over there…..yes, and the women, too. Arm hair everywhere. Nothing wrong with arm hair. Some people’s arms had quite inconspicuous hair, but you could tell it was there, even if it was just a slight fuzziness. Like you blurred their edges by a single pixel in Photoshop. But this man had hard, smooth edges, which apparently translated as “unnatural” to my brain.

I know that competitive bodybuilders do the hairless thing. But bodybuilding would not be this man’s reason, unless he’s a brand spankin’ new apprentice.

I mentioned this mysterious hairlessness to a male friend, and he said he knows a guy (not the same person, by the way) who shaves his entire body every two weeks. Just to be sure I understood, I asked, “ENTIRE body?” And my friend nodded a wise, I-know-exactly-what-you’re-asking “yes.” My first question was why.

“Well, he CLAIMS he’s allergic to his own hair. But I think it’s because he wants to look like a human instead of a manimal. He is one hairy son of a bitch.”

O….K…..sure. That’s reasonable, I guess. After a few seconds of imaginary scenarios, my second question was how.

“His wife,” was the simple answer.

Fast forward once more — to tonight, as I succeed in convincing myself to work on a blog entry rather than work out. True to my OCD nature, I am compelled to perform proper research before posting. I google “man shave arms,” and locate a site in which people are sharing their opinions on the matter:

i hate hair, except your eyebrows, eyelashes and head. if the arm hair is out of control, i think it is okay to man-scape-i know a couple guys who do and two who shave it off completely. what you want to do to improve your body is cool by me-as long as it makes you happy. i have been shaving my arms for about 8 years now- i love it!!

Yeah I have a couple of friends who shave their arms..nothing wrong with it. they just want to wear watches and stuff without the pain when hair gets stuck in the belt of the watch..

Only gay guys do that. But girls should shave their arms. I do (I’m a girl). It’s the lady like thing to do.

I know that some bodybuilders, wrestlers, athletes in general do it for a cleaner look. Or maybe they just have obnoxiously hairy arms lol!!

My cousin does it…but I don’t understand why because when it grows back it feels nasty! She has to keep doing it because they grow back thicker! I suggest you don’t do it if you haven’t already.

Stubble arms vs. normal arms. Who shaves their arms? That is just retarded. Are people really that bored?

If you are self conscious about your own arm hair, wax them. By all means, do not shave them! Imagine how super gross the stubble would be. Plus, shaving results in thicker grow back. Waxing can eventually reduce how thick your arm hairs are if done frequently.

Well, then.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. Me? I’ll probably steal sideways glances at people’s arms for awhile, just because I’ll be amused to wonder what the reasons may be if I see a lack of fuzziness. Eventually I’ll get bored with the notion and move on to something else.

Or maybe the thought will infect my brain until I have no choice but to take the plunge myself.

‘Magicalmonkey’ explained

So. After introducing my blog to a handful of friends, someone asks, “How is it that monkeys are, ahem, ‘magical’?”

Ahhhhh, dear reader… see, not all monkeys ARE magical.

Travel with me, if you will, to an ancient time where myths are real, where simple animals have hopes and dreams, where magical powers are required to get through life’s adventures. Imagine a special rock in eastern Asia that, since the creation of the world, had been nurtured by “the pure essences of Heaven and the fine savours of Earth, the vigour of sunshine and the grace of moonlight, till at last it became magically pregnant.”

The rock gives birth to a living, breathing stone monkey, whose eyes reflect “a steely light” which “flashes as far as the Palace of the Pole Star. This shaft of light astonished the Jade Emperor as he sat in the Cloud Palace of the Golden Gates, in the Treasure Hall of the Holy Mists, surrounded by his fairy Ministers.”

So it becomes known by some pretty important god-types that this is quite a special monkey.

Well, he goes to live with the nearby normal monkeys. One day, “they decided to follow a stream to its source — a waterfall. The monkeys decided that whoever was brave enough to jump through the waterfall would become their king. The stone monkey went through the waterfall unscathed and discovered a huge cave behind the waterfall. From then onwards, the monkeys made their home in this Water Curtain Cave, and made the stone monkey their king.”

Three hundred years pass in blissful happiness, until one day the stone monkey leaves on a raft to search for a way to immortality. He floats across the sea to the Southern Continent, where he learns to speak and walk like a human. He crosses another ocean to the Western Continent, where he finally learns the way of immortality and gains a host of magical powers. He learns, for example, to “transform himself into seventy-two different images such as a tree, a bird, a beast of prey or a bug as small as a mosquito so as to sneak into an enemy’s belly to fight him or her inside out. Using clouds as a vehicle, he can travel 180,000 miles in a single somersault.”

Pretty damn cool, huh?

He goes back home to the monkeys he grew up with, where he gathers an army of 47,000 and begins to get a really big head. (Figuratively. I don’t mean his head started to outgrow his body. I suppose that sort of thing could happen in a myth, but it’s not happening here.) He claims to be king, and NOT just of the monkeys. This pisses off the Jade Emperor, and he sends his own army to find this impudent stone monkey.

However, the heavenly army cannot defeat the stone monkey’s magical powers. After many attempts, “the dove faction of the heavenly court persuaded the emperor to offer the monkey an official title to appease him. The monkey accepted the offer on a trial basis. However, he learned a few days later that he was cheated and being jeered all over the heavenly court: the position he held was nothing but a stable keeper. Enraged, he revolted.”

After a long war, and with the help of all the god warriors, the heavenly army finally did subdue the stone monkey. But all methods of execution failed. It was completely impossible to kill him. As a last resort, the emperor commanded he be burned in the furnace — but instead of killing him, the fire and smoke gave the monkey more powers. He fought his way back home again.

At last, the emperor asked Buddha himself for help. The Buddha moved a great mountain known as the Mount of Five Fingers to fall upon the stone monkey. The monkey still did not die, but this time he was imprisoned under this mountain in a stone box where he could not move. Everyone forgot about him, and for years and years, he was there alone, under guard.

This, my friends, is where the stone monkey king’s story REALLY begins. Everything I’ve written so far has just been backstory. You see, an ancient seeker named Kuan-yin was sent by The Buddha to recruit the monkey’s help with a mission. Her task was to fetch some sacred scriptures from India. The Buddha believed that, even though the sins of the monkey were great, he was ready “to learn his lesson and embrace the Faith and devote himself to the good.”

Thus continues “The Journey to the West,” a captivating, epic story known to Chinese people throughout the world. Even though Kuan-yin recruits a team of other helpers, the story focuses on the stone monkey king, Sun Wu Kong.

I’m actually thinking about reading this story, myself. Or, rather, downloading it and listening to it on my iPod.

Now. At this point, I know you’re anticipating the moment — that one paragraph, that enlightening sentence, the payoff — where I bring ancient Chinese mythology together with this ridiculously obscure blog authored by a twenty-first century, strange-thinking American.

Well, then. Here it is. Without further ado.

Sorry. No connection. I googled “magic monkey myth” this morning, and the story of the monkey king seemed to leap off my laptop screen. In truth, I tried probably 40 other names when setting up this blog, and everything was taken. I don’t even remember what my first attempts were, but eventually I turned to phrases incorporating the word “monkey.” Because, well, monkeys are fun! An alliteration theme gripped me, so I pulled up all the “M” words in my e-thesaurus.

Macabre? Nah. Macaroni? Macaroons? Those are dumb. Machiavellian? Interesting concept, but, no…too pretentious. Hey, madmonkey sounds like a good one…..but, no, that name is taken. I guess it sounds too angry, anyway.

You get the picture.

“Magical” was perfect….versatile, memorable, easy to spell, a bit weird and mysterious. Well, mysterious up until now, anyway.

If anyone asks, the name of my blog relates quite brilliantly to 16th-century Chinese mythology. You’ll say something like, “Lisa’s not Chinese, mind you, but the woman is SO incredibly well-read. We should all wish that we could possess even a fraction of her insight. Her blog entries are like rays of light from the heavens, bestowed upon us so that we might become better human beings.”

My retelling of the monkey king legend, as well as the quoted text, originates from these sites:

Yay! Poll results!

Cool, I had a whompin’ three votes in my poll! Of course, no one voted for the same item, so we have a three-way tie. But since I’m starved for blog entry topics, that is juuuuust fine. The winners:

• Explain your love for monkeys.
• How is it that monkeys are, ahem, “magical”?
• Um, the Barbie thing. Was this your way to say that only a consenting adult would be allowed in such play?

Since I’m having one of those productive, clean-the-house Sundays right now, I’m going to make you wait a little while longer for the answers. Stay tuned. :)

In the meantime, I’ve added a list of links at left for your…..ummmmm, entertainment, I suppose. Sort of. I guess.

Who’s on first?

Me: “Hey, have you been to my blog lately? I have a poll now.”
S: “A pole? What type of pole?”
Me: “It’s a new Blogger feature I’m trying out.”
S: “You mean like a pole-dancer pole?”
Me: [silence…while an “I-should’ve-known” light bulb dawns above my head]
S: [quizzical, slightly impatient glance in my direction]
Me: “Hmmmmm. I guess you’ll have to go there and find out.”

Hey, you…help me play with a new Blogger feature

Gee, that sounded rude. I meant to say “please.”

At left is a poll containing the topic requests I’ve received since starting this blog. Now is the chance for my loooonnnnnnnnggg list of fans — all two of you — to fight it out. I know you’re on pins & needles to see which one will win, because I certainly am.

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