For a while now I have been trying to figure out what I want to say about shaving. On the one hand, it seems to be a rather odd topic because (I would guess that) the vast majority of adults in America shave one part of their body or another. So why would they want to hear anything about what I have to say on the matter? On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot about shaving because I shave more than one part of my body on a regular basis. Not all shaving is the same, but there are some (I think) interesting things that can make a chore easier or get it done better.
Beyond that, most of the shaving I do is stuff that has nothing to do with BDSM. It is either for purposes of hygiene or appearance. At a point, however, both hygiene and appearance become part of making myself appealing to Mistress Delila – so they become part of my submissive…routine(?). So mostly it is beyond the topic of this blog, and where it touches, it is only tangential. But I guess it is enough because here we are – or at least, I am.
The first thing I’m going to say about shaving is that not everything I say about my experiences with shaving will be true for you. You have different hair and skin combinations than I do. So if something I say doesn’t sound right to you; then feel free to disregard it. Skip along to something that makes more sense.
Not the blade
The first thing I will suggest about shaving is that you get a good razor. I’m not talking about the blade, here, but the blade holding device that goes in your hand. The best razor I have found for shaving my head is the HeadBlade. You slip it on your second finger (that’s the one I use, anyway) and then run your hand over your head until it’s smooth. It’s a great shaver, it doesn’t slip, and it makes shaving a big round object really simple.
The problem I have with it is, like too many razors, you have to use their proprietary refills. The problem is that their blades suck and are rather expensive. A 4-pack of 3-blade refills costs $9 ($1.33 per blade cartridge). If I get a week’s use out of one; then I’m lucky. This is a big enough problem for me that I don’t actually use it. It’s a shame, because it’s a fantastic design.
What’s left is the multitude of razors that are basically shaped like T. Get one that is comfortable in your hand and doesn’t slip. Also make sure that the blade release button isn’t where you rest your thumb (this is a problem for me with some models). It’s easier to get a different razor than it is to remember constantly that your body mechanics don’t fit the sharp thing you are whipping around sensitive parts of your body.
Finally, check the operational cost of the razor. By that, I mean to check the cost of buying and endless supply of disposables with the cost of an endless supply of refill cartridges. In general, cheap disposables are my preferred pick, but stay away from the dollar store. At some point, you really do get what you pay for.
Now: The blade
For me, the primary consideration for a blade refill is price. The Schick Quattro gives an awesomely smooth shave – but it costs nearly $10 for a 4-pack (at Walmart!) for a cost of $2.50 per cartridge. I’m not going to pay that much for a shave. They Hydro 5 is slightly better, but still over $2 per cartridge. Meanwhile, the Bic Hybrid Advance is just over $6 for a razor handle and six cartridges. A buck a cartridge is a good price.
Basically, a blade needs to be clean, lubricated, and sharp. If you are getting a lot of razor burn, this is likely to be a contributor to the problem. With disposable blades, keeping it sharp is pretty much limited to not being such a cheapskate that you continue using a blade that is needing to be changed. How many shaves you will get out of a blade depends on your hair and skin (and, to some extent, which brand you are using). You just have to adjust to what you have.
Keeping it clean is pretty simple. However, razor manufacturers seem to be determined to make it difficult to achieve. The clearance around a cartridge-mounted blade is fairly small (even with single blade cartridges – if you can find them). That means it can get clogged, and that means it quits cutting smoothly. What I do is to rinse the blade thoroughly and then wipe it dry on a towel. If I don’t see clean blades, I repeat until I do. I’ve found that I don’t get it really clean unless I dry the blade.
Lubrication is the key
Unless you want to apply oil directly to the blade – which is unnecessary – there are two things to think about: your hair and your skin. Hair needs to be moisturized and skin needs to be lubricated. Oil is great at doing both. What most people use, though, is foam.
Foam is, as far as I can tell, the worst thing to put on the area you plan to shave. It floats the blade off of the skin and clogs the whole thing up. It does, however, rinse well.
A non-foaming cream is a better choice. Headslick is the best one I know of, but it’s mentholated, which I don’t like. In general, you want a cream with a high oil content. I suggest picking out something that is marketed for women, because there is no product that will be marketed for shaving women’s legs that will say, “It’s okay to be somewhat rough.” Yes, it’s in a pink can, but it won’t make you suddenly crave cock. (If that happens, it isn’t the stuff you are shaving with that does it.)
I recently discovered that I get a massively smooth shave with olive oil. Yeah, the stuff from the kitchen. I dump some in my hand and wipe it on my face and head. Give it a few seconds to absorb, then do a second layer. I find that it gives a really close shave – plus: 1) it’s CHEAP; 2) my blades last longer because they don’t rust as fast; 3) my blades get cleaner when I rinse them; 4) I like the way it smells (use grapeseed oil if you don’t like a scent); and 5) it’s CHEAP. Did I mention it’s cheap?
Here’s another benefit to using oil. When I shave my head with other products, it is never quite as smooth. The next day, however, my head will feel like sandpaper because little tiny (nearly microscopic) scabs form over the hair follicles. I believe it is a very, very mild case of shaving bumps. At any rate, I don’t get them when I use olive oil. So not only is the shave smoother, but it remains smooth longer.
Incidentally, I tried it on Mistress Delila’s legs, and it gave an equally superior shave there, too. Yummy.
This is where I differ from almost everyone I have read who talked about shaving.
If you want a really close shave, you have to go against the grain. Obviously, if this causes skin irritation of any kind; then you shouldn’t do it. But you will never get as smooth of a shave going with the grain as you will going against it. I shave this way on my head, my face, and my groin.
Face, head, and even legs, are pretty straight forward. The parts of the head that can’t be seen can be tricky (I don’t use a mirror because the perspective really screws with my depth perception). Go slow, use your free hand to feel where the skin is smooth and where it isn’t, and use a light touch. It’s kind of like typing – if you learn to not use your eyes, even when you can; then you will know how to do it without your eyes when you need to do so.
The big thing is to use short, slow strokes of the razor. Rinse often. Wipe the blade clean. Apply extra lubrication if needed.
When it comes to shaving the genitals – go VERY slow. Remember that your blade is not curved, so don’t try to shave around a curved body part in one fell swoop. Lay the blade against a flat part, move it just a little then rinse/wipe/lubricate. For parts that are actually curved, just use a small part of the blade and move around the curve carefully.
Again, I recommend going against the grain. Feel with your free hand, cut a bit of hair. Repeat as necessary.
When it comes to shaving around an orifice, I recommend placing the blade against the edge of the opening (very gently) and slowly move away from it. Move the blade a bit and repeat.
To shave the taint, squat down to flatten out the target area. Then lay the blade flat and use short strokes. Feel for smoothness. Repeat as necessary. You will probably have to do it from more than one direction to get it smooth.
The ass crack is tricky. Again, squat down (it helps to be very stretchy/bendy) and lay the blade flat and as far into your crack as you can so that the blade is going the same direction as your ass crack. Then move slowly outwards. It helps if you have a thin head razor, like one of those bikini razors.
Final note: I’ve heard people suggest using a rotary electric razor. Electric razors will NEVER be as close as a blade. However, if you are satisfied without going all the way to skin, then pick up one of those eyebrow trimmers with a blade guard. They are dandy for trimming pubic and ass/taint hair.
PS – a note about shaving ass hair for the guys…if you are hairy, you should really consider trimming based on cleanliness. Because “wiping peanut butter out of shag carpet” just doesn’t work. Nuff said.
When I’ve looked at discussions of people shaving below the waist, I always hear this complaint, “It itched like crazy when it grew back, and it wasn’t worth it.” I’ve never had this problem. BUT – common sense will say, “If the idea is to keep it hairless, and it itches when the hair starts to grow back; then SHAVE IT AGAIN WHEN IT ITCHES.”
That’s pretty much all I can say about shaving. Feel free to ask anything you like.