Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An Ode To Body Hair And The Great Unwashed

Now if you've studied history, and the tales of the conquerors and colonialists, there are two parts to colonising a culture and territory.  It's only the first part where there's a big war and killing with death machines, and after that comes the real strategy of utmost import, if the land conquered is to remain so.  Which is large scale divide and conquer, on every level, through every strata of the society or culture to remain colonised.  The disease of separation spread like a virus, through families, communities and peoples, based on age, belief, body type, look, profession, possessions, you name it, it can be categorised into a million different splinter groups, unlikely to ever form again into a glorious whole of connected, acknowledged, diverse and conscious parts. 

So as Australians, conquered how many times removed now?  From the Romans, to the Roman Catholics, to the English, to the prison colonies on supposed Terra Nullis…….we've been collectively divided and conquered within an inch of our long and tangled ancestral paths.  Split into billions of divisions and separations, some of the worst being within the splinters of the splinter groups, that fight each other for moral worth.  Divided and separated from our families, our bonding in our family groups, our connection to our larger communities, and extended families, our food, our water, our lifestyles, our works, our art, our clothes, our music, our homes, our animals, our authenticity, our bodies, our birthing, our body hair, our sexuality, our mammalian selves, and our smells.  

As a result of my birth, family life, religion and schooling, I was turned out into the world a bit disgusted by my own body and its emissions, and entirely grossed out by the thought of anyone else's.  I shaved and waxed and make upped and permed and wore dozens of products all over my body.  On my skin.  The most sensitive and large organ we have on our bodies.  I had sprays for my female bits, and sprays for my underarms, and shame for wherever my hair was that it wasn't 'meant' to be.  I had soaps and special face scrubs, and shampoos and conditioners, and body creams and scented panty liners, and a rigorous body hygiene that saw any body juice or smell, as something to be cleaned up and away, and the appropriate 'better' smell applied.  

Till I hit the lesbian world that is, where womens bodies were a representation of the goddess, and divine, and perfect as they were, and make up and shaving and all those other things were CHOSEN to be done, or not done at all…..PROUDLY!  I started to chill on my rigorous hygiene, and started to relax into some body smells and juices.  There were some women who had turned their back entirely on 'the system', and had amazing body smells, as they eschewed all corporations.  And then when I left that world for the other places where rare humans dwelt, I found quite a few scenes with a love for the human body in it's natural form.  Activists, anarchists, punks to be precise, are often members of the 'great unwashed', who have pushed off from the shore of chemicalised smells and shaved hair, into love and lust of the hairy, smelly, juice creating bodies we were born with.  

But my Currawong was the port where I set sail into my body in its natural form, so intoxicated I was by the sheer smell and feel and hairiness of him.  I'd reduced my money spent on corporate beauty products by a lot by the time we met, but still held onto aluminium free roll on deodorant under my arms, and a jolly good soaping and washing on a regular basis.  If I went for a few days without washing I'd start to smell in a way I didn't like.  And if I did sweaty work or sex, I'd often smell a little bit rancid after, and race off to the shower as soon as I could.  I'd become one with my bleeding, and the various smells that come with that time, but I was still seeing my body odour and flora as something to be tamed.  

And he hit my senses like a tidal wave.  An olfactorial wash that made me want to dive into him again and again.  His clothes, his bedding, his body…….the sweatier and sexier the better.  A totally intoxicating mix of musk and skin and warmth and hair and himness.  That can never be replicated or turned into a product, because it's his unique signature scent.  When we were first courting interstate, I slept on the sheets and pillows we'd slept in for weeks, wallowing in the remnant smells of him.  15 years down the track I still find his scent the most delightful aroma in the world.  

You know how all the other mammals smell each others noses, and bums, and bodies?  Sniff them all  over?  From dogs and cats to horses and elephants, us mammals know that there's a lot to be learnt from smell.  How a creature is feeling, when it's sick, when it's stressed, when it's fertile, when it's turned on, when it's angry, all of these things can be smelt.  And are translated through our signature smells.  The smells that identify us.  The smells that are our birth right, inherited in our bodies.  

So when we first got together, Currawong and I, a bit of fuss was made about his body smell.  More heady than any cologne or aftershave that had ever wafted past my nose.  Even the scent of our intermixed loving was an olfactorial orgasm.  And I was curious about his superior smell, and why I didn't have one of my own.  He told me to stop washing under my arms with soap.  And to stop using all deodorants and products of any kind.  And when I said that I'd tried that before, but I always ended up smelling rank, he said that was because the soap knocked out the ability of my underarms to regulate it's own microflora.  And to just stop soaping and wait a while.  Shower with whatever regularity I wanted, and keep soap for bits if it was really necessary, but just leave the rest alone.  Wash with our pure rainwater only, rubbing and washing my skin with the roughness of my finger pads.  

And blow me over with a feather he was right.  After a few weeks of no soap under my arms, I started to smell like me.  A signature scent that to this day, I can stick my nose in my armpit, and happily offer it to anyone to smell, with great pride and pleasure.  I smell hot.  I smell earthy and ripe and musky and sweet and it's all mine.  A result of the foods I eat, and the emotions I feel, and the sex we set sail in, and the things I do.  I've learnt that just like mens balls, when my underarms or boobs are constricted, or wrapped in polyester or plastic, they smell quite intense.  They like to be free and be connected to the breeze so my underarm hair can do it's job of regulating and spreading the scent.  So I wear clothes with no sleeves, or wide armpit holders, so there's no conqueror in my armpit.  Cause underarm hair is a large part of the smell.  Sometimes there's naturally formed salt crystals on them, and they just intensify the smell.  And underarm hair, like boobs, and pubes, can definitely be completely left alone.  To waft and move and jiggle and groove as they choose.  Like many of our ancestors from time immemorial.  

Not just communication, and not just sexual, our natural body odours are also great aides in bonding.  And comfort.  And creating a sense and smell of home wherever you go.  I've had more than one child who has buried their head into my armpit when they're upset.  And more than one person on whom I've casually left my scent in a hug, who has told me how good I smell.  We had one friend who told us we were the strongest smelling humans she knew, and that it was a really good thing.  We had friends who said they could smell us as soon as they entered a supermarket in Mt Barker, above all the air ducted smells, and they sniffed us out till they found us.  We spent a night in a perfumed bed, and Spiral-Moon baby cried and cried and cried until we went out to the bus, got our sheets, and remade the bed with our bedding.  Only then did she finally sleep.  And at markets back in Maccy a bit down the olfactorial track, when more than a few had sniffed our whiff, we'd meet up early in the pre market dawn, and give each other a snuffle of our pits.  Many a friend has vowed to stop using soap on their underarms, and told us later they were delighted with the results.  Most of our birthing experiences have revolved around bonding, and wanting our baby to be born into the smells and feelings of home.  To stay quietly with me and be welcomed to the world slowly and gently.  To soak up the heady perfume of birth, that once you've smelt it you'll never forget.  To bond closely, skin to skin, heart beat to heart beat, with no bras and deodorants and factory farmed smells intruding.  If you look into early human practices, there was a time when we licked the perineum of our babies after they were born, like the other mammals.  And the smells of birth were considered an integral part of a bonded birth.

Because to be totally honest…..after spending so many years with real smelling humans, doing all the communicating and hugging and sniffing that we do, the cloy of a factory farmed scent is quite offensive to my nostrils.  There's been so much fuss over the years, that some folk have even fronted me on, about the offensive smell of B.O.  So many mainstream people seem assured that the best thing to do in the face of an authentic human animal smell is to disinfect it and cover over the scent with the same smell as a million others.  At least.  To hide it.  Smother it.  Get rid of it quick.  I remember one night, in the height of our summer of love at the market, when there was a circus tent full of opera goers on the oval beneath our hippy camp.  We walked down to check it out, and were assaulted by a tsunami of chemically toxic perfumes and colognes.  I ended up holding my breath.  Grieving for the olfactory sensation I'd been robbed of, had I been able to swim through an ocean of signature smelling humans.  And Currawong and I both fondly talk about the events that we've been to full of human smelling humans.  On summer evenings, with sweat drenched bodies singing their aromas to the wind, many moments of connection and bonding occurred.  Our sex life revolves massively around our body odours.  We communicate so much with the way we smell.  One day I met Currawong at the door after a hot day away armpit first.  And it made him melt to the point of almost collapsing.  His knees instantly went from beneath him. And all the different zones on him, and how they smell, never cease to entrance me and stir me from stupor.  He's my Pied Piper, and I'll follow his scent to the ends of the earth.  

I'm only writing this, cause I was set to think by an article about underarm hair sent to me by a friend.  It really tripped me out that, like the fella said…

Mr Hopper sees his project as a 'type of protest' against the beauty industry.
'Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement. Why is that?' he writes.
'For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal. Natural Beauty could be classified as a type of protest. 
'By creating a contrast between common "fashionable" female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair, thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made,' he explains.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2600074/Body-hair-natural-NOT-gross-Striking-images-women-unshaven-underarms-protest-conventional-standards-beauty.html#ixzz2zUurRJyT
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It really is quite bizarre that we find the natural state of our bodies that we were born with…..abhorrent.  One of the models even pulled out of the project, cause she was so 'grossed out' by her body hair.  I just don't get it.  In a society ruled by many religions and spiritualities, collective in their belief that we are made in the image of God/ess, in whichever form that takes…….how have we got so far from loving ourselves exactly as we are?  Aren't we meant to be a reflection of perfection?  It doesn't occur to me much to talk about, as it's so completely and intrinsically part of who we are, but when I read this article I thought I should post out a view from one of the many alternatives to the beauty industry.  Cause I know when I was enthralled with it, I never stopped to think that there was any other way.  It's a great big arsed multinational corporation regime that has many dancing to the beat of its drum.  

I love my underarm hair.  And I don't have to be part of a project to do so.  It's one of the sexiest things about me I think.  Currawong concurs.  And there is the odd human around who has kept a love for natural smells despite the mainstream.  I remember once Hairy Dave back in Maccy, telling Currawong rather sheepishly that he wasn't trying to cut his lunch, but he saw me lift my arm, and the sweat glistening on my armpit hairs was glinting in the sunlight, and he couldn't help it mate, but he barred up!  All said with a big grin and laugh of course.  Love it.  And I love every inch of hair on my man.  Incidentally, I don't think I've ever shared mine and Currawong's theme song with you on here.  I knew it from my lesbian days, and thought it was a hoot, and never expected that the song would go on to prove quite prophetic……except we obviously missed out a bit on the birth control :)  But here it is nonetheless.  Our theme song.  'I spent my last $10 on birth control and beer' by Two Nice Girls.

And I can't talk about body hair without a specific mention of pubic hair.  It's another amazing part of our bodies, that doesn't necessarily need taming.  And a rather special part in my experience.  One thing I particularly love about my pubic hair is that with every pregnancy I've experienced, it's grown really long.  Like a hairy protective measure to keep what's inside safe.  It also can perform a rather miraculous alchemical role in the collection of juices that can happen around there.  And I've only ever shaved it off completely once, and by gawd it hurt and was itchy and scratchy when it started to grow back.  How do you all go through that?  And of course…..if I'm talking about pubic hair, I'm going to have to share with you Amanda Palmer's song 'Map Of Tasmania', cause when I saw it I really fell in love with her.  Both the cheekiness and creativity of the whole clip and song about the map of Tasmania, but also her complete abandon for flashing her hairy pits.

Currawong and I totally agree, that the only humans that ever really enter our attraction radars, are totally hairy and smelling like themselves :)  Let your hair and body be what they're meant to be!  And at least run an experiment, to see whether there isn't a sexy smell lurking on your body, once it's had the chance to regain it's natural ecosystem…….