When you think of Amsterdam, certain things immediately come to mind:
So imagine my surprise when I, for all intents and purposes, a “good girl”, was asked to be the keynote speaker at an event celebrating pubic hair (or lack thereof) at an erotic novelty shop.
You see, I made this little film that has caused quite a ruckus, tarnishing the shiny patina on my ‘good’ name.
It’s a silly film. A cute film. Despite the title and subject matter, it’s extremely innocent…
… if you also discount the pink shots and porn stars.
My very first bikini wax (at the age of 34) was a toxic disaster. No seriously. Toxic. Some people just shouldn’t do some things.
A lesson learned too late.
Image © 2007 She Shoots to Conquer, LLC. All Rights Reserved
When infection set in, I immediately called the friend who had recommended that I try it in a full-on rage.
Words like “follicular” and “rape”, “misogyny”, and “death of feminism” spewed forth from my frothy lips. “Why do we do this to ourselves?” “How is this considered beautiful?” “What perv wants to fuck a twelve-year-old!”
After she talked me down, she explained to me that what happened to me didn’t happen to everyone. Clearly, I had a bad reaction.
This made me even madder.
“Really??? So this isn’t just one of the perks???”
She jokingly told me that I ought to make a documentary about the experience; and having just finished watching Why We Fight, she suggested I call it Why We Wax and make it a spoof; noting that these particular WMDs were obviously Weapons of Mass Distraction.
Fast forward five months.
Finding ourselves with nothing better to do that summer, we decided to turn a bad joke into a better reality. We’d make the film together. A short one. Funny. Without any man-bashing or über-feminine agenda. We’d make a fair and balanced assessment gathered from all perspectives: Gay & Straight, Male & Female. We’d tackle fashion, function, fetish, fad, feminism and fun. We’d research the origins of the Brazilian (not Brazil, btw) and dig through the annals of time to get to the root of where it all began.
And so now, just one short year after completion, our little film is in competition at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) in the company of some of the most acclaimed documentaries of 2008 from around the world. Cool, huh?
But not really the point of this little tale, is it?
You want to know how this ‘good’ girl ended up in the company of Candida Royalle, Xaviera Hollander and Willem van Batenburg, don’t you?
You naughty thing, you.
Well, it’s simple enough. Bod-mod trends (as with most everything else) seem to start with porn, become embraced by the gay community and eventually get watered down and become acceptable for mainstream consumption.
So who better to start with than porn stars?
Candida Royalle quickly became our little porn mommy. We loved her! Candida is not only a leader in female-centric adult films, but she herself is an enlightened, empowering woman and successful entrepreneur. Hers was an incredibly intense interview and it was she who connected us with the brilliant ladies who own and operate Mail&Female – Amsterdam’s version of Babeland – when she heard the film was going abroad.
And these Mail&Female broads whipped up an event too spectacular for words: An entire evening devoted to the celebration of SCHAAMHAAR (pubic hair).
Could a little film like ours ask for better press???
There was to be a coloring contest!
‘Fun Betty’ give-a-ways!
Hair-based performance art!
Vintage early-80s porn with hirsute girl-on-girl action.
Just like any other cocktail party, really…
… where the cocks have tails.
And at the center of it all was… me.
The ‘good’ girl.
What would my mother say???
To kick off the evening, I gave a speech about the film and a clip was shown. After which, a lengthy Q&A ensued.
Now, I’ve done a fair amount of these sessions over the past year and American audiences have had some interesting questions that have led to evocative discussions. But Americans have been well-trained, or are too prudish, to ever ask anything too personal.
Or maybe I’ve just been lucky.
The Nederlanders were different. These people were interested in every sordid detail, from the exact (and I mean exact) description of my malady to my own pelt preferences (both personal and partner-based) and everything in between, like: “Describe how your cunt* felt without hair for the first time. Surely you enjoyed the licking much more than before.”
*“Cunt” (or “Kut” in Dutch) is considered quite harmless, but is nonetheless shocking when you’re jetlagged all to hell.
Now normally, I would have come up with some quippy retort to deflect such intimate and what some may consider rude questions, but it was as if, suddenly, in these surroundings, I was in Bizarro-world, where it was good to be bad and bad to be good.
I mean, I was surrounded by crotchless panties and impossibly long strands of anal beads.
What happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam, right?
Fueled by less than four hours’ sleep in 36 hours’ time, three glasses of prosecco, the residual effects of the Klonopin/Whiskey chaser I had on the flight over ‘The Pond’ and a slight contact high from the oh-so-fragrant streets, I decided to let loose and answer each question in minute detail. These people genuinely wanted to know, and in Bizarro-world, I wanted to tell them.
In what rapidly became a lively and animated group discussion, Xaviera Hollander and I debated the best way to ‘prune a hedge’. Willem van Batenburg and I talked shop about the infamous bed scene and when someone challenged me, calling me a hypocrite based on my personal aesthetic desires vs. the conclusion we arrived at in the film, I threw my hand on my hip and saucily retorted in a manner that delighted the audience:
“Listen, sister. I judge not. I’ll take what I can get, however I can get it. If it comes the way I like it, so much the better for me… and for him!”
I made bad girls around the world proud that night.
And no one would be the wiser.
Because what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam.
Of course, I forgot that the entire evening was being filmed, to be shown on Holland-wide television as part of the IDFA Opening Night festivities.
Very bad girl.