by Deborah Driggs, Karen Risch
2004. Independently published.
I was ready to be disappointed by Hot Pink. The marketing campaign for the book focuses on pubic grooming as a way to instantly improve a woman's sex life, and one of the authors is promoted as a former Playboy Playmate, which is not an occupation known for creative pubic hair styles (there is a single, bald style named after Playboy, after all). None of this led me to expect the incredibly positive, practical, well-researched and fun information I discovered inside. If anything, the book has been stuffed so full of helpful body and sexuality information that it becomes a bit unfocussed towards the end.
My fundamental fear with Hot Pink was that I would have to defend my completely au naturel muff from an onslaught of recommendations to at least trim the sides. Instead, I was greeted with suggestions for exploring the stylistic possibilities of my “flowing locks” using ribbons, flowers, and velcro-backed jewels! The authors go on to explain how to best create, maintain and have fun with 11 other styles, shapes, accessories and degrees of baldness using expertly detailed techniques. They are adamant that every woman and every vulva is unique, and that pubic style should be a personal choice. The illustrations even have different coloured pubes.
The authors also spend a lot of energy on the idea that pubic grooming is a way to honor one's body and increase self-esteem, and also to prepare for lovemaking and express erotic desires. All of that makes sense, but the later chapters in the book start to completely detach from pubic grooming and run into straight-up self-esteem building and sex education. After a lengthy discussion of bathing and grooming rituals and suggestions for spending an entire day on a pubic grooming date with a partner, a chapter on “Health Essentials” finally skips pubic styles altogether and delivers a crash course in clitoris location, masturbation and other topics related to women's sexual empowerment. The interviews in the final chapter mirror this gradual departure from relevance, starting with a top aesthetician and finishing with a relationship counselor. I think the only reason this bothered me at all is because I felt I had to read through a chapter on basic sex information that I already knew, in case secret style tips were hidden inside. I would have rather had it as an appendix.
Overall, Hot Pink is stuffed to bursting with great information. “Treasure Chests” offer solid shopping recommendations for each chapter, recipes abound, the bibliography is lengthy, and I haven't even cracked the substantial bonus e-booklets yet. I've got all kinds of ideas for ways to dress up my muff for my annual, totally immature attempt to shock my gynecologist.
Sample some styles for yourself elsewhere in this issue.