ask caroline!

In an effort to get some regular content going on the blog, as well as entice readers (that’d be you) to play along, I’m going to make Wednesdays “Ask Caroline” day. You may email your questions to me at and I will pick a few to answer on the blog every Wednesday. Won’t that be fun?

Now, you should know this is not a completely random idea. Yesterday I received the following text from a friend in need:

You’re the only person I can ask. Is it okay to shave your pubes in the showers at the gym?

I felt so honored, so lucky that I could help someone with my vast knowledge of the universe. And then I realized I could help tens of dozens of people right here on the blog. So here it is, I’m ready, willing and able to help you. Whatever you’re wondering, whatever is bothering you, just ask me and I will answer your question–anonymously– right here. On Ask Caroline Wednesday!

Drumroll please! Our first Ask Caroline Wednesday advice:

Dear Confused Pubes,

It’s an interesting question that you ask, one that I myself have pondered. Gym Etiquette has always been a questionable subject, especially because there are so many factors. While I’d like to think that etiquette represents the breeding of the person regardless of situation, that simply isn’t true. Take myself for instance. I was raised well. Two parents who were almost married the whole time, upper middle class, private school. Everything was set in motion for me to become the wife of a lawyer with 2.3 children and a Range Rover. And look at me now. Tattoos, swears like a sailor, and writes for a living.

So first I must ask myself a few basic questions. What kind of gym are we talking about? The YMCA? The Boston Sports Club? Equinox? Also, are there shower curtains? (God I hope so.) Are the showers communal? (God I hope not.) Are you bringing your own razor? Are you maintaining your grooming or initiating?

The way I see it is that if there is a curtain and you wash away the evidence thoroughly, you are totally in line. I can only imagine that there are women doing much worse things behind those curtains than a little Southern Shave. What’s more important is that you not hop out of the shower and walk over to the body cream and lather your newly minted parts in front of everyone. Let’s show a little decorum.

The type of gym will dictate the behaviors though, or at least how covert you need to be in execution. I imagine at the Gold’s Gym ladies are shaving their parts at the sink so everyone can see their piercings. I’m sure at the YMCA you’d find a mother in the shower using one of her four children as a foot prop while the other holds the soap up. (All while she nurses the youngest.)

Use your best judgment, but so long as you’re being discrete and ladylike, I’d say it’s well within your rights to trim the hedges at the gym.

While we’re on the topic, though, there are a few things that we should cover about gym etiquette:

1. It’s never okay to use the complementary Qtips for belly button cleaning. I know it’s tempting, I’m even on team needs to do it, but it’s not okay.

2. There is never an occasion where it is too much of a hassle to put on panties before blow drying your hair. Never. For the love of the innocent put on some britches before you bend over.

3. The hair dryer is meant for top of head hair only. Get it near the Southern Shore and you are asking to be ostracized.

4. The steam room should be treated like a civilized ladies lounge. If you would spread your bits about while having tea with friends, then you may do it in the steam room.

I hope this helps you with your quandary. It’s tough to navigate what’s okay and what’s not, especially when everyone around you is pressuring you walk around topless, stick Qtips in your navel and blow your lady parts dry. Resist, Confused Pubes, and you’ll be high society at the gym.

Email your questions to

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