Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just who is Michelle Lee ...

As I mentioned in my first post about myself, (found HERE) I am a big geek and am working on my master's degree in biology.  I have also alluded in past posts about my start in the whole writing world with the erotica genre.  So to anyone who knows this about me, it should come as no surprise that when I am required to give presentations in class, and I am given a fairly free reign, my comfort zone is within a realm that is embarrassing to many others.  Which works for me, since I am a lot calmer during presentations if I am shocking the audience.  See, what many people don't know is ... lean closer ... I'm shy.  I know!  Right?  Me?  Shy?

Truly I am.  So I get really nervous when I have to present - but if I can make the audience also uncomfortable, then I actually feel less nervous.  Which leads to some, well, interesting presentations.

Case in point ... during one class, we were asked to do a presentation on the topic of Species Extinction.  Now most of my classmates picked species we will be sad to see go, which for someone who cares as much as we all do, was a fairly morose and sad class period.

To lighten things up, and because I am shy as heck and hate presenting, I picked something a little bit different.  I picked a species we would be thrilled to see go extinct.

Now, I will warn you in advance, there is a LOT of delicately put language as I attempt to take a very off-color presentation and make it general audience friendly.

So, I started off talking about how this is what we typically think of when we talk about habitat destruction and fragmentation.

This is another view of habitat destruction and the results.

Then I told them that today I wasn't going to be talking about that - about the bad habitat loss, and the evils of man caused species extinction.  Not because it isn't a serious concern, because it is.  There are so many species I could have picked, and just thinking about it is enough to make me cry.  So to get through presenting, which I hate, especially without crying, I needed to do something different.

Rather, I was going to be talking about ...

Well, to put it delicately - a habitat loss caused by hygienic attention to intimate body parts.  Although for them I had a nice, um, image.

(Pausing a moment for the laughter to die down)

After everyone got back into their seats, because some people fell out of them, we had to wait for one poor guy to have the picture I used explained to him. Since it was of a house cat with its hair removed.  Nuff said. 


Then I really started into my presentation.

The Background: Habitat Destruction

The Brazilian wax Brought to the U.S. by 7 Brazilian sisters: 
Jonice, Jocely, Janea, Joyce, Juracy, Jussara and Judeseia Padilha

Growing up in the Brazilian coastal city of Vitoria, the sisters, like other women there, routinely waxed hair from intimate areas to accommodate the ever shrinking bikinis worn on the beach.

The JSisters Salon is about a block from New York’s famous Fifth Avenue shopping strip.  The Salon opened in 1986.  In 1994 they introduced the Brazilian waxing technique.

After this, I showed a diagram of what a brazilian wax involves.  Um, I will spare you that very vivid imagery.

Regulars return approximately every four weeks, and pay $75 for a Brazilian Bikini Wax. 

Treatments range from complete hair removal to custom designs.

(Next I showed diagrams of different styles of grooming that were possible)

 Men are also getting Brazilian waxes. Some go for complete hair removal, and some also for designs.

(Had to throw in the eye candy there.)

(again I showed the possible grooming options)

Then I got into the details of it all, just why waxing is "bad".

Short and Simple: Habitat loss

WARNING: Science content ahead!

Lice of the intimate body region (Phthirus pubis) infest about 2-10% of the human population

A female louse needs to mate only once to remain fertile throughout her lifetime, and can lay eggs every day.  Think about that - it's terrifying!

Plus they are ugly little creatures.

Of course, I had to bring the science into it, and discuss lice eradication treatments.

Lice of the intimate region were usually treated with topical insecticides, Rid, Nix, and Malathione lotion.

Best treated with prescription wash containing permethrin.

From there, I moved on to the stats ...

Just How Wide-spread Is The Habitat Loss?

Greater than 80% of U.S. college students remove all or some of their, um, intimate hair.

A majority of men and woman in Australia remove all of part of their intimate hair.

In the U.K., 99% of women remove some hair, generally on their legs, pelvic area, and underarms.

The trend of the Brazilian wax (and other hair removal processes) is an alternative to pesticides in stemming one of the planet’s most contagious STDs.

Clipping, waxing, and shaving the pelvic region destroy the optimal habitat of this particular species of lice.

Intimate area "grooming has led to a severe depletion of crab louse populations.  Add to that other aspects of body hair depilation, and you can see an environmental disaster in the making for this species” says Ian Burgess, medical entomologist with Insect Research and Development Ltd.

Although the WHO doesn't have records on this species of louse, because it doesn't transmit disease, some records are kept by health care workers dealing with STDs.

2003 Study: In Australia at least 1/3 of people experience an infestation at some pt, in their life.  Since 2008 – Sydney’s main sexual health clinic hasn't seen a woman with lice of the pelvic region, and male cases have fallen 80%.

Ten years ago in the U.K. doctors started noticing a dwindling rate in cases of these lice, even as prevalence rates of other STDs increased.  

CDC has no stats for U.S. on this species of lice, because it isn't a disease causing agent.

Although this species of louse isn't a current threat, there is potential for new outbreak emergence, especially with its increasing resistance to pesticides.  Its cousin, Pediculus humanus humanus (body louse) is a vector of disease.  

"In the case of pubic lice, habitat destruction is a good thing” says Richard Russell, director of medical entomology at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital. 

Then I went to my sources slide:

Pubic Lice (Pthirus pubis): History, Biology and Treatment vs. Knowledge and Beliefs of US College Students.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Vol. 2, pgs 592–600. 

Brazilian Bikini Waxes Make Crab Lice Endangered Species, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-13/brazilian-bikini-waxes-make-crab-lice-endangered-species-health.html

And, I ended on a comic slide, something I learned from one of my professors that I now always do.


So, aren't you glad you're not going to school with me?  My classmates both love - and hate - when I have to present.

I also did a talk on 50 Shades of Animal Sex: Kinky, Painful and Deadly Sexual Practices in the Animal Kingdom and another talk on The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria and the Origin of the Vibrator.

If you're interested in seeing one of these as a future post, let me know.

As for anyone interested in my covers ... check out Stardust Creation  Come on, geek - so of course I had to go geeky with my website name. :)


  1. Hi Michelle,
    Wonerful blog, even though you have made me feel itchy. Interesting statistics.



  2. Yeah, I had the same reaction in class. *snicker* Couple of people wanted to go back and look at the stats again. Others wanted the pattern images so they could plan their next "do". Sometimes, even in class, you can reach TMI. *shudders* And, well, the professor hasn't looked at me the same since I have that talk. Although my thesis adviser was in the room when I gave my 50 Shades of Animal Sex talk and he thought it was hilarious. So, as long as he is cool with things - I am golden. :)

  3. What a great day! Started out with some interesting points about finding images - especially the advice of writing down image informaton, progressed to sexy men (I'm all for that!) and finished up with a ripping account of what must have been a hilarious class.presentation. Thanks Michelle

    1. It was certainly an interesting class. We were all pretty much crying from the other presentations. And then mine. The full presentation, with all of the less PC jokes and images, was certainly something you either had to laugh at, or blush at. LOL

  4. This is fantastic! I'll bet nobody fell asleep in that class!

    1. Nope. Still have some people that won't look me in the eye - but no one fell asleep.

  5. Ew....some boys really do have cooties. Thanks, Michelle. Such interesting posts, and a whole day full.

    1. And some girls do too. It is definitely one species we won't have issue with going extinct.

  6. Michelle, What a fun post. As a nurse many times I had to delouse patients and that was years ago. I'm sure your classmates had to laugh whether in the fun of things or from turning beet red. Your posts always make me wish I had your sense of humor.

    1. Ugh - I would hate that! It was bad enough when a friend got head lice. I itched all over for a week, just thinking about it. Thankfully my munchkin never got head lice, cause I will do a lot of things for her, but dealing with that isn't one of them.

      Just imagining dealing with people with pubic lice - shudders. Nope. Not this girl. I can cut up rats and feed them to owls without a problem, but I can't do that.

      As for my sense of humor, it's not all its cracked up to be at times. I sometimes have issues with my filter - and say things I really shouldn't say. There is always a pause - as whoever I am with thinks, did she just say what I think she said? It's during that moment that I realize my brain-to-mouth filter was not engaged. Gotten me into some uncomfortable spots in classes a time or two. But I'll save that for another post I think. :)

  7. Hilarious, thanks for a great chuckle! :)


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