It ain't so bad.
See the caveat on the previous post, family/coworkers/cooter-haters.
My worst waxing experience was at a salon on Beacon St., called "Mirage" if I remember correctly, which is apt since I apparently had a mirage of a patch of skin being above my right eye when I walked in, and I walked out with a scab over my eye. It's one thing if a mishap should occur-- I have sensitive skin-- but at least say something while I'm there so I'm not walking down the street with pus oozing from a wee cut above my eye. Needless to say, I switched to Elizabeth Grady, which is far more expensive, but my friend Heather had great luck there with her brows. After a few eyebrow waxes there, I decided to take the leap into groindal region waxing.
My favorite part about visiting a salon is reading the slew of trashy magazines. I managed to get through most of People (so, about five minutes) before Kaci, who would be either the benevolent angel or the keeper of the gates of Hell, called me into the back room.
"Have you been here before?" She asked. I noted that I very much liked her highlights.
"Yes," I said cheerily.
"Have you had this service done before?"
"No," I said, trying to maintain a similarly cheery tone.
"Have you had a bikini wax before?"
"No," I said. "I figured I may as well go nuts."
She smiled, and said that was fine. She opened the door, and told me that I should take off my skirt and underwear, clean myself off with a baby wipe, put a towel over my lap and wait for her to come back. I was glad I was getting this done in America, because the last time I had a cosmetic service that requires bulk clothing removal (full-body massage), a small French-Canadian man who spoke very little English had to explain it to me. Kaci's English was great, and she was very reassuring. I waited around, listening to the New-Agey Musak, praying I didn't turn into a story that one esthetician related in Cosmo, where one woman who was getting a wax kept getting really wet. I didn't want to the freak client, talked about around the vat of wax in the back room, or in a national publication. It wasn't sexy-- I was nervous as hell. A strange woman would be slapping wax on my inner thighs with a popsicle stick. I examined my fingers, realizing I need a manicure.
Kaci came back with a large bowl of wax. She had me push the heels of my feet together so I had what she called "frog legs." I sighed, thankful I at least had my shirt on.
"Now I'm going to put wax here and here," Kaci explained, dabbing the wax where the hip meets thigh. "There's not a lot of hair here, and the skin is less sensitive. If it really hurts, let me know and we can stop."
I took a deep breath, and wiggled as the hot wax hit my skin. Kaci dabbed the wax with a baby wipe to cool it, picked at the edge with her fingernails, and ripped. As soon as the wax and hair left my skin, she put her other hand on the patch, pressing down gently to keep it from swelling. She repeated the motion on the other side. I flinched, but it didn't hurt much.
"How is it?"
"Fine," I said, sounding more nonplussed than I'd expected.
Kaci applied the wax in a slightly more intimate area. I usually don't like to chat when I'm getting waxed or having my hair cut-- the less I say, the better. But I felt like if this woman was messing with my private bits, I should try to talk. I told Kaci about my job when she asked. We talked about the Whatever and Target. I asked endless questions about intimate hair removal.
"Has anyone ever come in here and had you start to rip their hair out, and have you stop?"
"No, but last weekend someone came in and had me do this, and before I even took any hair out she was crying."
"And she didn't ask you to stop?"
"It was the weirdest thing. She didn't. She told me to keep going. By the time I got to the really sensitive stuff, she was hysterical."
"That must have been terrible for you."
Kaci laughed. "I kept asking her, 'Are you alright?'" Kaci patted my leg to imitate what she'd done to the poor soul who was weeping, but grabbed a bruise from Kristen's SuperBouncer at her parents' camp.
"Sorry!" She exclaimed.
"Do you do this for guys?" Hey, couldn't hurt to ask, right?
"No," she said. "A place up the street does it, I think, but we don't. I had a guy come in and ask me to do it, and I laughed at him. I thought he was kidding. Then he said 'I got it done in New York' and I'm all, 'Uh, sorry.' Where do you go after you laugh at a client?"
"Probably nowhere good," I replied.
"There's a lot of sensitive skin down there," Kaci said as she applied the wax to the most sensitive skin I have. "I mean, women do too, but guys have a lot more. And you have to move a bunch of stuff around down there too..." She trailed off, making a disgusted face.
"Now this is going to be the worst of it," she said, ripping the hair off. I squirmed and breathed in deeply, but didn't kick the wax that was at my feet. "Oh, actually, I have this side left too," she said, and ripped. It hurt, but it wasn't the knee-to-the-balls kind of hurt I expected. It feels like a Band-Aid taking hair off, but it's warm and thus hurts less.
After she made sure all the hairs were off the front, we moved around to the back. I'm profoundly grateful my job does not entail looking at women's asses and cooters all day long, because as much as I like my body, I don't really enjoy showing it to doctors or waxing staff. Something about a fluorescent light aimed squarely at your intimate areas takes some of the beauty away. The backdoor waxing went quickly, and didn't hurt at all.
"Okay, you're set," Kaci said with a reassuring smile. I resisted the urge to ask for a lollipop for my good behavior. "You did well, and remember-- the first time is the worst. If that's the worst it gets for you, you'll be fine."
I paid the exorbitant cost ($60, plus a 30% tip, which Lucky magazine suggested but the Whatever was appalled at) and walked out into the late August sunshine. I feared that once the blood returned to it's normal flow it would hurt, but it just had a tingle that wasn't all bad around that area. As far as I could tell from my brief examination, no redness or bumps cropped up. It is funny to see everything so bare and exposed.
I don't know if I'll make a habit of it-- $80 a pop is a bit steep for hair removal. But, so far, so good. I'm curious to see what happens with any sexual activity, but I will probably not write about that for public consumption.