Thursday, June 16, 2011


I learned one more thing about myself today:  I was never designed to successfully pull-off the Brazilian wax look.  This is not because of aesthetic reasons, but more about how I am perhaps the most challenging client in the history of hair removal for that particular area.  Let me explain.

Being of Northern European descent, I am not typically a very hairy person - except in one area.  I believe I must have some ancestor way back from deep within the African Congo with more ape DNA than human DNA.  During conception I captured that rogue gene and express it quite enthusiastically throughout the area of my body called, the mons pubis.  Some people have even looked up at me during certain intimate moments to tell me, "Its a jungle down there!".

Years ago, I went with my girlfriends Terri and Bergen to see The Vagina Monologues.  There is a part of the performance where the audience is asked, "If your vagina was a color, what color would it be?"  Our answers went like this:

Terri:  "I think mine would be red because it is very sensual, hot, sexy, and is at its best when treated with love."

Bergen:  "Purple, definitely purple.  The color which represents regalia, the season of Lent, sacredness, and deprivation of reckless action is how my vagina has been living as of late."

Me:  "Camouflage!  From all the bush-waking that takes place down there.  I swear, it is a good thing I never crossed sexual paths with a shell-shocked Vietnam vet because had he gone down on me - his PTSD would have sparked an urge to grab a machete and start whacking his way through the jungle." 

There was even a time in my early twenties where I would intentionally not shave my legs and intimate areas because I thought it would be a deterrent from slutting-out.  My thought was that no matter how drunk and easily seducable I became, I would keep myself from getting naked with a man out of embarrassment about my hairiness.  Unfortunately my plan rarely worked out and as the alcohol and approaching testosterone finally overtook my willpower and fueled my desire, I would find myself thinking, Well maybe this guy is really into '70s porn and will find my look quite sexy! 

So with summertime approaching I decided to extend my usual seasonal bikini line waxing into a full Brazilian.  A girlfriend had just had it done and highly recommended a very inexpensive spa and esthetician named Nancy who charged about half of the going rate.  For $40 with monthly upkeep at $10 a visit, I couldn't think of a reason not to go for it.

Several sources recommended taking two Ibuprofen one hour before the Brazilian to help ease the pain.  Being my mother's daughter, I of course interpreted this to mean that I must take three Advil and two Vicodin while washing them down with a glass of wine.

It was evident as soon as I walked into the salon that manicures and pedicures were a majority of this salon's business.  There were probably fifteen Vietnamese American women scrubbing ladies feet and painting Hello Kitty images on their acrylic finger nails.  Nancy took me to the back of the salon to an area partitioned off with a curtain which reminded me of the triage area at the emergency room.

With a combination of hand gestures and very slow, loud, over articulated speech I said to Nancy, "I want a Brazilian wax and this is my 1st time."  She simply nodded, pointed at my yoga pants and said, "Take off now and get up."  I took this to mean that I should undress from the waist down and lie on the gurney covered in butcher paper while she made no effort to leave the room while I got myself situated. 

The moment she looked at the work ahead of her, Nancy's eyes grew very big and I heard her exclaim, "Wow!"  Next she looked up at my face and said, "You want eyebrow, and chin too?  And you need lip...I do all first." I hadn't really planned on getting my face waxed, but I figured I would acquiesce and let her warm up with some easy work before tackling the rain forest.

Throughout my Brazilian waxing, Nancy kept yelling over the open ceiling to her co-workers.  Everything was said in Vietnamese, so I could only guess that she was saying something like, "You wouldn't believe what a hairy white woman I have here.  For Buddha's sake, I thought the stories about Sasquatch sightings in Oregon were a myth, but now I am waxing her.  Make sure to call our wax supplier today because I am going to need to access the entire five gallon drum in order to make it across her perineum."

I asked Nancy if I was the worst she had ever seen, and she just kept her head down furiously applying wax and yanking the strips while responding with an, "Uh-Huh."  I was hoping our language barrier kept her from really understanding my question and therefore she must be giving me a generic response.

The experience came to a finale with me in a most vulnerable and humiliating position which up until now had only been shared with men who had invested several thousand dollars in me over a good deal of time:  face down, ass up, with my hands spreading my cheeks towards both coasts.  I would have made the perfect centerfold for a hard-core BDSM magazine if only I was sporting a dog collar and had the patent leather boot of a dominatrix to lick while the last two strips of wax were yanked away.  Gross, I know.

I plan to do my best with upkeep of my new look throughout the rest of the summer.  Everyone tells me it is never as painful the second time around.  Next time, I think I will need to find a new esthetician as I doubt "Nancy" will ever be available again anytime Carrie Valium calls for an appointment.

Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz: