Very exciting-this entry is not by me but is rather a guest post! I frequently encourage people to share their stories so I’m super pumped to receive one. It comes from a woman I’m calling E. I laughed out loud reading it, causing people surrounding me to either think I’m crazy or appreciate something was bringing me joy and in turn causing them to smile (waxing can spread like grape jelly as E writes, & it can also spread surrounding happiness!) Speaking of grape jelly, E’s writing gave me a tinge of, gosh why didn’t I think of wording a story like that! She’s a professional waxing journalist & she didn’t even know it. Also, NYC has European Wax Centers & though I’ve always avoided them because I feel it’s my duty to visit the dodgy places, I’m tempted to take myself to one for a treat. Thank You E for this. I just love it.
European Wax Center, Gellert Blvd., Daly City, CA
It’s 9:45 AM on a Saturday, and even though I’m still bleary-eyed and caffeine-free, a cheerful middle-aged woman is spreading cobalt blue wax onto my labia like grape jelly on a peanut butter sandwich.
Even though I go to this salon on a regular basis, today I’m getting my first real Brazillian: everything off the front, butt strip, full stomach wax. While I’ve been getting my eyebrows and lip (and, ok, more recently, chin) waxed on a regular basis for close to 20 years, I’ve only dipped my toe into the water of more… umm… personal waxing over the past year. And this is the first time I’ve had the guts to get rid of everything.
The reason is simple: I had been in a monogamous relationship for the majority of those 20 years, and this whole Brazillian trend came long after me and my partner were parked on the couch eating pizza and watching Sex and the City, instead of actively going out and getting it from strangers.
But things change. At the spring-chicken age of 36, I find myself single, and dating. And whether I like it or not, bare is the order of the day. The one exception I experienced to this rule was a feisty bisexual graduate student who pretty much refused to go to bed with me until I grew out my bush. But mildly crazy pseudolesbians aside, I’ve been led to believe that most people nowadays expect hairlessness. So here I am.
My waxer is D. and she works for European Wax Center, a large national chain of salons that I’ve been frequenting since moving to California 5 years ago. I have a regular waxer, A., who does my facial waxing, but she wasn’t available today, and I have a date tomorrow that I hope leads to naked fun times, so I agree to see whomever is available.
When I arrive, I ask D. whether she wants to do stomach or Brazillian first, and she insists that we do the Brazillian. So I drop trou while D. stirs the wax and prepares her supplies in the other corner of the room. I hop up on a paperlined table. All the rooms in the place are private, with real doors and walls, and precanned hits from early aughts blare from some speaker I can’t quite see.
D. wears gloves, and doesn’t double dip. This is hard wax, no strips are involved, so she has to pry off a little bit of the wax at the edge before she rips each strip off me in two sharp pulls. She asks me to exhale sharply each time, just like my Pilates teacher does when we’re focusing on our deep abdominals.
D. does the most painful bits first, which I appreciate. Despite this blog’s insistent advice, i haven’t numbed myself up with anything, or taken Advil. Maybe I’m a masochist, or just lazy. Still the pain isn’t too bad. Thankfully, I got a regular bikini wax a little over a month ago, so I don’t have that much hair to remove this time around. For the back, she doesn’t have me flip over, just hug my knees to my chest.
We chitchat throughout. I discover that D.’s husband works for a law firm, just like I do, and tell her all about my amazing birthday party the day before. This makes the whole process way less awkward: she’s a professional, performing a professional service. I’m a strong believer in “it’s not awkward, unless you make it awkward,” and this certainly bears out in my waxing.
D. manages to get most of the hair off after a single strip, but does a second pass to clean up some leftover, which doesn’t hurt at all. I tell her not to bother with the tweezers. She spreads some serum to prevent in-growns and we’re off to the stomach. I offer to put on underwear for this bit but she waves me off: she wants to make sure that she gets all the little hair in between. And it’s fine: after the past 20 minutes, I don’t even mind that I’m lying spread-eagle, naked from the waist down.
The total is $78 for the Brazilian plus full stomach, and I leave a $20 tip. I feel like D. earned it for being my first. I prebook my next appointment for a month out, and plan to keep it (unless my fun bisexual friend resurfaces again).