Summer is here, which means it's time for swimsuits and relationship restoration. Whether you're gay or straight or bi or whatever, I have two words that will change your life: bikini wax.
Until last year, my experience with this barbaric ritual had been limited to four occasions. The first was when the mother of my college boyfriend tested out her new home-waxing kit while I was wearing my bikini. I assuaged the horror of her having walked in on me having sex with her son by acting as a guinea pig for her latest hobby, and other than some minor burns, it wasn't too painful. The other three exposures occurred in the months preceding my wedding when I visited an overrated spa in La Jolla where a large woman wielding an indecipherable accent slapped hot wax on my bikini line while pulling my underwear to the side just enough to expose the area on which she was focused. Again, the pain was minor.
Then last autumn, on the recommendation of a friend-I'll call her Jennifer-I went to Devra's Skin Therapy & Spa for a professional bikini wax. Jennifer swore by Devra's pain-minimizing magic and mentioned that she happened to be 'the most beautiful woman in the world.'Given that I'd allowed myself in the preceding weeks to morph into a '70s porn star with the specific intent of having a professional aid my personal grooming habits, the thought of anyone else seeing me nude-especially a super model-almost caused me to chicken out. But my husband had sunken to making daily jokes at the expense of my vajungle, which was far more humiliating, so I made an appointment immediately following Jennifer's.
My friend spent less than five minutes in the candle-lit, incense-infused room with Devra, a tall, sable-haired beauty with a dimple in one cheek and a smile so gleaming she could cause a stampede of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders clawing each other for the limited stockpile of Crest Whitening Strips at the local Piggly Wiggly. Indeed, The Most Beautiful Woman In The World escorted a beaming Jennifer, complete with her $50 Bald Eagle, back to the waiting area. My friend bounced happily past me as I bounced happily past her, heartened by the prospect of a five-minute procedure. A quick admonition here-if this is your first time, be ye not so naïve.
I decided against the dramatic Bald Eagle and opted instead for a Chaplinesque design. Then I faced Madame Divinity and learned my first lesson for the day: There are, in fact, stupid questions.
'So-do I need to take off my underwear?'I realized as the words spilled from my mouth that the sculpture I'd selected required as much.
'Yes,'she smiled at me as I yammered nervously about how I don't normally look like this but that I'd been planning on getting waxed and was growing out the blah blah blah. 'It's OK,'she gently interrupted with her glittering smile. 'We're both girls. We have all the same parts. Seriously. It's no big deal.”
With this news flash, I dropped trou, climbed onto the table and lay supine in a most natural rigor mortis fashion, wearing nothing but my khaki J. Crew tank top.
After the initial strips of cloth had been adhered with wax, sufficiently matted down against my flesh and then violently ripped away, Ms. DeGorgeous began giving me specific instructions, which is how I gleaned lesson No. 2: Bikini waxing, like democracy, is a participatory event.
The next few minutes were spent with me holding this here and pulling that there and keeping it all very taut. At various points I had to grab behind each knee, pulling my legs back one at a time, fully exposing my lady parts so that The Embodiment of Radiance could remove, with pinpoint accuracy, any needlessly straggling, um-stragglers. Which brings me to lesson No. 3: There is no authentic bikini wax with minimal pain. This fucking hurt.
Let me just say here that images of Steve Carell of The 40 Year Old Virgin fame were omnipresent. That guy totally wasn't faking the Tourette-like outbursts. My tank top was soaked in sweat, and twice I started to laugh a hard, guttural, completely involuntary laugh of hysterics because that's all I could do short of leaping off the table and cowering in the corner with my legs entwined around each other. All the while, La Beauty Personified was giggling in solidarity, moving right along, getting in there so to speak, giving me a makeover.
This apparently massive effort culminated in DeLovely's proposition to do 'the flip.'She offered an opportunity to wax my ass or 'wolfhole,'as it's so delicately categorized by Urban Dictionary (Google it). It was an awkward moment, to say the least, but I'd left shame on the floor with my pants, and a fork in the road such as this demanded an expert opinion.
'Really? You think that would make a difference?”
'Well, let me just say that your husband will love it.”
'Ummm, OK. I guess it's all just cocktail-party chatter for you, anyway.'The Goddess Almighty laughed again.
'Oh, you wouldn't believe what people ask me about my job.'No, I thought, I probably wouldn't, and, anyway, I'd rather not think about that at the moment.
'OK, so what you'll need to do is roll over onto all fours and then, one at a time, pull your butt cheeks back for me.”
All of this came with some degree of gesticulation on her part so that I wouldn't misunderstand my assignment, no pun intended. And-vóila-lesson No. 4 (or rather the debunking of a long-held belief of mine): The ass waxing was the least painful part of the whole endeavor.
A mere 20-minutes after this humbling process began, the job was complete and damn if it didn't look good-minus the swelling and puffiness, of course, which goes away in a day or so. The physical pain vanished almost as soon as I'd handed over the greenbacks. I rocked my bikini later that week and my 10-year relationship was reinvigorated. In the end (!), I'd highly recommend giving it a try. For the season. For your lover. I promise, the positive results far outweigh the temporary discomfort and humiliation.