On Friday evening, my plans got cancelled at the last minute. I had been planning to get a bikini line wax done at some point soon, in honour of a beautiful youngster who might be exploring the area soon. With my Friday suddenly free, I made a last minute appointment.
I don’t know why I opted to have my third ever Brazilian wax, rather than a standard regulation tidy-up of the edges, but I suspect that my ill-advised watching of the TV show ‘Naked Attraction’ played a role in my decision. When I watched the first episode, I texted my friend, in horror, saying “there are 6 vaginas on my screen and there is not a pubic hair in the whole studio”.
As it was a last minute decision, I hadn’t been able to do any trimming at home, in preparation, but I had assumed this would be OK; firstly, I had done quite a lot of trimming reasonably recently (before the doomed Amersham Sex Weekend), and secondly, I thought if a professional viewed it as needed trimming before they started, they would do it. And probably have better scissors. It annoys me a bit that there is an assumption that you’ll do the trimming yourself at home. It’s like going for an operation and the anaesthetist saying “oh, we kind of prefer it when you at least administer some of the chloroform at home, yourself.” Or it’s like me starting therapy with a patient and saying “OK, so how much of the assessment have you already done? “. Also, I’m fine with having a bash at doing things myself, like I’ve cut my own hair (with mixed success) and waxed my own legs, but for some reason I always seem to do a shit job of trimming my own pubes.
Anyway, my first sign that this appointment might not go according to plan, was when I got up from the waiting area, and the beautician lead me to a chair by the window. I was expecting to be taken into the room out of the back, where I had been before. I really didn’t expect to get my vagina out, in the window on a reasonably busy high street.
“Err, this is for a bikini line wax?” I said nervously.
“Oh, not eyebrows?” She said.
“Bikini line wax,” her colleague confirmed, from behind the counter.
We both laughed and walked into the appropriate room.
As I got undressed and got onto the couch, and assumed The Position, I heard a whirring sound as the colleague put the shutters down for the day, outside the windows. Although it said the salon closed at 7pm and this was a 5.30pm appointment, it was obviously the last appointment of the day. I wondered for a moment whether having the last slot on a Friday afternoon meant I would get less good service.
A few minutes after the waxing started, I realised something.
This really fucking hurts.
I’d had hundreds of bikini line waxes before, and two Brazilian waxes, but this seemed to hurt more than usual. Although I was lying down, after a while, as each strip was being pulled off, I was involuntarily wincing and half-sitting up in pain.
The beautician was sighing and shaking her head sympathetically each time I winced. Eventually, she said “it’s because it’s too long. Too big”.
“Ah, sorry. Sorry. I thought it would be OK, but sorry. ” Classic Brit. Sorry the length of my pubic hair is making it so painful for me when you pull them out. “Do you have scissors? Maybe I should quickly trim them? Or is it too late?”
She didn’t speak great English, so I acted out trimming my pubes with my fingers. She went and got some scissors that looked like the kind of scissors that would be in the craft section at WHSmith, or they looked like small kitchen scissors. She obviously hadn’t understood the bit about me trimming them myself, and started cutting. It probably was too late, actually, because it’s hard to trim pubic hair that is so caked in wax.
I couldn’t see, as I was lying down and facing the ceiling rather than being able to see what was happening, but suddenly, but it felt like a very fragile part of my vagina got caught in the scissors.
“Ow!” I cried. I’m not sure she realised what she had done, but she gave me the scissors so I could complete the hopeless trimming.
And then the waxing continued.
Thoughts that crossed my mind were:
- I wonder if you can get PTSD from a traumatic bikini line wax
- presumably childbirth is more painful than this, because you never hear anyone say “childbirth is about as painful as a bad bikini line wax”.
- But how could anything be more painful than this?
- When will it end?
- Am I starting to lose the plot?
- I wonder if mine is the worst vagina she’s ever seen.
- I wonder if this is what hell is like
As I said, I’ve had bikini line waxes before, and there’s usually a bit of pain. The pain of having my legs waxed, I actually kind of like. It almost feels like a satisfying pain, like scratching an itch. When it moves up to the bikini line, I usually think “OK, this hurts a bit more.” But it’s the sort of pain where you feel in safe hands, and as soon as it’s over, I’ve forgotten about it. I also have a theory that the nerve cells stop sending as many pain signals after a while, because the skin has habituated to the pain or something. But this pain felt like combination of what it would feel like to be punched in the vagina, combined with the pain of tweezing out an individual hair in a very sensitive place, x 100.
Every so often, I sat up and looked at the progress of the procedure, which was not reassuring. The bottom of my stomach was absolutely scarlet. Where I hoped I would the emergence of a beautifully neat landing strip, was just a waxy, chaotic mess with random tufts of hair all over the place.
After a while, it seemed like we both agreed it was time to give up, even though it wasn’t finished and one side was still quite hairy. I didn’t care. She started applying wax remover and giving me aftercare advice “no sex for 2-3 days. You have pine for 5 days.”
“hurt. It will hurt about 5 days”.
“oh, pain! Yeah, sure.” I laughed, delirious with relief.
I was so happy it was over. But then, she looked at my sad, bedraggled vagina, and sighed and picked up the wax again!
This cycle happened two or three more times, where it would seem like it was over, and the wax would be cleaned off, and concluding remarks would be made, and then she would sigh and start applying wax to the poor thing again.
I tried to remember the breathing exercises I would have recommended to my patients.
In the end, I said “no, I think that’s enough thanks?”
She carried applying wax to my labia, which were in ribbons. After that wax had been painstakingly stripped off, I put my hands over my vagina and said “no more, sorry, thanks! Sorry.”.
As I got dressed, I felt really confused about what had happened. I felt torn between tipping her, to apologise for having such an unruly vagina, and complaining. She gave me another speech about how I should have trimmed beforehand “next time, make it less big, 2 or 3 days before”.
I paid and half-run, half-walked home.
When I got home, I ran straight into the bathroom and then up to the bedroom, to grab a small mirror, some tweezers and nail scissors, and then back into the bathroom.
“Jeez”. From above, my vagina looked like the head of a tiny, not completely bald, old man who had been brutally beaten.
In the mirror, I saw that one side of my vagina was really purple and bruised. It looked like someone had got a handful of blueberries and rubbed them into the top of my thighs. And somehow it was still a bit hairy. The other side, and the triangle at the bottom of my stomach were scarlet. On the scarlet side, the lips were hairless, but on the purple side, because I stopped her, there was still quite a bit of hair. It looked like a moustachioed mouth, on its side. But the remaining hairs were in such delicate, sore places, I didn’t really want to use the tweezers or scissors to try and make it symmetrical.
I decided to run a bath to try and calm myself down.
While I was waiting for the bath to fill up, a friend texted me, asking if I wanted to meet up one evening next week. I replied, saying“I just had the worst bikini line wax ever. I can’t think straight, but will send a more sensible reply later.”
He replied saying “lol”. I realised I was failing to convey the horror that my genitals had just faced.
“This is the worst thing that’s ever happened. It was supposed to be a Brazilian, but my vagina looks more like an art installation piece about the savage, but incomplete, destruction of the rainforest in Brazil”.