I hope you’re sitting down for this. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am currently unable to sit down with any sort of comfort. Let me explain why – last night I had my first ever Brazilian bikini wax.
Now your reaction to this, as far as I can tell, will be one of three. The first reaction is from someone who, like me before last night, will be thinking, “Huh. I’ve been thinking about having that done. I wonder if it is as bad as I imagine?” The second reaction is from someone who, like me after last night, will be thinking, “Huh. Glad I’m not the only one who was dumb enough to try that!” And the third reaction will be from someone who, like many many of my gorgeous and well-groomed friends, will be thinking, “Huh. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I do it every 4 weeks!”
Let me first begin by explaining that I am descended from a long line of hairy Italian women. We’ve got it all – dark, course hair, unmanageable mustaches that one chin hair that, no matter how often we pluck it, is always at least an inch long.
Ladies – I shave like it’s my religion. Every single day, I whip out my razor and try to scrape every last tiny fragment from my legs and crotch. It is a time consuming endeavor, and it has cost us thousands of dollars in plumbing fees when I inevitably clog up our drains. I subscribe to Dollar Shave Club, with a shiny new box of four executive razors being delivered to me each month. They each last me two shaving sessions IF I’M LUCKY!
So I started thinking that there had to be a better way of getting rid of the hair. I’ll admit I did have some experience of waxing. Many many years ago, at the ripe old age of 19, my ex husband set me up at a salon to be waxed. He insisted I let my leg hair grow out for the next few weeks until I came to see him (we were living in different countries at the time) and be waxed the first day. I had the full leg wax and they sort of cleaned up around the bikini line without actually touching it. It was very painful, and it didn’t seem to last very long (the hairlessness – the waxing seemed to go on forever!), so I just decided to never ever ever do it again. That was 15 years ago.
Since then, I have had three children! I have experienced the worst pain a woman can feel in her nether regions, right?? I mean, with my third kid, the epidural didn’t even take, so I felt every inch of that kid as he slithered out of me. What’s a few hairs compared to that? Right?
So just before my period last month, I decided to stop shaving. It’s winter – I’m not wearing a lot of dresses or shorts – so I figured it was the perfect time. Of course it put the kibosh on sexy time with my husband (not because he was grossed out, but because I was), but I figured the payoff would be worth it. I waited three LOOOOONG weeks, and I was completely disgusted by myself. For the record – I actually applaud any woman who doesn’t shave. I don’t find it at all distracting or distasteful. I find body hair completely normal. But I can’t STAND it on myself. I also get insanely jealous of any woman who says she is just naturally hairless. When I first met my ex-husband’s new girlfriend, I tried to warn her about his relentless obsession with keeping legs hairless, and she just looked at me and said, “Oh. I don’t really ever need to shave. I’ve never had much hair.” I kinda wanted to cut a bitch. (Not really – she’s actually very lovely, they’ve been together for years now, are engaged and having their first baby together.)
I booked an appointment last week, but then I realized that my hair might actually not be long enough to wax properly. Despite the fact my body looked like a hairy forest, I dug out a ruler and realized it was not the requisite 1/4 inch recommended. It was just over 1/8 inch, which is apparently fine if you’ve waxed before, but first timers need it to be a little bit longer. So I rescheduled my appointment and a friend decided to come with me and have hers done, too.
So I booked us in at 6:30 last evening. I was advised by friends (those of the type who do this sort of thing regularly) to pop a couple of ibuprofen 30 minutes before my appointment, advice I googled to confirm. So I swallowed them down at 6 on the nose. My friend, Shantelle, swung by and picked me up and we headed over to European Wax Center in Midvale. Both of us were nervous. She wasn’t at all sure she wanted the bikini wax portion, but she was pretty set on a full leg. In the end, we decided we were in it together! Except… we weren’t.
In fact, Shantelle got called in, and I had to sit in the waiting room for a full 45 minutes waiting for her. My dreams of shouting through curtains at my waxing buddy were shattered. I wanted someone to commiserate with. Someone who’s hand I could hold when things got tough. Instead, I had to watch the two 20 year old receptionists giggle and make fun of other customers as they came and went. I got to enjoy the spectacle of one of them making out with her boyfriend, who stopped by to surprise her, right there in the waiting room. I even got to hear her discussing one of their customers in graphic detail with said boyfriend. One thing that I did not hear (though I was listening intently) was any screaming from the back room.
This boded well.
FINALLY, out came Shantelle. She was surprised to see me. She thought I’d been done much more quickly than she had. She didn’t realize that I had been waiting the whole time.
Now it was my turn. I whimpered as I made my way back. I was going through everything I’d read online and heard from friends.
They give you disposable panties – FALSE!
This did not happen! In fact, I was told to remove everything from the waist down. My waxer just stood there waiting for me to strip off.
They don’t get full access – FALSE!
The first words I heard after removing my pants were, “Lay down on the table and spread your legs.” Heels together, knees out, lady garden on full display.
They are very gentle – FALSE!
Immediately, her gloved hands sprayed some sort of cleanser onto me, and she rubbed it into and all over me like she was scrubbing baked lasagna from a casserole dish. Then it was a handful of oil rubbed in the same way. My eyes were bugging out of my head. I had not even had a hello! Certainly someone should have at least bought me dinner first!
It doesn’t hurt that badly – FALSE! FUCKING FALSE!
Remember that ibuprofen I’d taken at 6? Well it was now 7:30, so fat lot of good it did me. Robbie (for my waxer’s name was Robbie) laid down a warm layer of wax into the crook where my leg meets my crotch. She laid another long strip down the inside of my right leg. It was fairly soothing. Nice even. I started to relax. It wouldn’t be that bad.
Then it happened. The most excruciating pain I’ve felt in my life! Robbie ripped off that wax from my crotch like grandma ripping a band aid from a squirming toddler. I’d barely caught my breath when she ripped off the inner leg, too.
FIRE! MY CROTCH WAS ON FIRE!
More wax was laid and ripped up. She worked fast, I’ll give her that. I could not breathe. I stared at the light fixtures above me, intermittently squeezing my eyes shut to keep in the tears.
At one point, she’d laid on too thick of a layer, and it would. not. come. up. She ripped and tugged, and I gripped the bed under me like it was my life raft on the Titanic. I gasped in pain and let out a yell with some words I am not too proud of. Finally, she managed to rip it up, and I could tell that there was obviously some blood because she immediately clapped her hand down onto the area and pressed hard. Every time she let her hand up, she immediately clapped it back down again. I certainly did not have the inclination to check it out for myself, so I did what any normal woman would do in this situation. I grabbed my phone and googled, “Can a vagina fall off?” Which – if you’ve never googled it, DON’T!! Apparently a vagina CAN fall off, though not from waxing. But still – the thought will haunt me forever.
Robbie continued assaulting my vagina, and I continued using bad language in my head. She commented at one point, “Hmm. This area is a little redder than I like. I think it’s probably going to bruise pretty badly, and I don’t want you to be alarmed when you see it. You’re doing GREAT, though!”
She then regaled me with a sales spiel for every single product they sell. She squirted some sort of lotion into my hand without permission and encouraged me to rub it in. Immediately I broke out in a rash (I have very sensitive skin) and when she heard that, she squirted other lotion into my other hand. I’m not ashamed to say I wiped it on the underside of the table.
After what felt like hours (but in reality was mere minutes), she finally said, “The hard part is over. We’re just going to clean it up a little now.” FALSE! The hard part was NOT over. She continued to lay down wax into and all around my lady parts and ripped it off like it was her job! Which, I guess it is, but the point is it HURT.
Finally, she told me to lift my legs in the air, cross them and bring them down to my chest. She then proceeded to do the same thing to my taint and butt. Who knew I had so much hair there?!
Finally, she really was done with the Brazilian portion of the show, and while the full leg wax was rather painful, it was a breath of fresh air after the first course. It did take quite a while, and she seemed to go over the same areas over and over. Just when I thought it was finally done, she told me to roll over.
I’ll admit I was kind of happy about this, as I know the backs of my legs are definitely sparser than the fronts, so I thought it’d be quick. I took the opportunity to take a selfie. Unfortunately, I took this classic at the exact moment she began ripping a nice strip of wax off my ass cheek!
Twenty more minutes of pain and cursing (and trying to hold in a fart) went by before she finally said I was done. She put some sort of ingrown hair potion on me and rubbed it in. I was told to roll back onto my back, and she rubbed more into the front of my legs and all over my vag.
“Do you want to buy some lotion?” she asked me.
I jumped off the bed and threw on my bottoms (ow ow ow ow) and ran out the door. She insisted on showing me the rows of beauty products on offer, and in the end, I grabbed a $40 bottle of exfoliating gel to try (and honestly just to make her stop talking).
Apparently as a first timer, my bikini wax was half price, but the whole experience still ran me close to $150 + tip. I was assured by the many women there that the second time would be SO much easier and less painful. I just thought it was really cute that they thought there’d be a second time.
I’d like to thank all of the friends who were facebooking me during this trying ordeal. Shantelle kept assuring me it would get better (it didn’t!). My other friends told me it would all be worth it (it wasn’t!). And Dr Google answered my many panicked questions such as, “Can waxing cause a stroke?” and “Is a Brazilian just a fancy word for sexual assault?” and my personal favorite, “Which is more painful – sitting in an acid bath or waxing your vagina?” The jury’s still out on that one.
After our trauma, Shantelle and I braved the cold and headed out to El Chihuahua for well deserved margaritas and Mexican food. My flautas and Deathstar did not quite take the pain away, but they definitely soothed my soul.
Have you ever been waxed? What was your experience? Seriously, I’m dying to know!
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.