Editor’s note: We asked three of our male contributors to get bikini waxes and write about it — and they actually did. Here’s the backstory; here’s Eric’s story; and here’s Walker’s story (complete with video). Below, Kevin’s story.
Right now, as I write this, the itching has begun. It wasn’t there yesterday — yesterday I just looked like an eight year-old boy with an awful pelvic sunburn. But today? May as well be ants crawling all around my sphincter. I just got out of the shower, during which I exfoliated my scrotum and surrounding areas to prevent ingrown hairs. Have you ever had to exfoliate your taint? Then again, why would you?
3:07pm EDT (4hrs 38min till waxing) My HowAboutWe editor emails me, reminding me I’d agreed to get a full Brazilian wax for a piece. Was I still planning to do it? If so, they need it in three days’ time. My stomach sinks: I had agreed to that, hadn’t I? What’s involved again? Can’t be too bad, right? Quick google search. I reread Christopher Hitchens’s Vanity Fair piece. “Back, Crack, and Sack.”
3:49pm EDT (3hrs 54min till waxing) After calling seven different places, finally make an appointment at Bliss Spa on Broadway. Every other place was either booked, or “wouldn’t do that” to men. I text a handful of female friends explaining what’s about to happen, and ask for advice. All of them, without exception, offer the name of a well-known analgesic that should be consumed an hour before waxing. I call my roommate Taylor and tell him to meet me for happy hour.
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6:18pm EDT (1hr 37min till waxing) A few drinks consumed, but not too many (journalistic integrity). Taylor keeps looking at me like I’m about to ship off to Nam. He tells the bartender, and the guy literally clutches his chest, gaping at me. (General female reaction: Take this pill, lotion after, you’ll endure.)
6:59pm EDT (46min till waxing) We get to chatting with a couple women seated out at the patio, and I sorta hit it off with one of them. They both want to come watch, and I tell them that’s out of the question, but they should meet us back at the bar afterwards. The anticipation’s killing me now. The not knowing. I go into a bathroom stall and secretly tug at a swatch of pubic hairs. Harder, then as hard as I can. My eyes water. I tell Taylor I have to go back up to the apartment to take the pills and get an audio recorder. Somehow the girls end up there with us, and in the haste to find the recorder and talk them out of following us to the spa, I neglect to take any painkillers. Too late anyway.
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7:44pm EDT (1min till waxing) Bliss is a top-notch facility. Feels like you’re walking into the front room of a country club. Taylor follows me down a hallway to a small waiting room, and right on time, the door opens and a late-30s-ish woman steps out. She’s a red power suit away from looking exactly like Sarah Palin, down to the bangs and glasses. “Kevin?” She stops Taylor from coming into the small room. I’m on my own now.
7:47pm EDT (2min into waxing) No pleasantries — not that I’d want any. She asks me to strip down, and I do, then get on the table stomach-down. We’re going to attack the backside first. She approaches all this much like a nurse administering injections: you strike before the patient has time to think. Before I know it, my right buttock is brushed with a warm metallic blue gel. The first Rrrrip! is startling, but not as painful as four hours of anticipation built it up to be.
7:53pm EDT (8min into waxing) She’s encroaching towards my epicenter, and now needs my hand on one of my cheeks, to spread it open for her. It would feel more invasive if she wasn’t doing the whole thing so damn quickly, and besides that I’ve already been reprimanded twice for not spreading the cheek open wide enough, so my focus is on not angering the woman with the waxing stick.
7:59pm EDT (14min into waxing) Sunny side up now, and the real fun begins. The taint is bad, scrotum is worse (thin, loose skin), but the area forming the perimeter around the base of the shaft turns out to be both the finale and the absolute cruelest. She has me hold my penis against my stomach so she can get underneath, and when she yanks there, where the sack meets the shaft, I clutch the member in my hand as hard as I can — a totally weird and counterproductive way of diverting pain, but it’s not like there are many options down there for stress-squeezing.
8:04pm EDT (19min into waxing) A few final pulls to clean up what would be the V of my bikini line, and without a shred of sentimentality, Marina snaps off her latex gloves and says we’re finished. She’s out of the room, and I’m left to carefully slide my pants back on. I hobble out to the waiting room, and Taylor’s sitting there eating a plate of hors d’œuvres.
8:17pm EDT (12min post-waxing) Truth be told, I can’t really feel much. The longer the waxing went on, the more my body reacted by going numb. The biggest difference is how breezy the walk afterwards feels. We head back to the bar we were at before, and the girls are already there. I think this is a bad idea; I’d much rather go home and apply some Cetaphil sensitive skin lotion, but Taylor insists we have another drink.
8:41pm EDT (36min post-waxing) I step out for a cigarette with the woman I’d hit it off with earlier. She’s asking me about it, laughing, playfully suggesting what it must be like in there under my pants. More than anything, I’m on major adrenaline. We make out.
8:57pm EDT (52min post-waxing)Post-waxing biological functions are tested out in a stall of the women’s bathroom. Laughter is heard upon unzipping of pants. Redness abounds. There is extreme tenderness near the base, which is absolutely not unpleasant during fellatio. Functionality is largely unaffected during intercourse, though positions are limited (probably due more to scenic restrictions than anything waxing-related).
3:06am EDT (7hrs 1min post-waxing) I’m dying now. Zero chance of sleep. Skin is bumpy everywhere. Should not have drank afterwards. Should not have tested functionality so soon.
8:08am EDT (12hrs 3min post-waxing) First shower. Extremely tender, so I make the water lukewarm. Can’t imagine walking right now, let alone anything amorous. Only goal for the day is to head to drug store to pick up new lotion in anticipation of the coming itching. All of this is far worse than the waxing itself, and as I shower all I can think about is how strange the concept of pain-for-vanity is. Then I remember how picky men can be to women about these things; I’ve never cared about body hair much, but I know now I’ll care less.