When Do You Wax?

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My first bikini wax was from a wonderful woman named Susan. Susan Perry. Her hair was badly bleached, short, and slightly fly away; her demeanor was matronly, domineering, and no bullshit. Looking back, she was kind of like the Red from Orange is the New Black for my small, beach town community. Only, she kept girls happy through manual hair removal, instead of with smuggled contraband. I was secretly scared of her. “Hey honey!” she would rasp in every time I’d come in. “How’s the temperature of the wax!” I’d barely have time to nod before she proceeded to rip all of the hair from my pelvic region in six, swift strips. Though shaking and sweating, I was grateful for her speed. Then I’d hop off the table and say, “See you in six weeks!” Elated, I vacated the premises.

I’ve uttered this phrase to many waxers over the years. Aside from Susan, I never see them within that “recommended' time frame. There are a few reasons for this: No longer living in a bikini means my prominent reason for removing visible hair has virtually disappeared. Also, having a super serious boyfriend for a long while ensured true love overlooked any unavoidable, inherited meta- and purely physical traits.

The super serious boyfriend is gone but my desire to have sex is not. This couples interestingly with my habit of staying away from the waxing salon, prompting me to wonder: Is there a direct correlation between quantity of sex and the frequency of waxing salon visits? (At this point in time, I’d have to guess yes.)

While one can argue “I do it for myself!” and I appreciate personal grooming and maintenance as much as the next person, let’s be real: bikini waxing has as much to do with you as it does with the person you are, or could potentially be, sleeping with. If not appeasing them, at least reassuring one’s self you have no reason feel judged in that aspect, the next morning. There's very little space to get around that, culturally, women are expected to be entirely depilated (head hair and eyebrows aside).

I have one friend who will schedule a wax before a date “just in case!” Meanwhile, my current feelings are more along the lines of “Sorry dude, deal with it.” From a feminist standpoint, forgoing the whole ordeal is one way of combating the societal, hairless beauty standards. From a budgeting perspective, $40 to more than $65 every six weeks is a serious amount of money each year. If part of feminism means making financially informed, independent, and smart decisions well, a Brazilian bikini wax will never be the reason I can’t afford property. (I’d DIY it but alas, I have no space in my tiny rental for the wax heater. Also, I trust myself, but not that much.)

So, I very intrusively ask: What’s your approach to waxing? Or, the time between waxes? Maybe you share a religious reverence for the practice and schedule an appointment at Strip: Ministry of Waxing every six weeks in lieu of confession. Or, perhaps you’re like me and a wax will happen whenever it fortuitously happens. Does the prospect of another human seeing you completely au naturel leave you ashamed? Nervous? Mortified? Indifferent? Consider this your Vagina Monologue. I promise it's a very safe space.

—Alexis Cheung

Photo by ITG.

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