The Brazilian

It’s not a drink. Nor is it a sexual position. And it most certainly is not a suave, slightly enigmatic dude at a high-rollers table drinking Dos Equis. My friends, this Brazilian is a hairstyle, that very special sort of hairstyle that clocks in south of the border and doesn’t typically involve highlights…at least, as far as I know. But this is what I would like to know—what sadistic, evil, torture-mongering misogynist determined that a hair-free womanly quadrant was an element of beauty, and that it was socially acceptable to achieve said beauty through such an exceedingly displeasurable method?

Yes, I have experienced the cartoonish torment of the Brazilian bikini wax and am here to tell you about it. It’s a rite of passage; at some point or other a lot of us ladies will have a go at some creative landscaping in an area we see every single day. And why not? We’re the ones who have to look at it the most, so we may as well make it make us happy. So, in order to assess the degree to which this particular grooming phenomenon creates sexiness, a while back I gave it a rip-roaring go. I emerged from my…research…with a smooth new ‘do and a deep appreciation for the lengths to which we women will go in the name of beauty. And also a bit of a sore virginia, to be honest.

Please understand that I am very much a neat freak when it comes to the care and maintenance of my…lawn, as it were…and have always paid careful attention to my personal grooming. And as many women have, I’ve over the years experimented with various hairstyles and methods to achieve them, occasionally in conjunction with the specific likes of a particular partner. I have even attempted Brazilian waxing at home, a practice I do not recommend for anyone who is not a professional contortionist with training as an aesthetician and no pain sensors in their brain. If you’re gonna rip, then rip off the band-aid and get professionally pummeled.

Here’s the good news—the entire procedure takes fifteen minutes, in contrast to a miserable 60 minutes of splayed-out ripping on the bathroom floor at home. And the price tag is actually rather conservative in the litany of female spa procedures. Here’s the bad news—I think I’m now technically having an affair with my aesthetician, since she has seen me in positions that I may not have even engaged in with some of the the above-referenced partners. Allow me to summarize the protocol for my “Brazilian Bonanza” for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure as of yet:

Step One—Walk into the treatment room with the technician (let’s call her Bonnie) and discuss the weather.

Step 2—Drop your drawers while Bonnie heats up the wax, and walk your half-naked self over to the table, which is covered in paper just like at the doctor’s office.

Step 3—Lay on your back, bring the soles of your feet together and attempt to respond to Bonnie’s idle chit-chat while she layers a foundational product and then really warm wax over your most intimate of intimates, with a bird’s eye view into your womb.

Step 4—Using a labor-like breathing technique Bonnie’s taught you, exhale deeply as she repeatedly rip, rip, rips out that unsightly hair growth.

Side note—have I mentioned Bonnie’s trainee? Oh yes…oh yes, my friends. Before passing the baton to her young apprentice, she must be schooled in the art of the female wax, and I have courteously agreed (what else am I gonna do?) to allow Bonnie’s pupil to observe our session. Therefore, every step is accompanied by Bonnie’s commentary on how to apply the wax, which “folds” to move aside, which direction the hair grows in this particular crevice, etc. and so forth. I’m not kidding.

Step 5—Be thankful that you study yoga as Bonnie has you lift each leg to your head in turn so that she can get to hairs in places you didn’t even know you had.

Step 6—Roll over on your stomach and be thankful that you’ve just showered as Bonnie explores the depths of your identity in a search for follicular rebels. Footnote—as she explained to her apprentice, Bonnie uses Steps 5 and 6 instead of asking clients to get on all fours to provide access to the same areas. She finds it a degrading position that is unneccessary, and I couldn’t agree more.

Step 7—Bonnie applies antiseptic and a little bit of soothing balm to your now perfectly smooth woman-parts. You’re done.

I had to admire Bonnie’s efficiency—she got me in and out of those positions as quickly as she possibly could, but got every damned hair down there in the process. At first, I was perfectly mortified by the idea of her seeing me in such a state of vulnerability (I am a rather modest gal), but I felt a little better when she told me that this was her third Brazilian of the day, and it’s a normal day. So, in the final analysis, two days after we spent our quality time together, Bonnie will not have remembered a single thing about my womanhood, but instead would be busily rip, rip, ripping away at one of many other unsuspecting victims.

As I walked home from the spa, slightly humiliated, slightly sore, and deeply impressed at my tolerance to pain, I marveled that women actually go through this ordeal (and pay for it) once a month just to achieve a little extra smoothness and neatness. Wouldn’t the good old bikini line wax or shave do the trick? It’s cheaper, faster, and produces a lot less discomfort. Plus, it keeps in place some natural down that a part of me still thinks ought to be there. Is it really that much better to go Brazilian? Maybe I’ll ask the dude at the high-rollers table. With that kind of sophistication, maybe he goes Brazilian too.

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