27 Thoughts That Ran Through My Head During My First Brazilian Wax

Have I lost my mind?

By: Hannah Baxter
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

For years I’ve prided myself on having a high pain threshold. I’m riddled with tattoos, I’ve shattered my elbow, I’ve fallen off a horse, among other things. Still, the idea of subjecting myself to a bikini wax terrified me. Friends met my minor curiosity with the gruesome details of their own Brazilians, convincing me once and for all that I should stick with shaving and a lapsed six sessions of laser treatment.

Then, last week, I had the bright idea to mention this to my fellow editors, who jumped at the chance to pass along their contacts for premium waxers in New York. “It sucks!” they cried, yet simultaneously urged me to experience baby-bottom hairlessness for myself. If they could do it, so could I, right? Yes, I would join this sisterhood of bikini-ready babes. I would banish my razor for weeks, except for, you know, all the other hair removal I perform on the daily. Everything will be different, better, smoother! And so I made an appointment for the Brazilian, meaning top, bottom, and everything in between. Go big or go home. 

Cut to me, a week and a half later, loitering on 5th Avenue outside Spruce & Bond. I’m clutching a green juice for dear life, texting my friends for support. “Let me know how it goes,” one writes back, inexplicably implying that it might go poorly. The elevator opens onto a bright studio and a receptionist who cheerily slides the mandatory waiver across the counter. I sign, skimming over words like burning, chemicals, and liability. Anything to cross this final frontier of womanhood!

Two women sit beside me on the waiting room couches, looking serene in their Chanel pantsuits, as Kristen, my specialist, emerges to guide me to the treatment room. She’s around my age with a sunny demeanor and instantly puts me at ease. Soon I’m perched on the table, naked from the waist down, and rather in awe at my dedication to journalism. In case you’re also on the precipice of this exclusive sorority, here’s every thought that ran through my head, from beginning to bare.

1. Isn’t it strange that I routinely meet complete strangers and within minutes we’re having a conversation without my pants on? Shout out to the OB/GYNs and waxers of the world.

2. Kristen is calm, cool, collected. I’m sweating and grinding my teeth into nubs.

3. It’s time. The wax is on, feeling warm and deceptively comforting. There’s no turning back.

4. The first pull of the strip is spicy, like a quick snap of a rubber band on a sunburn, but Kristen is quick. We’ve started at the top, which I’ve heard is the easiest.

5. She mentions off-hand that she doesn’t get waxed anymore because it hurts too much.

6. WHAT. THE. HELL?!

7. Time for the undercarriage. This hard wax is thicker and needs to sit for longer.

8. She wastes no time cleaning up the top while we wait. No rest for the wicked, or the unshaven.

9. EXPLETIVE.EXPLETIVE.EXPLETIVE.

10. Kristen apologizes and says it sucks to have large follicles.

11. I HAVE LARGE FOLLICLES?!

12. I see her out of the corner of my eye, expertly swirling the dark wax like a menacing soft-serve cone.

13. I’m definitely getting ice cream after this is over. I’ve earned it.

14. I ask her if she’s done this on men before, and she admits she’s not mature enough to wax their privates.

15. Laughing.

16. Nope, yelping.

17. We ponder if men would handle this as well as women.

18. Now we’re both laughing.

19. Legs up! Any semblance of embarrassment has evaporated. Do your worst, Kristen!

20. She compliments my nose ring. I compliment hers. I feel like we’re on this journey together.

21. EXPLETIVE.EXPLETIVE.EXPLETIVE.

22. Pain threshold shattered.

23. All done! She says I did great, and I am inordinately proud of myself.

24. Wow, we pay to do this to ourselves.

25. The receptionist asks if I want a follow-up appointment, and I politely decline.

26. Walking out the door and admittedly feeling pretty free and frisky.

27. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all...

“Getting Real”

We’re taking an honest look at love, life, and all the things that come with being an adult.

LEARN MORE
×