One morning a few years ago, I was lazing around with my then-boyfriend when he suddenly sat upright and eagerly shoved a newspaper section in my face that featured a story about the Brazilian wax. I rolled my eyes, asked if he’d like it if I poured hot wax all over his privates, and the subject was dropped.
These days, however, I’m a regular. My first attempt was due to sheer curiosity’no boyfriend, I wasn’t planning a hot-weather-destination trip’but I figured, why not? Could it really hurt that much more than a regular bikini wax?
Well, as it turns out, yes. Yes it can. For me, getting even a regular bikini wax has always been agonizing, and I’d pop Advil before my appointments in an effort to numb the pain.
But I get one anyway. And I know I’m not alone in this ritual. Aesthetician Lynn Shulman of Elixir Organic Spa in Toronto says, ‘Fifty percent of the bikini-area waxes we do are Brazilian,’ and notes that the numbers are on the rise, at least at her spa. Why are they so popular?
Is it because we think men like it? Or is it that we simply like feeling smooth down there? I imagine it’s different for everyone. Women have been removing hair for centuries, points out Tracey Cox, the internationally renowned British author of many sex books, including 2008’s Secrets of a Supersexpert.
‘I don’t think this means we’re placating men’s desires to sleep with young women,’ she told Best Health. ‘It’s actually quite an efficient way to manage hair down there. I find it easier to get it all whipped off than to keep it trimmed.’ Another benefit, Cox adds, is that oral sex is better.
But other women wonder if the mainstreaming of the Brazilian wax is being foisted on them. For example, a recent post on jezebel.com, objecting to the expectation today that women should be hairless, argued that the practice is perpetuated by the ‘pornification of the world.’
Melissa Marti, an aesthetician and owner of The Spa Boutique at Greg May Hair Architects in Toronto, says that while she’s had requests for a Brazilian wax from women in their teens up to their 60s, most of her clients are 25 to 45. I guess I fall in there neatly at 38.
For me, going Brazilian is no biggie; it means tacking a few extra minutes onto my bikini wax, which already involves pain anyway. The result? I just feel much more groomed, which I find makes it worthwhile.
This article was originally titled "Why I regularly take it all off," in the January/February 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health.