I Got My First Bikini Wax -- at 44

my first bikini wax

After much deliberation, I made a decision to do something that would take me -- and my lady bits -- way out of our comfort zone. I got my first-ever bikini wax just days ahead of my 45th birthday. And my reaction completely surprised me.


Here's what finally motivated me to take this leap: With a beach vacation planned, I couldn't bear the thought of spending six days tugging my bathing suit down in all directions in the oh-so-likely chance that I'd missed a spot or two with my trusty razor.

Nor did I want to have to spend 30 minutes trapped in my bathroom with one of those funky papaya-meets-natural-gas-scented hair-removing creams that my friends and I swore by in our teen years. You know, the ones that suggest you apply the cream, wait a few minutes, and then voilà! you're smooth and hair-free? But in reality, you actually have some wisps that seems as permanent as a tattoo and a washcloth that now resembles a glue board mouse trap. In other words: No, thank you.

I also knew that if I went the razor route, after three days, I'd be plagued with that itchy "I'm baaack!" stubble that would have me touching myself "down there" more than Madonna during the Like a Virgin years.

It seemed like my options were reduced to either getting a wax or swimming in knee-length bicycle shorts.

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So I decided I had to do it. Plus, I reasoned, I've given birth three times! If I could handle that pain, couldn't I withstand this? Not to mention the fact that countless strangers had already gotten a glimpse at my nether regions during the whole labor and delivery process -- what was one more?

But thinking of who should have to tackle this nasty job sparked another internal debate: Should I go to my regular, local salon to pop my bikini-waxing cherry, or would it be too awkward the next time I'm running past it to pick up a pizza or hit the post office? Even if my usual gal waved to me like it was no biggie, would I wonder if she's thinking, "There's the woman who's been living like Chewbacca all winter!"

Still, like any mom packing for a family before vacation, I knew every moment counts. I didn't really have time to research another place to trust with my lady garden. So before I could wimp out, I made an appointment and felt emboldened just hearing myself say the words “bikini wax” aloud to a stranger -- even if I sandwiched them between "manicure" and "pedicure."

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Of course, before going I did a little research, so I took an ibuprofen a couple of hours beforehand and wore underpants that I wouldn't be heartbroken to see ruined by hot wax. (Which is basically all of my underpants, but that's a separate essay.)

Resting on the bed where I usually had my eyebrows groomed, I felt compelled to confess that I was, in fact, a bikini wax virgin.

"What took you so long?" my lady asked.

So here's the true story: I had always been too scared. Eighteen years ago my cousin, who is absolutely fearless, went to get one before her honeymoon and had to stop after only one side was waxed. She said it hurt that badly. She hobbled out and had to take care of the other half at home. So, if this woman who once gave our ailing mutual grandmother an enema (see what I mean about fearless?) couldn't handle it, how could I?

I shared this with the aesthetician (except for the part about the enema) and she laughed and promised she'd go slowly with me. True to her word, it bearly (or is it barely?) hurt a bit. Yes, it seemed to take longer than your average Ken Burns documentary, but still, no pain and all gain.

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She did leave the room a couple of times and I hoped it wasn't to cry or call for backup. But she always returned and when all was said and done, I couldn't have been more thrilled with how it turned out.

Forty minutes and $20 (not including a generous tip) later, I was a complete convert. I vacationed with peace of mind knowing I wasn't flashing anyone. Needless to say, I've found my new look!


Image via iStock.com/Yuri_Arcurs

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