Today, I am a new man.
This past Wednesday, I had my chest waxed.
There was no real rhyme or reason behind it, other than a) a girl said she thought it would look hot, and what better reason does a guy need than that; b) it would be a new experience; and c) it would at least make for a remotely interesting blog.
I made up my mind to do this on Tuesday, and I immediately started trying to schedule an appointment, the sooner the better lest I eventually come to my senses and chicken out. Fortunately (or un, depending on how this all plays out, I guess), Specialists in Hair Design not only had a professional waxer, she could fit me in on Wednesday.
The Q&A over the phone was brief and included one odd question from my would-be waxer: “Are you Italian?”
“They’re usually hairier than most men, so it costs a bit more for them.”
I immediately liked her, despite knowing she was about to inflict unspeakable pain on me.
Wednesday afternoon arrived sooner than I hoped, and after popping an Advil in advance for the expected pain, I headed off to Boston Square. I told the lady at the front desk my name and that I had a 4:30 appointment, and honestly, she looked surprised to see me. Turns out, they had a bet, with most employees thinking I wouldn’t show up. Even my waxer seemed a bit shocked that I arrived, but she quickly gathered herself and showed me to our private waxing area.
“I’m not going to lie to you: there will be some pain,” she told me.
“Well, I kind of expected that since you’re going to be ripping the hair out, roots and all.”
“It won’t be as bad as you think, though.”
“I should certainly hope not. My friends have warned me that I might lose consciousness. Actually, I hope I do. Would hurt less that way. Tell you what. If I pass out, just keep going and take off all the hair above the waist.”
She laughed. “Well, we’re not doing anything below the belt today, conscious or not.”
She explained how the whole process would work and that it would probably hurt more on my belly than my chest because “there’s more fat there.”
“OK, so it’s not enough that you’re going to make me cry by yanking my hair out? You gotta call me fat, too?”
She started to explain herself but quickly realized I was joking. Also, she realized that no matter what I said, she always had the advantage, since she had the wax and I had the hair and nerve endings.
She spooned a bit of the hot wax onto my upper chest, patted down her “ripping pad” and told me she was about to take off the first strip. I gave my blessing, bit down on the mouth guard I brought from home (I was not about to yell like Steve Carrel in The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and prepared for the worst.
I was not, however, prepared for the sound.
It sounded like Velcro, lots of it, being torn open at once. It sounded like my skin yelling at me, saying, “What have we done to deserve this?” It sounded like my hair cursing my very being, yelling as the roots left their cushy spot buried in my flesh.
“What’s your name again?” I asked my waxer.
“Right. I just wanted to make sure I was cursing the right name.”
Actually, I didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. Oh, sure it stung, but eventually my skin went numb. Over and over and over again.
“How in the world do women do this when they get bikini or Brazilian waxes?” I asked Liz. “More importantly, why in the world do they do this? We’re so not worth it.” Granted, my chest is far hairier than the average vulva, but hell, I’m also guessing my chest is far less sensitive than the area surrounding the holiest of holies.
“At least women don’t have to have as much ripping,” I said.
“Actually, that’s not always the case,” Liz told me, my mind immediately wondering what kind of monstrously hairy bushes she’s seeing on a regular basis.
She quickly corrected that notion, explaining that you have to rip the hair off in the direction opposite of which it grows. “Have you ever looked at the hair around your junk?” she asked. “It grows in every direction (note, she was not referring to my specific junk hair but general genitalia). You have to do a lot of strips.”
I tried to block the thoughts of out my head, focusing instead on the shocking amount of hair that kept coming off my chest with each yank.
It was now time for the one spot I had been dreading, the one location I had been warned would be overly sensitive. “Liz, nipple me.”
“Yeah, but one question: a friend said there’s a chance my nipple would rip clean off. Will that happen?”
“It hasn’t yet, but if yours does, can I keep it on my wall?”
“Liz, if anyone is going to have my nipple on their wall, I’d want it to be you.”
“Actually, it doesn’t hurt that bad, but it will hurt. It’s probably the most sensitive area on your chest. I can’t speak from experience, though, because I’ve never had my chest waxed.”
“I would hope not.”
She waxed, she yanked, she left my nipple attached to my body.
Tiny victories, I told myself.
The feeling was short lived.
It was at about this point my hair, particularly in the stomach region, got stubborn, refusing to come off in one nice motion. No, Liz had to yank. And again. And again. She wasn’t so much removing the hair as she was pulling it out further on the surface. I guess eventually it would come out, but damn, this hurt.
“Look, hair,” I said to my body. “I’m getting tired of your attitude. Get the hell out of there.”
That seemed to help for a bit, but Liz still encountered some trouble. To her credit, she tried making me feel better, as I laid there with three-quarters of a waxed chest.
“You look like Matthew McConaughey,” she told me.
Great. Liz is drunk.
“You’re just saying that because I have wild curly hair and a smooth chest,” I responded.
Look, I know I don’t look like Matthew McConaughey, but if a waxed chest makes someone, anyone, think I remotely resemble a man once named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, I’ll not grow another hair on it as long as I live.
She moved to my belly button, coating the region with wax.
“Will this help eliminate some of the fuzz my belly button tends to store?” I asked.
“It could. But it also might cause more since there’s not hair to shield the fuzz from getting in there.”
Some of the wax dripped down into my belly button, causing Liz to tell me I’ll be trying to get that out of there for a week. I immediately apologized to any women that might have had similar experiences.
The waxing experience soon came to an end, a bit more abruptly than I would have imagined – Liz ran out of wax. I guess I was more Italian than she had anticipated at the beginning.
The good news is that she was almost finished with me, so there wasn’t much hair left.
The bad news is that the remaining hair was a one-inch strip just below my belly button. I looked like I was wearing a rabbit fur belt.
Liz told me to come back Friday (her next day of work) and she’d clean it up, but I said it would be just as easy to shave that part off. She apologized profusely, sure she had lost a potential customer, but I assured her that if anyone else is going to wax any part of my body, I’d want it to be her. After all, she left my nipples attached.
I’m still not sure if I’ll keep the smooth look. It’s different, and I like it (plus it’s getting rave reviews from the ladies who have seen it), but it’s still odd to look at. Once the tenderness goes away (and the skin irritation dies down and I resume a normal skin tone), I guess I can make a better decision.