Waxed In Shanghai

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Thank you for writing in with this question!

When I was laid-off in 2009, after the market crashed from under so many of our feet, I saw a different side to a lot of different people firing a lot of different other people. It was ruthless and cold and hard like we see in over-dramatized corporate drama series after another, except in real life. But what does this have to do with vagina waxing? Nothing, unless you believe waxing is ruthless and cold and hard. But I will use it as a starting-point for this Beginner’s Guide to Waxing.

So, rewind to 2009, I’d decided to pack my bags and travel more of the world with my newfound unemployment and free time. Among my destinations was Shanghai, the largest city (by population) in the People’s Republic of China. Despite my mother’s concerns that I would be visiting China before I ever returned to Korea I left for Shanghai, alone.


The street food in Shanghai, both at night and during the day, was ridiculously fresh and as simple as vegetable dumplings or as complex and scary as body parts from a variety of animals roaming the earth. I tried most everything being offered, save for helpings from huge pots of this:


I couldn’t. I didn’t feel it was part of my destiny to try my fate and my digestive system with such delicacies. Although I did try cupping for the first time in my life, while I was there.


Cupping is one of many ancient forms of Chinese alternative medicine, where cups are placed on your skin like mini vacuums using heat, to get your blood flow going. And then a few days later I stumbled upon this big pink sign on one of my many walks as a tourist:


Strip: Ministry of Waxing. I had no intention of showing my vagina to anyone on that trip. But the word choice in their signage sold me right away, how could I not go in for a wax?  And right away I went into “Beginner’s Guide to Waxing” mode. It was neither my first nor hundredth time getting waxed, but having it done in a foreign country I felt like a beginner again all of a sudden.

Beginner’s Guide to Waxing:

~ BEFORE: If you don’t have any already, buy a mild exfoliating cleanser and loofah/scrub brush and exfoliate (down there). Take an ibuprofen thirty minutes before the waxing session, this will help dull the pain. Decide what kind of wax you want, whether you want to just tame the hair around your lady parts (Bikini) or go back to a hairless prepubescent state (Brazilian) or whatever wax in between. And then convince yourself that your threshold for pain is higher than you think it is.

~ DURING: Don’t be shy to tell your wax technician that it’s your first time. Most likely, there’s a special package available to waxing virgins anyway. This is what they do for a living, and if they do it well, you and your vagina will get exactly what you want in the end. But if you’re embarrassed and tense, the experience will feel more like sex abuse than maintenance. If it helps, hold your breath right before each pull of the strip, and then exhale dramatically each time. It’s your vagina you can be dramatic if you want to. It also helps you relax if you convince yourself that you‘ll never see this person all up in your vagina again, even if you’ll be returning. Just psyche yourself out, it’s easier.

~ AFTER: Unless you have products at home already to help the post-wax process (and prevent ingrown hairs), buy something from your wax technician. Don’t sit in a sauna or Jacuzzi or toaster, for that matter, for twenty-four hours after your wax. It’s common sense. And try not to have sex right away. I won’t say wait twenty-fours until sex, because I’ve been known to wait just a few hours and get away with it. There’s something about having a fresh smooth territory as your sexual playground, that makes you want to show it off to someone deserving (and some not so deserving, but that’s nobody’s business). And exfoliate again after a few days…to further prevent ingrown hairs!

And voila, really, that is all you can do in preparation for your first waxing experience. Waxing isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re a “shaver” or one of those woman who is growing a rainforest through your pubes, I’m not judging. Everyone is different, and if you’re easily freaked-out in life then you will most likely freak out about your fist wax.

But realize you are not the first or last, and so many others have come before you and survived, and your vagina deserves you as much as you deserve your vagina. Happy waxing!

Always dishing,



  1. kcsmum

    Hhhhmmmm….shaver here. But lately I’ve been contemplating waxing. Ever since I tore the muscle in my hip & subsequently developed bursitis in the same area, I’ve not been able to twist my old bones into just the right position so as not to slice off anything I may need. But alas, for one of the first times ever, I’ve uttered the words “I’m too old for that.” I don’t like saying it and I despise acknowledging it, EVER. But I think I may be. What do you think, Dear Jun?

  2. Cris A.

    The reason I don’t wax is because of stories like this…….

    My night began as any other normal weeknight.
    Come home, fix dinner, play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: ‘Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet. So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. It was one of those ‘cold wax’ kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you
    peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off.

    No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I’m not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out.
    (YA THINK!?!)

    So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees.
    ‘Cold wax,’ yeah…right!) I lay the strip across my20thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works!

    OK, so it wasn’t the best feeling, but it wasn’t too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me!

    I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

    With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids,
    I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting
    championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet.

    Using the same procedure, I apply the wax strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my hoo-ha and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (it was a long
    strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself….RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

    I’m blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!….OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!

    Vision returning, I notice that I’ve only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP! Another deep breath and RIPP! Everything is
    spinning and spotted.

    I think I may pass out…..must stay conscious…must stay conscious. Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe,
    breathe…OK, back to normal.
    I want to see my trophy – a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I
    want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair.
    I hold up the strip!

    There’s no hair on it.

    Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???

    Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The ha ir that should be on the strip…it’s not! I touch. I am touching wax.

    I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next
    BIG mistake… remember my foot is still propped upon the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down.

    Sealed shut! My butt is sealed shut. Sealed shut!

    I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself ‘Please don’t let me get the urge to

    My head may pop off!’ What can I do to melt the wax?

    Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!! I’ll run the hottest water I can stand, into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered
    bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right???

    I get in the tub – the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment – I sit.

    Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together, is having them glued together and then glued to the
    bottom of the tub….in scalding hot water.

    Which, by the way, doesn’t melt cold wax.

    So, now I’m stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cemented myself to the porcelain!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!!

    I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me u ndone. It’s a very good
    conversation starter. ‘So, my butt and hoo-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!’

    There is a slight pause. She doesn’t know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me.

    She wants to know exactly where the wax is located,
    Are we talking cheeks or hoo-ha?’

    She’s laughing out loud by now . I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the
    box. YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else’s night.

    While we go through various solutions. I resort to trying to scrape the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better than to have
    your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!! By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

    My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace….the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax.
    What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub
    some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It’s sooo painful, but I really don’t care.

    IT WORKS!!

    It works !!’ I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and
    then notice to my grief and despair… THE HAIR IS STILL THERE…….ALL OF IT!
    So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I’m numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

    Next week I’m going to try hair color……


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