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!