My First Brazilian.
I wish as much as you do that this was a sex-capade with a sleek brown Brazilian lifeguard. Believe me, I do. But instead it is about my first brush with the rather barbaric Brazilian art of uprooting one’s hair from one’s private parts, for a certain notion of sexiness.
I’m not very high maintenance per se, I barely manage to find the time once a month to go to the salon and get rid of unwanted hair. I actually push it till I have grown a uni-brow and a moustache like a female Bigg Boss contestant in the 18th week inside the house. Hey, don’t judge me! It’s not that I like looking like a werewolf in human form. I just have other things that I care about more. Fortunately I have a man who thinks I’m sexy. With or without body hair.
If you ever queue up all the women you know who have dared to get themselves waxed ‘down-under’ and ask what prompted them to do it, chances are the answer will be unanimous - a sheepish request from the man in their life.
The ‘request’ came my way one day. When the target (me) is most vulnerable- in bed.
“Have you ever considered going smooth down there?” Actually no, I hadn’t. Never occurred to put myself through unnecessary pain to exterminate weed that would grow back anyway. Unless he wanted me to? “Please? For me?” Large puppy dog eyes looked up at me. “I’ll make it worth your while…” And there it was - the Bribe. Every woman’s weakness. The promise of great adventure under the sheets thrown in with the little caveat. Many a great woman has fallen for this. Little did I know I was about to join the long list of martyrs.
I booked an appointment and made my way to the salon, wondering all the way if I’d be able to walk back with the same nonchalance. Or like many of those who had passed before me, I too would be limping home like a human tripod. Or like Katrina in the video from Fitoor.
Getting a Brazilian wax for the first time isn’t very different than losing your virginity. You have to expose yourself. You have no idea what you are getting into. You can only pray that your partner would be gentle and you won’t be scarred for life. I was presented to the one who would be deflowering me. I had hoped for a gentle lady who would usher me into it with tenderness, with whose touch I would blossom! Instead I was assigned someone who looked at me in a way I had seen female prisoners in Orange Is The New Black look at someone they wanted to pick a fight with. Her name was Komal, I was told. The day was full of ironies, I thought to myself.
Komal took me into a room. “Open your clothes” she commanded. “Can I ‘close’ them afterwards? Hehehe” I joked nervously. Now she gave me the look that the women in OITNB give when they are about to make someone their prison b*tch. I obeyed her, lay on the long seat and waited.
I could hear the sound of wax bubbling up. Komal dipped a spatula into the hot molten lava and scooped out a spatula-full of sticky wax. I gulped. Come on, I steeled myself for it, if women can push 2 kilo babies out of there, you can handle a little hot wax. But what if I ended up with 3rd degree burns? Oh my god what if…
Fuck. Gasp. That wasn’t so bad. Painful, yes, but not very different than waxing any other body part. Phew! I was panicking for no reason. This was going to be fine. To think of the fuss women make about Brazilian wax…
MOTHER F!!!! What had she done? I looked down, she had gone from lower abdomen to even lower abdomen with one swift move. Like a skilled general she moved with a strategy. Surround the territory from all sides, then slowly move in where the main goods were hidden under the canopy. Where outer skin merged into a delicate flesh of the inner body. My eyes widened with the realization that it was this horizon that Komal was out to conquer.
“OWWWWWWW!!!!!!” I didn’t hold back my scream. I had penetrated through the thin labyrinth of the client-waxer etiquette and had failed to maintain a client-like composure. Screw composure, I wanted her to know what she was doing to me. “You are very hairy… what to do” Said the woman with the beard.
I was offended. Komal here expected me to be born hairless for her convenience, it seemed. I am Indian, I have some natural desi growth like any of you. So I was supposed to let this woman hair-shame me?
Nothing will bring out the radical feminist in you faster than a mowing of your own lawn. Suddenly I had respect for the French. French women never remove their body hair, they actually find it sexy. Why couldn’t we be more like the French?
As if in response Komal placed all my used strips on the table next to my head. Because they don’t grow bushes like ours, I answered my own question. Only when it was out there on the patch I realized the kheti had been growing. It’s a surprise I never made hair styles out of it. Is that a thing? Maybe African tribes do that… You had to give it to the Africans. They had respect for some home-grown bush.
This was the last one. Yes it had to be. Even if it wasn’t I was going to convince myself that it was, just to make it through the whole thing. This was the last patch. You will be done after this. And you should be proud of surviving it. Now you can tell tales about it. Make a joke of it. No one quits a race so close to the finish line….
That’s when I realized there was a backside to the situation too. I obeyed her and exposed myself like I had to no other woman in my life. Except for maybe my mother.
She went to places I didn’t even know I had on me. Nooks and corners, secret places inside of my body that maybe only lovers were familiar with. Things that only lovers asked me to do.
“Spread your legs”
I did. And she went in with her little strip, with the glee of a child who had just discovered a secret cave. Determined not to leave a single stone unturned.
Rrrrriiiiiipppppp!!! Rrrrrriiiiiippppppp!!!! Rrrrriiiiiippppppppp!!! RRRRRIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPP!!!!
I just lay there. Powerless. I had accepted my fate. I was going to pass out before this ended, and going to end up myself in the most hilarious new flash ever- Girl passes out while getting her privates waxed! The nation would surely want to know. And then warn their own daughters never to repeat this foolish act of life threatening idiocy. I shall be a martyr to a cause.
Her voice fell on my ears like the first words one hears when waking up from a coma. I steadied myself on my elbows and surprised myself by being able to stand up on my feet. Then I saw myself in the full-length mirror.
It was like someone had revealed myself to me- I was seeing the real face of a part of me I had ignored for so long! Glowing and radiant. I could see the shape of it, shocked to find that I too possessed the much revered, Beyonce-esque thigh gap! I could feel sensations never felt before. The feel of the satin on my lingerie, that clung to me now devoid of any separation. Like suddenly discovering the true potential that you never knew you possessed. I could have looked like a bloody train wreck from the outside, but my inner Beyonce was twerking!
It was no surprise that when I reached home and unzipped, my little man’s tongue hit the floor as hard as my jeans had. “Whoa! You actually went through with the whole thing?”
I climbed up on the bed, “Of course I did” HE narrowed his eyes with sympathy, “Did it hurt a lot”
“Oh no” I waved him off, “I don’t know why some chicks make such a fuss about it”
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101india.com
By Smriti Dewan
Illustrations by Eshna Goenka