The cloth strip gripped onto the hot wax cooling on my skin and was rapidly removed without remorse.
Let me get this out of the way: I'm a hairy dude. I don't mean that when I take off my shirt it looks like I'm wearing a sweater, but I'm a dude who is sporting a less than baby-smooth surface.
As such, it's important for me to ensure that when I'm wandering around shirtless, it appears that I'm making something of an effort. I don't like it when my hair looks too untidy. I don't like it when it grows back just below my proper hairline at the back of my neck. I'm not lucky enough to have any return above my ever-growing forehead where it belongs.
My wife and I are taking the kids on a cruise and I know I will be shirtless more often than not as we float our way from Miami to Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Grand Cayman. This had me looking in the mirror a lot more than usual and I noticed a disturbing trend: I was getting hair on my shoulders and back.
Sure, I have always had a little here and there, but usually a quick pluck or a swipe with a razor took care of it. But now? Now things were looking quite dire. There were more spots with hair than I had ever noticed before and it was not pretty.
My wife has never complained about my body so I didn't have any motivation in that regard, but looking in the mirror at the Follicular Rebel Alliance working its way from the top of my head, down the back of my neck, shoulders, shoulder blades, and toward my little love handles (hey, I'm not 25 anymore, cut me some slack) made me a little self-conscious.
Something had to be done.
I figured that the safest route would be to go for a wax. As a first-timer, I didn't think it would be the best idea to drop a bunch of money on laser treatments or something like that. Plus, I had less than two weeks before the cruise and I needed to look ship shape pronto.
To Google! Did you know that there are literally thousands of studios that do men's waxing? That might be a slight exaggeration but in the region in which I live (roughly half a million people within a 30-minute radius), a quick search brought up more than a handful of places that had men's services on the menu.
After much deliberation on which would be the best choice, I landed on a place that I had seen whilst driving around town, wasn't too far from my house, and was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive.
My appointment at bbare in Cambridge was for noon on a Saturday; I showed up a little early not knowing what to do or expect. I was called into a room by a very pleasant woman named Monica who asked if I had waxed before. I said no, and Monica was thrilled that I made her studio my choice.
I said that I needed my neck, shoulders, and back done as I was going on a cruise in a week. Monica then told me the first piece of information that's good to know: if timing is important, be sure to leave more than a day or two after the treatment, as the skin needs time to heal and there might be some redness or discomfort.
Monica took a look at what her task was and had me lie face down on the table, shirtless. I have a patch of hair just above where my belt sits on my waist and was informed that it would go as well, only my pants were buckled up nice and snug so I had to lose the pants so she could get at it. Not wanting to look totally ridiculous, I lost the socks, too.
Then, back onto the table I went — just me and my boxer shorts. Monica assessed the situation and said she was going to wax a little bit further down just in case my bathing suit wasn't sitting in the same spot all the time, which seemed quite reasonable.
Then came the wax. Holy sh*t, it was a lot hotter than I was expecting! Still, the heat dissipated quickly. A little too quickly, as it turns out, because then the strip of cloth was applied and ripped off without mercy. Monica asked me if I was OK.
"I'm a sucker," I replied, mostly because it's true but also because I needed to explain the slight yelp I let out after she ripped the cloth off. This continued until my shoulders, neck, back, and lower back had received the full treatment. The places I could reach felt great.
While Monica was working her magic, she told me that in the last six years the interest in men's waxing, especially the manzilian, has picked up dramatically. After the sensation I experienced on some of the more sensitive areas, I couldn't fathom having this done to my junk, yet Monica assured me that it was a popular choice. Um, no thanks.
Standing up and looking in the mirror, I admired how smooth everything looked. It was very tidy and the bare spots blended in really well with the hair that remained (on my arms below the bicep, for example). I didn't feel too bad, either. There was a little residual sting but nothing terribly uncomfortable.
Then, I pulled my boxers down a bit at the back and took a look to see how far down she got. It wasn't that far, but what I did see disturbed me. I looked over at Monica and said, "Yep, you're going to have to do my butt."
Back on the table I went and off came the boxer shorts. Things started out fine as she did my cheeks, then Monica asked me to turn onto my side and face away from her. She instructed me to put my hand on my cheek and pull. "The harder the better." Well alright then. I guess Monica and I were going to be friends now.
I did as I was told and the hot wax went on. Then I felt the cloth being patted into place, and then ... YOWSA! It was like the morning after an evening of eating a meal of nothing but jalapeño poppers coated with habanero pepper sauce followed by shots of fireball whisky.
Thankfully, the scorching pain between my ass cheeks was short lived and Monica got me through the rest of the session in no time. Once she confirmed that I was all done, I stood up to put on my boxer shorts.
Monica suggested I take a look in the mirror, so I gave a glance over my shoulder at my perfectly primped posterior. And hot damn, if I didn't have the smoothest looking patootie I had ever seen! I actually had Monica take a picture. I'm not certain if is a standard request or not but I wanted to capture the moment.
Eight hours after the fact, I can say that I feel pretty good, both physically and emotionally. There is a slight warm feeling but I certainly wouldn't call it unbearable discomfort. Hell, it's barely discomfort at all.
I know I'm going to be rocking the dad bod on the cruise and lookers-on will not lose their appetite every time I take off my shirt.
So, will I be going back? Yes, absolutely. And here is a tip for anyone out there considering getting this done: go to a place that just does hair removal. Monica has been doing it for seventeen years; that's where her focus is and it shows.
Keep in mind that I wasn't in such a terrible state before. There are much worse out there, but this was the one thing I was genuinely self-conscious about. Now, I look much better, I feel much better, AND my ass is so smooth you can snort coke off it.