You know how when hear a specific song and it will immediately bring you back to a time and place leaving you with a warm feeling of whimsy and nostalgia? Well, I will never hear the song Telephone Line again by ELO without thinking about the gobs of warm wax being smeared on my perineum while I lay on my back, pulling my knees to my chest, wondering how I managed to find myself in pretty much the most vulnerable position in my entire life.
So I went for it. The full Manzillian. And the back for added smoothness and silky pleasure. And now here I sit (gingerly) on my couch, watching the Ottawa Senators fight back against the New York Rangers, with a feeling beneath the equator completely foreign to me. Not necessarily unpleasant, but yet still pretty unnatural as a man who, since early form age nine puberty, has carried a moderate amount of hair way down deep in the pubic region.
So Fuzz Wax Bar, Toronto’s first wax bar dedicated to the waxing services for both men and women were my very gracious hosts for this unique experience. When first offered the service, I figured my back for sure, not that I am a grizzly or anything, but I have swaths of wispy hair on my shoulder blades that I have always wanted to get rid of and this seemed like a great opportunity to have it done. But, when I started chatting up the many women in my life – wife, sister, mother, fellow bloggers, long time female friends – I was feeling a certain challenge to experience the removal of hair in regions not discussed at church or dinner parties. Well, maybe at dinner parties. So I emailed the vigilant public relations rep and told her to sign me up for the back and the Mankini. She emailed back, commended my brevity and confirmed a mutually acceptable appointment time.
This was a week ago, and through further discussion, again mostly with women, I was still feeling a certain pressed lip disappointment on my decision to stop at the Mankini, aptly described on the Fuzz Bar website as “Neat & Tidy – Clean up the side at the front and between the legs for a Speedo worthy finish.” So, two days ago I sent an email back and changed (upgraded?) my waxing order from Mankini to Manzillian. The reply came immediately – sure Jason, no problem, Manzillian and back it is. And so it was.
Let me preface the following paragraphs of description by explaining that I have never had a centimetre of my body waxed before. Sure I dipped my fingers in candle remnants before, making a neat little wax mock condom, but that was about it. This, of course, was pretty different. After being welcomed by co-owners of Fuzz Wax Bar, Jessica and Florence, again immediately praising my brevity, I was introduced to Tasha, my wax technician, who led me through the pristine hallways of the Queen St. west location in downtown Toronto and into the a small, but adequate room for my waxing appointment to begin.
Jessica and Florence opened Fuzz Wax Bar about two months ago with the sole purpose of offering an efficient, relatively inexpensive waxing option compared to the musack infused, peppermint-scented spas that dapple the second and third floors of hotels around the world. While still female client driven, Fuzz is trying to remove the stigma of waxing to broaden its appeal to both men and hesitant women.
“Are gay men the target audience?” I ignorantly asked.
And while they admitted about 50 per cent of the men who engage in waxing services are gay, there was a growing number of men that were either trying to match their partners in the hairless arena or trying to add that to their appeal of being young and single. Fair enough I thought. Show me to my room Tasha.
Tasha is a diminutive black woman with a sweeping hairstyle and an electric ease that immediately made me comfortable. Which was helpful, because comfortable I was not. We both agreed that starting with my back was a good choice to avoid the running and screaming that was sure to accompany the removal of hair from my pubis and my testicles. She instructed me to remove all my clothes and lie down on the bed with my face peering through the oval like rest and wait for her hasty return.
Now for a more accurate picture (you’re welcome) I must confess that I am six foot four and weigh about 240 lbs. I am neither repulsive nor taut as a bongo drum. I will never be described as sinewy and perhaps have been referred to as doughy. Thing is, I lost about 100 lbs in the past two years, so I am pretty damn comfortable with this current version of my body. So stripping naked and lying with my white ass perked up on the table was the least of my worries. Cue the warming of the wax.
The smearing of the wax is actually quite nice. It is warm and buttery, rubbed along my shoulder blades and in the areas with hair with an accidental eroticism by 11-year wax veteran and Ottawa native, Tasha. Even when the early strips were being torn off, my smugness became apparent as I broadcast to Tasha that this indeed was not that bad and the precision of the hair removal was almost comforting in its methodical nature. Then a big one, an aggressive strip was torn off and I became silent, chewing my gum with a little more intent, trying to not let the collection of brackish water form in the corners of my eyes to collect and puddle on the polished hardwood floor. But then suddenly, after a few more rips, my back was done.
Oh cockiness, you silly silly early attitude, how foolish you really are. I lay there, on my back now, in all my glory, eyebrow quirked, making jokes about my pre-emptive shaving and asking if I was the largest person she ever waxed. Not by a long shot was the answer I was happy to hear as she began prepping my pubic region for waxing.
“This is when it gets a bit intimate” Tasha warned as she dusted my pubis and scrotum with a delightfully scented talcum powder. And there it was again, the warm wax.
Hey this is not so bad, this is actually quite nice.
“Do men ever get excited?” I asked, trying to detract my attention from the very professional hands all up in my penile grill.
“Of course,” Tasha responded. ” But it goes away very quickly.”
And then I knew why. After the wax hardened a bit, the strips are laid down and the staccato removal begins. Short bursts of strip pulling to allow Tasha to grab onto an edge before tearing it off in one fell swoop. This was the pain I was warned about. This was the take two Advils before advice that I had ignored. And this was only the top part of my pubic region, above the cowering unit, pain I would be longing for in about five minutes.
I was expecting the pain. There were enough giggly warnings about the pain that it placed a level of expectation I knew was going to be met. But
, having never experienced this type of pain, surprise still played a huge role here.
, having never experienced this type of pain, surprise still played a huge role here.
This is no reflection on Tasha. We very much kept a conversation going, both to detract from the unavoidable intimacy of this service, but also because we are both very friendly and blunt people. I wanted to experience this to satisfy a curiosity and because I am trying to step outside my comfort zone (mission accomplished!) to offer me more robust writing content.
Anyway, when the wax was laid and torn off in some of the crevices where sun has never shined, a new blinding hurt entered my paincylopedia. During this scrotal assault, I contemplated the up and bolt, yet kept silent, keeping my Steve Carell moments internal and was praised and encouraged by Tasha, who admitted this was a point where many a man caved and headed for the exit. And then the pubic and testicular region was done and I felt pretty darn proud of myself.
“This is also where some men stop,” Tasha informed me out of courtesy, which, I of course confused with where I thought she wanted to stop. But when I told her to press on, she responded positively and seemed genuinely pleased that I was going to see this to the bitter end.
And then Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra kicked in and I had my ass completely waxed.
Fortunately, this was way less painful and far quicker than the pubic region. So when Tasha abruptly finished and told me I was done, there was an immediate sense of accomplishment, which almost made me forget to take a look at myself in the full-length mirror next to the bed.
I stood up and took a look along side Tasha. Our eyes met in the mirror and we were both completely comfortable. Her because her profession has, through her own admission, allowed her to see every type of body in every type of position imaginable. And me because shame went out the window as my kneecaps were pressed against my nipples and warm wax was being applied to my taint.
I was clean and smooth. And very red.
After getting dressed, I chatted with Jessica and Florence at the simple yet elegant desk at the front of the store. They asked how it was and I told them it was just about as painful as I thought, but not as horrific as imagined. I asked it if was customary to tip and they gave me a small envelope to do just that. I never saw Tasha after our shared moment of pride looking in the mirror. This was ok with me, would almost seem weirder with my clothes on.
I likely will never get waxed again. It only took 35 minutes and my back looks and feels great so maybe there is that. But feels a bit odd down below. But talk to me after a night of loving. Tasha did say that can change everything.
Hit it Jeff.
Oh oh, Telephone Line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight.