A Turkish Brazilian Wax Gone Wrong

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Today before work I ran over to the hamam to get my lower body waxed, an activity I choose to do there because it is cheap, close by, and has hygiene standards no worse than I’ve seen in any other Turkish salon. BUT, as I’ve written before, the affordability of the service does come at a cost, which is the hamamgoers complete and utter lack of inhibition. Take today for example. I enter the hamam, ask to be waxed, am handed slippers and key to a locker where I may put my purse, than beckoned over to the waxing room and told to have a seat.

Except there was already somebody in there.

A naked somebody.

A somebody who was, at that very moment, getting the hair waxed off her vagina.

A woman in her late sixties, I’m guessing, casually getting a Brazilian wax. In front of me.

Nobody else seemed to think this was awkward, so I sat down obediently while Brazilian waxer and waxee gossiped about godknowswhat and I studiously attempted to keep my eyes away from the danger zone.

It must be said, before I continue, that in Turkey it is quite normal for a woman in her sixties to be getting a Brazilian wax. In fact, in Turkey having a clean pubic area is considered – and I quote – “a matter of basic hygiene.” So it was not the age of the woman in front of me that surprised me or made me uncomfortable, but the part where she spread her legs to get her butthole waxed?

Maaaaybe a little.

Before long there was a cry of “hadi bakalim!” which signaled the end of the Brazilian wax in front of me. The erstwhile waxee rose, adjusted her stomach, and sailed out the door. It was my turn.

At this point, at the risk of oversharing, I should state that I am also a Brazilian wax-subscriber, and have been since the first time I got waxed in Turkey and asked my waxer to leave the bikini area alone only to have her look at me like I had two heads. So I shrugged, thought, “When in Constantinople…” and succumbed the next time to enduring the most painful beauty process known to man short of surgery.

So, one of the other reasons why I like this hamam for my waxing is that the waxer is a veritable Brazilian speed-demon. I have seriously never had a less painless Brazilian than at her hands, and there is no bleeding or anything. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a miracle.

There are two downsides to getting waxed by a Brazilian speed-demon in a room with an open door at a local hamam where people hang around naked and have no inhibitions. One is that anybody can walk in the door at any time, usually nude or nearly-nude. The second is that there is no opportunity to hold the skin taut because there are literally milliseconds between each rip of the wax strip. Because it’s a lot less painful than a customary Brazilian wax, I have learned to let this go.

However, not everybody feels the same way.

Midway through the wax, another woman sailed through the door in order to ask about getting a massage and saw me naked from the waist down on the table in the middle of a tornado of hair being ripped from my groin. She, it is fair to say, was not pleased with what she saw and started yelling at the waxer.

“What are you doing?! Her skin is pasty like mine! If you do it without pulling the skin it will get red! You need to pull it! What are you doing?! Don’t do it like that!”

The waxer responded in similarly raised tones. “It’s alright! No problem! She’s fine! Look, almost all the hair is gone already!”

The new client did not take no for an answer, strode to the other side of the bed, and yelled again. “You have to hold her skin! Otherwise it will hurt her!”

Then she paused for a moment as she realized I had been mute the whole time. “Do you understand Turkish?”

I nodded, but was too shocked to formulate a response.

My mistake. The new woman took the burden of relieving me of my ability to choose, and helpfully reached down and held my vagina skin for me.

An unauthorized stranger touching my vagina helped jar me into action. I helpfully replaced my her hand with mine so that she would know that I would henceforth take better care of my nether-regions. She nodded approvingly, made another comment about how white my skin is and how I’d better not get it red, and went to sit in the courtyard.

When I left she was still sitting there, and wished me Iyi Bayramlar (happy holidays for the end of Ramadan.) I responded in kind, because how the hell else do you respond? “Bye bye random vagina-touching lady! Hope to see you again never! Anyway, it’s all smooth down there and not too red, thanks. Okay, uh, see you! Bye!”

And that, my friends, is the story of my Turkish Brazilian wax, and all I can say to conclude this festival of overshare is iyi bayramlar to you too, and I wish you a lifetime of no unwanted body hair.

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