Don’t let the subject of waxing throw you. My hair may be abundant, but it’s soft and blonde and barely noticeable. It’s delicate and silky and possibly even preferable. That said, I’m still hairier than I need to be, and it is not an aesthetic choice. I dislike the pain that comes with hair removal.
Nevertheless, every once in a while before a date or a trip to the beach, I give in and go to the Nail Palace on Seventh Avenue, where I allow a small yet surprisingly strong Asian woman to cover my inner thighs and bikini line with wax that’s always a tad too hot.
The morning of my most recent date-induced wax, I went into my closet to pick out a pair of panties. Selecting the right pair of waxing panties is a delicate process. It had to be a thong so the waxer could see everything she needed to see and get everywhere she needed to go. It had to be a pair that I wouldn’t mind ruining if wax dripped onto them. And they had to be aesthetically pleasing, so I wouldn’t be caught with bad undies in front of the waxer. Even though I may never get to know her, I know that beautiful panties make everyone want to do a better job.
I chose a cream silk thong with a delicate copper satin ribbon for a waistband. My statement? I’m wearing silk. I trust you not to drip. All day long at work I was reminded of my imminent waxing by the movement of the silky thong between my legs.
I didn’t have an appointment, so when I got to the Nail Palace I was lucky to be taken right away. My usual waxer, Julie, was not there. I was offered an apology for Julie’s absence and a new waxer whose nametag read “May.” I never believed those nametags, but I said, “Hi May, nice to meet you,” anyway.
May looked like an artist, not a waxer. She had short choppy hair with different colors interwoven. I could see blue-and-white tips along the ends of the black layers. It was good to know she was into hair. “Come with me,” she said, pointing toward the waxing room. I noticed that her fingernails were long and red. This told me that she did not do manicures or pedicures. No nail glues or polish removers had come into contact with those perfect oval tips.
We walked toward the back of the salon, down an aisle lined with straight black hair bent over bowls of soapy water and into the waxing room.
“Take off your pants and lie down,” she said.
Most waxers leave and come back when the customer is finished undressing. May stayed in the room and sat in a chair facing me. I took off my skirt, then my shirt, because the room was hot from the burners under the waxing pots. I lay back on the table in my cream thong with my head on the tiny airplane pillow. The white table with its paper sheet felt like an examining room’s. I automatically pressed my knees together.
“Relax,” she said. “I won’t hurt you.” She giggled just a little bit. “Open your legs now.”
I spread my legs. The waxer bent her head to get a closer look.
“It’s been too long since your last visit,” she said, running her nails up and down the inside of my thighs, checking the direction of the growth.
I closed my legs. She walked away and dusted the palms of her hands with talcum powder.
“Open,” she said.
I spread my legs. She ran her powdered palms over the inside of my thighs and underneath the elastic panty leg.
“Long time,” she said again, moving my thong to one side, exposing my pussy, and running her nails over my bikini line. She turned around and dipped a long, flat Popsicle stick into the bowl of wax. She blew on the stick to cool it down, then she spread the wax across my bikini line. She pressed a cloth strip down on the wax. “Ready?” she asked. With a quick movement she pulled the wax off and slapped the inside of my thigh, as all waxers do to take their client’s mind off the rip. Afterward, she rubbed my thigh right where she had slapped it.
“You don’t like the slap, do you?” she asked me.
“It doesn’t work for me,” I said. “It doesn’t take the pain away.”
“Oh, you’re like a baby,” she said. “So sensitive.”
She dipped the stick back into the wax, then drew it across my bikini line a little lower down. My eyes were closed and I was tense, preparing for the rip, when I felt her fingers press down quickly against the edge of my pussy. It took my mind off the pain, but it happened so fast I wasn’t sure whether she had done it intentionally.
During the next two passes with the wax, she did nothing. I felt slightly disappointed. Maybe it had been an accident. Maybe she had been so engrossed in her work that she didn’t realize where her fingers had gone. But the third time, as she was waxing the inside of my thigh, I felt it again, her free hand pressing a little more boldly between my legs, over the cream panties. The combination of the wax ripping off and her hand pressing down on my pussy felt incredibly good. I couldn’t wait for her to do it again, but I didn’t want her to know that I knew, so I didn’t look up.
To finish, she did the tops of my knees with both of my legs bent and closed. There was no touching. When she was done, she tapped my knee with her index finger ever so slightly. I opened my legs although she hadn’t asked me to.
“I dripped some wax on your panties before,” she said. “I’m going to get it off now.”
The waxer began to scrape at the drip with one of her long red nails, right over the most sensitive part of me. I spread my legs wider — imperceptibly, I hoped. I wanted her to keep grazing me, but I still couldn’t tell whether she was touching me sexually or simply removing errant wax from my thong. She scraped a little harder with her nails. I couldn’t help moving my hips up ever so slightly toward her. She took her hand away and I was left with my hips in the air pushing toward nothing.
“I’m going to take off your panties now so I can clean them better,” she said.
I nodded yes with my eyes closed, barely breathing.
She slid the cream silk thong down around my ankles and over my feet. She looked in between my legs. “Oh, I missed a spot. I think you need a little more waxing.”
I knew she could see how wet I was, but my legs just kept spreading wider apart.
“Do you want me to work in here?” she said, sliding a red nail into my pussy.
I kept my eyes closed and nodded my head.
“A Brazilian wax?”
I nodded again.
Each time she pulled the cloth strip away she slid her fingers in and out of me. I couldn’t speak. I began to raise my hips to meet her fingers, to make any kind of contact with her hand.
“Relax,” she said, placing her hand over my pussy and making circles against me with her palm. “Just relax.”
I stopped moving. I tried to keep my body still as she drizzled warm wax between my legs. The heat from the wax made me whisper, “Please.” I barely recognized my voice.
She began to make slow circles with her palm on my pussy as she pulled off the wax. I moaned and pressed against her as she removed every last hair from between my legs. I could barely hear the manicurists speaking in hard Cantonese outside the flimsy door as I began to come, my eyes closed, my hands gripping the sides of the table, my hips rocking up and down on my waxer’s hand.
When she was done she stood up straight, brushed the hair out of her eyes and pointed a red nail at my legs. “Good job?” she asked.
I looked in her eyes and saw nothing.
“Yes,” I said, looking down at my hairless thighs. “Good job.”
I paid at the desk and walked out onto Seventh Avenue, slightly tipsy. I had never been with a woman before and I still wasn’t sure whether I had.
This article originally appeared in Nerve’s True Stories.