Navigating life as a woman in the world today is incredibly difficult. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are.
Every Wednesday at 9am, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here.
‘Don’t you ever get tired of peering into strangers’ vaginas?‘ I asked my wax technician in-between painful yelps, the last time I went in for a Brazillian. She chuckled and I continued, ‘I mean it must get old’.
‘You’d think,’ she replied.
Engaging in a conversation with my wax technician is one of my favourite coping mechanisms for powering through the pain (if you have any others please share btw). The last time I went in, I asked her permission to spill all of the tea she usually shares with me. Here’s how the conversation went:
How long have you been doing this?
7 years now. I’ve bounced around a couple of places between Lagos and Abuja. I just started at this place last month though. Working and meeting new clients is always interesting but some clients from my old place came along with me.
Does it ever get old?
[Laughter]. You’d think so, but it really doesn’t. First of all, I don’t only do Brazilians; the person who came in just before you, had a full body wax.
Aside: I think people who do full body wax in a single session are psychos.
[Laughter]. People’s pain tolerance levels vary. Funny enough, the lady who came in before you was in near tears by the time we were done, but she said she likes to stomach through all of it for one hour, instead of coming back for multiple sessions.
What do you think about when you are waxing?
I don’t know; I guess whatever people whose jobs involve some sort of monotony think of. You apply the wax, put the strip, remove. Rinse and repeat.
The funniest thing that has happened?
I spend eight hours of my day, Monday to Sunday — I do home calls on Sundays — peering into vaginas, assholes, armpits. Something funny is bound to happen every day. Yesterday, I had a client who told me I had given her a wax before. I did the fake, polite, ‘Oh I remember you’ thing, but I didn’t recognize her at all. Anyway, when she gets on the bed and spreads her legs open, I remember her vagina! It was the funniest thing to me; I started laughing. I had to come clean when she asked why I was laughing. I told her that I had lied before and I didn’t remember her face, but that I remembered what her vagina looked like. I even remembered the exact day she saw me.
What was so memorable about it?
It was just really interesting looking, you know. She is one of those people who have long clits, you don’t come across many people like that. It’s like coming across an uncircumcised guy.
Has that ever happened?
Just once. It was one oyinbo guy. He was a regular client for a while. He was extremely hairy. He used to get Brazilian waxes — yes men get them too. But in my experience, a lot of them lie about it. The first time I did it, I was so uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than the first time I had to do a vagina. You have to touch their penis and balls and move it around a little. Sometimes, they start to get hard and I have to wait for them to calm down. But they are always apologetic about it.
What’s your favourite area to wax?
It depends on my mood. Legs when I’ve had a long day because they are quick and easy and if the client doesn’t move around much, I can be done with it in ten minutes. Brazillian and Hollywood when I want to show off my expertise. I’m sure you’ll have noticed by now that I’m really good, I’m not shy about it. I like getting all the ‘Omg it’s so smooth’ comments.
What’s the average age of women who come in for Brazilians?
I’ve never thought about it because all sorts of women across all ages come in. I’ve had an 18-year-old come in and I’ve had a 62-year-old woman come in. I think that’s the youngest and oldest I’ve had. So every age in between you can think off, I’ve probably waxed before.
The most annoying thing that has ever happened?
I’ve had a client pee on herself before. I was particularly annoyed because I had asked before we started if she needed to pee and she said no. The top of your vagina lips can be particularly painful. As soon as I pulled a strip I put there, pee came out.
One thing you wish you could say to clients?
Clean up before you come in! Don’t wait for me to do it for you, you are not a child. Sometimes I even offer them wipes and ask if they’d like to clean up before they come in and they’ll say, ‘Oh no need.’ There’s always need, especially for women who get a heavier discharge than normal.
Does it ever stop hurting this much?
[Laughter]. Actually, if you stay consistent and wax at least once a month, you kind of get used to the pain. It also does become less painful, but if you wax once and go back to shaving for like 6 months and then wax again it’ll hurt as much as the first time
Ever considered a career change?
It really hasn’t ever crossed my mind. I only think about going for training and workshops and getting better at what I do.