This article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands
Waxing is an art form, and I can tell you from experience that it's a lot harder than it looks – especially when it comes to intimate areas. Genitals tend to be sensitive, precious body parts, and it can all go terribly wrong when a waxer makes a mistake. I've also heard plenty of horror stories from clients, usually involving waxing strips sticking to the skin, which means you need to wax the area again. That second waxing can give bruises or burns, or even tear the labia or ball sack.
Unfortunately, I once had to fire a young waxer who worked for me because she had gotten high on her lunch break. When she got back to work after her break, her clients complained about wax flying around the room and about her accidentally bruising and leaving burns on their vulvas.
Mind you, even when you're not high, when you're using all the right products and you have years of experience, things can still go horribly wrong. During winter, most people's skin is more coarse or dry, and prone to breaking easily. That is especially true of the skin around the penis, which is fairly loose and soft. The summer brings its own issues, since we get a ton of first-time clients who have no idea how painful waxing can be. Some just walk away after a few yanks because they're not prepared for how much it hurts – so please be aware of that before you get waxed for the first time.
Women who are about to get their period should also be more careful, since you're more sensitive around that time and the pain can be almost unbearable.
But the treatment is not just challenging for the waxee – it can be a trial for waxers, too. The situation around a client's genitals can get pretty disgusting; sometimes, while giving someone a Brazilian, I'll spot a bit of poo stuck to the hairs around their arse and have to use a piece of cloth to subtly remove it.
Recently, I had a customer who warned me in advance that they might be flatulent because they had just finished teaching a yoga class. When I was trying to wax her a few moments later, she just couldn't stop farting in my face. I'd had enough after a while, so I sent her to the bathroom to deal with it. Another client of mine is a rather large woman, and waxing her can be a hefty task – I sometimes need to use my elbows to push her belly away.
But I'd say the hardest challenge is waxing guys, because – being men – sometimes they get an erection. Several colleagues have told me about men accidentally coming all over their hands in the middle of a wax. I haven't had that experience myself, but I have been asked out on a date after waxing a guy who couldn't keep it down. With guys like that, I just pull off the waxing strip a little harder.
That's why my ex-boyfriend hated it when I waxed men: he really didn't like the idea of me dealing with another guy's penis. When I waxed my ex for the first and and only time, he started crying after just one strip and screamed at me to stop.
Even though disgusting stuff can happen and it doesn't always go exactly according to plan, I love the work itself. Clients ask for anything and everything – from a landing strip to a triangle, to going completely bald. For Valentine's Day, some clients ask us to style their pubes into a heart shape and dye them red. Sometimes we'll give them a little finishing touch with a diamond stud.
But the best part of my job is the special relationship I have with my clients. I see them every month in a very intimate way – and they share their deepest secrets with me. If you ask me, the bond between a waxer and a client is one of the strongest there is.
*The writer asked to remain anonymous to protect the privacy of her clients.
This article originally appeared on VICE NL.