Valerie Monroe, O beauty director
Yikes! Having only ever had the gentlest (or at least the most pleasurably ungentle) treatment between my legs, I was left breathless by the ripping-out-hair-by-the-root that is exotically known as the Brazilian bikini wax. The woman who performed the procedure was amiable in a no-nonsense kind of way and was determined to accomplish her goal with a minimum of palaver (and screaming). As I lay in my paper G-string on a paper-covered table, she manipulated my legs so that she had full access to spread a thin layer of very warm wax in inch-wide strips, one after another, in my pubic area, cover each one with a piece of cloth, and, after a quick countdown (one! two! three!), yank it off.
"Miss, are you okay?" she asked after each assault, her formality a weird contrast to her proximity to my private parts. What could I say? I was as well as I could be, considering. When she was finished, I gazed down at my newly nude, pink, smarting self. I hadn't appeared as vulnerable or exposed since I was 2. Back out on the street, in my jeans and sneakers and oxford cloth button-down, I felt as if I carried a naughty little secret in my pocket: I had just seen details I'd hardly remembered, and couldn't wait to share them.