Laser Hair Removal Made Me Feel Like a Whore

How I made a wish list and ended up in some kind of S&M cosmetic procedure fantasy.

Aug 30, 2011 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

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I stopped making Wish Lists around second grade when I didn’t get all the Cabbage Patch Koosas I wanted for Christmas and was devastated. I’m now at the point where I don’t like wanting things, and there are honestly not many things I want. It’s not a good feeling, an overwhelming desire for an item.

I have an abundance of beautiful Things in my life, and I don’t have to make myself yearn for more. Plus, there's all that "free from desire" Bhuddist-type stuff.

So when my mom asked me about a month ago to make a wish list of all the material items I would possibly want in life for now, it made me sweat. There are things that would make my life easier or nicer, such as a water restructuring unit in my faucet and shower, though I understand I’m fortunate just to have relatively clean running water whenever I want it.

When you make a list like that and hand it over, there’s a part of you that secretly hopes you might get it all immediately. And that weird anticipation amounts to pressure and stress.

Then again, I’m in charge of my own obsessing, so it could be a nice mental exercise to write down some things and see how I could manifest them.

So I did. On the list: a non-petrol car, new computer, air purifier, laser hair removal. I threw that last one in on a lark. I’m completely fine with body hair; still, it might be cool to not have to shave when I want to be smooth and deal with the angry aftermath of razor burns on my sensitive skin.

A few days after I handed in the list, my mom spotted a Groupon for IPL hair zapping. She purchased a couple for me for my underarms and bikini. Sweet! Thanks mom!

I made my first appointment and discovered the place was in a chain of identical low brick buildings numbered by suite in a run-down part of a Chicago suburb. I filled out the paperwork, and was led into a room that looked like your typical aesthetician’s lair.

The lab lady didn’t introduce herself to me or offer any instructions. I stood, having no idea if I was supposed to sit on the chair, on the stool, on the table thingy, what.

With her back turned, filling out paperwork or something, the technician ordered me to take my shirt and shorts off.

“Right here, now?” I asked, nearly quoting Jesus Jones.

“Yes.”

So I took off my shirt and shorts and sat where I thought I should, on the paper-covered gyno-style barcalounger.

She handed me some futuristic sporty-looking sunglasses. “Here, put these on. Protect your eyes.”

Was I in some S&M cosmetic procedure fantasy? Why was this so cold? She wasn’t even bossing me around in a mean way -- it was in a bored way, which is how a true dominatrix really does it.

“Lift up your arms,” she ordered.

OK, we’re just doing this? Um…What was about to happen?

She glooped on some chilly lube—“This might be cold,” she said, after she’d finished -- and next thing I knew this flat hair-dryer looking thing was sizzling my armpit. It worked like a defibrillator -- press a button, and two seconds later there’s a beeping kind of sound and the pulse is delivered.

“Ouch,” worked as a safe word with her, which was a relief.

She paused when I told her it was burning. She pulled out a wand that sprayed cold, cold air, and administered both treatments at the same time.

She was definitely not generous with the bikini area, about an inch on each side facing front, absolutely nothing on the inner leg. People who only have that as a problem really don’t need laser hair removal, do they?

Afterward she tossed me a damp warm towel. “Here,” she said, without explaining anything. I guess it was to wipe off the gel. I felt like a whore.

I was never given any information about what was happening to me, and afterward she just said, “Keep these areas out of the sun. Come back in four to six weeks.”

It lasted a total of about five minutes, and I felt pretty filthy afterward. I don’t think I want to go back. Is this really how this is supposed to work? I guess I shouldn’t pretend to want stuff anymore.