Friday, December 08, 2006

Shopping Tips

If you’ve been waiting for Sex Toys 101, here it is. A list of some of the items you can buy your partner for Christmas, meant to generate more heat than an electric frying pan.

You know what’s funny? I had to argue with Kevin to get him to buy me kitchen stuff when we were first married.* All his life, growing up watching his mom get impersonal presents like pots made him determined that the presents would always be fun. I have a hell of a teddy bear collection, but I actually wanted a new frying pan.

See, a guy tries to be thoughtful and he still can’t win!

What else can you get for the ones you love this year? Well, if the personalized Patrick Swayze calendar doesn’t work for you, how about the personalized playboy calendar?

But here is my real moment of happiness. A list of the top 10 gifts for 2006. They have the usual – digital cameras, cell phones, iPods and MP3 players – but they also have the only thing on my list.


I know, I know, we’ve established that I certainly don’t need any. But it seems to me like the world is a better place when I buy a book.

I guess the big question of the day is, if you celebrate, have you done your shopping? I haven’t…

Spinetingler News Hopefully the new issue will be up Monday at the latest. It would have been yesterday, if not for a fire department issue. Now that it’s the weekend, well, I’m aiming for Monday. In case you hadn’t figured it out, I have holiday shopping to do.

I thought I’d post this for John McFetridge. Surprisingly, it didn’t come from Uncle Charlie. Seems appropriate to today’s post, though. Highly educational. And perhaps uncomfortable for male readers.

Brazilian bikini wax


I was picking lint from my collar when my editor called with a dangerous mission: to get a Brazilian bikini wax and report back to you, the reader.

Apparently, men are ripping hair from the shyest parts of their body, and no one knows why. They needed someone on the inside.

I arrived at the day spa without a reconnaissance. Lauren the hostess guided me through the cutting and curling and dyeing to a waiting room.

Scratch that. Any room so fancy should technically be called a foyer.
The chandelier tinkled to the sounds of Beethoven, and cinnamon candles warmed the room. I sat on a couch with entirely too many pillows and tried not to touch anything. Lauren hurried away to do hostess things.

Odd place for a man condemned to wax.

Men are not cut out for hair removal. A man can eat nails, drive a
Harley, become a Navy Seal, and still snivel before a pair of tweezers (or as I like to call them, Devil's Chopsticks). It is baffling that women endure this pain -- repeatedly -- for any cause, including their own salvation.

Lauren circled back for me and soon I lay in the waxing chamber, where everything was fresh and folded and blindingly white. Was I in for surgery or hair removal? As instructed, I removed my clothes and assumed the position. It was like lying on a chiropractor's table, only face up with legs spread in gynecologic uncertainty and, on second thought, nothing like the chiropractor at all.

A cheery voice interrupted my willies: "You muss be the lucky man."

And in she walked, a stout Argentine woman whom you liked instantly even if she was about to rain terror on your netherparts. Her name was Blanca, but she answered to anything that sounded like cries for mercy. Blanca was an older woman, better for the wear, and had an accent straight out of Evita.

Her voice soothed like a lullaby, but you sensed that she could beat you silly if she had to.

For some reason, it only now occurred to me that Blanca would see me naked.

I felt like we should get to know each other, have a drink or something, but she went right to work like a mother changing a diaper. She had seen every size, shape, and color, and mine did not bear mention. So it goes.

Blanca showed me the instruments of destruction: liquid wax, cloth strips, and a box of Kleenex (for my eyes). Her arms were brawny as if from subduing previous customers. I asked Blanca what made a wax Brazilian. Despite my hopes, it had nothing to do with live samba dancers.

“The Brazilian es when everything goes, even where the sun no shine.
The French, however, es when you leave a leetle strip..." She demonstrated.

I asked her if we could start with a colder, more conservative country, say, Poland.

Blanca laughed as she dipped her rag in hot -- extremely hot -- wax. She laid the strip on my skin and, coaxing me in tender tones, rrrripped the hair from Mr. Giggles.

It is hard to describe the pain that attended. Normally we are present to a range of sights and sounds, grounded for the most part in reality. The moment Blanca took back her strip of cloth, my awareness of Other came to a searing standstill, and nothing existed outside the sting between my legs.

Somewhere in the distance a dog barked.

I yelped in some new language and had a mini-seizure.

“Es okay, beautiful, see." Blanca showed me a strip of fur thatbelonged somewhere else.

So it went, strip after strip, my torso arched backward like one demented

Slinky. Blanca assured me that "es almost over," then rrrripped again. I looked to her the way one does a flight attendant in turbulence: her smile was all I had.

"Beautiful, es almost over," she said, and I, in my fever, believed her. We were almost done for 30 minutes.

Tears welled up, but I sucked them back in with my eyeballs. Women wax all the time, right? I thought about my wife. Maybe she would take me for ice cream afterward.

With every pass, the wax got hotter. I asked Blanca if the heat would max out at some non-scalding temperature.

"Hot wax es better," she said. "It grabs the hair from underneath."

Her perfectionism was killing me.

"Es almost over."

Blanca told me to close my eyes and relax, but every time I got to my happy place, she ripped it out of me. It's a little-known fact that the man who coined "mind over matter" died of a Brazilian bikini wax. I've endured tattoos, carpentry stabbings, and a bee sting that made my lips look like Meg Ryan's, and none of it could have prepared me.

Finally, mercifully, we reached the end -- the real end. Blanca had clear-cut Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, leaving no shrub unfelled.

She wiped her hands and said brightly, "See, I told you eet was almost over."

I looked down at my new friend, a turkey made hairless, waddle and all.

Blanca told me to let it air out for a while, be naked if possible. Good thing I work at home; that could have been awkward for everyone.

"Thank you for trust me," she said. "Will you do eet again?"

“Perhaps if I encounter some issues with my memory down the line." I tipped Blanca not for the wax but for the psychotherapy.


It has been a week, and I'm still not myself. I've acquired a facial tic and other hints of post-traumatic stress disorder. The draft in my basement won't go away. I feel less manly, Samson without his pubic hair. I've stopped showering at the gym, and it may be years before I can eat Brazilian nuts.

My hair is returning slowly, in patches, like Earth after nuclear winter.

Blanca said that if I wax often enough, the hair will stop growing altogether, but then what will we do for fun? My compulsion to scratch is severe -- greater, in fact, than my need to be accepted by other people in the restaurant.

As nice as it was to clean Richard and the twins, I have decided that my private parts will remain private. Some say that waxing improves sex, but I don't think I'm good enough at it to tell the difference. I did find this, however: shavers and waxers don't mix. My wife is a shaver, and I, bless my editor, am a waxer. Now when we make love, it feels like grating glass down there, which, of course, is not enough to keep me away.

Blanca sees musclemen, swimmers, and guys who like to roam the beach showing off their circumcision, but still it is mostly women. They are the only ones tough enough to return. Blanca would like to have more male clients, but something tells me I didn't help her cause.

Still, I will always recall fondly this woman who knows me better than do most of my ex-girlfriends. Even now, as I scratch and scratch, her accent echoes in my mind: "Es almost over, es almost over...

* Not that he would have bought me sex toys. Prude, remember?


angie said...

Oh god. A Brazilian.

*Shakes head, shudders, shuffles off into the blogosphere.*

Trace said...

Nevah done it. Not evah.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I have to say, I'm not ever going to subject myself to this voluntarily.

Must admit it would make a hell of a comedy scene in a novel, though.

John McFetridge said...

Never in a million years.

But to see why this is for me, you'll have to go here

Thanks Sandra.

Sandra Ruttan said...

John, I was going to say to really understand they should read Dirty Sweet.

Anonymous said...


Sela Carsen said...

God, men are such pansies.

It's true. It hurts less the more often you do it.

Of course, I only wax my eyebrows. *gg*

Anonymous said...

Latina with hot wax? Ho hum. Been there.

Letting a Latina landscape the playground? Hey, I'll try anything once.

Landscaping the playground by tying the shrubbery to a pickup's bumper then popping the clutch at 8000 RPM?

Uh, no. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I am a total pansy -- and I celebrate that fact!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bill, LOL!

Sela, yeah, that might be true, but it made me shudder!

David, you'll try anything once? Hmmm. I've suddenly got a list of ideas...

Anonymous said...


The list of things I haven't tried grows shorter by the day. You'd better hurry up.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says Merry Christmas like buying your lover a big old dildo and a gift certificate for pube-waxing.

Anonymous said...

I get my brows waxed every five weeks on the dot. It does hurt less (still startles the hell out of me thought). They would have to fill me up with enough tranquilizer to sedate two rhinos do a Brazilian though. norby

Sandra Ruttan said...

Okay David, I'll get right on that. ;)

Patrick, how sentimental of you. It would definitely be memorable.

Norby, I'm a wuss. I've never done the eyebrows and I'm not sure I could. The biggest problem is I just can't get into beauty habits. I haven't had my hair cut since before Harrogate.

Anonymous said...

Lol, no leg de-hairing for me, I'm German. :)

Sure, some do it here, too, mostly the society girls and I never wanted to be one of those. I shave under the arms for hygienic reasons, but my leg fur stays.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You know what I love about this blog?

I learn so much about the people who drop by. Things that would just never come up in casual conversation.