I bet that, with six words, I can make you wince.
Hot wax; your kahunas; hair removal.
It worked, right? A sharp intake of breath; the pained expression; the ever-so-slight doubling over... guys are so predictable.
But not, it would seem, when it comes to their grooming habits. Yip, beyond the bottle of shaving cream and two-blade razor is a whole world of manscaping.
For those still subscribing to the Tom Selleck School of Grooming, manscaping is a general term that can be used to describe the removal of superfluous fur. More specifically, it refers to male grooming below the belt.
Which brings us back to that wincing ? the 'back, sack, and crack' wax treatment. Apparently ? thanks, in part, to David Beckham ? it is becoming increasingly popular.
"As guys have become more aware of grooming themselves in general, most realise now that the natural 'Adam' look is a thing of the past," Says Carol Erikson from the male-only grooming emporium Glasshouse in Greenpoint, Cape Town.
And, it's not only gay guys who are getting waxed. Erikson claims that 70 percent of Glasshouse's intimate waxing clients are straight guys and Zac Cronje, from the Westdene-based XY Skin and Body Clinic, said that clients are occasionally booked in for the wax by their wives.
So, why get it done?
Interestingly, hygiene (rather than simply aesthetics) seems to be a big motivation for getting the 'back, sack and crack' treatment.
"Several of our clients indicated that they do the treatment for hygiene purposes and I agree with this to a big extent," said Cronje.
"There is also an advertisement by a shaving system that promotes the 'optical inch', which states that by reducing hair in the genital area, it increases a man's perceived size. But, unlike shaving, hair does not become harder and sharper after waxing; on the contrary, it becomes thinner and takes longer to grow out again."
Erikson agrees: "I think a lot of guys prefer to be well-groomed down there for their partners. It's hygienic and some say it's cooler in the summer!"
What should you expect?
So, should you start with something a little less awkward before taking the plunge and going for a BSC? Not a good idea, says Erikson.
"It isn't as bad as most people think and it won't make the pain any less by waxing other areas first. Everyone has their own pain thresholds for different areas."
Cronje, who agrees, says that some clients have been frightened away because they try another area first, and assume (incorrectly) that the sack and crack areas are going to be worse.
And, as if the thought of pain weren't enough, there is also that little issue of... ahem... nakedness.
"The BSC wax is an awkward wax as you do find yourself very exposed during the wax and need to be mentally prepared for it," says Cronje. "You will find yourself naked on the plinth during the waxing, and you might feel embarrassed by this."
However, general consensus seems to be that if you visit a reputable salon, the professional environment should temper the awkward moments. According to Cronje, you are more likely to be treated by a male therapist than a female one.
Stuff you should know
- Shower before the treatment.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing after the waxing.
- Apply an antiseptic/soothing cream to the area post-waxing.
- Use an exfoliation glove two days after the wax to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Go into the sun before or after waxing.
- Have hot baths/showers or use saunas and steam rooms.
- Exercise directly after waxing.
- Use perfumes, deodorants or lotions for 12 to 24 hours after the treatment.
- Plan a romantic evening immediately following your wax.
- BSC @ XY Skin and Body Clinic: R160
- Intimate male waxing @ Glasshouse: ranges from R200 to R350.
What do you think about manscaping? Vote in our poll at the top of the page...