I walk into the laser clinic and stare at the pretty pink pamphlets just left of the receptionist with the glaring white teeth.
I know what I’m there to ask for. I don’t know why I’m pretending. But I’m trying to navigate what’s sure to be one of the most awkward and uncomfortable conversations I’m set to have in my 25 years of life.
I know this pamphlet well because I’ve analysed it before. The front is inconspicuous to the naked eye as it screams “50% off laser hair removal” with a list of typical places you’d expect to receive, well, laser hair removal.
Your embarrassing top lip…
Yet you know what’s on the inside of that pamphlet. They call it the ‘add on menu’ except ‘add on menu’ is simply a ruse for all of the strange and weird places we women have hair but rarely ever, ever talk about. For a mere $10 extra you can take your pick and rest assured your laser technician will judge you for all eternity for wanting to make sure these places are hairless.
As your eyes flick down you look at the words listed in front of you:
Snail trail. Areola. Anus. Bingo.
I feel like I’m holding my first Dolly sealed section as I flush red. Call it what you will, orifice, anus… bum hole. I’m there to get my bum hole lasered. Why you ask? Well not for any of the reasons that would first jump to your mind, I assure you. Simply put I just wanted the back to match the front. I’d recently started having my Brazilian lasered and I thought why not go the whole hog, so to speak.
Yet the problem with having your anus lasered is you have to ask to have your anus lasered. It’s not like going to have a Brazilian wax and the lovely lady who is pouring hot wax on your lady bits simply flings your leg over her shoulder and rips off that back hair before you even have time to blink. It’s much more awkward than that, if that’s even possible.
I proceed to tell the white toothed receptionist that I’d like to prepay some laser sessions. I request five Brazilian sessions before the moment of truth arrives. I’ve practiced this conversation before yet what rolls out of my mouth is nothing like what I had planned.
"The add on menu, do I have to prepay those now or can I do it on the day?" I chicken out. I'm a big huge chicken.
"No, no, you can add those on now," the receptionist replies with a smile.
"Oh okay," I say as I open up the pamphlet to the-section-that-must-not-be-named.
I look up as the receptionist asks in a tonally descending voice, "Do you want to do the-?"
She doesn't even finish her sentence. She won't say the words. She simply motions to the back of her bottom. I think she says 'back' but her voice is so hushed I can barely tell.
"Yes please," I answer as I breathe a sigh of relief that I don't have to say the word 'anus' to a complete stranger. Within minutes I've quickly scurried out of the laser clinic. I check myself. That wasn't bad? I'm relatively unscathed.
That is, until I return the following Saturday for my laser appointment. I sit patiently waiting for my name to be called as I can feel my face burning again. An intimidating woman who looks like the kind that would bully you in high school comes walking out of the laser room.
She calls my name and motions me into the room. She's never done my laser before and in that moment I'm still yet to decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. She leaves me to strip down before returning to the room. She does the standard checks, gives me my goggles, then confirms the areas I'm having lasered.
"So you're doing underarms, full legs and Brazilian," she says in a matter of fact tone.
"Yes," I reply as I realise she hasn't said anus. DEAR GOD. WHY HASN'T SHE SAID ANUS???
I'm now lying there naked from the waist down racking my brain about how to address the fact that she hasn't said anus and it's now left to me to address the awkward fact. She finishes lasering my legs and asks me to roll over onto my stomach.
LISTEN: 61 per cent of people get injured when they remove pubes. Yep. Post continues after audio...
The laser technician proceeds to finish my legs and then asks me to roll over to she can do my underarms. This is the moment of truth. This is when I'm forced to address the anus in the room.
"Oh umm, I paid for the... back too," I stammer.
"Ah the anus," she says, "No problem, lie there and spread your cheeks for me."
Finally, someone in this damn laser clinic who can say the word I think before I quickly clasp my hands on my bum cheeks and spread. She lasers the inside in the same methodical motion she does the rest of my body. About eight clicks, I'd estimate, but who is counting? It look an entire 30 seconds but it felt like about three hours.
It doesn't hurt anywhere as much as I imagine it to, definitely less than my Brazilian and no where near the pain of my underarms (though admittedly my underarms are really painful to laser for some strange reason).
I'm snapped out of my train of thought as the laser technician declares, "All done, roll over!" as she finally gets the chance to move onto my underarms before she leaves me to put my pants back on and I'm done. I take a few deep breaths before I walk out to the front desk.
This time, another smiling receptionist is at the counter. "Would you like to book the same for your next appointment?" she asks. "Yes please," I answer as I'm thankful that I'm not forced to say the word anus or discreetly motion towards my bum.
Have you ever had an awkward but highly necessary beauty treatment?