Blog: Honey, I zapped my pubes and other sadomasochistic adventures

Blog: Honey, I zapped my pubes and other sadomasochistic adventures

Being the daughter of an Indian mother and a Malay father who still has dark and dense enough hair on his head to grow it out for a ponytail, it’s no surprise that my sisters and I turned out to be fairly hirsute.

One of the things that you quickly learn when you are a hirsute female undergoing puberty is that menstruation is often a very messy, smelly and sticky affair, especially at a time when tampons were rare and the mere mention of their use would get disapproving glares from old fashioned mothers and aunties.

So I switched to tampons and started waxing my nether regions as soon as I could afford it. This has made the time of the month a considerably cleaner and bearable enough affair that I could feel comfortable enough to wear G-strings on light flow days.

Being new to the world of beauty potions and pampering, I spent a few hours every month of my first years as a working young adult doing what little maintenance my pay cheque could afford me – waxing was high on the list and involved the toes, calves, shins, underarms and the Brazilian area – in addition to the occasional facial.

Yes, it's as scary as it looks. Photo by shavenwookie.wordpress.com
Yes, it’s as scary as it looks. Photo by shavenwookie.wordpress.com

The set-up was not unlike a BDSM scene from a B-grade movie, especially when I was pressed for time and had to do the facial and the Brazilian at the same time.

My then boyfriend once walked in on me while I was on all fours and butt naked on the treatment bed, with a clay masque drying off on my face and the therapist waxing the sensitive sliver of skin between my butt cheeks (the masque muffled my every speech, but allowed a distinct “mmpphh” when the hair was ripped off my perineum), but instead of fleeing the room in disgust and horror he sat down to watch until my therapist felt uncomfortable enough that he had to be asked to leave the room.

Unless you have a fetish for hot wax, waxing has more downsides than upsides. No matter the quality of the wax and the proficiency of your therapist, ingrown hair, inflammation, “chicken skin syndrome” and hyper-pigmentation are common and frequently occurring problems. Being a hirsute female, my hair grew back in three weeks after a session and often with a hair follicle or two just starting to simmer with pus. Having itchy, filthy fingers, I would take pleasure in bursting these whiteheads which would often result in scars; sometimes they healed, but most times they didn’t. I was also taking far too long plucking stray hairs in the bathroom in between waxes to the chagrin of  my sisters, assorted boyfriends and family members. In spite of a scarred pudenda and awfully long bathroom breaks, I kept going back to my waxing therapist because I did not know any better.

If you have an ape for a boyfriend, send him for a Candela GentleMax laser treatment. Picture courtesy of Candela.
If you have an ape for a boyfriend, send him for a Candela GentleMax laser treatment. Picture courtesy of Candela.

Which is why I love the Candela GentleMax laser hair removal treatment at KCS Medical Group so much. The GentleMax Pro is the gold standard for hair removal, combining the fast and powerful 755nm Alexandrite laser with the 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser for an increased range of high performance treatment capabilities across all skin types. The probe is the industry’s largest spot size, 18mm, allowing for shorter treatment times. For maximum patient comfort, the laser has two skin cooling options for epidermal protection, either chilled air from the Air Cooling Compatible (ACC) hand piece or the patented Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) technology which protects the upper layers of the skin with a cooling burst of cryogen. It’s suitable for just about any part of the body with hair on it, even for men who want to reduce the density of their beards.

My tormentor is a thorough pint-sized Filipino lady with a toothy grin who lets me keep my shoes on during the length of the treatment. Before administering the laser, she would trim the hairs to 0.1mm because according to her the “excess hair would make the treatment more painful”. After putting on protective goggles, she proceeds to zap my pubes one deliberate inch by inch. The laser is supposed to kill each hair follicle by the root to severely retard and eliminate hair growth over subsequent treatments.

What’s scary for me is not the smell of my burning hair which looks like it is wilting from an invisible force beamed through the laser probe, but the sound of tiny gushes of cryogen; for some people it sounds like Lilliputians cracking tiny bullwhips and for others it sounds like the snapping of rubber bands. The pain does however feel like Lilliputians are cracking tiny bullwhips on my *****, the pain which intensifies when it  gets to the hairier bits: the labia and the perineum.

I'm relieved the Candela GentleMax laser machine isn't plugged into this socket.
Fortunately the Candela GentleMax laser machine isn’t plugged into this socket.

If you are like me and have a pimple-squeezing fetish, you would probably enjoy tugging at the hair shafts after a treatment; some fall away almost immediately after the treatment, some a few days afterwards. Before I dress, I always ask for the treated parts to be moisturised because they tend to itch otherwise.

Because I have hyper-pigmentation from years of waxing damage, the procedure is often followed by the RevLite laser treatment; on a bad day it feels like the kind of smarting that you get when pouring water on an open blister, on a good day, a warm buzz from a slap. For days and weeks afterwards, hair growth is severely retarded – in patches at first but it gets more even with subsequent treatments – and the incidence of ingrown hair, hyper-pigmentation, “chicken skin syndrome” and inflamed hair follicles has by now plummeted to zero.

The treatment can cost anything from $1000 for four sessions upwards depending on where you go.

An aside on the KCS Medical Group; I like it because it is in the East in a quiet HDB neighbourhood near where I live; it’s also understated, comfortable and away from the city. It is patronised by high profile executives and TV personalities who prefer discreet service; I thought I ran into MediaCorp Chinese presenter Quan Yifeng registering on one of the days that I had my treatment.

KCS Medical Group is at 718 Bedok Reservoir Rd, #01-4594 Tel: 6442 4149

Website: www.kcsmedicalgroup.com

Raised in Singapore by middle-class Malay-Muslim parents, Nanny Eliana started composing short stories and poetry on her father’s typewriter at age six. As a student of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), she published her first Malay short story in the local Malay daily at 14, followed by two poems. In the same year, she was selected by an English student’s magazine and under the tutelage of a professional editor, she wrote its entertainment column for two years; this was the same year that she attended her first music press conference, for the famous rock band Jon Bon Jovi. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a double major in Theatre Studies and Sociology, then, upon graduation, plunged into freelance events management and writing for public relations and advertising agencies and women’s magazines. At 23, she became the founder and principal consultant of Bridges M&C Pte Ltd, a public relations agency. In 2010, she co-founded contract publishing firm Bridges Publishing Pte Ltd with her fiancé, a retired Major from the British Parachute Regiment. In the same year, she received an Arts Creation Fund grant from the National Arts Council to complete her first novel. The fruit of that grant is this, her first novel.