For Neat Freaks, the Vagina Facial (a.k.a the Vajaycial)


“Let’s get dinner after I’m done with my vagina facial.”

If you want to completely freak out a gay man visiting from Germany, mentioning your upcoming vajaycial is a pretty effective way to do it. And in truth, I was a little freaked out, too. Getting a facial on your nether regions seems so gross and also so wrong. And not to mention that at $155, it seems insanely expensive, a procedure fit for a Real Houswife or maybe a stripper ? “I predict you’re going to get a raging yeast infection,” my friend texted back.

But I swear by regular facials—The masks! The painful yet satisfying extractions! The glowing skin! Plus I was suffering from a 10-day-old bikini wax. I got mine right before leaving on a beach vacation and made the most of it. But as soon as I got back, my tan started to fade and my bikini line started to, well, repopulate itself.

Related: Bombshell Babes in Modest Swimwear

There’s no delicate way to say it: I am prone to ingrown hairs. They’re painful, they’re disgusting, and they’re unavoidable. I’ve tried every product I’ve been told eliminates or prevents them, but to no avail. Short of going au naturel, I was out of options.

I also suspected there might be something to the vajaycial because J. Sisters was behind it. If there was a mecca for the Brazilian bikini wax, it would be J. Sisters in midtown Manhattan. These ladies brought waxing to new levels in America. The salon walls are adorned with celebrity head shots (Kerry Washington’s, Gwyneth Paltrow’s scrawled with “You changed my life!!”) and it even made an appearance on Sex and the City. Going there isn’t exactly visiting a temple of tranquility, though: It’s always a little chaotic, a little too brightly lit, the music a little too loud. But the waxers are fast, don’t seem fazed by anything, and have an air of deep professionalism that I find particularly reassuring when my nether regions are at stake.

So it was with some trepidation that I showed up for me vajaycial, or, as they call it, Gommage Therapy—gommage meaning ‘to erase” in French. I stripped from the waist down and laid down on a paper-covered table, not unlike visiting a gynecologist. First some rose-scented water was misted all over, which seemed pleasant enough. Then the aesthetician applied a light scrub meant to exfoliate the area. Is it weird having someone massaging and exfoliating your pubic area? Yes, and maybe more intimate than getting a wax because it’s so hands-on. She asked if I had a date that night (sadly, no, just the aforementioned horrified friend) and said if I did, I should shower first, in case there were any errant bits of scrub and it was still “a little sandy down there.”

Related: Dirty Secrets of Real Couples

After the scrub was wiped off with towels, she brought over a steamer. If you’ve ever gotten a facial and had your face steamed, it’s the same machine and the same idea—to open up your pores—except this time it’s aimed squarely at the bikini line. I sat with the steamer, which gave me some time to reflect. Was this really going to give me a yeast infection? Would I feel more relaxed if I was in a darkened, private room instead of a glorified cubicle with bright lights and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs playing?

After five solid minutes of really hot steam came the extractions. We’re talking blackheads, ingrown hairs, clogged pores of any kind. It’s a little painful, on par with extractions during a facial, but afterwards ingrown hairs were gone. (She even volunteered to go above and beyond and take care of an ingrown hair on my thigh. What a team player!)

“I bet your vagina feels like a mink coat,” said my friend over dinner that night. I’d like to think there’s not enough hair down there to compare it to a fur, but it did feel quite expensive. The next day, my skin was smooth and the growing out phase of my bikini wax was a lot more presentable. No irritations, no yeast infection, no lingering issues at all except for how I’m going to afford to justify paying for a vagina facial every four weeks.

Related: Under-$25 Jewelry That Only Looks Expensive