1. How old are you and how long have you been waxing?
Lori Nestore, founder of Berodin Wax: I’m 62 years old; I’ve been waxing for over 40 years.
Julia Davydov, co-founder of Wax Club: I am 43 years old; I have been an esthetician for 25 years.
Carly Ross, lead specialist at Spruce & Bond Upper East Side: I’m 32 and have been waxing for just over a year.
2. What percentage of your male clients come in to get their pubic hair waxed?
Lori Nestore: Thirty percent of my clientele is male, and they mostly get Brazilians. Interestingly enough, the brows, chest, ears, and backs are secondary.
Julia Davydov: Twenty percent [come to wax their pubic hair].
Carly Ross: Not very many at our particular location, but about five percent. Males still consider this process to be very taboo. It’s shame though because it’s so much better than shaving!
3. What are the most popular pubic hair styles for men to get waxed?
Lori Nestore: They often leave most of the top and mainly clean around the edges.
Julia Davydov: Completely bare. Men don’t do it as often, so when they do, they remove all pubic hair. Men do like to like the tummy trail from the belly button to the pubic bone.
Carly Ross: A lot of men like everything off but, like women, the style tends to be short on the top (trimmed with scissors), and then wax around the edges, base of the shaft, testicles, and the butt strip. I believe the butt strip is by far the most gratifying for both sexes.
4. How does the process of waxing a man differ from waxing women?
Lori Nestore: When one does a lot of waxing, we’ll notice differences from person-to-person, not male versus female. As most technicians are female, I have noticed many women think a man’s bits are so much more delicate than a woman’s. It really is an individual experience: what is their pain tolerance? How hairy are they? Do they come in every four weeks? Do they use good home care? Of course, we cannot apply pressure to the testicles (they don’t like that at all!), but we can (and do) pull the skin on the scrotum very tightly to be able to apply and remove the wax strip and hair, while also protecting the skin all at the same time. At the beginning, this scares women [waxers] to do this, but it gets easier.
Julia Davydov: Men’s Brazilian waxing is entirely external, women’s waxing is both internal [in the sense that you also wax the inner lips completely] and external.
Carly Ross: There is a lot more going on when you wax a male. You really need them to work with you in order to help hold everything in the right place. With a woman, you might ask her to pull their skin taut here and there, but a man has to hold his genitals in one way or another throughout the service.
5. How do men and women behave differently when you’re waxing them?
Lori Nestore: If a person is chatty, they are chatty. This isn’t a gender thing, but an individual thing. So, I don’t think the genders [behave] that differently from each other.
Julia Davydov: Men tend to feel like they need to explain why they are waxing their genitals. They say things like “I lost a bet”, “I’m a biker and this makes me more aerodynamic”, “I’m not gay, my girlfriend asked for this”, “If she has to do it, I should too.” [A guy has also] explained his wife was tired of getting pubic hair caught in her teeth.
Carly Ross: It all depends on the person. Some people are better at dealing with it than others but it differs for everyone, regardless of their gender.
6. Do you notice any difference between men and women apologizing for their genitals? Like, “Sorry it’s been so long in between waxes” or something?
Lori Nestore: Women are often more self conscious of how they are built or smell or appear than men. There, of course, are exceptions to every rule.
Julia Davydov: Women tend to apologize more… Men tend to be either proud of their tool or they want a small towel for modesty. There is little in between — either they are a mighty lion or a shy cub!
Carly Ross: Women are always very apologetic for their grooming habits. It’s kind of a bummer because women have it hard enough in society, never mind feeling guilty for a skin appendage, too! We are there to remove your hair and we promise, we’ve seen it all.
7. Has a man ever gotten an erection while you’ve waxed them? If so, how often? How do you respond if that happens?
Lori Nestore: It doesn’t happen often. We find pulling hair out of their balls has quite the dampening effect. All kidding aside, it happens more because they are nervous. An erection is not arousal, as I have told many female wax technicians. If a man does get an erection, I find it best to just say, “That happens, don’t worry, it’s fine.” This way he (and his penis) can relax.
Julia Davydov: Ah, the no apparent reason boner, or NARB, as we call it in the business. It does happen from time to time. It can of course happen due to arousal, or even fear. That’s something that men apologize for. It’s best for the waxer to respond “no worries,” and continue on with the task at hand. Pardon the pun.
Carly Ross: It has never happened to me, but it is extremely important to control your room. If they do have an erection, we leave the room to allow them to gain control of the situation.
8. Does waxing hurt a guy more or less if he has an erection?
Lori Nestore: Neither, if the technician is a good technician. They know how to keep the skin nice and tight; it’s this plus the angle of your removal that makes it less painful.
Julia Davydov: Hard to say, I’m not a man. Men tend to be babies about any type of pain. If the area is more sensitive during erection, then they can be more aware of any pain.
Carly Ross: I have not experienced it and have never spoken to someone who has, so can’t answer!
9. How is the process of waxing a guy’s balls different from waxing any other body part? Since there’s so much loose skin, are there any special precautions you have to follow or be aware of? Any tips or tricks?
Lori Nestore: The skin of the scrotum is very thin and we can pull it very tight without hurting them at all. Doing long narrow strips is easier to control both the hair removal and the discomfort of the client.
Julia Davydov: Since the skin is loser and the area is sensitive, the testicles should be cradled and held tautly. Only the area that is being waxed should be exposed. It takes a little longer but this avoids extra pulling of the ball sack.
Carly Ross: The client needs to hold their penis in a way that pulls their testicles taut. The skin is really sensitive in this area so it is important to use light pressure when applying wax and watch [the] temperature [of the wax].
10. What do most men find to be the most painful part to get waxed?
Lori Nestore: Directly above his penis, straight down the middle of the body, just like a woman. And the legs. Legs are somewhat of a hard body part to get through — there are so many strips [of wax needed]!
Julia Davydov: Their balls of course. If the guy is being overly dramatic, they will say everything hurts.
Carly Ross: It varies depending on the individual, but usually the top where the hair is thickest. Keeping up with your waxes is the best way to avoid discomfort, because your hair will thin out significantly and be easier to remove from the base.
11. What’s the most difficult thing about waxing men, in your opinion?
Lori Nestore: Getting over our own fears about how to “handle” every situation and how to wax what can be saggy, wrinkled, or stiff without feeling shy, embarrassed, or terrified about doing it incorrectly.
Julia Davydov: Getting them comfortable with the whole process. Once they do, they are as courageous as women. After doing it the first time, they are surprised at how easy it is. Most of the fear is the anticipation and pre-conceived notions.
Carly Ross: The shaft tends to be the most difficult because that hair can be really stubborn as it grows in every direction.
12. Do most of your male clients come in on a one-off basis just to try it out, or do most men who get waxed once continue to do so regularly?
Lori Nestore: Mostly they turn into regular clients. I haven’t experienced men wanting to get a Brazilian done for a special occasion in the same way a woman does.
Julia Davydov: It’s about fifty-fifty. Sometimes men do it once out of curiosity. They are surprised how much they like it. Some say they feel lighter and airier. They also say they feel sleek and cleaner.
Carly Ross: I personally have very few male genital wax clients. I think men are still a bit wary about waxing that area, especially because it’s usually a female who is performing the service. Other body parts are way more frequent, but men are less tied to a schedule.
13. What’s something you were surprised to learn about waxing men?
Lori Nestore: We can’t ever make judgements on who may or may not turn into a good client. Many years ago, I had a professional I trained have her first male client coming in for a Brazilian. She called me to do a verbal run through. About three hours later, I called her to see how everything went. She said nothing could have prepared her to walk into the room with a fully naked man on her table. She went over to her wax pot and stirred it for about five minutes before she could gather her courage, turn around, and start waxing him. He liked the results so much, he had her wax his back, chest, and legs. He was a police officer and she ended up with the police force and fire department as her clients [because] he was an awesome referral.
Julia Davydov: That some men actually believe waxing makes their penises look bigger. They also have many of the same questions woman have. How long before my hair grows back, and if I do it often will the hair come back slower, etc.? Some men are fine to show their junk and others want a small modesty towel.
Carly Ross: I was surprised by the fact that most men seem to remove their body hair for a partner rather than themselves. They are not uncomfortable with their hair the way women are, because their culture does not frown upon it.
14. What’s something you wish men knew about getting bikini waxes?
Lori Nestore: If they are shaving already, this is so much better!
Julia Davydov: If a guy is paranoid about having a boner during the wax, ejaculating prior to coming in could help him avoid that. It’s just biology. If a man ejaculates, it generally takes a bit of a while before he becomes hard again. Also, like with woman, that they can’t shave before a waxing. The hair needs to be grown out a bit so that the wax can adhere to it and thus be pulled off.
Carly Ross: It is never as bad as they think it will be.
15. What are some common misconceptions about male bikini waxing? Why are they wrong?
Lori Nestore: That they must be gay to want this done. Interestingly enough, the clientele is more heterosexual than homosexual that prefers waxing. Or [the misconception] that he might be a perv. I have found nervous new male clients asking questions that can seem inappropriate and the easiest way around this is to simply ask if they are concerned they may get an erection during the service. Many times, because I just asked so calmly, they say yes and I can assure them it doesn’t happen very often, but if it does, it’s no big deal.
Julia Davydov: That only gay men wax. Not true. Straight athletes, body builders, and boyfriends and husbands of women wax. Pubic waxing is finally a unisex beauty treatment for everybody regardless of sexual preference.
Carly Ross: A common misconception is what they believe the level of pain will be. Men think it will be more painful than it actually is. It’s really important to breathe, and to keep your adrenaline down. If you lay on the bed clenching your body, it’s going to be so much worse. People do not realize how resilient they are by nature.
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Carina Hsieh Sex & Relationships Editor Carina Hsieh lives in NYC with her French Bulldog Bao Bao — follow her on Instagram and Twitter • Candace Bushnell once called her the Samantha Jones of Tinder • She enjoys hanging out in the candle aisle of TJ Maxx and getting lost in Amazon spirals.
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