back-sack-crack (2)H

earing that Stephen Thomas was in fact the only only qualified back, sack and crack waxing specialist in Ireland, Brendan Doyle found himself convinced to have his nether regions seen to. It’s an experience he’ll be repeating.

It can’t be that bad. I’m sure it’s all just hype. Sure, it’s only a bit of hair being torn off my nether regions with hot molten wax... So I told myself as I turned into a little lane off Dame St and pressed the buzzer of the Stephen Thomas Face and Body Clinic. I’d been told by Herr Editor that the Grizzly Adams look is out and that to cut it with the hot boys, I should be less Tom Selleck, more Tom Ford. He wanted me, for the purposes of good journalism, to get a back, crack and sack wax. A boyzilian. Stephen Thomas has been manscaping men for five years now. After a bad experience himself in a well-known Dublin clinic, he trained up to become ‘Ireland’s only qualified specialist back, crack and sack waxer.’

The first time I got it done it was a terrible experience

Stephen tells me, an admission that hardly inspires confidence.

The people knew about waxing legs and chests, but not about waxing the more sensitive areas. They used a regular beeswax-based wax and the whole thing was a painful nightmare

Stephen uses a tea-tree oil based wax specially formulated for use on the less robust areas of skin, such as around the genitals. All customers get a patch test at least a day in advance to check for any allergies to the wax, which there rarely are. The procedure itself is straightforward. A dollop of warm wax is spread in the direction of the body hair with a wooden spatula. A cloth strip is then rubbed onto it and whipped off, removing the hair and any dead skin cells. After waxing, a tea-tree oil based antiseptic cream is applied to the area. Teatree oil is a natural antiseptic, preventing infection and promoting healing of the waxed skin. The treatment, however, is not for the shy. There’s no hiding anything when you’re down on all fours with your bum in the air, so Stephen chats away to me to keep my mind off what he’s doing and where he’s doing it.

When I started it was predominately gay men getting it done,

he says,

But now it’s about 50-50, thanks to straight celebrities like David Beckham popularising the treatment.

But why do men bother getting de-furred at all? I ask as he spreads a cheek. “

The number one reason most guys say is hygiene,

he replies, not batting an eyelid.

But many get it done for other reasons, such as image, sexual reasons or even to make their penises look bigger

It’s true; the porn star look is hot right now, and not in a Ron Jeremy kind of way. Speaking about bigger penises, I ask Stephen if people ever get excited while he’s, uh, down there?

It happens sometimes and can actually help with the waxing since the sack tightens up during an erection. But generally its goes within a few minutes because of the pain of the waxing.

Is it really that painful? The simple answer is yes, it hurts - a lot! The back part was not too bad, as I had hardly any hair there. The crack and cheek wax were uncomfortable, and the sack wax was excruciating. Pubic hair around the genitals has deeper roots than hair in other parts of the body, I’m told, and so that’s why I feel like screaming.

Thankfully, Stephen has done the procedure on hundreds of men and flies through the waxing at lightning speed. It only hurts for a split second, and the whole treatment is over in about a half hour.

Hair doesn’t grow back in the waxed areas typically for four-to-eight weeks. An advantage of waxing is that areas repeatedly waxed experience a thinning of re-growth, with hair often becoming softer and lighter in colour over time.

So, is the old boyzilian for everyone? Some guys have very thin skin on their scrotum and waxing is unsuitable for them, as they could end up tearing it. Ouch! Also diabetics and those with varicose veins should steer clear and embrace the Burt Reynolds look.

The people who notice the most benefit are dark haired people like yourself

Stephen tells me.

Lucky me!

Afterwards, as I catch my breath, Stephen advises me not to shower for 24 hours and not to use any products on the area for two days. Thisreduces any irritation in the area, and helps prevent any ingrowth of hair. The first time is the worst time, according to Stephen, but the key is aftercare.

Most people who have problems after waxing do so because they went and showered straight away or didn’t follow the advice

cautions Stephen. In addition to back, crackand sack waxing, Stephen provides other specialised waxing services, as well as all the regular face and body beauty treatments. The whole service was very professional and now that I’m smooth as a baby’s bottom, just like Herr Editor said I should be, I’ll be making a return appointment.