It's a Living

Leah is a waxer at Yvonne Marciena spa in Laguna Beach.

Do you think that waxing scene inThe 40 Year-Old Virgin helped your business, or hurt it?

I think it exposed the naked truth about the profession! [Giggles.] It brought the idea that men can get waxed to a larger audience—put the idea into people's heads. He really did get waxed for that scene, you know. Of course, they really exaggerated it, to make it look as painful as possible.

Do you do karate yells, like she was doing?

Oh, no, that was pure Hollywood. They wanted to play up the stereotypes of the profession. We don't yell . . . it's the customers who do the yelling, sometimes. And the hitting.

Theyhit you?

Oh, yeah. Accidentally, of course. Never so hard that I got bruised, but sometimes people will be surprised and they'll flail an arm or a leg out and smack us.

Do men and women respond to this differently? Are men more stoic?

Women handle it much better.

Well . . . guys have so much more hair, I suppose it does probably hurt more.

Women are tougher.

Before this,I had no idea there were fashions for different kinds of pubic hair, that there were these things called a Brazilian wax, and something called a Sphinx. Can you tell me about some of these different styles?

A Brazilian is the most popular one, that's everything, from the front to the bum. A Playboy is like a landing strip, and then there's others . . . like a Mohawk. I've never heard of a Sphinx. We don't offer that one. Sometimes people get it waxed into shapes, like hearts and diamonds and initials and names.

Entire names?

Sure. The Brazilian can be a problem for older married couples, who have maybe had children. If the wife gets it, it can look a little, uh, young. For the husband. If you get my meaning.

Oh. Yeah, I guess it could remind him of . . .


I've heard of people having rhinestones put on down there.

People have rhinestones, or glitter, maybe for Halloween, or a special occasion. I think that's more of an indoor fun thing, it's not for every day.

Have you ever encountered a masochist? Was anybody like, “Yes, wax me, WAX me!”?

Oh, yeah. With both men and women. This is a profession of course, and we have the right to refuse service to anybody. If somebody's acting inappropriate, we'll ask them to leave.

Like, what do they do? How do they give themselves away?

It's only happened a few times. It's mostly guys. They have a fantasy of a beautiful woman giving them a Brazilian. They'll come in, specifically looking for a woman. To be honest, I don't think too many straight guys get a Brazilian.

There's that clich, that people tell all their secrets to their barbers and their hairdressers. Do they do that with their waxers?

Absolutely. Some people don't want to be friendly with their waxer at all, that's a problem for them. If a friendship starts to form, they'll go find a new waxer. But a lot of people can get very close to their waxer.

I'd have a hard time opening up to somebody who caused me pain. I don't want to bare my soul to my dentist, you know?

Well, I think it's like the relationship you'd have with your fitness trainer, where you hate them, but at the same time you can really like them. It's such an intimate circumstance. The rooms are beautiful, we have the music playing and we serve tea and cookies and stuff. We're really focused on pain reduction and making them comfortable, and that makes people open up. People will drive two hours to get their favorite waxer. When you find a good waxer, you're with them for life.

Yvonne Marciena Spa, 303 Broadway St., #208, Laguna Beach, (949) 497-5414;

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