Brazilian Waxing in the Harem. Ouch!

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Brazilian waxing in the harem? Well not exactly, at least not by that name. In the harem, removal of unwanted body hair was known as smoothing and was done by plucking, waxing, sugaring and occasionally by shaving. Today, of course we call this bikini waxing, Brazilian waxing, sugaring, or just plain bikini shaving.

Today, many think of bikini waxing as something new for the modern woman, but in fact this ancient practice of removing pubic hair dates back to the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. ('Priestesses of the ancient religion of Egypt shaved their entire person, in order that all roughness be smoothed and the skin have a beautiful polish, making them clean and pure in approaching the throne of God.’). Smoothing later spread across North Africa, from Persia in the east to Morocco in the west, and north to Turkey, France, and Rome. In a slave harems, smoothing was de rigueur, and not uncommon amongst brides and younger married women, although rarely spoken of.

And now in the West, Brazilian waxing is gaining popularity thanks to J. Sisters International Salon opened in New York City by seven sisters from Brazil. Their daring stylings took off with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, who gushed, in a signed picture that adorns the salon wall, "You've changed my life!"

Orientalist paintings of naked women in the harem, usually slave girls, invariably portray them without body hair. Depilation was mandatory and pursued rigorously. In large turkish harems where there were so many women that visits to the sultan's bedchamber were infrequent or one time affairs, the chosen woman was shaved by eunuchs before going to the Sultan's the bed. In smaller harems and amongst harem favorites, longer lasting plucking, waxing (much like Brazilian waxing), or sugaring was preferred to shaving and was called smoothing for obvious reasons.

Brazilian Bikini Waxed shaved photo picSapphira saw nothing unusual about smoothing and later she explains to a new girl who is about to be smoothed by sugaring:

"...a man finds that part of a woman pleasing and pretty to the eye, and more so when it is bare and not concealed behind a bush. After all, God did not put hair on a woman’s face or on her chest for that reason. We have all been done this way,” I added, for her comfort.
“Does Master Ali look at you, there?”
“Yes,” I answered casually...

I found this statement somewhere in my research, but have lost the reference, but here it is anyway:

... Middle Easterners used a hair removal process called body sugaring, involving the application of a natural, sugar-based paste (usually sugar, lemon and other natural ingredients cooked to the consistency of soft taffy) that was either rubbed or pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth. The high sugar content inhibited bacterial growth in the region's hot environs. The method reputedly was born out of a Middle Eastern bridal ritual. The night before a wedding, Lebanese, Palestinian, Turkish and Egyptian brides had all body hair, except eyebrows and the hair on their heads, removed by the bridal party. According to lore, the bride maintained her hairless body throughout her marriage as a symbol of cleanliness and respect for her husband.

Religion has always played a large part in the customs of the Middle East and it is not surprising that the religious authorities had something to say about hair removal:

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 5/194, 195

What is the ruling on a woman removing hair from her body; if it is permissible, then who is allowed to do that for her?

They answered:

It is permissible for her (to remove) everything except her eyebrows and the hair on her head; it is not permissible for her to remove those, or to remove anything from the eyebrows whether by shaving or any other means. She, her husband or one of her mahrams may do that for her, with regard to the parts of the body that they are permitted to see; or another woman may do that, with regard to the parts of the body that she is permitted to see.

Why, you ask, would you do this to yourself? Well, to be honest, the pain isn't all that bad, and the results are undeniable. You'll have a smooth, bump-free bikini area that looks fabulous in a bathing suit or au naturel. Plus, you and your partner will probably find it incredibly erotic! Many girls and women now view smoothing as a natural extension of leg and underarm shaving. So don't be shy! It's beautiful and worth it.

Learn more about how Brazilian bikini waxing is done today, visit this site: Brazilian Bikini Waxing

Oriental girls! - Visit this Japanese site: Brazilian Waxing in Japan


Waxing, shaving and sugaring of the bikini area and behind are all different procedures used to produce smoothing.

2011-04-18