The sheer abandonment of strict censorship in Ireland takes a little digesting when one is used to the stringent laws and social rules around sex and general innuendo in Abu Dhabi. So back in Ireland for summer, it impossible not to notice the many puns and plays that exist in marketing and advertising for general unsexy items. The overtone being sex and the undertone tacky, it is one of aspects about life in Abu Dhabi that I prefer, tackiness is nowhere to be found.
Whether it’s down to the cross section of people living as expats in the Middle East, or rather the lack of a cross-section, because everyone is either a professional or the wife of a professional, everyone is trying to keep their heads down and see out their years in Middle East just earning and saving and not getting in trouble with the authorities or offending neighbours. So in everyday expat life in Abu Dhabi one doesn’t see much ruffling of feathers, no going against the grain, very few piercings, tattoos, no top-shelf filled with naughty magazines in the local supermarket, no mini-skirts, few string tops and not a mention of sex in public. That is, no talk of sex in public, the act of having sex in public is generally prohibited across the world, as far as I know.
So it was when sitting, second in line, in the local beauty salon waiting for one of the glamorous young attendants to show me to a treatment room that I overheard a conversation that began my awakening to the realization that sex is very much alive in Ireland and more so than ever since the launch of Fifty Shades, mommy porn for the Irish housewife.
“Hi luv, I’m here for the Hawaiian with a skinny landing and a loveheart Vajazzle, oh and a touch up on the gel please”, said the lady in her late thirties confidently, I cast my eyes back to the pricelist to seek some kind of confirmation that this was indeed a Beauty Salon and not a café. The skinny Hawaiian could be some type of pineapple coffee and the mention of a loveheart Vajazzle, reminded me of my Granny and delicious heart shaped mini macaroons she used to make and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. Looking around I was definitely satisfied that this was a beauty salon and not a café, I mean no café in Ireland would have large posters of bronzed women strutting on the beach and the lines of lines of nail polish up behind the desk was a dead giveaway. “No problem love, I heat up the wax now and you can pick out your own Vajazzle”, Was I sure this wasn’t an eatery?, I couldn’t even understand this new language, not to mind her order. All this talk was making me and my monthly treat of an eyebrow shape seem unsophisticated. So when the attendant shouted to me and said, ‘What are you having done love?”, I didn’t have the heart to shout back an eyebrow shape, so instead I replied cockily with , “I’ll have the same, whenever you’re ready thanks” .
Sitting in the claustrophic waiting area, I read my daily broadsheet and clenched my back teeth with anticipation of what lay ahead, relief washed over me, when the girl invited me to look at the previous girls Vajazzle to see if the position of the lovehearts was ok for me. Well, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see, the silhouette of the over-indulged body of a nearly forty year old with a sparse pubic area apart from three diamante lovehearts which guided the way to utopia, or so I imagine was the inference. Shock alone, nearly flung me straight of my Birkenstocks and down on the floor in front of the bejeweled bounty. Upon further nosiness, I learned this is the new popular trend among women of varying ages between 18 and 40, and one of the many efforts being made by women around Ireland today to spice up their love lives and impress their fellas. “A lot of it is down to Fifty Shades”, the beautician added. Frazzled and dejazzled I left the salon and wondered what happened to a Friday night Chinese with a bottle of wine and what were the other options convert the good front room to a red room of pain, or embrace owns inner goddess and get the fellas to add a little spice and become bejeweled!