A weekly view on life as a Cork emigrant, by DENISE HESSION in Abu Dhabi
THE abandonment of strict censorship in Ireland takes a little digesting when one is used to the stringent laws and social rules around sex and innuendo back in Abu Dhabi.
Since I’ve returned to Ireland for the summer, it’s been impossible not to notice the many puns and plays that exist in marketing and advertising. The overtone being sex and the undertone tacky, it is one of the aspects about life in Abu Dhabi that I prefer — tackiness is nowhere to be found.
Expats in the Middle East generally keep their heads down and see out their years there 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 and 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 price list 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 the delicious mini macaroons she used to make, sprinkled with icing sugar before serving.
Looking around, I was definitely satisfied that this was indeed 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 nail polish up behind the desk was a giveaway.
“No problem, love, I’ll heat up the wax now and you can pick out your own vajazzle.” 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 asked me ‘What are you having done, love?’ I didn’t have the heart to tell the truth, so instead I replied cockily: “I’ll have the same, whenever you’re ready thanks.”
In the claustrophobic waiting area, I clenched my back teeth with anticipation of what lay ahead. Relief washed over me when the girl invited me to look at the previous girl’s 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 near 40-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 out of my Birkenstocks. Upon further nosiness, I learned this is a new popular trend among women of varying ages from 18 to 40, one of the many efforts being made by women around Ireland today to impress their fellas.
“A lot of it is down to Fifty Shades,” the beautician explained. Frazzled and dejazzled, I left the salon and wondered what happened to a Friday night Chinese with a bottle of wine. I mean, should we all embrace this spirit and get the fellas to add a little spice and become bejeweled!