Honeymooning or headed to a tropical paradise to focus on the good life? Carefree surf romps uninterrupted by thoughts of potential bikini-line overgrowth are only an appointment away. Nothing will set you free quite like a Brazilian bikini wax and nary a hair will dare stray outside your bikini bottom again. At least until your next waxing.

This method of waxing originated in the place where beach thongs abound. Although torturous, the "thong wax" is claimed as completely worth it by its devotees. The Brazilian wax takes it ALL away, leaving just a tiny strip of closely-shorn hair in front; referred to by some regulars as an "airstrip" or "Playboy" wax.

Things that Brazilian waxing virgins need to know first:

Not a yellow page referral task, the best way to find out about a good waxer is word of mouth, so ask around locally. Many waxers will refuse to do this type of waxing, as it is so highly personal. A bad Brazilian waxer will leave you with nasty ingrowns --- that can turn the already daunting experience into to a very, very bad one. The J Sisters in New York City (seven Brazilian sisters whose names all begin with J) pioneered and perfected the Brazilian method in the US and have a long celebrity (Gwyneth, Naomi) client list. According to Jonice, "In Brazil, with bikinis so small, waxing is part of our culture. When we first introduced our signature Brazilian bikini wax in 1994, we had no idea how it would be received. " To their credit and perseverance, the procedure caught on and is the J. Sisters' second most popular offering after nail care.

Your Brazilian waxer will know you at least as intimately as your gynecologist. You will be asked to strip down to nothing and spread your legs into all kinds of embarrassing positions. Your best defense is to appear as though you think it's as normal as your waxer does.

Expect no picnic. There is no way to avoid some pain, but there are ways to choose lesser evils. The best practitioners are also the zippiest. The ones who keep going over and over a spot simply prolong the agony. The Elizabeth Arden Salon, extremely reputable for their hair removal procedures, uses a wax that is very gentle on the skin. The downside is that it requires some repeat action, which can take the fun out of it. The J Sisters seem slightly less hygienic (no gloves) but is really over in a flash.

The torture is not everlasting. A Brazilian bikini (no legs, no underarms, just the bikini) should not take longer than a half hour. The J Sisters time-in at lightening speed and can do a waxing in about 15 minutes.

Expect to pay at least 45.00 for a good Brazilian wax by a pro.

Pack a tweezer (for safety) in the vacation bag to grab any new single hairs that may attempt to grow in. Unfortunately, unlike some pro-leg waxing salons, most Brazilian specialists are not as fastidious about plucking ingrowns or stubborn hairs as regular waxers are.

Post procedure relief is available. All pro salons use some type of antiseptic soothing lotion (usually with a witch hazel base) when it's all over. A self-brewed mixture of Aloe Vera and Calamine Lotion can be applied at home to the sore hairless areas to soothe itching. Many Brazilian shorn women swear by a product called Tend Skin (available at Rescue) to prevent in-growns from sprouting later.

Good news on the horizon for fashion conscious bikini bearers who are too squeamish to "go Brazil". One can always count on the trend pendulum to eventually swing in the other direction. According to some adult film and magazine insiders, au natural is heading back into vogue; in terms of both cleavage consciousness and as the bikini-line grooming wave of the future.

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