Can’t get your legs waxed; wear high heels; contacts or get your tache threaded? We talk pain thresholds

By Anna | November 23 2012 | 48 Comments

There are people who can endure great pain without saying a word, who can stoically suffer while in total agony. I am not one of those people. Basically, I have the pain threshold of a toddler who bumps her head and then has hysterics. I am pathetically feeble when it comes to physical pain.


The main reason I hardly ever wear heels is because whenever I do my feet hurt and I spend the entire evening thinking about how sore they are rather than actually enjoying my night out.

My pathetic inability to tolerate pain extends to anticipated pain. When I first got my contact lenses twenty years ago, I was so sure that putting the lenses in my eye was doing to hurt (and/or poke my eyeball out) that every time I tried to put  them in I would involuntarily close my eyes. I got over that one fairly quickly, but even today, whenever I go to the optician to get my eyes tested I start flinching away as soon as I have to put my chin in that terrifying Clockwork Orange-esque machine. I do all this even though NOTHING IS HURTING ME AT ALL.

It’s ridiculous. I was reminded of my fear of pain this week when I went in to get my eye brows and, yes, upper lip threaded. I think every woman has the right to be as hairy as she likes, and I find the increasing pressure on all of us to be totally bald from the neck down really annoying. But I have given in to social conditioning when it comes to my actual face, and regularly get my eye brows tidied up and remove all hints of my natural faint lady-tache.

Of course, given my innate pathetic-ness, when it comes to hair removal, I would ideally go for the pain free option. But alas, there doesn’t seem to be one – waxing is horrible; I went for electrolysis about ten years ago and it hurt so much I had to make her stop after a few minutes because I was about to start crying –  and threading doesn’t irritate my skin and leave it red and inflamed, so that’s what I go for.

Even though it hurts. I mean, it really hurts. I go to an excellent salon off Mary Street, and it’s quick and they do a great job, but for a few minutes as that thread moves over my temples making a noise like a little lawn mower, I have to bite my lip to stop myself constantly saying “Ow. Ow. Ow.” and making other expressions of pain that would probably annoy the threader so much she’d give me a terrible tadpole brow. So I shut up, but inside I’m wailing.

Sometimes I take a Nurofen Plus before I go in, in the hope that it will dull the pain, but it doesn’t seem to be very effective. (Read our thoughts about the ridiculous difficulty of getting this supposedly Over The Counter painkiller). And the thing is, I seem to be the only person in there who’s wincing. Everyone else just lies back and calmly lets the threader get on with it. Proof, yet again, that I really am a wuss.

So what about you? Are you an over-sensitive petal like me? How much are you prepared to suffer for what is, let’s face it, isn’t really necessary, whether killer heels or hair removal? And come on, isn’t the bit where they thread the outer bits of your eyebrows really, really horrible?

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48 Replies to "Can’t get your legs waxed; wear high heels; contacts or get your tache threaded? We talk pain thresholds"

  • Eleanor says:

    What’s the salon you go to off Mary St? After putting it off for ages, I finally decided I want to do something about my upper lip hair!

  • Chloe says:

    I thought I wasn’t the worst with pain.. But totally with you on eyebrow threading, last time I went, my eyes watered so much that my eyeliner ended up on my FOREHEAD. The threader practically threw make up remover at me. Okay, I’m a wimp/

  • EvieM says:

    I never thought I’d say it but I must have some pain threshold, none of the above would bother me…ok maybe the electrolysis. The only thing I’d actually say I find painful is a bikini wax. I’ve only recently started getting my eyebrows threaded, I always used to pluck them myself and I love it, so quick, precise & pain free….yes pain free, I do find it hot though.

  • Patricia says:

    I’m a wuss too. Can’t wear high heels, or get my legs waxed…..I had it done once – never again – have never gotten the bikini line done..or my upper lip…(the fear of the pain is enough to put me off)

    The dentist however, is fine, no problems getting fillings etc….but hair removal – no too painful.

    I get my eyebrows waxed but my eyes water up something fierce…’s the only thing I can get done.

  • Aisling_eile says:

    I got my eyebrows threaded in the body shop on Mary St. and got my right nipple pierced on the same eyes were watering for the whole time that she was taming my brows and I deffo complained about it for longer than the nipple and the pain lasted longer.

    Oh and I’m a plus one to the heels pain I’ve started wearing my normal going out stuff (shorts and tops or dresses) with converse because I’m just too miserable in pretty shoes.

  • Juniper says:

    very high pain threshold here!! waxing, threading, botox needle, no bother but strangely enough the physio makes me cry!!!

  • jen says:

    I have a good pain threshold, I had a horrendous labour & would rather give birth repeatedly than have my eyebrows threaded ever again. I’ve tried in heaps of places & it just hurts more & more, we have the whole kit & kaboodle eyes water, big read forehead for hrs afterwards etc etc.

  • Rach says:

    I get eyebrows threaded and legs and bikini waxed and while I don’t find them pain free, I find it bearable. It doesn’t really bother me.
    However, high heels. I just can’t do anymore. It makes me sad, I wish I could but I just can’t. The pain is too much. I would be in agony.
    Because they look so nice, I will often wear heels when I arrive at place and then within 15 mins have changed into flats. I envy those women who can wear heels all day.

  • senora espana says:

    I find eyebrow threading so so sore I’m actually light headed when I get up. All the rest I’m ok with though especially heels couldn’t live without them

  • littlesis says:

    I’m not too bad, usually. There are days when I go to get my eyebrows threaded and it’s all I can do to stop myself from leaping out of the chair.

    I’ve mastered the high heels, if they’re not too tight or narrow I can manage the heel.

  • Shygirl says:

    Threading is the most painful thing I’ve had done. I’ve had electrolysis, painful at times but the best thing I’ve ever done. I get my lip and chin waxed every 2 weeks. I have a hairy little face, and I’m conscious of it. I’m going to start getting my eyebrows waxed again. I tweeze at the moment, but I think waxing gives a tidier look, and gets all the tiny little blonde ones.

  • I’ve a really high pain threhold when it comes to waxing and threading and I’m pretty comfortable in heels, most of the time.

    But my paranoia about accidentally poking myself in the eye and the pain that causes means I won’t even *try* wearing contact lenses. I just can’t do it!

  • Anna says:

    Eleanor, I go to Bushra ( They do a really good job – I want to keep my brows thick but neat and well shaped and they always look perfect afterwards. So it’s sort of worth the prickly anguish. All the threaders have really nice brows themselves which is a good sign.

    I feel faintly relieved to see I’m not the only heels-avoider. I mean, it’s not like I revere total comfort above all else – I don’t go out on the town in a tracksuit – but I don’t care how gorgeous a pair of shoes is, I’m not putting myself through prolonged pain just to look good. At least the threading is over in a few minutes.

  • Kate says:

    High heel pain use to be the bane of my life but can live with it now. Love my high heels to much.
    Leg wax,,,,oh holy crap! NEVER EVER AGAIN

  • *threshold, obviously. Oops.

  • red*razors says:

    i pluck my own brows because i’m terrified to let anyone loos on them. convinced they’ll ruin them. i don’t find it particularly painful, considering what it is.

    heels though, no chance. i have over half of my back tattooed and it was a breeze compared to wearing heels. doesn’t matter how high they are, it’s like my feet won’t conform to the shape of them. i used never even consider wearing them, but have recently started to put them on with a nice dress. i always bring back up shoes though, i am a realist!! i know i’ll get a few hours out them and no more.

  • red*razors says:


  • Ciara says:

    I’ve developed shin splints in my ankles [that’s what the doctor said. Apparently it happens and she did not appreciate being asked if she was on crack] which makes wearing any heels extremely painful with a burning sensation. The Physio I was refered to told me I had to get an orthotic, go up a shoe size to accommodate it and start wearing a good, sensible shoe with a shock absorbing heel, like Ecco and that ballet flats and flimsy shoes are out. Needless to say, our difference of opinion meant an immediate parting of the ways. I still wear heels but can’t stand in them for long periods of time and usually, if I don’t go out in them anyway, end up in flats.
    I’m a pain wuss. And I miss my heels. I miss them so much. I look at them in their lovely boxes but I haven’t the heart to tell them that their party days are over. I can’t bear to part with them.
    I have been known to hit up my ankles with Difene spray on a night out just to keep my heels on a bit longer.
    Anybody know a good anesthetic cream?

  • fififinx says:

    I fall asleep while getting waxed. No problem with threading although the eyes water – I think it’s more about holding the eyelid than anything else it doesn’t actually hurt. Tache threaded? No fecking way! A long time a ago a Malaysian friend (where threading is the norm) warned me not to get threading done anywhere there wasn’t a muscle or bone supporting the skin (that is, in the skin) and Jaysus Mary and Joseph was she right! I’m a size 3 foot and 5’7 so heels can go the same way. I wear wedges or kitten heels if I have to go anywhere posh. When my best friend was married, both bridesmaids wore black 8-up Docs (even though her mother threatened not to pay for the wedding if we did!).

  • Deasa1 says:

    Have a high threshold can get a filling without injection. Waxing doesn’t bother me and am too tall to wear high heels ( which after reading these posts sounds like a blessing!!) Never tried threading so really couldn’t say.

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