By Sarah Foster Special to Published May 29, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I was at a bar last weekend in Chicago and somehow an innocent conversation about eyebrow waxing turned into a debate about anal bleaching and other genital "beautification" options.

Now, I am all for keeping up on trimming eyebrows, bikini waxes and the like, but call me naïve, I'd never even heard of anal bleaching before and I have spent a good deal of time in salon waiting areas over the past 10 years.

Believe it or not, Wikipedia has a blurb on anal and genital bleaching that is quite informative. If you're curious for more facts give it a peek. It's not surprising that porn stars, strippers, models and incredibly self-conscious rich people in California first discovered these procedures. Another brilliant idea from Orange County! It's even been a topic on E! Network's "what-better-way-to-feel-really-bad-about-yourself" show, "Dr. 90210."

Now, I know that men look at the things women do as part of their beauty rituals and think we're crazy, but you guys always seem to like the results so we keep doing nuttier and more painful things to keep you coming back for more.

For instance, I pay a very nice woman a lot of money to rub hot wax on far more than just my bikini line and then rip my hair out at the roots. It's a practice I will never get used to, no matter how I try.

Just imagine the feeling of ripping off a band-aid and then imagine that band-aid is about eight inches long, covered in hot wax and is attached firmly to your vagina.

It sounds really insane when you say it out loud. Almost as insane as putting bleach-based products in your bum.

Anal and genital bleaching isn't just for ladies. Like "manscaping" and other metrosexual beauty rituals, bleaching is just as acceptable for the guys as it is for the girls. Still, I don't see a lot of people -- men or women -- lining up for this procedure.

It sounds like the concept of anal bleaching arose from people noticing that anuses and genitals have a darker pigment than normal skin tone and equating it with poor hygiene.

I'm no expert, but I have a feeling I'd know the difference between someone who has a "naturally" darker pigmented anus and someone who doesn't know how to properly wash him or herself. If we're that freaked about this, why don't we go the way of the French and invest in some bidets?

Apparently, these bleaches can be applied by a "medical technician" (my discussion this weekend, however, revealed that with training salon estheticians can do the same thing) or you can buy creams over the counter or even have them prescribed by your doctor and self apply.

I'm thinking the do-it-yourself method would be my personal choice. Again, a serious bikini wax is about as personal as I'd like to get with the gal at the spa. I would be willing to try it for the sake of understanding the draw to it, that and a fun story to tell at parties.

By the way, Wikipedia mentions that some of these creams are proven carcinogens and have been banned in some countries. There's a shocker. Go figure you aren't supposed to put Softscrub anywhere but your bathtub.

I understand whitening your teeth, because that's the first thing people see when they meet or talk to you. I'm sure we'll eventually discover that this gives you cancer also, but it still makes more sense to me. Teeth should be bright white. I'm not sure I can say the same for butts.

Still curious? YouTube has videos of anal bleaching for your viewing enjoyment.

Sarah Foster Special to

No, the sex columnist's real name is not Sarah Foster. (Foster is the model/actress that played an ex-lover of Vincent Chase in the first season of "Entourage.") In reality, our sex columnist is a Wisconsin native with a degree in journalism and a knack for getting people to talk to her.

Sarah never considered herself an "above average" listener. Others, however, seem to think differently. Perhaps she has a sympathetic tone or expression that compels people to share their lives and secrets with her despite how little they know her. Everyone from the girl that does her hair to people in line at the grocery store routinely spill the details of their lives and relationships to Sarah, unprompted but typically not unwanted. It’s strange to her that people would do this, but she doesn’t mind. Sarah likes that she can give advice even if it is to complete strangers.

So why the pseudonym? Simple. People tell Sarah these things because for some reason they trust her. They believe she cares and therefore will keep their secrets in a locked vault the same way a best friend or therapist would. Sarah won't name names, but that vault is now unlocked.