Since the 2016 election, some part of me has wanted to spend every day curled up in bed, obsessively reading the news and interacting with only my cat. Since the coronavirus hit Manhattan, that’s what I’ve been advised by the government to do, and I have certainly complied. My hands have never been more washed, my pajamas have never been more worn. I am truly a creature of the indoors now, a work-from-home honorary member of the leisure class, confined to my apartment to keep myself alive, sort of like a little succulent.
And since the care and keeping of me is my only activity for the time being—and since all of my usual activities are on indefinite hiatus—it seemed like the perfect time to experiment with butt stuff. Not that butt stuff. Butt beauty stuff. Specifically, a sheet mask made for your butt. Because why the hell not?
I chose the Bawdy x Sephora collection line of masks for their price (just over $6 including shipping) and selected the rainbow-hued “Love It” mask, which promised “plumping and firming.” These seem like results better acquired through squats or leg-lifts, but the other kinds of masks focused on butt acne and wrinkles. My butt has neither acne nor wrinkles (though don’t get too excited; my face is a big old mess). Anyway, I figured it couldn’t hurt to make my booty a little juicier, even if I would be the only one seeing it for at least the next month.
According to a tiny illustration on the front of the package, I was supposed to stick the two halves of the mask (it was two separate sheets) on each of my butt cheeks, basically like giant back pockets. All the instructions said was, “Apply to clean skin as shown,” “Keep on for 10 to 15 minutes,” and then, “Peel sheets off, feel butt beautiful.” Closing my door to spare my roommates possible trauma, I shoved my pajama pants to my knees and slapped on the colorful masks, twisting to see my backside in my full-length mirror.
Right away I realized I had a problem: What was I supposed to do during the 10 to 15 minutes the mask was at work? I had pictured myself on my bed, lying on my stomach, but waddling to my bed and flopping onto it threatened to dislodge the masks. I’m sure anyone who has done a face mask can relate to the “don’t move” dilemma, but (butt! ha ha) this time it was harder because I couldn’t even sit down. I was forced to just…stand in the middle of my room, pantsless, like a stupefied Winnie the Pooh. This was not relaxing.
Standing, though, I can make my peace with. But the sensation was another thing. Specifically, the wetness. Does anyone like having a wet butt? It didn’t feel purifying or cooling, it just felt wet—on my butt. There’s just something really weird about having your entire body be dry and then your butt is wet. I had some kind of sense memory flashback to my time in diapers; it was like I’d peed my pants on my butt. Still, I pushed through it, reminding myself of the juicy plumpness that was promised.