The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / On Cheap Massages and Inevitabilities, Or: Why I Am A Dumbass« on: September 02, 2016, 06:10:40 pm »
Allow me to frame the scene: there is a massage parlor in a town I used to live in, and I visited it on occasion. I have made regular exercise a part of my life and it seemed like a fair idea to get my stringy muscles tenderized every month or so, if only so that when the aliens from space come to eat us I will be all the more tender and delicious. I'm considerate like that.
Now, this particular massage parlor is staffed, as far as I can tell, entirely by ladies of Asian descent. The sign out front has one of those diagrams of feet with inexplicable pictures of organs on the sole. The more worldly among you will have already deduced what I am getting at here, based on the thread title and the scene I have just described. For those in the back, I will briefly explain: these businesses, usually dubbed "Chinese massage parlors," are somewhat notorious for providing services that can only loosely be described as "massage."
"Jack shacks" would be the more gauche way to describe it.
But I will HAVE YOU KNOW, dear readers, that I am a gentleman of the highest order and that my intentions were pure as the driven snow. My fucking neck hurts sometimes and I like having it kneaded like a French bread every so often, alright? I visited this establishment a half-dozen times while I lived in the area, and I found the services provided to be of good quality, and none of that funny business, in case I haven't made that perfectly clear. Masseurs and masseuses are trained professionals and associating them with jobs that fall outside their scope of work is unseemly and poor behavior. Also, this place was cheap, like really cheap. Very attractive to my wage-earning wallet. I paid for an hour or half-hour of massage as my time allowed, tipped generously (because really, no way the employees are bringing home enough based on that hourly rate), and said "thank you" in Chinese because I am polite and it seemed to amuse the nice ladies.
Fast forward, about three months later. I live very far away from this place now, but it just so happened that it was on my way back from a job site on this particular day. How fortuitous, I thought, because I had tweaked my upper back the night before, and was generally sore from a recent return to regular exercise after a hiatus. Additionally, I was running on about 3 hours of sleep and had woken up at an ungodly hour to drive for 2 hours to the job site. Laying still in a quiet, dark room while my muscles were plucked, stretched, and rubbed down with hot stones seemed like a heavenly idea.
First I lay on my stomach, and my back was worked on as it had been several time before. No surprises, and the hot rocks were especially welcome this time. Seriously, you should try it if you haven't before.
Then I flipped on to my back. Each masseuse seems to approach this phase a little differently, so I was ready for whatever. Or so I thought.
I should have clued in the moment my chest and stomach were caressed, rather than rubbed down. I am a bit ticklish and was focused on keeping my cool, however. Let the professional work, I say. Then work began on my thighs.
It happened so fast, I barely understood what was going on. That of course is not really true: I knew immediately what was going on, but it was quite sudden and my senses overloaded. My life up to this point had not prepared me for this situation. I couldn't think straight, and since I had been more or less holding still the whole time it seemed only natural to continue holding still.
And then it was over, just about as fast as it started. Faster than I would have thought possible, if I'm completely honest. So quickly that I thought, absurdly in my mental haze, that there didn't seem to be much point. Then the massage was completed as normal, I paid the tip, and said "thank you" in Chinese as always, and left.
All I can really think of, some time later, is that I really wish that time had been spent on my pectorals. They're still damn sore.