Monday, August 25, 2008

No Sexual Services?!?!

About a week ago I decided, on a bit of a whim, to go for a massage, something I rarely do in this country. I mean the massage, not the decision making bit.

There's a Thai massage and reflexology type of place that's opened up a few local branches lately and I thought I'd ring them, book myself in and go. So I did.

The phone call was made and I booked myself in for a one hour back and shoulders massage. The tone and demeanour of the phone call suggested to me that booking in advance was an unusual occurrence. The lady was helpful and pleasant on the dog, but, when she responded to a request for a booking with

"What time would you like?"

I figured most people just walk in off the street. Perhaps they are so new that they're not at that you must book a week in advance stage just yet.

I drove over there and parked my car. Parking is something we do over here, unlike in Sri Lanka, where I've noticed the tendency is to just abandon the car somewhere near the side of the road. Let's be honest here. To a Sri Lankan driver the concept of parallel parking, where you use that gear that makes the car go backwards, is about as alien as the idea of stopping at a zebra crossing to let someone cross the road.

I strongly suspect that, when a member of the Colombo 7 crowd takes delivery of a new car, in the manual that has been specially written for these types, it says that reverse gear must only be used by the Driver, never the owner of the vehicle.

A short walk to the massage place and I was ensconced in that dodgy music, the weird stuff that sounds like a load of whales and dolphins browsing around an underwater shop that sells Japanese wind chime things and has a very small guitar section. Not guitars that are very small, for monkeys or something, I mean it has a small section that sells guitars. Besides, monkeys can't swim, so that would be just stupid anyway.

The woman, who was the one I had spoken to on the phone, gave me a pair of those dodgy slippers and asked me to fill out a form. Now, if you're like me, a man of the world, or even a woman of the world, you'll know a bit about massages.

You'll know that there are massages and there are, ahem, massages. You'll know that I wanted a massage, not a massage. If I wanted a massage I would have asked for one, or gone somewhere else that did massages. However, all I wanted was a massage. It's logic that a man would understand.

I filled out the form. My name, length of penis, that kind of basic info. It's a good thing "ten" is easy to spell, though I often get stuck on "centimeters". I went through the rest of the questions feeling as if I might fail the exam and be sent home without a massage, or even without a massage. Which is better, do I say yes or no to the question on whether one leg is slightly shorter than the other? Come think of it I think I'm the exact opposite, that one leg is actually slightly longer than the other one.

At the end of the form I signed and printed my name and then read the small print, though it wasn't small at all, in fact it was in a bigger font than everything else on the form. I don't know what font it was, but it looked suspiciously like comic sans MS, one of my personal favourites. The bit that caught my attention was written in a font size of about 16, maybe that was why it caught my attention, as if it was screaming out to be read.

It said:

"Please note, we offer genuine Thai massage services only. NO SEXUAL SERVICES"

Well what the hell was this all about? I didn't want sexual services, a sentence I don't say very often I'll admit. But, the thought of a "happy ending" or a little "extra" or two hadn't even crossed my mind until I read this. My mind immediately flew over to sexual service territory. I started to wonder if they did offer extras, if the little bit of big small print was a just a front, to deter massage parlour inspectors from inspecting further.

Off I went for the massage itself, which I must admit was decidedly average, made a bit more average by the surroundings and conditions. The room had no massage table, there was only a mattress laid out in the floor and there certainly hadn't been a vast amount of time and money lavished on decorating it to make the clients feel as relaxed as possible.

As the massage went through its course I find my mind drifting off, not into the realms of relaxation, whale noises and Japanese wind chimes, but into the world of seedier massage establishments, with extras and things. Men will tell you that it's all well and good to let your mind drift like that during a massage when you're lying on your front, it's when you turn over that these things can be embarrassing.

The massage finished, with no offers nor no requests for some off menu items. This, I think, suited both the masseur and me.

The whole problem was that the small big print was the thing that had put all these thoughts into my mind. It was a serious lesson to me in the power of positive thinking and of suggestion, something I've been interested in for a while.

If you tell a fellow, it could be anyone, not to think of something, then the chances are that said fellow's mind will go off on one and proceed to think of that thing as if that thing is the only thing the fellow has ever had on his mind.

If I owned a massage parlour and wanted to tell my clients that it wasn't a brothel I'd do it by telling them what my establishment DOES do, not what it doesn't do.

Now have a good week all and, whatever you do, DON'T think of a pink elephant will you.


Dinidu said...

Plus I don't think monkeys can play guitar either.

Brilliant post. Brought me out of my crappy birthday mood :D

Anonymous said...

My aunt followed a course in reflexology and offered massages at home. When she shifted into a new flat, the landlord refused to let her continue with the massages! All her attempts to explain to them that it was reflexology and nothing sexual were in vain! So, I'm not too surprised that your massage parlour highlighted the 'no sex' part. Some people just automatically associate massages with sex!
Tanya J.

java said...

Mattress on the floor, huh? So the masseur was on her knees?? Did she straddle you??? That'll teach you to patronize seedy massage parlours. Anyway, you seem to have done better than Mr. Z, who tried a place in England, where a big black chick walked into the room he was assigned to - and he ended up giving HER a massage - no extras either!!!

David Blacker said...

Like me. I really don't see the point of a massage that doesn't have a sexual component to it. Sorry. Sort of like having a meal and no dessert.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Dinidu - Well there's a band called the Arctic Monkeys here.

Tanya J - I agree with you but I think my place put in in their customers' minds by mentioning it like that.

Java - I think you'll get a lot of emails asking for the address of that place now!

David - Yes, but some don't have a sweet tooth.

Soixante Neuf said...

Massages are fun either way. I've been given massages by my girlfriends. I've also been straddled by big hulking boys and not felt a trace of turned-on-ness (my word). But women are strange like that.

Having said all this, massages that have a sexual component (to use David's phrasing) are altogether a different story. Hot. Very hot.

And R, I think pretty much everything can be related back to sex where men are concerned. Haha. Even if it that line of not-so-fine print wasn't there, you'd have been thinking about it. And you would have blogged about it too and entertained us all thoroughly. You know I'm right.


Ahamed Nizar said...

in sl most trishaw drivers go to these massage parlours. many of which are of the sexual type. Its so common here most massage parlours are referred to brothels. its a sad situation.