Monday, October 15, 2007


"I'm going to get a massage tonight with that guy at [redacted] Spa," someone in the office said last week.

I'm new there and didn't have any background on this comment, but I had been to this spa, and something about the way she said "that guy" triggered a memory.

"Which guy?" I said. "What's his name?"

After saying his name, her eyelids fluttered. "He gives the most sensual massage ever," she said.

I remembered coming home from my own experience with this same person a few months ago and feeling mostly relieved that we had been in a professional establishment and not, say, a dorm room. "It was fine... a little weird," I said afterward. "I got, I don't know, a vibe."

If I had to appear in court and testify against this man for giving an inappropriately sexual massage, I would undoubtedly lose, and therein lay his genius. "Most cues are nonverbal," someone said as I was describing it, and this guy was indeed a master at body language, from the sly way he smiled and made eye contact when he greeted me (he was extremely easy on the eyes) to the unconventional music he played in the massage room (Iron and Wine or Feist, instead of the usual canned, new-agey stuff) to the way he paused a little too long in front of me when we said goodbye at the end (the way I remember it, he said in a low voice, "Is there anything else I can do for you?" but that's just too porno-perfect to be accurate). In terms of the massage itself, he somehow managed to cling to the edge of actionable without going over it.

I think for many women (my office mate, for example), Mr. Lube represents a real find: a cute guy who spends an hour lavishing sensual attention on you, no strings attached. But for me, of course, it was too confusing to be purely pleasurable. I'm someone who gets significantly stressed out about whether to hug or kiss someone hello and/or goodbye, so this massage brought up a whole decision tree that I really have no business contemplating as a married person.

To be frank, it's not an interaction I'd have been any more at ease with as a single person. In terms of body language in a rubdown with a complete stranger, how could I ever manage to communicate over the din of whatever my outspoken veins, fat cells and clogged pores might have to share? That's why a straight, good-looking male is about the last person I want to see when I arrive for a massage. It's like trying to curl up for a nap with a can of Red Bull.

I had gotten the impression that Mr. Lube was willing to provide a lot more than Swedish massage, but for all I knew at the time, it was just item no. 5,236 in my log of drastically misread situations. Now here was my coworker, validating my impression! Everybody knows that if you have a vaguely formed notion and at least one person agrees with you, it is absolutely true!

I won't be going back to Mr. Lube anytime soon, but I'm not above extreme curiosity about my coworker's next encounter. Secretly, I want her to live the story of At First Sight, where Mira Sorvino goes to a resort and she's all overworked and stressed and then she gets Val Kilmer for a massage therapist, and he delivers this whole transcendent-yet-entirely-professional physical experience for her, which of course means that they have to have a relationship, and then she gets to have a massage therapist for a boyfriend, which means that not only do you get kick-ass massages like, all the time, but the sex is amazing, because what massage therapist is bad in bed? (There's also a whole plot about him being blind and regaining his sight and stuff, but that's sort of ancillary.)

Ah, sweet dreams, ladies everywhere, and good night.


  1. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Well, for starters I'm glad to see you're back. After your last update with its "I'm finally completing the divorce," and with the weeks stretching into months between posts, we thought you had severed yourself from the online world completely.

    K says I should get a massage but I'm too fearful. What if somebody paid the masseuse to kill me? She could just wrap her strong, Scandinavian hands around my neck as I lay there, face-down, naked, and squeeze the life out of me. And then I would be dead. With an erection.

  2. for 20 bucks i'll reveal what i just typed in this box and deleted.

  3. Hahahahahahah -- Jackson, you totally have to write that story. And Wayward O, why don't you reveal it and THEN I'll decide whether it's worth $20.

  4. welcome back. very good post. i also struggle with the hugging/kissing greeting dilemma.


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