I Accidentally Went For A Massage In The Wrong Kind Of Massage Parlor

I was on vacation with my boyfriend in Spain, and since traveling makes me anxious—especially when things don’t go smoothly, as they hadn’t on this trip—we decided to get a massage in an attempt to relax. We ended up getting more than we bargained for.

  1. Having a massage is something I wouldn’t usually even consider at home. I’ve always felt a bit weird about having to get naked (or semi-naked) in front of a person I don’t know, but we were on vacation. I figured it might help us unwind, and what would be the harm in trying?
  2. We found a pretty normal-looking massage place while we were just wandering around. It looked quite innocent, colorful, and vibrant. There was no dark, seedy-looking entrance, no signs to warn of an age limit, and no dim lighting or thick black curtains inside. Not that I considered this at the time, of course. I was more concerned with how naked they would need me to get. I’d worn my good underwear (the ones without holes and stains) and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to take it all off.
  3. We were greeted and shown to a room with only curtains between the massage tables. She said I could leave my underwear on, but only the bottoms—the top had to come off. She gave me a towel to put over me and turned her back as I got undressed. I lay down and tucked the towel in at my sides, making sure there were no weird side boob slips. I considered the irony of going for a massage to supposedly relax when in fact, I just felt more anxious.
  4. I heard my boyfriend say, “Everything off? Oh, OK.” Then I heard the couch creak as he lay down. What? Why was he naked? He’d been wearing boxer shorts—was that a problem? Maybe my bikini briefs were smaller to work around and that’s why they didn’t need me to take them off. I tried to convince myself that was definitely it, but I didn’t believe myself. There was something weird and awkward about all of this.
  5. I knew it wasn’t going to be even slightly relaxing. The women were talking in another language (which I presumed was Thai) to each other through the curtain as they prepared. I got a sense that they were mocking us, but maybe it was just our pale British skin? I wasn’t sure but I tried not to be paranoid. I was there to relax, I kept reminding myself.
  6. I tried to clear my mind, but not thinking about anything is impossible so I tried to think of ocean waves. That lasted about three seconds. Then the masseuse told me to turn over because I was lying on my back when I was meant to be lying on my front. I shuffled into position under the towel, trying not to flash. She pulled the towel down and tucked it into the top of my underwear. It felt like my butt crack was definitely out but I figured she was a professional and this was a pretty standard thing.
  7. I haven’t had many massages, but I knew this one was bad. My 6-year-old niece could’ve done a better job. It was inconsistent, hard then soft. She was digging her fingers in and slathering oil all over the place. It wasn’t slow and relaxing, it was as if she was rushing to finish. She massaged my back and pretty much the top of my ass too, while I just lay rigid not knowing if I should tell her to stop. Then she asked me to turn over. She was massaging my legs when I heard a voice from behind the curtain. My boyfriend didn’t seem to hear so he asked her to repeat it and I heard what she said that time too.
  8. “You want full service?” There was a long, awkward pause. “Blowjob,” she murmured. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There was literally just a curtain between us. I didn’t know if I should jump up and pull back the curtain, but I was still wondering if I’d heard correctly so I just lay there staring up at the ceiling. Finally, my boyfriend spoke, “Oh, no. No, thank you.” He coughed but the awkward tension in the air was just too much. I heard the couch creak and I wondered if he’d got up to leave.
  9. The masseuse was now moving to my stomach, pulling the towel and my knickers down to barely cover my pubes. I flinched. Would I be asked if I wanted extra services? I thought back to when we arrived, wondering if there were any hints that it might not be different sort of massage parlor. Did I miss something obvious? Would we get charged loads for a happy ending that we never had?
  10. She quickly finished off but seemed disgruntled. She pulled my towel up and went behind the curtain. They were trying to talk in hushed voices but I could still hear. She told him that since he’d paid for a “full service,” she’d be happy to give it to him instead if he didn’t prefer his current masseuse. My BF used that high-pitched tone he uses when he’s getting stressed, “I don’t need any extra services. I’m not paying for them.”
  11. The exchange went back and forth for way too long.. I quickly got dressed and pulled the curtain back. My BF looked bewildered, sitting on the bed, clutching a towel around his waist. “What’s going on?” I asked. Both women looked sheepish. I told my boyfriend we should go and the two women were clearly not happy and left the room a minute later. Once my boyfriend was dressed, we went out to the reception area.
  12. I was determined that we were not going to pay anything more than the normal massage rate. I counted out the cash and placed it down on the counter. The woman, my masseuse, glared and me and snatched it up. We said goodbye and made a quick exit, wanting to be anywhere but there.
  13. We went for a few drinks to relax, which worked a lot better than the massage. We both felt a little silly for not realizing it was that sort of massage place, but we weren’t going to risk trying to find another one. In a weird way, the experience bought us closer together because we had such a good story to tell. The rest of the vacation was a lot more relaxed, and my boyfriend and I did indulge in some “extra services”… from each other!
Mel Ciavucco is a freelance writer from the UK. She is a blogger, fiction writer, screenwriter, content writer and editor.

Mel is passionate about writing stories that challenge social norms, showcase diverse characters and contain realistic portrayals of mental health. She believes that sharing our stories and stepping out of our comfort zones makes us all better human beings.

Mel is the founder of Write Kerfuffle: Writing and Editing Services: www.writekerfuffle.com
She writes about gender equality on her personal blog: www.melciavucco.weebly.com/feministramblings