Tuesday, November 16, 2004


My old friend Benj writes about the need to pamper one's self once in a while, and I agree completely with the sentiment.

Once a week or twice a month, depending on financial constraints, I treat myself to a nice long massage. I prefer hard, painful massages to silly gentle caressing (that gets me thinking of something else), so I look for someone who will make me gasp as my muscles are stretched, whimper as my limbs are pushed and pulled into unnatural configurations, and grit my teeth as my back is assaulted by elbows, knees and feet. This may be the only activity I engage in for the dubious enjoyment of pain.

When I lived in Hong Kong, my favorite bathhouse was located at Wan Chai. I'd go there after work, sign in at the counter, strip to my birthday suit in the locker room, take a shower, soak in the very hot waters, sweat in the sauna, drink some cold water, have a scrub down to get all my libag off, shower, put on a robe, sit in the TV room, eat some fruit, climb up to my room, sprawl on the narrow bed with my face in a hole staring down at the floor, and wait for a woman who would step on my back. Bliss.

Here in Manila, a lot of the places I've been to that call themselves massage parlors are actually just whorehouses in disguise, with pathetically substandard service. They just want to get you off so they can make a few hundred bucks. Avoid these places if your goal is a real massage. Unless you really want to go these places - in which case, drop me a line and I'll give you a few names. ;)

On the occasion, I have a blind masseur drop by the condo. I don't do this very often though because I prefer actually going out and having access to a steam bath or a wet/dry sauna.

At my favorite place, I sip a glass of red wine as I look at Roxas Boulevard in the small hours of the morning, the sea invisible in the darkness, my body aching in the most pleasant way.


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