Not too long ago I treated myself to a massage at a local place named Spa Forever. I had gotten sucked in by one of their promos with a Two-for-One deals (or as Payless likes to call them, BOGO). For $95 I would get two hour-long deep tissue Swedish massages. Nuff said. Done and done.
Little did I know what I was signing up for.
See, I wasn’t raised in a household where people pampered themselves. I never remember my mom going to the salon to get a mani/pedi or even just a mani. And no one ever paid someone else to rub on their body. Well, sadly, my mom did pay me a $1 a minute to rub her feet. Which usually only last about a minute considering how disgusting feet are. My mom would paint her own nails – in 15 coats of lacquer. I’m not kidding. She would spend her Sunday nights watching 60 minutes and applying coat after coat of some OPI nail polish to her talons. And they were talons. Like Shenaynay talons. Which I’m assuming, were also seen as weapons by her, considering her day job as Narc at my high school. Which is a story worthy of it’s own book. The years of therapy I had to suffer through just to get past the Junior Narc stigma would have been a nice down payment on a home. Suffice to say, my family didn’t go to salons or parlors or any type of self-pampering type of places. But that changed when I was on my own.
Friends of mine introduced me to the simple delight of manicures. Mainly because I had been a perpetual nail bitter since exiting the womb. It was horrible and the only way I knew how to keep from relapsing was to pay someone money to paint my nails. And it worked. Even if the self-esteem suffered.
See, I don’t have the prettiest nails. Nice long fingers maybe but nails? Oooo weee, I don’t think so. After suffering years of abuse at the hands of my chompers, my nails were in bad shape. This became every apparent on one particular visit to the nail salon.
I was just getting comfortable in the mani chair when the esthetician started talking to her coworker in what I believe was Korean. The girls would look my direction. Laugh. Say something in Korean. Laugh. Look down at my nails and laugh. I knew something was up. You can’t get much past me.
Finally, the lady working on my nails takes my hand and raises it up near her face, points at my thumb and pointer finger and asks me, “Why your nail so bumpy?”
It threw me off guard and to be honest I really didn’t know why but I simply replied, “I used to bite my nails.” Which was met with more Korean chatter, snide looks and pretty much resentment. These ladies were disgusted with my oral fixation and now I too was pretty disgusted with my bumpy nails.
Regardless, this did not stop me from going to other nail salons and gradually graduating to facials and massages. Sure I was scared that some masseuse would ask, “Why your thighs so bumpy?” but I had to persevere.
And persevere I did.
Up to this point I had two massages and thought they were harmless enough, why not go for a third and a forth? I had also learned that I liked massages from males, not because they’re males persay, but because they’re hands are stronger. Or so I thought.
I was booked with a guy I’ve named “Vladi” for my first of two hour long massages. When I arrived, he met me at the front of the salon and carefully escorted me back to “our” room. Vladi was a little man, coming in around 5’4” and weighing what I guess to be a buck thirty. He was older and soft spoken. He set me up in the room and said he’d be back, giving me time to undress and shuffle under the blankets on the bed.
He knocked before entering and slowly came around to where my head was resting and asked what areas I would like him to work on . I specially told him my rib cage and back. I’d been suffering from some pain in both places for a while and was looking forward to getting the kinks worked out. What happened was an entirely different story.
Sure it started out innocent enough. Vladi asking me to tell him when it was too rough or not rough enough. Unfortunately, Vladi never asked me to tell him when it was too pervy and way pervy enough.
He started at the neck and arms, which was fine. Then he went to my back. Again, fine. One might say it actually felt good. I was actually relaxing and feeling better. But by the time Vladi had me flip over to my back, things started to get weird.
He was down near my thighs when he took the sheet that was covering me and started to remove it and tuck it, well in my crotchal area. Yep. There. Then he took my leg, bent it at the knee and pushed it open – telling me he was opening my hips. Which to me means, “open your vagina” in “Vladi” speak. I was dumbfounded and didn’t know what to do. He started rubbing my foot and then calf before finding his way onto my thigh. It was then that I started to get uncomfortable. Vladi's nimble little fingers inched closer and closer to my lady parts with each rub.
Now I’ve heard of happy endings for guys but I’ve never heard of gals getting “one rubbed out” by a masseuse. What was once a relaxed body quickly became a tense, nervous, frightening little girl in the dark. I was frozen and had no idea what to do. In my head I was thinking, “Is this normal? I haven’t had a ton of massages, maybe this is how they do it in the Eastern Block” I let it go and with that I let go of any self-respect I had left for myself. Because soon Vladi’s rapey hands found their way to my quivering chest.
Once there, Vladi decided to go between my boobs in a swift, downward motion again and again. Yep, right dab smack in the middle was Vladi and those cat like hands of his. (If only he was making biscuits like a cat.)
I knew for sure this couldn’t be right. One, I was more tense than when I arrived and two, what the hell could he be massaging in that flat land in the chesticle region?
When he was done I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I quickly dressed, left his cash tip on the counter in the room and scuttled into the bathroom to finish wiping off the oily fingerprints I knew Vladi had left. I was off to meet my B-Fry and certainly didn’t want the remains of the day left on my body. If I could have, I would have taken a Silkwood bath.
Now, you’d think the story would end there. That I would have learned my lesson and booked my second of the two-for massages with a woman. But I didn’t. Yes, that’s right, I booked another hour-long hand raping with Vladi.
Listen, I don’t know if I was in shock at the time or what, but I booked it and quickly left the spa. I had three months to change the appointment or cancel it, but the closer the date got the more I talked myself into it being a one time thing. A fluke. I talked myself into thinking that I could just tell Vladi that I only wanted him to concentrate on my shoulders and back and he would do it this time. So that’s what I told myself and that’s what I eventually told Vladi.
The second time was almost exactly like the first. It was like walking someone through the crime scene step by step. Vladi asked for my trouble areas. I told him. And then Vladi did what he does best, hand raping.
He worked the shoulders, neck and back just like he did the first time. I was starting to relax thinking he finally listened to me. When I found myself in a somewhat familiar position. That is until he started playing grab ass with well, my ass.
Vladi kneaded my ass like a baker's dough. It was as if his hands were magnetically stuck to my ass. He wouldn’t stop. (Side note: my ass ain’t “all that” so I am baffled by the attention it was getting.) Vladi was as the people on E! like to say, all up in there. In fact, at one point I thought his thumb was about to go knuckle deep in my bloomin onion. Lucky for me, and him, that did not happen. Instead, he asked me to flip over. Once again, Vladi bent my leg at the knee before “opening my hips.” But this time Vladi did something different.
I’m guessing that my reluctance to put a stop to this the first time I got a rub down from him gave him license to take things to the next level. And so Vladi did. With my leg bent and spread open, Vladi went to work on my inner thigh and got a thumbs print away from the special little area called The Taint. I swear to god this guy was a thumb’s width away from sticking a cork in me. And to make matters worse, when he finally finished the “Taint” rub, his rapey hands found their way back to my chesticles.
This time though Vladi had a new trick up his sleeve. He decided to take both his hands and use a circular motion to rub all around my "girls" without “really" touching my boobs. He moved swiftly back and forth in a cupping-like motion all around the nipple area without ever touching the nips. He was like a 7th grade boy trying to get to first base for the first time. (And I can proudly tell you that I’ve never had a 7th grade boy touch me ever, at any age.)
I could not believe I was in not only a familiar situation, but one far worse than the first time. I could not believe I was once again leaving a cash tip on the counter before doing my walk of shame out of the building.
Suffice to say, I haven’t been back. After this last occurrence I chatted up some “spa regulars” at work to get their opinion. And while they agreed that some of Vladi’s moves could be misinterpreted as “Eastern European” they were by and large not.
So, let it be known that I have been hand molested and paid for it. Willingly.