Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016: The year of being adventurous and trying new things

Happy New Year! (Sometimes I feel silly dating these posts as I know someone will read this 6-8 months from now when it definitely wouldn't be appropriate to say 'Happy New Year.')

I've decided to be more adventurous and try new things in 2016. So on January 1, 2016, I got a massage. I know what you're thinking. A massage?! How is that new and/or adventurous?! Well here's the thing: I've never gotten a massage before. (and random shoulder rubs from friends and mission companions don't count.)

Here's why I've never taken the plunge:

1) I've never understood the appeal. Friends have talked about it, but I've never had the urge to rush out and get a massage myself.

2) I've always been kind of modest. I don't like taking off my shirt in public.

3) I have a hard time relaxing. I'm a multitasker and the thought of sitting and doing nothing (or having something done to you) makes me feel a little uneasy.

But screw the above three points. I'm gonna do it!

I did one of those Korean foot reflexology places. Where you get a foot massage, then a full body massage for cheap. I spent $30 + tip for an hour of pampering. (I use the term 'pampering' lightly.) And if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be out tons of money.

I picked a place close and read all the reviews and tips on Yelp, so I knew what to expect. I wasn't really in the mood to proclaim that "This is my first time" to the receptionist and therapist.

While waiting, I was wondering if I'd get a guy or girl. I would be content with either, but knew if it were a girl, there'd be no awkward boners. :)

A lady motioned me to a chair and was told "She will be with you shortly." Ok, a woman. I can deal with that.

So, I was surprised when a nice looking man walked out and pointed to remove my shoes and socks. Oh boy. This could get interesting.

It was then I realized this guy spoke no English, which made it even more interesting!

While my feet were soaking in hot water, he did various things to my neck, arms, legs, hands, etc. At one point, our fingers interlocked. It felt nice holding hands. I wanted to say, "Can you hold on just a little longer." But due to the language barrier and potential awkwardness, I refrained.

As for the foot massage. It too was nice. That was until he started doing something funky to each individual toe. It was a mixture of torture and pain while kinda feeling good at the same time. My eyes were covered with a cloth and I was too afraid to peek and see what crazy procedure he was doing.

Relax. I had to keep telling myself this. Point #3 from above was really hitting me and I just needed to calm down.

It was then he pointed to my shoes (for me to grab them) and maneuvered me to a private room. Oh boy. Here goes nothing. He did the 'unbutton your shirt' motion with his hands, and left the room. Shirt goes off. Wait. Do I take off my pants too?! (I took off my pants since that's how it's done in the movies.) Wait. What do I do with this cloth on the massage chair?! I quickly threw it on top of me as I heard a knock and no-English-guy returned.

He gently grabbed my underwear and lowered it slightly. Oh great. It's one of THOSE massage places! :) (It's not, his range of motion was just below my underwear line.)

Then came the massage. Oh boy. It felt good, but I knew I had all sorts of knots (again, first timer!) so parts were a little tender. The massage dude was sensing my discomfort thanks to my stiff arms and clenched fists. He asked "OK?" a few times, to which I always replied with "Mm-hhm."


The hour was up (it went by fast!) and it was time to put my clothes back on. In a heavy accent, he said "thank you" and "goodbye" and I was on my way. I felt a little lightheaded as I walked to my car, but overall, it was an enjoyable experience. I'd say I was comfortable 85% of the time. Next time, I'll try to relax more.

A day later, my back is a little sore, but I'm already thinking about going back in a couple weeks.

I'm sorry if you get massages all the time, and you found this post extremely boring!!! :) But getting a massage was definitely something new and adventurous and I'm glad I did it.

(And if you have any tips/recommendations for other types of massages, please let me know in the comments!)


  1. If you're looking for English speakers and a gay-friendly, gay-owned establishment, check out the Massage Center. Wonderful gay and straight, male and female massage therapists. in SLC.
    What was the name of the place you used?

    1. Thank you Ned, but I'm nowhere near Utah! But I appreciate the suggestion!

      The language barrier wasn't necessarily a bad thing. (However, since it was my first time, getting instructions and details on the process would have been nice.) But now I know what to expect, so it wouldn't bother me if they didn't speak English.