There’s the Rub (and Tug)

Massages are one of the most intimate things you can do with another person. That’s why I think it’s kinda funny that some lady named Consuelo who I’ve never met before has no problem spreading my butt cheeks apart to the point where she can see my spleen and the inner-lining of my stomach. Funny and awesome. Best part of any massage, hands down (literally).

“Is there anywhere special you’d like me to work on?”

They always ask you this during the pre-massage consultation like you’re gonna tell them the truth. Yeah, rub my knee-caps for the next 45 minutes and then work my ankles. What the fuck do you think I want?! “I want you to rub my ass god dammit! Rub my ass until it turns to jelly.” But you can’t say that. Because that would be inappropriate. So instead I just say “Everywhere” and hope she’ll catch my drift.

Ever think you’d pay someone $60 to be the world’s worst cock tease? I got enough of that in high school for free. Sara Policow! Just touch it once, I won’t tell anybody!

You’re pretty vulnerable when you’re face down on that table. Here’s what I look like naked. This is me. Surprised?! What do you think of the pimples on my ass?

It’s ironic but I don’t find massages relaxing at all. I spend the first half of every massage wondering whether or not my masseuse is giving me a professional massage or my masseuse is a “professional” giving me a massage. ‘Wait…did she just…? That can’t be part of the….? Well that was awfully close to my…’ I better send out a little signal to test her reaction, see what’s going on here. And that’s when I’ll start moaning like a pony whenever she goes anywhere near my ass. If she tells me to put my clothes on and get the fuck out of there, I’ll recognize that I was wrong.

The other half of my massage is spent thinking about how awful the moment is going to be when she asks me to turn over and I have to reveal my boner to her. I can’t help it; it simply will not go away. Those dreaded words, “Turn over please.” And my heart stops beating. She stands behind the sheet, and I flip over with my springy boner boinging around all over the fucking place like a goddamn bobble head. I lay down sunny side up as she gently lowers the sheet back over me, leaving a mini-Klan member standing where my penis used to be.

“It’s always like that, I swear. Same thing happened to me at the dentist last week. Call Dr. Honickman. Think you can work around it?” Wish I said that. But it’s worse, I don’t say anything! It’s ridiculous. Neither of us do. And there’s no way she doesn’t see it. I try to change the subject, “So…have you been doing this long?” I can’t believe I just said LONG! “You’re doing a great job.” Yeah, no shit, Steve. You don’t think she can tell?

I feel like being a masseuse is a lot like being a clown, except instead of making people smile, you give them erections. That’s how they know if they’ve done a good job or not. They probably talk about it in the break room while they’re smoking cigarettes with rollers in their hair: “Six and a half more inches and I’m clocking out for the day, Patty. See ya tomorrow!”

Sometimes when I’m enjoying a massage, it’ll feel like pure ecstasy, like the two of us are wrapped up in some exotic love affair, and then I’ll realize only one of us is when I glance up at Consuelo and she’s staring off into space clearly thinking about what kind of groceries she needs to buy today to make her famous empanadas for her family tonight. I thought we had something special Consuelo! I like empanadas!

There’s nothing more arousing to me than a massage — as long as it’s being done by a woman. It doesn’t really even matter what she looks like, my only criteria is that she doesn’t have a penis. I can’t be massaged by men. My brother and dad have no problem with it, but personally it makes me super uncomfortable – probably because I’m afraid I’ll enjoy it, I’ll get a boner and realize I’m gay and then I’ll have to go pierce my right ear at the mall which will be super annoying because parking at the mall is so challenging.

The truth is: the one time I agreed to have a man give me a massage was the worst day of my life.

I was a member of Equinox for a while when I lived in West Hollywood, the gay capital of the country. A friend of mine worked in the Spa there and she was friendly with all the masseuses. One day in passing I mentioned to her that I pulled my back out and the next thing I know she’s introducing me to her friend, this African masseuse who looks exactly like the main guy from The Air Up There with Kevin Beacon except he sounds like an extra from the movie Boat Trip with Cuba Gooding, Jr. She tells me that her gay friend wants to give me a massage for free.

There was nothing I could do. I had to say yes. She asked me right in front of him and I couldn’t say no. I hate when people do that. “Hey would you mind taking my friend whose standing right here in front of you while I say this to the airport? If you want to say ‘No’ you totally can, she’ll just think you’re an asshole for the rest of your life.” So I said, sure. What the heck! It’s a free massage, what could be wrong with that?

So….“Mufasa,” we’ll call him, leads me down the hallway to my massage room, which I walk in to find candles glowing, sensual music playing and a warm massage table that’s been waiting all day for me to get molested on. I should’ve known that when I saw the 4 by 4-inch washcloth that what was laying squarely on the table for me to cover myself with that this wasn’t going to be good. This couldn’t be standard. It looked like a piece of lint. A fuckin band-aid would have covered more of my ass. I started looking around for a First-Aid kit.

I begin taking my shoes and socks off extra slowly to buy him some time to leave the room so I can undress in private, but evidently he’s not going anywhere. He’d rather stay and watch. Okay, that’s a little uncommon, but whatever, we’re both guys and he’s a professional. It’s probably the same thing as having a doctor in the room. But just in case things get weird, I start running through all the possible excuses in my head to get out of there like, “Hey, what’s over there?” and then running out of the room.

I lie down and the massage starts out pretty normal. Okay, I can handle this I tell myself, just don’t fall asleep, Steve. Stay awake. You saw Nightmare On Elm Street.

After about 5 minutes he leans down and whispers something into my ear, “How’s the pressure?” Standard procedure — no big deal. He just wants to know how it’s going and if he’s hurting me. Sure he sounded a little sensual and he whispered it an inch away from my ear and I think his tongue grazed my earlobe, but I bet you that’s because he thought I was asleep and he didn’t want to wake me up. “The pressure’s fine,” I tell him.

“You have a nice body.”

Again. Totally normal, Steve, he’s just being professional. It’s a gym where people work out there to make themselves look good. And in his African culture, that’s called being polite. “Thanks, man,” I say in the most maculating way I know how, the same way I would respond to, “Sick truck, bro.”

Neither of us spoke for the next 20 minutes.

And then something weird happened. Mufasa started working the center of my back hard, where I pulled my muscle. I could feel him squeezing my shoulders and digging his knee into my back. It felt really good. And as he’s doing this, I’m staring down through the peephole on the table at his feet. I’m looking at his feet and he’s wearing sandals, which I remember thinking was very African of him and all of a sudden, something dawns on me. How can his knee be in my back if both of his feet are on the ground? I counted his feet again, three or four times to make sure I wasn’t seeing double but each time it was exactly the same: two legs, two hands AND ONE BONER DIGGING INTO MY BACK. OH MY GOD! I froze. I didn’t know what to do. He was poking me with his pencil. And he’d been doing it for the last few minutes! And even worse, I’d been enjoying it!

I was frightened to death.

I couldn’t move. My mind started racing. What could I say to this Hunter Gatherer? If I call him out on it, he might pull some African shit on me and kill me. If he thought I was going to report him who knows what he would do? If I make any sudden moves he might misinterpret it them for a sexual advance and try to kiss me.

In the end I didn’t do anything. I just sat there and got back raped for a solid 5 minutes. When I told my friend about it, she thought I was kidding. Everyone did. I felt like one of those women who no one believes. I wanted to call Oprah and ask for her help. I thought about having the part of my back he was poking surgically removed. I was angry.

Four months later, after I suppressed the memory, Mufasa got fired from Equinox, for no joke, “Putting his erection on clients.” It was the best day of my life. I felt like justice had been served. But also felt less special, I thought I was the only one.

Anyway, it was the last time I ever had a male masseuse and the first time I learned that there’s no such thing as a “free massage.”


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