My first man-ssage

With a string of female sports masseuses having moved on at my gym I was left with the ultimate dilemma today – do I let a boy touch my naked body?

Over the last five years I’d gone through a number of masseuses: a former Olympian badminton player (badmintor?), an Asian girl who asked me every week without fail how (a) my girlfriend was and (b) my cats were, a very pleasant Dubliner with no particular character traits, a hard-ass with a pronounced growl, a very sweet girl who was young enough to be my daughter (if I had known what to do with it at 14) and a lovely but easily flustered Spanish girl who was the first and only one to effect inadvertent ‘towel rise’.

After a three month gap (possibly self-enforced after the above-mentioned rise of the machine incident) I knew I had to re-visit for my ever-worsening Achilles injury.  I checked in today to find that there was no masseuse…it was time for my first masseur.

Ed Kowalczyk - who looks like a masseur I "know"
Ed Kowalczyk - who looks like a masseur I "know"

I don’t have a picture of him (hey, I’m lying almost naked in a room with him – last thing I’m going to do is whip out a camera) but I can assure you that he looked like Ed Kowalczyk, lead singer of Pennsylvania four-piece, Live.  Seriously, spitting image.

So we start off with me lying on my stomach in just boxers shorts, a flimsy towel masking the fact that I shop at Pennys.  Ed (for let us refer to him as such) is working the calf muscle, diligently digging his thumbs in to my … calf muscle.  At this point (back in the days when women did this sort of thing) I’d usually be making small talk – you know, stuff like “how long have you been doing this?  what do you do for fun? do you like strawberry blond rockers with excessive body hair?“.

But today, with Ed working it, I found myself unable to relate.  I had nothing to talk to him about.  Occasionally he would see me wince and utter something like “Is it too hard?” to which I would mentally glance south and almost reply “Nope, sleeping like a baby…” before realising what he was talking about.

The kicker here is that the massage room is actually very romantic.  The lighting is deliberately subtle while the deep-yellow electric fire in the corner emits no heat but hypnotically meshes with the piano-led ambient music that repeats about six times in the hour.  It is supposed to relax you, transport you to an ethereal landscape where there is nothing around you except the sound of nature and a guy with a large selection of Yamaha keyboards.

As we entered the closing minutes of our rendezvous he yanked the towel clear and insisted I lie on my back while he observed how my feet “dangled” off the edge of the massage table.  This was a real test of my mettle.  I mean he’d already said the word “dangle”.

After he observed my something-or-other muscle (in my calf) and told me that I needed to crouch and bend a bit to fix it, we then got in to a slightly longer than anticipated discussion about nutrition and stretching with me sitting in just my pants.  In the days of masseuses there is no way I’d be pants-exposed like that for more than a second or so.  It was the ultimate test…and I passed it.

I now know I am capable of being boy-touched without any adverse reaction.  I am capable of maintaining eye contact with a boy massage person while sitting in just a tight-fitting pair of off-black boxers.  I have learnt much today.

Mind you, I’d still prefer a cracking bird next time.

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