Meeting Strangers While Naked - A True Test of Courage.




                I relaxed into a pliant bundle of limbs and body parts and let her do her magic. My muscles appreciated the respite, even if the outermost layers of my skin did not. At one point I felt a warm liquid being spooned onto me and with a quick peek realized that I was being massaged with honeyed milk. Now this was more like it! The liquid beaded up and pooled off of my oily skin, but it felt soothing and I’m sure the milk was helping – please let it be helping – my poor reddened skin.

                A few more minutes of this milk and honey bliss and then my little grandma instructed me to sit up. Sitting up on top of the table she did a few last strokes on my back – hopefully not writing the character for some kind of Korean bad word – and she patted me on the shoulder to let me know the train got off here. Her quick hand gestures towards the showers indicated that I could not go back into the communal pools until I had washed myself of all the dairy that was covering me. I gave her a polite bow and she handed me a little purple envelope – For Tips – it read.

                After rinsing I moved back into the medium pool for a quick dip – only slightly scalded in my new baby-fresh skin – before rejoining my friend out in the cafeteria.

“So, how was your massage?” she asked, slurping down some spicy rice dumplings.

                I reached out with my chopsticks and snagged a soft pillowy dumping form her plate.

“I just had my ass crack exfoliated.”

                Her choked sputter of surprise was matched in its intensity by how much her eyes bugged out at me over her napkin. She barked out a surprised laugh of disbelief.


“You heard me,” I grinned dryly at her as she lowered her voice – this was a quiet peaceful place, after all. I held my arm out to her and she ran her knuckles up its length, admiring my – literal – fresh skinned smoothness.

“So you didn’t like it?”

     I sat for a few seconds, contemplating that question. No, I hadn’t necessarily enjoyed every part of the experience - my freshly scrubbed ass did protest a little as I settled deeper into the cushion on the floor. But I thought that the blame rested with me. I had gone into this experience thinking that it would be luxurious and relaxing, like a typical massage. The reality was that this particular service, while featured in a spa, was actually intended to be more about health and wellness and less about hedonistic pleasure. You needed to go into this thinking of it more like clipping your nails, or maybe a teeth cleaning; something that was not really all that pleasant but all the same was good and was necessary for overall wellbeing.

“No, I can’t say I was all that fond,” I paused, trying to figure out why I felt happy about it all, “But I’d come back and do it again, and again after that. It’s good for me."

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