For only a few US dollars, you can receive an hour-long Thai massage pretty much anywhere in Thailand. In fact, Thailand is so saturated with massage parlors that it makes you wonder how any of them stay in business. I decided to see what all the fuss was about and got an authentic Thai massage. My experience was, well, interesting.
A Thai massage is basically a hybrid between a deep tissue massage and an intense yoga session. You lay on a table surrounded by curtains while peaceful Thai music sets the mood. A little Thai woman enters and lovingly goes to work, rubbing out knots here and there all over your body while stretching you into various positions. But it’s not that simple.
Thai woman: You want Thai massage?
Me: Yes please.
Thai woman: Just Thai massage?
Me: Yes. Just a Thai massage.
It’s true what they say – you’ll get offered a hand job if you ask for a Thai massage. It’ll triple the price, but hey, at least there’s a courtesy curtain between you and the guy getting a massage on the table next to you. I opted not to receive the ‘special’ massage and I definitely made the right choice.
First she’s delicate and soft. Then all of a sudden she’s digging her thumbs deep into my calves, giggling at my involuntary cringes and squirms. And she’s just getting started. Next, she bends my legs just before their breaking point, then bends them a little more. Then she flips me over and stands on my back, pulling my arms behind my body and lifting my torso off the table. It goes on like this for a full hour. By the end of the Thai massage I’m ready to curl into a ball and cry like a baby. I pay the giddy little Thai girl and leave, violated and righteously sore all over.
The next day I felt fantastic, like every toxin I’d ever ingested had been exorcised from me by that little demon woman. But mostly, I felt fantastic because I’d made the wise choice not to receive a happy ending. If I had, I’d be writing this in a Thai hospital.