Saturday, February 15, 2014

Treat Yo Self: Hot Stone Massage with Emily Milam

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Is that picture inappropriate? On the one hand, there's nothing erotic about my neck and shoulders (or that face I'm making), but on the other hand it is technically a nude selfie. It's about intent though, right? Al Roker and Matt Lauer had prostate exams live on TODAY.

I think we're fine. Good talk everybody.

A little context: For February I decided to Treat Myself to a Hot Stone Massage. I've never had a massage before – with the exception of those tacky chairs people buy from the Home Shopping Network – so I have no idea what the culture entails.

I found a nice deal on Groupon (TYS tip: there's ALWAYS massages on Groupon) for a 70-minute hot stone at All Around The Town Massage, a small but charming spa in West Valley City and invited my friend Emily to come along.

Emily and I met in college under the customarily-convoluted nature of academic friendships: she was the co-worker of a friend of a pseudo-roommate and we bonded over a mutual love for film, music, ultimate frisbee and (now) ukulele. She's ok.

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But back to the massage. I told my masseuse Corleigh that I was a first-timer and she informed me that people either remove all their clothes or remain in their underwear. It's all the same to her.
Natually, when placed in a scenario where those are my options, I choose the buff. And did so.

The massage itself was great. I'm a high-stress person so it was great to just lie back, Yoga-breathe and be soothed. Corleigh mostly massaged with her fingers, but would use a stone before moving onto the next arm, leg, shoulder, etc.

Properly pampered, Emily and I headed to Bruges Waffles and Frites to conduct our interview over some speculoos and sliced strawberries.

Wood's Stock: Who are you and what do you do
Emily Milam: My name is Emily Milam. I’m a tax assistant for an accounting firm downtown.
WS: How are you feeling right now?
EM: I feel extremely relaxed and very lovely.
WS: And lovely?
EM: Something about the oils, it just makes me feel smooth.
WS: My masseuse said people either undress completely or leave their underwear on. I got naked. What was your choice?
EM: Panties only
WS: You’ve had a massage before?
EM: Once
WS: But not hot stone?
EM: Not it was a half-hour free massage. I still stripped down, but it was a half hour on just the back. No stones.

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WS: What did you think of the stones?
EM: I loved the stones. Ermaghersh. It was nice, I liked that there was a combination of a regular massage as well as a hot stone massage because the warmth of the stone after a regular massage felt especially relaxing.
WS: I got a little nervous not knowing how hot the stones would be on my naked flesh. Did you feel any anxiety?
EM: No because at first I thought that her hand was a stone and thought “this isn’t hot at all! It’s like room temperature at best.” Then she pulled out the actual stones and she did this thing where, I don’t want to use the word stroke, but she would stroke the part of me she was massaging and then use the stone.
WS: Walk me through the massage.
EM: I started on my front, she did one leg at a time and just went slowly up and down the leg. She’d ask me questions about where I hold my tension and how the pressure was, things like that. Apparently I hold tension in my calves and my hands.
WS: You guys had a nice chat.
EM: Just a little, like a couple words. She asked me if I ran.
WS: When she was working on your legs, how close did she get to the goods?
EM: Never close enough that I was like [unintelligible sound of surprise and discomfort]. But, I’ve gotten a Brazilian so…
WS: Really? We’ll come back to that. Were you hoping for a male or female masseuse?
EM: I was glad that she was female. I feel like I would have been holding my tension more if it had been a man. I don’t know if it would be worse with a good looking man or a not good looking man. I already felt self-conscious.
WS: I don’t think anyone wants to be massaged by an ugly man.
EM: Especially not a hairy one.
WS: Well my masseuse was not shy downstairs, particularly on my backside.
EM: Oh yeah, she got real close to the butt. Did she full-on touch your butt?
WS: There was some touching. Some caressing and general massaging.
EM: The actual butt?
WS: See that’s a problem. How do we define actual butt?
EM: Below the…
WS: What is below? I’m laying down. What is up and down?
EM: So when she was upper-thighing you feel like she got close to the butt?
WS: I feel like most of the regions of the area in question where massaged at some point.
EM: Really? Maybe because I was wearing panties…
WS: Maybe. I wondered that actually. I wondered if by going nude, that was a subtle queue that said ‘go for it. Massage me.”
EM: Did it feel nice?
WS: Oh, it was amazing. So you started on your front, arms, legs, then flipped you over?
EM: Yeah, did the back. I could’ve done with more back.
WS: Did they give you the stone spine?
EM: No! Did she give you the stone spine?
WS: Yeah, I got the stone spine.
EM: I did not get that. She did all the stone stuff moving. None of it was just sitting on me.
WS: I enjoyed the stone spine, it was nice. And the stone palm was quite pleasant. The whole last half of my massage was stone palm.
EM:  Was she doing other things while you had stone palm?
WS: Yeah, she just set a stone in my palms while she worked on my back, shoulders and legs from behind, and I just kind of forgot that I even had stones in my hands.
EM: Yeah I never had any stones just set on me. She was always working me.
WS: Any part where you felt uncomfortable?
EM: Not from the actual massage. My room was right next to the washer and dryer. It wasn’t particularly super distracting, there was just the sound of a cylinder spinning.

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WS: Now, back to the Brazilian. Why?
EM: My friend A---- was getting married and she didn’t want to go alone and it was before our cruise so…
WS: Before our cruise? I was a part of this?
EM: You weren’t. I promise you, you were not.
WS: So that implies that A---- was an abstinent person?
EM: Yes
WS: Granted I don’t know much about a woman’s first sexual experience, but she chose to have a Brazilian?
EM: She and her fianc√© had talked about it. It’s what he wanted.
WS: Don’t you think for your first time you’d want to experience how it’s going to be normally?
EM: Unless he’s going to pay for a Brazilian all the time, that’s maybe how it’s going to be.
WS: I think you’re setting a bar that you might not want to set. I think you should go into your wedding night in a comfortable and, I don’t want to say “standard,” but comfortable scenario. Then in the future you can do special things like that. But I digress. On a scale of 1 to Death, how painful was it?
EM: The actual ripping, for lack of a better word, doesn’t hurt as much as the repetition. They do it little by little so it takes a really long time. If it were just three quick pulls it would be fine, it would be doable, it would be bearable. And they’re very thorough.
WS: Well, yeah.
EM: After they’re done with the waxing, there’s still some hair and they pluck. I would say on a scale of 1 to kidney stones it’s probably a 4. On a scale of 1 to plucking your eyebrows it’s a 50.
WS: This is just you and one person in a room?
EM: Yes.  Me and a lady in her 40s.
WS: I had a hernia, so I’ve been shaved by a man. I would imagine the emotional context is similar, but this seems particularly intimate. In my mind I see the old repairman from Toy Story 2 with his magnifying glasses and his fine instruments.
EM: No, it’s more like your cool aunt who does this for a living. It doesn’t even matter.
WS: Would you recommend that someone get a hot stone massage?
EM: Yes, definitely, for sure.
WS: Are you on twitter?
EM: I am on twitter, I think I have 3 followers. @EmilyRMilam

1 comment:

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience. Not all massage first-timers could say that. I think the difference is that you did the right thing when you told your masseuse right away that you’re first-timer, and that made her go easy on you. Here's to more fun massage sessions!

    William Connors @ The Healing Station

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