Saturday, February 15, 2014

Treat Yo Self: Hot Stone Massage with Emily Milam

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.


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.


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.


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. 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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