I could write a book responding to all the great spa questions I’ve received… but why do that when I have a blog? Welcome to my new column Ask Michelle Joni—my goal here is to answer what’s really on your mind. Whether you need a good treatment for your back pain or you have a question about a touchy subject, not only will I answer from genuine personal experience, I’ll tap into our 2000+ spas to be sure to fully investigate the topic with the experts who know best. I look forward to helping you know and love the spa even more. And don’t worry, I’ll keep you totally anonymous! michelle(at)spaweekmedia(dot)com

Dear Michelle,

I might be the only gay man who’s never had a massage. My friends all got massages this weekend as part of a spa birthday event, and when I asked about their experiences, I also inquired about whether everyone went with a male  or female massage therapist. That’s when the discussion of getting ‘excited’ at the spa started. My friend, we’ll call him Frank, says he can’t have a man anymore because he gets aroused. I’ve never had a massage before, but always thought that I would want a man when I did. However, now I’m concerned that I, too, may become aroused. I fear I may become aroused regardless of who’s touching me – but that’s another story. Are masseurs used to this? Is it a normal occurrence? What is the spa protocol for keeping things under control when on the table? I’d like to go in for my first deep-tissue session, and I’d like it to be with a man, but now I’m really second guessing myself. HELP!


Aroused in NYC

Dear Aroused in NYC,

Darling, you are not the only gay man who has gone through life un-massaged. There is bound to be at least another. That being said, it’s time to get you into the spa to experience the healthy, transformational delight that is professional massage therapy, and rest your precious head assured that your other head has nothing to worry about.

From personal experience, I will tell you that in general, most massages are much less stimulating than you might think. I will also tell you that I have had feelings of being aroused with both male and female therapists, so it might not make a difference for you. But regardless, the good news is that for men as much as for women, IT’S OKAY if it happens. I’ve consulted with two NYC spa owners and massage therapists for some excellent tips and advice for you and your little friend.

“Getting a full body massage can certainly bring up many feelings, sensations or even stimulation,” says Enrique Ramirez, owner of face to face nyc, a licensed massage therapists for 14 years who is ‘well-experienced with guys who lack self control.’ “As a massage newbie, don’t second guess yourself, book your deep tissue massage and allow your body to open up.” Here are Enrique’s tips to help reduce pre-massage anxiety:

  • Book with a reputable spa, as all massage therapists are licensed and professional.
  • If it makes you feel more comfortable, leave your underwear on.
  • Many spas have various massage selections such as my very own Back to Back Massage, during which I only focus on your back, neck and shoulders. This could be a perfect way to introduce you to getting touched by a stranger in a dark intimate setting.
  • The thighs, stomach and buttocks are ‘danger zones’ that when touched, can trigger your friend below to rise to the occasion. Ask the massage therapist to stay clear from those areas.
  • As you mentioned, you are a gay male so perhaps booking with a female therapists will make your first experience a better one this way you avoid the strong deep penetrating hands of a manly masseur…
  • If you are still having doubts, book a facial which only covers from the neck up.

Soli Davis, owner of Shibumi Spa who’s been in the business for 30 years, says, “I’ve had lots of men get boners. It’s natural. They are relaxed. If the massage therapist isn’t comfortable with it they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing.” She says that if you are worried, opt for a deep tissue or sports massage as opposed to a Swedish massage, which is gentler and more likely to be sensual.

“We’re used to farting, snoring and boners,” Soli assures. “It’s a privilege that someone can be that relaxed because of me!”

So there you have it. Wishing you a happy first massage, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Spa Wishes,

Michelle Joni

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