Happy “Chiness” Massage and Other Cultural Stereotypes

“Chiness” 😆
Most everyone is aware (although perhaps won’t discuss amongst “polite” society) of massage practices in Asia ending “happily”. As an Asian-American woman, I’ve wondered how commonplace and casual it really is and how one actually goes about “ordering one”.

Watch Jason Sudeikis in Hall Pass – Rub and Tug 😂😂😂

I’ve had one Chinese massage once in America by a real Chinese guy who had an office in posh Scarsdale and to date, it was the absolute BEST massage ever! (No, no happy ending.) I had walked in there in a desperate attempt to deal with a fever and achy joints as I had a big event at my dance studio that night which could not be cancelled. I walked out of there 1000X better! 

So when my man suggested we get a couple’s massage at his regular (“legit”) place, I was kinda excited and intrigued. Not to mention the fact that I’ve abused my body so much recently, what with two bike crashes in a span of 2 weeks, busted ribs and lots of bruises all over, at the very least, I really needed a good massage…especially considering the long Busan to Seoul ride we are about to undertake in two days! 

The route…more details on this later!
Currently being in a 7000+ mile long distance relationship (I know…crazy…but hey, I’m all about ultra distances! LOL), I’ve often joked with my man about his massage places here in Korea. The stereotypes of an American guy in Asia and the Asian massage practices are tough to shatter because for the most part, they’re true!  😂😂😂

I have also had enough close guy friends and hello, I was in the Marine Corps, oftentimes assigned to a unit that was 96% male, that I’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to the male POV on sex, women, relationships, etc. And yes, I’ve heard first hand accounts of stereotypical Asian massage practices in the most legitimate of places, like the VIP lounges of major Asian airlines!  I know, shocking! Or maybe I’m just naive. 

Yeah, no…it was nothing this posh, nor did I have a male massage therapist! Pic from Singapore Airlines.

So let’s just say, I have been a bit skeptical and always raising an internal eyebrow when he’d mention that he was going to get a massage. 😳😂😍

As we walk into the entrance, we are greeted by a Chinese man speaking Korean. I was a bit taken aback by that although the place was decently decorated and clean looking. I’m thinking, “What is he, the pimp?” Hahaha. I asked him if we can be in the same room for a “couple’s massage”. We weren’t sure if they would but they ended up having a room with two massage tables/beds side by side. 

Clearly, not many women visit these establishments because the only women’s bathroom was out in the hallway of the building while there was a separate men’s urinal in the actual place. #genderinequality

We are led to our room and instructed to put on these god awful cotton shorts and shirts that look like nursing scrubs. Definitely nothing sexy or sensual about it. And there weren’t any scantily clad, nubile, barely legal Asian girls prancing around trying to entice the patronage. Ironicaly, I think I was the least dressed there in booty shorts and a tank top! 

In my massage gear.

Once changed, I learn we first get a foot soak and are offered some barley tea. That was quite relaxing! 
I know, what’s with the red lights?
Barley Tea

Moment of truth…we are introduced to our therapists. Who am I to judge but they were middle aged, very average looking Chinese women in regular clothes. We are led back to our room and ready to get worked! 

The Actual Massage 

Most of the massage was done clothed in those scrubs. My therapist was quite good and aggressive. I hate soft massages! She used her forearm like a hard foam roller…it was awesome. My body was so tight and the whole thing was almost just painful. After working for quite some time, I’m told to take my shirt off and she pulls my shorts like halfway down my ass and we get these big huge heating pads placed on our backs. Gotta say, they’ve got the formula down pat. We both received pretty much the same massage once we were comparing notes while heating pads were doing their job. 


The women then came back in and the aromatherapy part of the massage begins. My back and the top half of my glutes are oiled up…this is also when the massage gets a bit “Thai”…she was on the table with me straddling my hamstrings really working my back and glutes. I can imagine for a pent up dude, this might be a bit of a turn on. I mean she was really working me hard and even breathing heavily!  Hahaha. #awkward 

That part “climaxes” and at some point, our shirts and shorts are pulled back on and up before we get flipped over for a scalp and ear, upper chest and brief abdominal massage until we are sat up and the final stretches are performed.  Arms stretched back, their feet on our backs, and instructed to look up to the ceiling. I was then told “Good Job” (literal translation). Ironic. LOLOL 

So what did I think? 

I still believe men go there to not only get massages, but also if they signal for more, I don’t think they’d be denied. This particular place did not have a gross, seedy vibe and clearly the women are trained uniformly. Primarily, it’s about relaxation and therapeutic massage with the option of extra services. And that’s kinda the vibe I got…just biz as usual. 

These women are just doing their job. They almost treat you like a slab of muscle! Although while I’m sore this morning from my massage, the man is not. Maybe they go softer on the dudes. Anyway, at $50-$100 bucks a pop for a typical massage, someone is making a decent profit with or without the “extra” services. 

Sadly (in my opinion), Asian cultural conditioning surrounding sexuality isn’t so revolved around the intimacy between a couple. I almost feel like once a couple has coupled and has had kids especially…a satisfying and active, monogamous sex life is not high on the list of priorities. But then again, it’s like that in America too!  #dysfuntionalrelationships

For pete’s sake, prostitution is the “oldest” profession, right? I am in no way attempting to right the course on that one but I wonder why some women have felt that’s the only way to make some decent coin? Am I just being a prude? I did at one point in my youth consider stripping for extra cash, but when I saw the girls at a local strip club and witnessed the vacant, glassy look in their eyes, I knew I could never. 

One stereotype I have enjoyed crushing!

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