I had been in Shanghai for about two weeks, waiting for a summer camp to open so I could start working. I’d explored the sites, met a bunch of interesting people, and discovered that the purple lights, tape-covered doors and oddly-colored barber poles meant cheap prostitutes. These were to be avoided because the prostitutes will sometimes physically grab single, young men and pull them inside.
During my daily wanderings, having passed by some massage parlours that seemed completely legitimate, I decided to have an authentic Chinese massage. There was one place close to my hostel that seemed nice. The glass doors didn’t have any tape obscuring the women inside, who were massaging the feet of the elderly. The list of massages and their prices seemed reasonable – in fact, there weren’t any 300 RMB massages, which usually means ‘happy endings’ or outright sex. The light was a little dim, but not too bad.
I don’t think they served foreigners on a regular occasion, as I felt all their eyes land on me when I came in. The women looked me over, but it seemed more curiosity-driven than conniving. This was a great surprise, since wandering around the tourist areas of Shanghai almost everyone seemed a bit more interested in my wallet than myself.
I spent a few moments looking over the options, and decided to get a full body massage. At 80rmb it was well within my budget. I awkwardly pointed at the list, and after a bit of confusion the middle-aged receptionist figured out which one I wanted. She then called a young and incredibly attractive woman over. As she glanced at my unshaven face and the abundant chest hair that peeked out over my shirt’s low collar, a big smile lit up on her face.
Having a pretty young woman smiling like that made my day. Happily, I let her lead me into a small room. The massage table was a simple, very high, thin bed – obviously not made for a proper massage. The room was also a little dingy, unlike the lobby’s much-more vibrant atmosphere. Having never had a professional massage, I assumed it was like a lot of tourist sites in China – looks good on the outside to draw people in, and then skimp on the inner-decor to save money. I put my wallet, keys and phone in my bag and placed it on the table away from the door, just within my reach, before lying down on the bed.
The young woman started massaging my arms and legs, and it actually felt pretty nice. With the AC in the other room blasting out cool air, the room felt great, especially against the absurd heat outside. The bed, despite being a little thin, was much more comfortable than my wooden pallet at the hostel. For the first time in my two weeks in China I was really, really relaxed.
The masseuse seemed to be enjoying herself as well. She played a little with my arm and leg hair, gently pulling on it, and making ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ sounds at its thickness. Then, when she started massaging my front, I felt her lift my shirt a little and heard her gasp as she saw even more of my hair. Yet, as soon as I began to suspect something awry, she slipped back into a professional demeanor, and continued massaging away.
While working on my thighs, she started to get very close to my crotch. I looked at her strangely while squirming my balls out of her reach. The woman started laughing again, and moved lower yet. I laid my head back down and decided that Chinese people were much more open about touching and feeling than Westerners gave them credit for – so it was probably best to just relax and let her do her thing.
I closed my eyes, and she continued slowly and methodically. I was so relaxed I began drifting off to sleep.
About 30 minutes into the massage, however, I was jolted back to consciousness. I felt my belt coming undone, and within seconds my pants and underwear were halfway down my legs, with my dick waving in the air.
I’m a little shy, especially around beautiful women who don’t speak my language. Still half-asleep, I sat up in the bed, slamming my back into the wall, accidentally pulling my pants even further down. One hand covered my dick, which – due to my instinctual feelings of embarrassment and the cold – was doing its best impression of a shrinking violet. With my other hand, I gripped the side of the bed to prevent myself from falling off.
I’m not sure what the woman was thinking, but seeing a large hairy Westerner, almost falling out of bed, with his pants around his ankles, while trying to cover a rapidly shrinking penis had to be the funniest thing she’d seen all month. She bent over double laughing as my face went red.
Realizing how stupid I must look, I let go of my dick, realizing she’d already seen pretty much ever part of it, and tried to untangle my pants and underwear so I could at least cover myself. Seeing this, the woman got control of her laughter and tried stopping me from pulling my pants back on. When I ignored her she mimed jacking me off and pulled a bottle of lube out of the table drawer.
I stopped trying to pull my pants up for a second as I worked everything out. Looking down, I realized that after the events of the last minute, there was no way it was going to get hard again without a lot of work. And frankly, continuing this hand job in this dirty room on a narrow bed did not appeal to me in the slightest. Anymore.
Looking at her straight in the eyes, I said loudly and clearly “No”, and I pulled my pants back up. She seemed a bit unhappy; perhaps she had been expecting a larger tip, had she been successful in giving me a happy ending. She started massaging my legs again, keeping clear of my crotch this time.
A half hour later when we walked out, the woman started talking to her co-workers. Everyone in the room, including the older women getting foot massages, started laughing their asses off.
Ever since then, whenever I get a massage in China, I make sure the place looks like a spa or clinic.
About the Author: Dan Clarke
Dan Clarke has traveled fairly extensively around China as a writer, teacher and a life coach. After a few adventures, he is now happily married to a beautiful Chinese woman and has created the blog Living and Working in China.