The ménage à trois massage

An intensive day at the thalasso. First I go down a long white corridor where people shuffle by in robes and slippers (talk about god’s waiting room) to a room marked douche a jet. Claire using hand motions, instructs me to stand at the far end of a tiled room, my naked backside to her. She turns on a thick hose and methodically sprays my naked body with warm seawater. First my legs, than my ass, back, shoulders. Turn to the left and repeat. To the right, repeat. Face her, eyes closed, and she flushes my front with the hard spray of seawater. The whole affair leaves me trembling and feeling slightly humiliated. I like it.

The next treatment is called modelage sons affusion. With me lying naked on a plastic table and seawater spraying in from multiple jets above my body, Claire and an assistant massage and coat me in a thick, waxy white layer of goo. Their arms move over me like those of an octopus. Each muscle on the left side of my body is massaged and matched by the other masseuse massaging the same muscles on my right side. The only sound in the room comes from the soft spray of sea water (no Enya in this spa) and the involuntary sighs I emit.

 

photo by David Lansing

photo by David Lansing

I’m not sure what to make of all this. It’s very unlike the traditional American spa treatments which tend to make you feel good about yourself. Here, everything seems designed to slightly humiliate you. It makes you feel like an unclean baby coming out of the womb. Also, there’s something oddly religious about the whole thing. I mean, today I kept feeling like I was little more than a corpse being prepared for my first head-to-head with The Big Man. And Claire and her assistants were really just angels.

Tomorrow I have my final treatment: a seaweed wrap. To get the elements of the ocean into my skin. I don’t know about dust to dust. Perhaps it should be ocean to ocean. 

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