Last weekend, me and two of my Bros went and got ourselves rub-and-tugs at a Chinese massage parlor (which I won't name for fear of it being raided) in New York City. It was weird. But I kind of have to recommend it. Here's how it went down:
I came in to visit two friends in New York—we'll call them Kevin and Dirk—and we hit the bars hard on Friday. We all hadn't hung out in a while, so we began drinking aggressively right when I got in, at around 6. In hindsight, it was probably too aggressive. The night quickly became one of those nights when the brownout kicks in at 11ish, and by 12:30 a.m. you realize that the girl you're spitting game at is looking at you with a concerned look, convinced that you just had a seizure. You try to avoid those nights.
Needless to say, no one was hooking up, and we all woke up in a daze on Saturday, with the hazy memories of all eating street meat outside of the apartment building just a few hours ago. I opened my phone to see what awful texts I sent former slam pieces and casual female acquaintances who I thought maybe lived in a 100-mile radius. And that's when I saw the webpage: At the top it read, [REDACTED], New York's premier Chinese massage parlor. At the bottom: Pictures of smokeshow Asian women. The text was full of promises to give you "full satisfaction." This was a place of ill-repute. This was a rub-and-tug place.
Seeing all it kicked in a memory from the dormant parts of my alcohol-soaked brain: We had all agreed to go to get massages. I brought up the conversation.
"So guys, last night we said we'd do this. I can't kill this fucking hangover unless I jerk off, so why don't we get the best jerk-offs of our lives?" I said.
"This is why emergency credit cards were invented," said Dirk.
We took a subway ride over, skipping a cab to go crosstown because, after all, we were each about to spend around $120 for a small Asian woman to touch our doinkers. We talked over the ramifications of half-drunkenly paying for sex. "If you're not going to spend your hard earned money on paid ejaculation, what are you going to spend it on?" Kevin asked. We didn't have a response. He was right.
We got off the subway car and, using iPhones, we found a surprisingly nice storefront that said the name of the parlor. Kevin and I decided this was going to be a cash transaction and went to go find a nearby ATM. Dirk stayed at the entrance and gave "Sup's" to girls walking by. "I'm not philanthropic here," Kevin said along the way. "I could see us getting into it and the lady saying I didn't have to pay." We found a bank. "You're a fucking idiot," I said.
After collecting the dirty money, we walked back to the parlor, met Dirk, and walked in. A pretty foxy receptionist waved us forward. "Are you members?" she asked. Two of us were wearing what we wore the night before. We all smelled like trunk liquor. No, we were not members. "No."
"Have you been here before?" she asked.
"Okay, it's $100 not including tip. Please head to the locker room on your right."
The lockerrom was at the end of long hallway. As I walked down it, I had the scene from "Rush Hour" stuck in my head—the one where Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have their pick of like 30 smoking hot Asian women but then have to go through a kickass gun fight first. That was definitely going to happen to us.
Instead, we walked in and were greeted by a 300-pound hairy fat man bending over and exposing his asshole. I understand why the grossly obese don't give a shit and walk around locker rooms ass naked, but it's still always a shock to walk into that sight. "Whooaa, Jesus!" I yelled.
A squat Latina woman stood in the locker room. She handed us keys and told us to undress. We did. I had the key beside the Tony Siragusa look-a-like. Fuck. I undressed, puked a little of the previous night's Crown in my mouth and walked into a shower room. More fat dudes. We weren't totally sure what to do while in there—there was a sauna beside the showers and a bench at the back of the room with a couple of older Bros sitting on it, so we went to the sauna for a bit, then deduced that the bench must have been a waiting area for the massages. One by one, each of us almost passed out from what I guess lesser people would call "dehydration." Honestly, I was starting to see double. We watched as the guys on the bench were led into another room, then we headed to the unoccupied area. My legs felt like I had just squatted Khloe Kardashian.
I was called in first. That same squat Latina woman, who spoke no English, took off my towel. I was a little perplexed by this development. This wasn't the massage part, right? This was not the Lucy Liu that I had been told to expect! I was in a tiled room with a disgusting rubber bed and an industrial strength hose in the middle of the floor. It looked like the setting for a "Saw" movie. It wasn't a place where "full satisfaction is guaranteed."
She pointed at me to lie down and began throwing warm water on me. Then she told me to flip and proceeded to do the same for the front. After what felt like 15 minutes she pointed at me to stand, and dried me off (Including the balls, which I thought was a nice touch). I put on a robe and opened the door, walking away pretty much convinced I had contracted syphilis from the rubber mat and wholly convinced that was the weirdest moment of my life.
I walked down this candlelit hallway to where an Asian lady stood at the end. "Hello, how are you?" she said. She was probably mid-30's, but not unattractive. "I'm okay," I said, still kind of in a daze from what had just occurred in the shower room and still, I remembered, really, really fucking hung over.
She grabbed me by the hand. "My name is Jasmine," she said. "Sure it is!" I said. We walked up the stairs and into a massage room.
Her English was awful, but I'm not going to write out what she said in broken English because let's avoid the racism. Instead, this is what I think she was trying to say:
"Have you been here before?"
"Have you gotten a massage before?"
"Once, when I was a kid on a cruise with my parents."
"Was it a happy massage?"
"If you mean by that what I think you mean, no, it was not a happy massage."
"Okay, we'll have a good massage. Do you have any problem areas?"
"I'd really prefer if you just didn't touch the stomach area."
"Okay, sorry it hurts. Lie down please."
I did. She began by going at my back, hitting the nerve areas nicely and generally giving something that could be construed as a professional massage. She kind of kept going back to the ass, though. She'd massage the top, and then hit the ass. Massage the left arm. Then hit the ass. The right arm, then the ass. It was excessive and, frankly, unprofessional. The technique was from a porn flick. Who are we kidding. I wasn't complaining.
What she did really well, though, and after conferring with my two Bros afterward, did well for everyone, was this sort of tickle thing she did on our feet. It may have been an ancient traditional method, I'm not sure. But it did the job.
"Okay, turn over, please."
I did, not really making an attempt to hide what the tickle thing had done under the towel.
"You're very strong. Great body," she said.
I looked down at my beer gut and generally unimpressive body. "Why thank you," I said.
"May I?" she asked.
"I... don't... What?"
I think I looked very confused. She began vigorously pointing at my schlong. "MAY I?"
"Oh, yeah, yeah, definitely. Please."
She put on classical music (a strange touch), then pumped about 65 ounces of lotion on her hands. And she went at it. And I am not ashamed to admit I lasted as long as a kid on prom night. It was glorious.
"OHHH baby fly! Very strong!" she said.
I laid back and looked up. Like most men post-orgasm, I now really wanted to get the fuck out of the massage parlor. But she wasn't done. After going to wash her hands, she kept the massage going on my shoulders, then did a head massage which, in hindsight, was disgusting. Finally, the hour was up.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" Jasmine asked.
"Uh... well, yeah." I said.
"Okay, this is our little secret," she said.
"Yes. Yes, it is, Jasmine."
I walked back down the locker room. Dirk and Kevin were there. We sort of avoided eye contact, dressed, and got back on the subway. Smushed beside a crowd of people, a girl struck up a conversation with me about the upcoming hurricane. Then she stopped. "Hey, what kind of lotion are you wearing?" she said. "It smells good."