HEAVEN IS A KOREAN-RUN WOMEN'S HEALTH SPA
I've been to the Olympus in Tacoma
before, but Tuesday was my first visit to their newer Lynnwood location
. I went to treat my sister as a birthday present to her (and a gift to myself).
Normally I feel like just BEING there is more than enough luxury and perfection for me, but Cedar decided she wanted to try a body scrub so I figured I should experience it too. As soon as I payed for it I regretted it, wishing I'd bought something I *knew* I'd like (a foot massage, for example) rather than something that sounds so abrasive and potentially painful to hypersensitive little me.
I started getting nervous as our appointment time rolled around, particularly when my sister passed on information from a friend who regularly gets the body scrub and told Cedar that "they really get up in there". Any of you who know me well are aware that I am extremely vigilant about yeast-infection prevention, so I have no desire for anyone to scrub my twat with any foreign cleansers I've not personally pH tested. Cedar scoffed at my concern, shouting in a voice that reverberated in the tile pool room, "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET A *YEAST* INFECTION, TRIXIE." She assured me that the "there" they get so "into" is your ass.
You know how a dog flattens her ears when you scold her or come at her with a thermometer she knows you're going to stick up her butt? That's probably what I looked like. Then the Korean scrubbing ladies started coming out shouting our numbers and chastizing us for not being in the hottest pool or steam room to soften us up for the vigorous cleansing they would be giving us. Frankly, I was getting a little scared and thinking about how the $60 I'd earmarked to be tortured could have been put to much more relaxing use at one of the local massage therapists' with their soothing white voices, aromatherapy, phony Native American flute music playing in the background and diligence in covering and avoiding "private places". The scrub room at the Olympus seemed far from private with tables one right next to another arranged in an L-shape around the border of the pool room. There were walls separating the spaces, but two wide entrances shielded by flimsy bamboo curtains.
I know you're probably surprised to hear that I, a webwhore, feel uncomfortable at the prospect of having my body exposed to and probed by strangers, but I am definitely self-conscious sometimes, especially in new situations. I'm mostly-comfortable with the nudity at the spa, but the prospect of taking it to a whole other almost-medical level made me somewhat anxious. I know this seems bizarre to those of you who have heard how much I want to experience a colonic
, but I haven't actually *done* that. I've only talked about it the way someone talks about wanting to ride the really scary roller coaster and never ever does it. Plus, I didn't go to the spa on Tuesday expecting anyone to "really get up in there", I just went to relax.
My scrubbing girl introduced herself in rehearsed English and told me to let her know if she applied too much pressure. She directed me to lie down on my stomach and within a minute I was TRANSPORTED TO HEAVEN and remained there for forty minutes. I kept my eyes closed nearly the entire time, but I could still see the milk-white tiles of the pool room and scrub room. I could hear the waterfall shooshing into the cold pool and indistinguishable voices echoing pleasantly. And I could FEEL nothing but the proficient scrubby-mitted paws of the scrubbing girl SCRUBBING ME ALL OVER.
With my eyes closed I honestly couldn't tell you exactly what she was doing or how, only that it probably felt otherworldly; I'm sure my feelings don't match up to whatever a casual observer would have seen watching me undergo this cleansing procedure. For example, after a long time of scrubbing every single accessible part of me in four different positions she then coated me with something thick that felt like an aura or inch-thick membrane of half-hardened gelatin. I felt like the fruit in a half-soft jello mold being JIGGLED and STROKED by a boisterous therapeutic jello-testing machine. It felt like she applied this with a delightful electric octopus with very fat tentacles and a four foot diameter, but I know it was just a small plastic shower pouf. At one point during the scrubbing I imagined I would open my eyes to find myself lying in a shallow pool of watery blood as though I'd been brutally sandpapered, but the part I can't convey to you is that this fantasy image was the result of an extremely pleasant warmth all over my body. I can't describe how I associated such a painful-sounding image with such an overall feeling of bliss, but I did (of course there was no blood whatsoever, fyi).
Every so often during the scrub she would efficiently slide her scrubbing hand up and down my asscrack, like her hand was a debit card in an atm machine (my ass) or an envelope (her hand) in a mail-opener (my ass). But her hand would come to life during the swipe and pause to swirl in a quick cleansing motion my ass-machine's special apparatus. It was briefly titillating, yet entirely professional. I know it's disgusting of me, but I enjoyed the fact that my scrubby girl was the youngest and prettiest of the bunch. Make no mistake, though, who submitted to whom and who was in charge: that girl owned me. At one point she put a steamy wet towel on my face, carefully allowing for room for me to breathe, only I wasn't so sure it was enough room and began to panic inside just a little bit, thinking to myself how easy it would be for her to smother me as she pushed on my toweled-over face. I expected at any second she would pinch my nostrils shut just for shits and giggles, but of course she didn't - my anxious imagination was just working overtime and in spite of my paranoia, I WAS STILL IN HEAVEN. Hot, steamy, towel-y heaven. When I told my sister this fleeting fantasy of how easy I thought it would be for my girl to smother me, Cedar firmly reminded me, "IT WOULD NOT BE SO EASY, TRIXIE, BECAUSE THE FIRST THING YOU WOULD DO IS *STRUGGLE* AND FALL OFF THE TABLE." My sister is such a party pooper when it comes to my wild imaginings.
I'm not doing this experience justice, so I'll stop trying now and just say that my entire body is now extremely soft and smooth. God, and I didn't even tell you what she did to my boobs; they were lifted, folded, flopped, rotated, and SCRUBBED at high speed. My body was POLISHED. It was SO FUCKING GOOD! It was interesting, too, the dual feeling of being both regal and totally subordinated while I lay naked, white, flabby and vulnerable on the table. I felt exactly like I imagine a biblical king would have felt, serviced by a well-trained slave who knew she could ruin me but only wanted to do her job.I'm aware as I say these things that there might be some kind of racial component to what made this experience what it was for me. I'm not sure if I should apologize for that or pretend it wasn't like that and remove all reference to those things, but I guess I really can't. I feel like I've said something insensitive but am too dumb to figure out exactly how to fix it. I'm also kind of curious what it would be like to get a body scrub from a, ummmm . . . you know, white-person spa place. I have a feeling they wouldn't do that ass-scrub thing, but I'll probably never find out because why would I waste my money on that when I could have the real thing at the Olympus?
Aside from the spa experience, I had a great visit with my sister and got to spend time with my squishy nephew, too. The next day they walked me to the ferry and we made a blissful summer stroll out if it, stopping in Pioneer Square for a lunch of croissants, coffee and a delicious garlic, sausage and potato soup. I can't believe Mr. Squishypants is starting to talk. He says, for example, tickle. Over and over again. He is also like heaven, but a different part of it than the women's health spa.
Labels: body parts, family, health, Pacific Northwest