Watch Me Entertain Myself!
Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
My Experience In The Artisen Spa
D and I were invited by one of the owners of The Artisen Spa (who requested anonymity) to try their services. So we went one Saturday late afternoon for a scheduled session.
The Artisen Spa is very easy to find. Travel along Chino Roces, and after you see Shopwise on your right, you turn left on Davila Street. You immediately see SGC Building on your left. Going up the stairs, you immediately see the spa entrance when you reach the second floor.
We were greeted by the two other co-owners of the spa, who explained their philosophy as stated in their tagline: “Experience the art of massage.” If massage is an art, then their masseurs are artists. In fact, they don’t call them masseurs; they’re artisans. (By the way, they have 8 male and 8 female artisans, so you can choose which gender you prefer to be rubbing your body.) And true to their philosophy, these artisans treat each client as distinct individuals, with their unique likes and needs. I liked it that they ask clients to fill up a sheet at the start, where clients can specify the kind of massage they want, which parts of the body they want the artisans to give added attention and pampering, what kind of oil they prefer, etc.
D and I eagerly filled up our forms, excited for our massage. Then we were introduced to our masse—erm, our artisans: Mark for D and Yves for me. Mark is the more mestizohin type, while Yves is the duskier and bulkier of the two. After our artisans washed our feet, D and I went to our separate cubicles.
I’m not a big fan of massages, and I told Yves that. That’s why I opted for medium instead of hard massage. Yves was very good; not only did he follow my instructions (both verbal and written), he also took time out to announce and explain what he was about to do. And since I’m the inquisitive type, he also patiently answered my queries. I especially had a lot of questions regarding the hot pads that he used on me, as well as the device he used to massage my feet.
Given that I was invited, I naturally put aside any thoughts of hanky-panky; plus, given the spa’s interiors, ambiance, and the fact that they have co-ed staff members, it felt like a place where no ES (“extra service”) was allowed. So when Yves took off his shirt at the start, I thought, “Oh, I guess he doesn’t want to get all sweaty in his work clothes.” As he was expertly moving his hands all over my body, I noticed that he didn’t hesitate to let his fingers move near sensitive areas (well, I did leave the portion “Area of the body you don’t want to be touched” in the form blank). But after a light brush here and a near miss there, I started to wonder, “Is he trying to get a rise out of me?” But I told myself, “Oh, behave, behaaaaaave!” Luckily at my age, my body can follow my instructions. So when Yves flipped me over onto my back, I was quite behaved and relaxed.
I took time to ask Yves some personal questions as well (he’s from Bacolod, he says he’s just 25 years old and single, he’s worked in two spas before). He was very friendly, and struck the right balance of sounding engaged in the conversation but still focused on his primary task. At least he didn’t seem like a disinterested worker—I guess he likes his job.
Afterwards, D & I met up again in the lobby. D was smiling, and whispered to me that the massage Mark gave him was excellent: “Tanggal yung sakit ng katawan ko!” Thanking the owners profusely, we left the spa smiling and happy.
In the car on our way to dinner, D and I exchanged notes. I told D about Yves’ sensual strokes. D said, “You know, Mark also did that to me! But I kept quiet because I didn’t have my wallet with me, hahaha!”
“Do you think if you asked for ES, he would have offered?”
D thought for a moment then said, “I really don’t know. Hindi ko talaga inisip yun, kasi wala naman akong dalang pambabayad! Mabibitin lang ako if ever, hahaha.”
So now, dear readers, if you are the more adventurous type who loves exploring new massage places in the metro, here’s a perfect opportunity for you. Try out The Artisen Spa, and find out what D and I may (or may not) have missed.