“Sex Definitely Happens There”

Spoiler – this has no photos. You’ll see why.

We had no plans on one day, and after an early brunch, Gem and I were driving around, trying to figure out something to do before the Cardboard Regatta at noon, when Gem suddenly said she could go for a massage.

“You know, one of those Asian nail places that give you a shoulder massage while you’re getting your nails done. Let’s find one.”

A little Google Mapping and a few minutes later, we found several places that either didn’t offer massages or have any openings for hours. We resolved to finding an actual massage place, and we identified a business close to my parents’ house that seemed to be exactly what we were looking for.

It’s at this point that you will have to use your imagination, because we could not take photos. We also could not get out of there fast enough.

We parked and walked into the massage parlor. Eyebrow-raise #1 was not such a big deal.  The windows were tinted at maybe 10%, but then again, this isn’t a huge shock because it’s Florida, and they are trying to keep things cool, right?  Eyebrow-raise #2 came when we took a look around the lobby. It looked a lot “nicer” than the $15, 30-minute massage place we’d expected. The walls were a darker purple, the curtains were heavy dark velvet, and there was fake marble. Then, we saw that there was a menu of services and prices on the counter. They were asking for $80 for a 60-minute massage…something is off here?

Then, the true nature of this massage parlor revealed itself.  (If you haven’t guessed by now, you are as naïve as we were.)

Two women came out from a side room where they’d been chattering in an unidentifiable Southeast Asian language (Thai?), and a third relaxed on the couch in the side room, trying to hear what we were saying. Gem and I had saucers for eyes. We weren’t exactly what to make of it.

One woman was an Asian-50s, – still looking good, but definitely older. She was wearing an electric blue romper, with her biddies pushed up till they were coming out of her neck, and her entire cleavage was visible. She had full makeup, big earrings, her hair was done, and her nails were long. The other girl was younger, about 5’11”, in giant heels, and had on lace boyshorts and a bright orange tank top that left absolutely nothing to the imagination.

The older woman (we’ll call her Blue) wanted to know if we wanted a massage, and started quoting us prices that were $10 off the advertised price. The younger one looked us up and down. Gem and I are both under 5’2”, and we were not dressed for the occasion – we were not wearing makeup, we were just looking for a diversion before heading to the beach where we would inevitably get rained on, and we were tired.
Blue kept trying to sell us on their services, and I was trying to make excuses that it was getting late, and we needed to get back to the other side of town for the Cardboard Regatta. Gem stood there, frozen. The woman on the couch got up, and Gem noticed a hula hoop in the other room where she was sitting.

After a bit more of polite, then earnest declining, Gem and I went for the door, and Gem couldn’t get out of there fast enough. As we power-walked to the car, Gem said, “Sex definitely happens there.”

Editor’s note: After some research, the owner of the massage parlor was indeed arrested for prostitution in 2010. Then we found a rave review from a month prior, where a single dad took his two girls and they all got massages. Take that for what you will.


Great Sexpectations

this entry is for anna, who so desperately loves these xanga updates…

after a long conversation about an otherwise taboo topic with a friend of the opposite sex (let’s call him adam), i began to think about our situation in society. we touched upon several ideas, going back and forth, until finally, i decided to take a leaf out of carrie bradshaw’s book and ask a pertinent, but often difficult question: are we sluts?

first, i think we have to define what a “slut” is. defines it as “1. a woman who is sexually promiscuous, 2. a woman prostitute, or 3. a slovenly woman; a slattern.” on the streets, we define it several ways: a girl who is sexually promiscuous (including but not limited to intercourse, oral sex, and other kinky variations of sexual pleasure), a girl who flirts overly and openly, or a girl we don’t like.

first, since i mentioned carrie bradshaw, “sex and the city” is a perfect example. if you have been living under a rock for the past seven years, it’s about a sex columnist and her three best girl friends who live in new york city, and it chronicles their ups and downs as women, lovers, professionals, and friends. the images it portrays is are a bit confusing, however. carrie cheats on aiden with big, and is upset when aiden doesn’t want to have sex in the first week; samantha sleeps with anything that has a penis, miranda makes a list in one episode and it totals 37; and charlotte, even though she gets married, has experiences with several men before trey. and the ladies of this show are hot, sexy, glamorous, and wonderful, but what image are they portraying? don’t get me wrong, i love this show. i watch it religiously, and i completely agree with many things on it. but one thing puzzles me: is it supposed to be liberating women, opening them up to sexual freedom? or does it justify having sex with the cute guy down the hall…and the guy from the restaurant…and the guy from the laundromat…

this brings me to my next question: what is the cutoff for being labeled “slut?” miranda has had 37 people, someone i know personally has had over 40…and some girls are called sluts if it’s more than two. so where is it? three? six? fifteen? and where is the line for “sexual promiscuity?” is it with making out? wandering hands? some form of sex? girls who are affectionate and flirtatious and receive ample attention from the male gender are also called sluts. i was called a slut for hugging and kissing a group of friends hello…but they were only friends…and i’m italian, for crying out loud!

let’s now attack the third street definition. a girl we don’t like. some girls are called a slut by many people they go to and goes to school with. not because they’ve had slept with many people, but because a) they are promiscuous in other ways, and b) they are obsessed with themselves, so it makes them seem confident and attract a steady amount attention from guys (whether or not it’s the right type of attention). so for reason “b” alone, other girls don’t like them. and reason “a” fuels the justification of them being sluts. those girls are probably subjected to names like “slutbag,” “slutface,” and the like. however, whether or not they actually ARE sluts doesn’t matter as much as the fact that a) they put out that impression, and b) other girls don’t like them.

going back to my conversations with “adam,” my slutty-ness is defined by him as hooking up (no sex) with an undisclosed number of gentlemen during my freshman year of college, even though his deeds far outweigh mine on the slut spectrum. so why is it ok for “adam” to have those on his list as accomplishments, while mine seem to be something i have to hide. further, why do men believe that women lie about the number of men they’ve slept with, by the rule of three? it’s not a secret; if i’m ever asked, i will say, “i have had sex with x people,” not “i have had sex with 3x^5-4+(15x+3) people.” it’s sex, not calculus, people. i don’t want my future lovers to be the result of an algebraic equation. if i lie, people don’t believe me. if i tell the truth, i’m automatically a slut, even though there are girls with a much larger undisclosed number of gentlemen, with a larger range of deeds (including ones that have not made it on my list), and yet they are “such nice girls.”

i guess being a slut is something that i just don’t understand. fighting the stereoptye and judgements are things that we all have to do, but i don’t think we should fight if we don’t know the reasons behind it. it looks like we’re doomed to be labeled as sluts no matter what we do…or don’t do, for that matter…it’s an uphill battle, but as long as we’re going to be labeled, we might as well have some fun with it and kiss some frogs, no?