Discovering my Bliss in the Secret World of a Massage Parlors

Leonardo Del Toro
5 min readJan 9


I’m a massage addict, OK, but I have also discovered that getting great massages takes work. And it’s joyful work that involves spending a shit load of money, getting massages, and trying different masseuses. Finding your masseuse is a bit tricky matchmaking exchange because massages are intimate events. The wrong person intimately touching your body in a negatively charged place could produce a concoction of toxic emotions that will penetrate your body and leave a bad taste or worse.

I found my joy in the Chinese masseuse community. And there is a parlor in every corner where I live. They are interesting and dicey places, and some are not real massage places. Most of these young Chinese ladies find it more lucrative to offer happy endings mid-way through their massages. They sell a more expensive service that is faster and easier to perform. But this is a volatile venture for both the doer and the receiver.

And there is a harsher reality about these places. Some of them are associated with human trafficking and forced prostitution. There are police raids in some of them. In my town, however, it appears not to be the case as these places have been there for years with no objections.

I’m far from placing judgment on what two consenting adults decide to engage in privacy. Engaging in prostitution certainly has its price and karma. However, forced prostitution and human trafiking is a horrendous crime that should be punished to the full extent of the law. I just wanted to set that clear.

Back to the masseuses who do not offer happy endings and are legitimate professionals. They might also provide a variety of benign intimate moves to attract and retain their clients. They start sessions with a straight and professional massage, but at some point, they do something funny, like touching your butt sensuously, just a little, or sliding their hands between your legs very close to your balls, just a little. Not exactly trying to invite you for something extra, but just adding a little spice and keeping clients wondering and coming back. Maybe the next time…but it never happens.

But of course, all of that happens because massages are intimate experiences, you go in this cubicle with a beautiful young woman, and you lay naked as she touches all of your body. A massage and a sexual act live in the same neighborhood, only divided by the participants’ intention.

It is a very thin line not to cross but not difficult when the purpose is only to provide healing and wholesome massages. But all peccadillos apart, some real gifts originate from the ancient art of Chinese masseuses.

In my search for a real massage parlor and by pure luck, I found a remarkable place managed by an experienced older lady who tutors and monitors the ladies in the traditional Chinese art of massage. She does not allow shenanigans in the parlor. She fires anyone performing any activity other than massages. The place is kept clean and respectful. It’s a family place. And every dude who walks in there expecting some other things will not be happy in the end.

I’ve frequented this place for years and spent thousands of dollars as a loyal patron. One-hour massages cost only $55 and are far better than other non-Asian places in town that usually average $80. So, I always pay $80 and get the VIP treatment, a win-win deal.

There are two types of masseuses in this place, the good ones, and the even better ones. Among the exquisite is Cindy. And, of course, her name is not Cindy because she is Chinese. She told me her Chinese name once, but I can’t remember. She is a small and strong lady. Her English is good for the basics, unlike others who can’t say many words. But she talks with her hands, which is what I expect from her.

She is serious, and I don’t know what she thinks half the time. I trust her energy 100% because she tells me everything through how she massages me. I can read her as she touches my body.

I get in the room, strip my clothes, and lay prone on the massage table, only covering my butt with a folded sheet. She comes in, covers me, and begins to press the tight parts of my body. She goes exactly where I most need her to go. I can’t figure out how she knows that with such accuracy. But I’ve been getting her massages for years. She knows my body. But the receiver needs to complete some work too.

We need to learn how to relax and establish body communication with our masseuse. There should be a mutual kinship between them. And with time, magic happens. You’ll know the bliss when you feel it. It’s unmistakable.

I never know what she will do, and every massage is different. Sometimes she walks on my back; other times, she uses her elbow. She presses against the knots and dissolves the tension. She knows what I need better than I do. Sometimes she twists my body; she goes up the massage table and presses her knees against my back and butt; other times, she uses the vacuum cups, but that leaves terrible marks on my skin that lasts for weeks. As you can see, I have worked hard for my massage bliss.

Because we should be aiming at enduring bliss. A refreshing bliss that stays with you for days and nourishes a priceless deep sleep. It’s an unmistakable feeling I have increasingly experienced in my massage journeys. Massages are not so much a muscle thing. Spirituality is achieved through knowledge, not only from those who touch us but from us who are being touched.

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Photo by cottonbro studio



Leonardo Del Toro

Top writer in Japan | lead an insurrection for the strange | | #nineamulets