In my defense, I didn’t know that boob massages were a thing. We all hear about those notorious trips to Thailand, but we weren’t in Phuket and I didn’t make a reservation to get Phuked either.
Before I boarded the airplane from Sydney to Denpasar, I imagined that I was about to Eat, Pray, Love the shit out of my life. I expected that maybe I’d have some kind of transformational experience and come back to Western culture with a cool new third eye or something. I could show it off to my friends and be like, “Look at this third eye that I picked up in Bali. Isn’t it so cool? It was kinda expensive and a little painful to get implanted, but totally worth it.”
Let me preface this by saying that going to Bali was an amazing experience. We ate really great food, the views were unreal and met some really lovely Balinese people. But once I got to Bali, I immediately realized one thing and one thing only.
Julia Roberts is full of shit.
There was certainly a lot of eating, but praying? More like partying. And loving? Maybe for the night if you are in Kuta.
The cities thrived on tourism. You could literally throw a rock in any direction and knock out a French person, which I often felt the urge to do.
After doing a few touristy things like exploring the markets and going to the Monkey Forest, I began to feel curious about getting a massage.
Full body massage? What does that even entail? I didn’t know, but I was about to find out.
For starters, you are stripped down bare naked and handed a pair of “disposable underwear,” which look like a hairnet that you cover your muffin up with.
Then a Balinese woman entered stage left and covered me with a cloth-like blanket, essentially wrapping me into a human-sized cocoon.
The massage itself was awesome, but then things got weird. I was asked if I wanted a “stomach massage.” I didn’t know what a stomach massage was, but I assumed that it was a massage on your stomach.
Like the old saying goes, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.
A stomach massage was not a stomach massage. It was a boob massage. A full-on boob massage. I wondered if my boyfriend at the time was getting a stomach massage on his penis, but I was also scared to open my eyes.
In all truth, it felt good. It was a bit humiliating at first, but then I reminded myself that I was a screaming liberal and decided that I was totally okay with this. Free the nipple, I guess.
Next, I was covered in a body scrub, wrapped back up into a cocoon, and abandoned for 20 minutes.
I tried to do some meditating, but all I could think about was that boob massage and how upset I was with Julia.
The Balinese women came back into the room to top us off. They set me in a bathtub, completely naked, except for my totally see through hairnet undies, and started to go to work, slathering me in cold ass yogurt.
My nipples were hard as rocks. I guess they were the only thing that could break the ice between us.
I was feeling so many emotions. The scenery outside was beautiful, the experience was relaxing, and it all felt so good, but WHAT JUST HAPPENED? This was just too much for a first-timer.
Normally if you are covered in yogurt and you’re getting boob massages, there’s some kind of sexual gratification that goes along with this.
The cherry on top was when our masseuse told us that her husband just died. I finally felt comfortable with everything that happened and then I find out home girl is dealing with a broken heart and has two kids to support at home.
A very uncomfortable feeling washed over me, and it wasn’t a yogurt bath.
I’m not sure if she told us that so that we would tip her more, but there was an earnest look in her eye. I felt like an absolute jerk. Here she was rubbing my boobs, just to support her family.
I sipped on my ginger and lemon teas in, what I like to think of as, the shock you enter right before you die.
I still think of her from time to time.