Why you should never get a Thai massage

You are on holidays and all you want to do is relax, chill out and unwind. You’re in Thailand, cruising the streets through Phuket or Bangkok (most probably) whilst getting hassled by various amounts of masseuse’s lingering out the front of their parlors. To which you think, oh yea sure, a massage, why not? It’s cheap and it will certainly put me into holiday mode, right.Wrong.
I don’t want to ruin your holiday, although I do want you to be aware of what to expect.
thai massage
CC by Peter Meyer

As I was visiting Thailand I longed for a calming traditional Thai massage. However, after receiving one in Phuket I was terribly disappointed and let down.

I was with 3 mates when we eventually decided upon a massage parlor that we “thought” was decent.  Walking in each masseuse came and swept us away to their cubical of curtains. I lay on the table and the massage begun. I was totally relaxed, enjoying my massage and even had one of those moments where you think. “Yea this is great, this is the high life and I should be treating myself to this more often”And that’s when it all started to go pear shaped. I was laying there in total relaxation when this old Thai lady slid her rough wrinkly hands under the miniature towel provided and started to touch me. Yea you read right, she grabbed my penis. I promptly batted her hands off and firmly said “No, no, no just the massage” in clear and precise English, to which I knew she understood. But however, business is business and it was time for her to earn some real money. She persisted to which I became quite defensive and had to physically stop her from groping me.

Again she started to make another opportunity for her to “earn some extra cash” and I again shut her down and told her uncompromisingly, NO! She continued on with the massage as she soon realized I wasn’t the client to be getting a happy ending or to be taken out the back to the“bang, bang room” which she suggested before I quickly shut her down.  After all of what I put up with, the whole massage was totally un-enjoyable due to me worrying that she would spark up more opportunities.

Thai massage
CC by Peter Meyer
For some time now I have put off writing this post. But in writing this and swallowing my pride of being violated. I know I can help to make more people aware of what to expect from a massage in Thailand.
After telling my story of violation to more and more people along my travels, I was informed by a few travellers about their Thailand horror massage stories too. I’m actually amazed at the amount of people who have been in the same situation and even worse.
I also read a killer article from Lauren at Never Ending Footsteps about her poor violation story. It seems that this just doesn’t happen to men but also women. To make matters worse a great friend of mine (who is male by the way) got a massage in Bangkok and he too was violated and touched by  male masseuse!
Now being a heterosexual male, if that doesn’t make you cringe at the thought of a Thai massage in Thailand I don’t know what would.
I understand that this is a 3rd world country and each and every day they struggle for money. I can comprehend why they do this and persist upon it, because in the end they need to feed their families. It is also no help that there are a lot of people (mainly men) who go to Thailand for the sole purpose of the sex trade.
So if you are travelling into/through Thailand and are thinking about getting a massage. Be careful where you choose to go. Don’t look for the cheapest deal; instead look for a more professional parlor where your chances of “funny business” are less likely to occur.
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