First thing I will say about a soapy massage is that there is soap involved. So if you are afraid of soap, then this is not for you. (Judging by the smell of half of the people on the subway the other day, this refers to a lot of people!) As for massage… there is some rubbing.
Also, if you are afraid of getting a massage by having a naked woman slide her body all over your naked body, or if you are the type of person that doesn’t enjoy sharing a bath with another human being, then the fact that there is soap involved is probably not going to help.
With all that soap and cleaning, it is somewhat surprising that some people consider a soapy massage as dirty. Go figure. Might be what happens after the massage. There are fluids involved.
Choosing your Masseuse
It is not easy to describe a typical soapy massage as different places do it differently. There are however some aspects to the experience that are universal, such as what happens when you first step inside a soapy massage place. Take for instance Nataree Massage on Ratchadaphisek Road near Huay Khwang subway station. Have you ever gone to a seafood restaurant where they have the live lobsters in a tank at the front, and you pick the one you want? It’s like that: Nataree Massage has a tank, but the lobsters here are women. You still do some choosing. Depending how hungry you are, maybe you will select two of the therapeutic technicians sitting in rows on benches behind the glass wall. It’s more expensive, but what is more fun than taking a bath with two lobsters?
You discuss financial issues with the man at the front desk, and you will end up being 2,000 to 2,800 baht poorer after the discussion. Alternatively you can also choose a sideliner, which is one of the women sitting outside the tank. How they got out, no one knows. The services they provide might be less all encompassing, but it does give you an opportunity to engage in the democratic process by making your own choice. It’s all about democracy.
Then it is Off to a Private Room..
I looked around for a certificate of massage training, and to be perfectly honest, I did not see one. Perhaps she was getting it framed. The rooms at Nataree are pretty shabby from what I’ve seen, but you are probably not there for an interior-decorating lesson. (If you are, it is probably extra.) In the room you will discover a bath, wherein you will be bathed. Your new friend might join you, might not. She might give you a little back rub. Might not. Some places involve an inflatable mattress and body on body massage. Some places the women don’t bother blowing up the mattress, they save their blowing for something else.
After all that tubbing, you are sure to be tired. Fortunately there is a bed nearby, so you can take a nap! I assume that is what it is for.
Other Soapy Massage places in the same area include places like Poseidon, which is more like something out of Las Vegas. And then there is the ‘world famous’ Annies near Nana plaza on Sukhumvit Soi 2, which also offers the over-the-top ‘elegance’ of Las Vegas. The product is the same. Soap.
Come in Later
Although many of these places open at noon, I recommend getting there later, somewhere around 6 pm when all the staff is there, but don’t go too late because I might have been there already and I leave the place a mess! You don’t want to soap in my mess do you?
If you don’t find a therapeutic technician to your liking just leave, there are plenty of other places to choose from, and joints will have plenty of other customers in the night, so they won’t be offended when you walk out.
On your MRT ride home you will be the best smelling guy in the car, so feel free to explain to everyone why you smell so good.