“I gasped as his hand landed firmly but gently on my naked back. Lying on my front chatting to Phil I had been anticipating its arrival but there was no mistaking my mid-sentence intake of breath as he touched me. I tried to remember what I had been talking about as his hand greeted my torso and worked its way around my shoulders and down my spine in warm, stimulating movements…
On and on he worked broad strokes and small strokes, circles and lines, nearly round to my tummy, up to my hairline, my eyes were closed, my breathing slowed, and I allowed myself to be conscious of nothing at all except the ongoing dance of his hands…Down and down his hands worked into the curve of my back, slowly down through my lower back, slower still towards my coccyx. My body ached with anticipation. Were they going to stop there?
Author Jo Ind in her book, Memories of Bliss: God, Sex, and Us begins her book with a vivid recounting of a professional massage she had received. She takes us in the opening pages of her book through this massage she experienced. “Here I am, I thought, with a man I’ve known only for an hour and I’m wearing nothing but a pair of knickers and a few towels—one flick of those towels and I’d be almost starkers with a stranger.”
She was a journalist at the time. She knew of this professional masseur who was paid to give massages to the dancers with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Her curiosity about his work inspired her to do an article about him. She had professional massages in the past but this was the first one with a man.
“He had come in and whisked the towel away from my back, quickly tucking the middle towel into the top of my briefs. Trust and a few inches of delicately poised toweling were all that protected me from almost total exposure. A voice in my head said he would be able to rape me. Another voice told me to trust and relax.
Gradually the fear of rape diminished as Phil repeatedly reached down to the very boundaries we had agreed and then massaged back within them. The more times his hands stuck to the rules, the more my fear was transformed into trust….
I felt warm towards him. In a way I felt cared for. It could be said that Phil was only doing his job, but he had done it well…Perhaps the most pleasing feeling was of a faith being well placed. I risked being vulnerable with him and it was not abused.”
Then she explores this whole professional massage experience with a man addressing a question a friend posed to her afterwards, “But it wasn’t sexual, was it?”