Why are Massages so Awkward?

awkward moments massage

One of my very favourite things in life is a massage. But why are massages so – well – awkward?

My local day spa offers a 90-minute destress treatment using NEOM products. It is bliss. There’s a guided meditation and oils and music and it’s guaranteed to make me feel like a new person.

Except – obviously – I’m still me. Pathologically English and a bit socially inept.

So I’m overwhelmed by awkward thoughts during any massage.

From the moment the masseuse tells me to climb on the bed (WHY is the bed so high?) to the moment I feel obliged to drink the stupid plastic cup of cucumber water before I leave, it’s just all a bit – excruciating.

Any of these sound familiar?

I feel like I’m too wide for this bed.

Why doesn’t my body seem to fit on this bed without my arms sliding off?

Is it weird to tuck my thumbs into my pants so my arms don’t flip off and accidentally punch her during the massage?

I should do. Nobody likes a flailing arm.

Great. Now it looks like I’m touching myself.

I can’t breathe out for 11 seconds. It’s not natural.

I love a good guided meditation but I’m asthmatic and this whole, “Breathe in for a count of seven, and breathe out for a count of 11,” just isn’t going to happen.

I’m sorry, I just don’t have that sort of bronchial capacity. 11 seconds? That’s a REALLY long time.

I’ll have to take shallow breaths so the therapist can’t tell I have inadequate lungs.

Please Don’t Massage my Stomach

Bugger. I forgot to tell her not to massage my stomach.

I hate when they do that.

Does anyone like having their stomach massaged? What if she never asks, and then she massages my stomach?


Do I need to Pee?

I don’t need to pee. I did go to the bathroom right before we started. Thank goodness. I’m fine.

I mean, I’m sure it’s fine.

Except now I’ve thought about it, maybe I do need to pee. If I need to pee, I should pee now, before we get into it properly.

Yep. I need to pee.

Oh God, I hate my bladder.

She Could Totally Kill Me Now

That bit where they stand above your head and massage your chest is always worrying.

I mean, if she wanted to she could totally strangle me right now. I wonder if you press too hard there you’d go into cardiac arrest?

Mmm. This is relaxing.

Ouch. That hurts.

Okay it’s hurting. If it still hurts in 20 seconds I’m going to say something. Maybe 25. Definitely if it’s still hurting in 40 seconds I’m going to say something.

“How’s the pressure?” 

“Oh it’s perfect, thanks.” 

I hate myself.

Why is she tucking a towel into my pants?

Ooh, time to turn over. Why does she tuck the towel into my pants?

Which pants am I wearing? Is she judging my pants right now?

I can’t remember what pants I’m wearing. Probably the Wonder Woman ones.

Yep. I’ve got Wonder Woman on my butt.


What do I do with my boobs?

I never know what to do with my boobs when I’m lying on my front.

Where am i supposed to put them? Do I squish them down under me, or out to the side like saddlebags?

Lying on your front is so problematic.

And Now My Nose is Running

Well, that’s just perfect.

How can I relax and be in the moment when I’m wondering if my nose is going to start dripping on the floor?

Maybe I should just try and wipe my nose on the towel. Or should I sniff? Ask for a tissue?

Oh God, that sounded like I snored.

I should say something so she knows I’m awake and just have troublesome sinuses. But then she’ll want to chat.

See? Problematic.

She’s holding my hand

Don’t squeeze back. DO NOT squeeze back.

That would be weird.

Oooh, I love a Head Massage

I do love a head massage that makes you all tingly.

Why is she pinching my eyebrows though? Do I look like I have tense eyebrows?

Is it okay that she’s putting oil in my hair?

Am I going anywhere after this?

Yep. I’m going to a meeting. Awesome.


It’s very hard to relax at the best of times. But can being virtually naked and in close physical contact with a stranger ever NOT be just a bit strange?  Or does this sort of trauma and confusion not happen to normal people?


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