September 23, 2006

I have written a few articles on finding a therapist over the past couple of years. When one is out of town, it can be quite hard to put those suggestions into practice, as I found out in Las Vegas.

With the long plane trip out here, and working in odd positions on the floor during the Unwinding classes, my back has been in pain. I initially talked with one of the people in the class who happened to be a local massage therapist about getting work, but she really didn’t seem interested. I felt it would be better to find a quality therapist in the classes I was taking instead of going to the phone book. But, since the only local person wasn’t interested, I did just that.

I was amazed at how many pages of ads there were, and how many big ads there were. But as I started going through them, it became clear how they could afford full page ads. 

Starting off the category in the yellow pages were ads for ‘Hot Asians’. Ooook. These were followed by more Hot Asians and then College Cuties, and Bikini Massage (where the therapist dresses only in a bikini if you hadn’t figured that out). The more I looked, the more like this I saw and the further and further away it got from what I was actually looking for. After all, I wanted massage, not sex. I really don’t care if my therapist is Asian, European, Transylvanian, or just plain old American. I really didn’t care if they were among the college cuties or the working uglies. And I would expect to find someone wearing the proper attire (and a bikini is not it). 

I even saw several ads that offered Tantric Massage. (Tantra is perceived as being an artful technique for enhancing sexual pleasure. It is also a common conception that it encourages free sex as a path to divine bliss. from Get the idea? I did, and it was not what I was looking for.

Just about all of them proclaimed to be licensed, but I don’t know if that was simply a local business license or an actual state massage license they were talking about. All too many advertised ‘full service massage’. Uhhh. Ooook. 

I finally tracked down some ads that I thought were legitimate, and made some phone calls. Many of them were answered by someone saying nothing more than ‘hello’, and too many of those could barely speak English. I called one, and when she answered, I asked how much for a one-hour massage. She says “Let me call you back on my private line.” “You can’t just tell me how much it is for a session?” “I have to call you back on my private line.” Uhhh... no thank you. 

Many of the people I reached asked if I was local or at a hotel. When I said I was at a hotel, they told me the price was $150. One actually quoted me $300. When I turned her down, she asked “Isn’t it worth it to be massaged by a beautiful woman?” Frankly, for $300 I would expect more than a massage, if I was in the market that is. I mean, what kind of massage costs $300? Well, maybe there are those if you go to a physical therapist. But I got the feeling that she wasn’t a physical therapist.

I can see where the rates would be higher to outcalls in hotels as they expect most of these people to be in the high end resorts. I was paying about $100 a night, but that was the reduced class rate. 

I finally found one that quoted me $60 for an outcall, a price I felt was low. But then she said that the girls liked tips. Uh huh. She then asked whether I was looking for a relaxation massage or something therapeutic. When I asked the difference, she told me that the therapeutic massage was on sale for the same price but it was more sensual. Hmmm, that’s not how I would define therapeutic. In fact I do therapeutic massage, and I certainly wouldn’t call it sensual. This girl went on to tell me that for $200 she could get me just the right girl. Thank you, no.

The idea of going out somewhere looked just as bleak as I had passed several spas and massage establishments in my travels. I seriously would have thought I would come home with some disease if I went in any of them. 

I really never thought that it would be so difficult to simply get a massage at a reasonable price. I guess in that town, sex sells. And I also guess that it is they only thing they offer. 

Consequently, I did not get a massage. I will simply have to wait until I get home. But just the research was truly an experience.