“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

Opt-in to the Shannon Colleary Communiqué to have both the Funny & the Wise delivered to your inbox weekly!

I Went in for a Massage and Might Have had a Happy Ending (London)

happy ending massage

I can massage my own breasts, thank you!

It began with sore feet.

I was chaperoning my daughter Bridget on a theater/drama trip in London last week.

A trip I wanted her to take so I could go to London and see five West End shows and make the trek to the Mothership; the one out of only two Boden clothing stores in existence. (Since they won’t let me be an affiliate due to my apparently pornographic site.)

But there would be a price to pay.

I’d walked hundreds of miles through subway undergrounds and climbed thousands of steps in these pursuits and my feet and back were killing me.

So one afternoon, with a few hours on my own, I thought, “I wonder if there are massage parlors in London? Specifically in Chinatown?” where I happened to find myself.

I googled. Look at that! Ten massage parlors all within a four-block radius. Hmm. A bit odd there are so many, but okay. Let’s take care of these throbbing feet and knotted calves.

Finishing off my 300th hot-cross bun, washed down with Guinness, I entered a sort of nondescript parlor beneath a sign with the words MASSAGE illuminated in neon red lights.

Inside there appeared to be rows of Chinese herbs in boxes behind the front desk where a slightly spacey, matronly redhead in a white doctor’s smock presided. The place reminded me a little of the no-frills acupuncture school I sometimes visit in Venice at home in California.

I asked the receptionist, who I’ll call Red, if it would be possible to get a 45-minute massage right then. Red said yes, then picked up her cell phone and called someone.

I thought it was a little rude that she’d make a personal call with a customer present, but it became apparent Red had called an outside contractor when, a few seconds later, the front door burst open to reveal a 4′ 10″ Asian woman in a black duffle coat and black knee-high boots bearing the brisk, efficient manner of a drill sergeant.

She marched in, shooting Red a curt nod, then turned to me. Without looking me in the eye she said, “Come with me for massage, darlink.”

Her demeanor and her voice were completely at odds. The first clinical and imperious, the second purring and kittenish. She stomped right past me and down a flight of stairs.

A bit startled and confused I glanced at Red. “Yes, yes,” she nodded, her smile strangely off, “follow Shimura below.”

For a fleeting moment the words HAPPY ENDING MASSAGE flashed across my brain pan as neon-red as the sign outside.

I shook them off. I’m a woman. I thought. No one’s going to offer me a happy ending. Also, isn’t it racist to suspect an Asian masseuse is a sex worker? You’re not a grunt on leave in Hanoi, Shannon. Very un-PC and racial profile-y. You’re better than that!

Chiding myself, I descended the narrow staircase behind the 4′ 9″ masseuse, thinking it would be a perfect place for Sid Vicious to shoot up. Then I followed Shimura into a room the size of Harry Potters’ cupboard beneath the stairs.

I felt relieved to see a standard-issue massage table with the appropriate trimmings of paper and cloth sheets. Why was I so paranoid? I asked Shimura if I should remove all of my clothes. “It up to you, darlink,” she said, then stepped out. Another good sign, she didn’t care if I left my clothes on or took them off because this was not a happy ending den of iniquity!

I shucked my garments and slid safely betwixt the bedding, face down. Shimura reentered, snapping her ipod into a stand, the requisite shimmery, yogic music began and I relaxed.

Shimura began massaging my neck, shoulders and spine. Her technique left something to be desired. She seemed distracted and uninspired, but I’d had worse. That’s when she asked, “Would you like leg and buttock, darlink?”

“Yes,” I said, expecting her to delicately fold the sheet in half and tuck it under one leg for modesty’s sake.

Thwackah!

This was the sound of the 4′ 6′ Shimura whipping both sheets off of me like a magician revealing the fact he’s made his assistant disappear. Except, in my case, revealing my entirely naked, and now clenched, ass.

Was this normal? Did everyone here have entirely exposed buttocks for their butt massage? Maybe this was like that Korean spa on Western where thickset Korean women with arms like tree trucks flay your entirely naked body with sea salt before they hose you down like fish on a wharf? I’m sure this is just like that and is totally not a happy ending …

That’s when Shimura began tickling me. Tickling! WTF?

Her fingers were like a thousand tiny butterflies moving from my shoulders, down my back, over my now blushing butt, down to my toes and back again.

And was I imagining it? Or did one of her fingers actually flutter right into the crack of my ass? They were moving so quickly I couldn’t entirely be sure. But I was pretty sure. Perhaps embarrassment had made my fanny go numb?

I wanted to get my sheets back and cover up, but I didn’t want to offend Shimura by seeming to think she was a prostitute who’d clinically given God knows how many Happy Endings to any number of darlinks that very day, bouncing back and forth between all ten of the massage parlors in this apparent Red Light District.

But maybe tickling is a type of massage in some cultures and slightly grazing my blameless anus was an accident? (This was making the Breast Expert With Vertigo incident seem like a Sunday brunch!)

Before I could ruminate further it was time to flip over onto my back and I was able to retrieve my sheet and yank it up over me. I tried not to be too obvious about clutching it against my chest like a virgin on her wedding night to an evil Majarajah.

Shimura began to massage my feet. Very unobtrusive. Just toes, then the arch of the foot, moving up to the ankles, the calves, the …

FLOOSH.

This was the sound of the 4′ 1″ Shimura throwing my sheet up, exposing me from the waist down as she began to work on my thighs. Had I been a man my testicles would’ve retracted, quaking with terror, into my stomach.

I clenched my lady garden against intrusion and over the course of my lower extremities massage kept trying to cover myself. But Shimura just kept pushing the sheet up in what can only be described as an irritated fashion.

Let it be over. Please let it be over. Please. Oh thank God. Shimura was done with my lower body and it was almost certain I was not pregnant.

I pushed the sheet back into place. All that was left were my arms. How much trouble could one get into with just the arms?

“Darlink,” said the 3′ 8″ Shimura, “Some ladies like me massage their breasts. Shall I massage your breasts, darlink?”

Some of the ladies like her to massage their breasts?

So I ask you this, gentle reader, was I, or was I not in a Happy Endings massage parlor? I’m still not entirely certain, because perhaps breasts do need to be massaged from time to time? Perhaps there are muscles in breasts that get sore?

All I know is that my breasts declined the 3′ 5″ Shimura’s offer. Even so, I over-tipped her and slunk out the door like the rest of the johns.

If you liked this article you’re going to love Shannon’s book, “Married Sex: Fact & Fiction.” You can order it HERE!


Tags assigned to this article:
happy ending massageLondon

28 comments

Write a comment
  1. Minikat
    Minikat 6 April, 2015, 11:19

    Butterfly fingers? Every Asian massage I have ever had was a mauling where you cry and try not to scream. It’s great for your sore muscles…afterwards.
    You should have gotten the boobs as well, because that definitely sounds like a happy 😉

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 6 April, 2015, 11:30

      Minikat, as a journalist I feel I let myself down not getting the boobs done. Sigh.

      Reply this comment
  2. Reticula
    Reticula 6 April, 2015, 11:34

    I’m in brutally honest mode today, so I’m going to give you my honest answer. I would have told her to go ahead. Massages (except the ones from the massage therapist I dated for a while) always leave me feeling a little …. undone. Unfinished. My last massage was wonderful, done by a blind, gay man named Larry. How much more perfect can you get? Except that he didn’t massage my lowest back, where I get a lot of tension and, yes, I’ll admit it. My butt muscles could have used a rub. And he rubbed my arms, but my entire front torso was left cold and lonely. I wish he’d hit every muscle on my body, except my vagina. I would have left purring and complete. Alas, I wasn’t about to ask him and he was as proper as a blind, gay massage therapist could be.

    Great story, btw. Next time give the girls a treat. 😉

    Reply this comment
  3. Parri (Her Royal Thighness)
    Parri (Her Royal Thighness) 7 April, 2015, 08:23

    OMG, this was HILARIOUS! Thank you so much for the laugh!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 7 April, 2015, 12:50

      Parri — so glad I could provide some levity! (Even at my bottom’s expense).

      Reply this comment
  4. Tam Warner Minton
    Tam Warner Minton 8 April, 2015, 11:57

    Next time try the Dorchester. This is hilarious! Yes, dahlink, I think all you had to do is ask and you would have had a very happy ending!

    Reply this comment
  5. KymberlyFunFit
    KymberlyFunFit 8 April, 2015, 12:14

    Darliiink, I think my sister had that same massage with even more probing and uncomfortable maneuverings. Alas. Nothing like a massage that unrelaxes you. Even worse is not getting approved as an affiliate. Don’t they know how popular you and your site are?

    Reply this comment
  6. Doug
    Doug 8 April, 2015, 12:31

    Reminded my of a stopover in Ensenada Mexico where I was approached by a couple of different guys asking if I wanted a massage. Pretty sure, based on one more extended conversation, they would have ended up as a happy ending massage. But, I will never know for sure.

    Reply this comment
  7. Michael
    Michael 8 April, 2015, 20:46

    Interesting. I am a massage therapist, and have had massage in at least 8 countries. I would have been intrigued by the session you described. I agree with the comment that oriental massage is typically very intense, and leaves you sore.

    FYI, I have done breast massage for women in some situations, but don’t normally, and don’t suggest it to clients in general because in our culture it is considered to be sexual, and I am not a sex worker.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 April, 2015, 07:46

      Hi Michael — the thing that was troubling was how absolutely un-good the massage part was. She didn’t seem to really be a masseuse. Although I must admit that she was a good tickler! (minus the part where I couldn’t relax)

      Reply this comment
  8. Kate
    Kate 8 April, 2015, 21:21

    Seriously – next time go the happy ending – okay – maybe not – but in Europe it is not unusual to have your butt massaged and your stomach/chest/boobs – I live in Hong Kong and it’s not unusual here either, although they usually ask and they are a lot more careful with their towels – happy endings on the other hand are a little harder to find…. lol

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 April, 2015, 07:48

      Kate, everyone seems to’ve heard of breast massages as normal. Apparently I’ve been too cloistered all of my life!

      Reply this comment
  9. Jonathan
    Jonathan 21 May, 2015, 09:10

    Of course you were in an extra services massage outlet. I made a walking tour of about 25 massage outlets here in San Rafael, California, about a year ago. Some of them were not extra service outlets. Your experience of the sheet being whipped off is quite common in the outlets which proffer extra services, as well as their employees only being Asian women. Three things strike me about your experience: first, you could have told the practitioner to stop at any point or to not touch you in the crack of your ass. That being said, it’s interesting that you could not tell what part of your body she was touching. Last thing: that she asked you if you wanted a breast massage is similar to the women in the extra services outlets to asking the client (not the “john,” by the way) if they want hand, oral, or everything by using hand signals, along with stated escalating prices matching each involvement. I just wonder how much she would have charged for a breast massage.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 21 May, 2015, 11:08

      Jonathan thanks for this information! But where do I learn the “hand signals”? Is there a cheat sheet like they use in baseball?

      Reply this comment
  10. tumbellina
    tumbellina 3 June, 2015, 01:31

    You went for a massage at a place with a neon red light located in Chinatown. If you have any familiarity with the geography of London, or if you look at a map, you will realise that Chinatown is adjacent, oft considered part of, Soho. Soho has been the centre of London’s sex industry for a couple of centuries.

    Reply this comment
  11. arash
    arash 17 August, 2015, 01:58

    Shannon I think you didn’t have enough scientific information about variety kinds of massage before applying to get massage.
    actually I’m a professional massager and I want to let you know that really concept of massage refers to whole body massage even your breast, vagina and ass hole! because scientifically, relaxation as a final result of massage can be happen merely via full body massage and full body massage means every point of your body from head to toy. therefore part body massage normally is just entertainment.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 17 August, 2015, 11:37

      Arash thank you for this information!! I think I may just have to coach my husband in the full body massage. He bought me a massage table for mother’s day so he’s going to have to anti-up! The poor lad.

      Reply this comment
      • arash
        arash 17 August, 2015, 21:37

        great!! its the best way to get best massage. actually I believe the best and most useful &effective full body massage can be given by the partner (husband or wife): ofcourse I mean scientifically massage. that is why normally I recommend to my client if they have a partner who knows how to massage its better to ask him/her to give massage.
        have a good massage on your new massage table!

        Reply this comment
  12. Nufsaid
    Nufsaid 21 October, 2015, 13:42

    Hi Shannon,

    I’m a massage therapist as well living in southern California. 90% of my clients are white women. Before I begin a massage I always share with them that based on their level of comfort, I try to massage the entire length of the muscle. On the leg, it doesn’t stop mid thigh. The muscle connects into the hip. But, I only go as far as their comfort allows me. Same with the glutes or the butt. The butt is nothing but a muscle (No pun intended). To avoid it is a disservice. But, again, it’s to the level of comfort for the client. It’s really about intent. I only intend to provide a very therapeutic massage. If the client experiences a little more during it, then that’s on them, and I don’t mind. My clients keep coming back though.

    Nufsaid!

    Reply this comment
  13. Nudiespa
    Nudiespa 21 June, 2016, 12:01

    omg you just turned me on!

    Reply this comment
  14. Feema
    Feema 16 August, 2016, 05:10

    Of course it was a happy ending massage. If it rubs like an erotic massage therapist, talks like an erotic massage therapist, has a neon sign like an erotic massage therapist, is in SOHO like an erotic massage therapist, I’m afraid it’s most definitely an erotic massage therapist.

    And I’m sorry but I think you well knew that 2’5″ Samarunia would have dearly loved to tickle you inside and out.

    Reply this comment
  15. Cheryl
    Cheryl 20 March, 2017, 05:34

    Would like a masssage this morning

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*