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 inappropriate 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 re-entered, snapping her Ipod into a stand, the requisite shimmery, yogic music began and I relaxed. She 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. One 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 …


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.



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32 thoughts on “I Went in for a Massage and Might Have had a Happy Ending (London)”

  1. 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 😉

    1. Whilst your article brought back images of the most awkward, longing for it to end massage I ever had (and it didn’t include buttocks or breasts!) breast massage is for your lymphatic system – totallly neglected in western cultures and googling for it brought up your article. But I googled “best” hoping to find somewhere clean and glamorous that offered it to ensure there was no confusion with a “happy ending” massage!

  2. 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. 😉

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

      1. The hand signals are obvious: If the masseuse is a woman and the client a man, she may do jack-off motions with her hand, or hold her hand up to her mouth with the jack-off motion (but that one is rare), or put one finger through her other hand’s “hole,” moving it in and out. Every man will know these signs. If the client is a woman, I imagine the masseuse may do the “finger in the hole” sign, or a “tongue in the hole” sign, or “double hand squeeze in the air” sign, or whatever.
        In Thailand, most Thai people speak English pretty good, but most Chinese people there know little to no English. Not sure why this is. So on one of my trips to Thailand, I was in Chinatown, because that is where the hotel I chose online happened to be, and I was approached by a pretty young Chinese woman on the street with a cute little parasol. She didn’t waste any time and immediately started doing the finger in the hole sign, with her head tilted down in a shy manner, barely making any eye contact. I asked her how much, because hey, I’m a man, and she apparently did not understand what I was saying or know how to tell me how much, and I wasn’t about to wait till after the service to get her price, so I said no thanks (with the universal “no thanks” horizontal head-shake sign), and went on my way.
        Thai women who speak English are much more direct with something along the line of “1,000 baht, I f*** you good.” And because I’m a man, thank goodness for condoms. 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

  10. 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.


  11. 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.

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  13. Why can’t a woman just go to a place and have an erotic massage? We need to get ourselves and remove those walls of Puritanism.

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