Escape the Drape

A reflection on naturist massage

Some people leave their underwear on, or their bra. Socks. Wristwatch, even. That’s just sad. If you’re receiving a massage, especially a full-body massage, it’s only your hang-ups about modesty and shame that keep you from uncovering your full body. Better to get those wrist-pinching, calf-scoring, back-branding objects away from your body and just relax.
If you are one of an unfortunately vast number of people who have been conditioned to think that nudity is shameful or immodest, you can at least find relief in the knowledge that the massage therapist is going to DRAPE you (and yet there are still those who will stay bra-and-pantied or briefed.) Oh so carefully, the massage therapist must be hanging the DRAPERY. The DRAPED massage is all about carefully swaddling certain parts of your anatomy, lest they be exposed to… anything whatsoever, apparently. This means that a lot of the therapist’s time and attention must go to the DRAPING of buttocks or breasts or what-have-you. Seriously, what do you have that so badly needs DRAPING? Sayeth the DRAPERS, “Let us all be protected from ourselves. Let us all be protected from each other.”

Wouldn’t want to be letting any “moon”light into view. Buttocks: windows of the soul. Who knew?

So you’re lying face down and you tell the therapist that sometimes you’ve suffered from sciatica. Oh, I know just want to do, says the therapist. And so she presses along your back, just to the right of your spine, traveling down until DRAPE DRAPE DRAPE DRAPE then you feel skin contact again down near your calf. You note the absence of what you didn’t feel: a part of your body – maybe a large part – was skipped. Some folks feel relief for that skipping, and I’m aware there could be legitimate reasons for that. But if you’re like me, you feel frustration, discomfort – something like being disconnected one part of yourself from the other. 
Then she asks you to roll on your side so she can twist you in a particular way (and if you’ve ever suffered from sciatica you know what I’m talking about) but first DRAPERY CURTAIN TAPESTRY SHROUD OF TURIN and then maybe you’ll feel something rather remotely that kinda maybe might be helping your sciatica. 
Time to roll over on your back? Well, that’s easy! Wait, hang on… DRAPE SHEET DRAPE DRAPE CIRCUS TENT DRAPE DIAPER-FOLDING DRAPE FLAG-FOLDING ORIGAMI GANDHI’S DHOTI oh for crying out loud, you know? Black bars, blurry bits – censorship in all of its miserly abjection has come to AIRPORT SECURITY LUGGAGE WRAP your massage table on the beach just a few yards from the waves, or at the park under the swaying trees. You hear a seagull, or a wren. But again the chorus of DRAPERS dares intone, “Let us all be protected from ourselves. Let us all be protected from each other.”
Sigh. 
ESCAPING THE DRAPING is what makes naturist massage so marvelous. The massage therapist can start at one point of your body and continue along to another part of your body as if she were actually massaging the same body. No awkward border-crossings over ever-changing boundaries, no visas necessary for traveling from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere and back again. What this largely means is that your buttocks, home to the largest muscle in your body – the gluteus must-be-some-reason-it’s-called maximus – can receive the attention they deserve at the same time as being naturally connected to whatever massage is being administered to your back or legs. Genius! Nudity solves so many problems.
Photo source, a list of top nude resorts
A full-body nude massage merits full disclosure: When I finally managed to schedule an appointment on the naturist massage table last month, I was concerned about “surprising arisings” once I turned over on my back. I needn’t have been. I was so relaxed and the therapist so professional, that all I felt was bliss. If there was a time or two while the therapist was massaging my thighs when a finger happened to brush my scrotum, it was only and exactly because, well, that’s part of my anatomy. It wasn’t provocative, it was comfortable, holistic, healthful, and very very natural.

My massage therapist and her partner therapist did remain clothed during their back-to-back sessions all day long at the arts festival at Oaklake Trails Naturist Park. Maybe they felt that they needed to stay dressed in order to be sure, even at a naturist resort, that people get the right message about nude massages. But in any case it doesn’t matter to you what the therapist is wearing once you’re lying undraped on the table – what matters so wonderfully is that the therapist can massage all of you.* More than just deep tissue, what you feel is a deep peace, a deep openness, a deep sensation of your unified existence as an unfettered entity of the natural world. Do a favor for yourself and your loved ones: experience naturist massage.

*The exception of the genitals generally distinguishes naturist massage from erotic massage.

6 thoughts on “Escape the Drape

  1. Interesting reflection. I always keep my underwear when I receive a massage, and my therapist even cover my buttocks with a towel. What's the point of this? I don't know. But I have never questioned it; it's the \”normal\” procedure. When she needs to work on my gluteus (which unfortunately happens quite often) she gently takes down my underpants to expose the area as much as she needs. It doesn't seem to be an issue for her (obviously, it's just another body part!), and for sure it's not for me. I wonder if it wouldn't be easier for her to ask me to get completely naked, but we have never talked about it. Yes, sometimes I'm too shy to even attempt to break social conventions.

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing this comment! Everybody has a different comfort level. It seems to me that you are at or past a point where you can remove all your clothing. I'd even venture the guess that your therapist's towel is giving you that message. It's been pointed out to me that massage therapists are often legally obliged to drape. I don't blame them for keeping their livelihoods. I just say, if you as the client can be naked, why not?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: