Once I went for a massage (I know, this seems to happen a lot), and it was seemingly going well. It was soothing massage, so there was oil involved and things seemed to be going well until I noticed a really odd scratchy/squishy sound. This was followed by some odd snapping sounds until I finally looked up and turned and realised my therapist was wearing rubber gloves.
Rubber gloves. For a massage. Seriously? In all my years of spa-ing that has never happened to me before. It was so surprising I asked my therapist why she was using gloves. Her answer was “it’s for your protection, and mine.”
Well this was another stunner. What did I need protection from? I assumed she washed her hands before starting the massage…and I didn’t think I was particularly germ-ridden.
To be honest, it didn’t feel THAT different getting a massage through rubber gloves. It was just the sound! All that pulling and sucking and squishing and snapping. Well, not exactly what you’d call soothing. And of course I was a bit offended that the therapist needed to be “protected” from me.
When the massage was over, I asked the spa manager what was the reason for the gloves. She said that some clients prefer it (I want to meet these people!). When I pressed further she just promised me it wouldn’t happen again. So I never got an answer beyond the whole sanitation thing. I know Hong Kong can be oddly paranoid about sanitation post-SARS, but this was probably the strangest experience of it I’ve ever had.