Sitting naked in mud should be done on your own!
Donna Hay got more than she bargained for when she and a friend signed up to a discount spa break…
This spa break wasn’t the relaxing retreat that Donna Hay had in mind
Iaccidentally found myself involved in an intimate experience with my best friend recently. It was my fault. I spotted a Groupon bargain for our local spa in my email inbox and went for it. And no, of course I didn’t check the terms and conditions. Which is how my friend and I came to be locked in a steam room with nothing but a couple of towels and several buckets of warm mud.
‘This was not what we signed up for,’ my friend hissed. ‘I wanted a facial. This looks more like a Bushtucker Trial.’
But apparently it was exactly what we’d signed up for. Thanks to me, we were about to enjoy a Razul, an ancient Middle Eastern ritual that involves smearing each other’s bodies in different types of mud, then showering together.
‘It’s a very intimate experience,’ the therapist explained, looking uncertainly from me to my friend. I think by now she’d twigged a terrible mistake had been made. The fact that my friend had just mouthed the words ‘shoot me now’ was a dead giveaway. ‘Couples enjoy it,’ the therapist continued.
Do they? I thought. Do they really? I wasn’t so sure. And I had plenty of time to consider this question while I sat in the steam, listening to my friend’s lecture on the perils of not reading the small print.
I have a theory that men don’t really enjoy couples’ spa experiences any more than my friend and I did.
Now, I’m not saying that men don’t enjoy spas. I know there are guys out there who love saunas, massages and even the odd spot of waxing. But with your other half? That’s a different story.
You only have to watch a couple in a spa coffee shop to see that. While the women are totally at ease, lounging around in their fluffy dressing gowns and slippers, the men look as if they’re having one of those dreams where they find themselves naked in the middle of Tesco. They don’t know how to sit, what to do, where to look. They’ve been told it’s supposed to be romantic, but they couldn’t feel less sexy in the waiting room of a vasectomy clinic.
And really, why would any woman want to drag their partner along, anyway? Spas are for relaxing, chilling out, catching up with the girls over a glass of bubbly. They’re not for listening to your man complaining that his complimentary slippers are chafing.
I speak from experience. Thanks to yet another ill-advised Groupon, I once booked my husband and myself in for a couple’s massage. As soon as we got in the room I knew it was a terrible mistake. To me, a massage is all about drifting off in blissful silence, lulled by a bit of Celine Dion played on the pan pipes. But it turns out my husband didn’t get the memo. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to achieve a zen state while someone chatters for an hour about the time he did his knee in during an unfortunate football tackle, but it can’t be done. Frankly, I’ve had more relaxing – and romantic – trips round Ikea.
Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson about couple’s experiences.
‘Don’t you want the rest of your package?’ the therapist called after us as we left the spa.
I couldn’t look at my friend. If this involved steam, mud or shared showers, I didn’t think she’d speak to me again.
‘A bottle of Champagne for two… ’ the therapist said.
Now that’s one bonding experience we didn’t mind sharing.
‘This looks more like a Bushtucker Trial’
Muddy hell, spas can be full of surprises!