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…

Prima (UK) - - Contents -

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!

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