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Beauty and the Beast

13-05-2013 · Sara Gibbings

It is hard to believe that in this cosmopolitan city of ours there exists a curious species of male that has never set foot in a spa and has never had any kind of beauty treatment other than a haircut. He thinks tweezers are for picking spots, that hair removal is a form of torture (well, he’s not wrong there), and would rather slather himself in ali oli than actually use a moisturizer.

His idea of keeping fit is a hell-for-leather-injury-inducing-once-in-a-blue-moon game of footie with his mates, and as regards diet, his sugar intake is only bested by his addiction to carbs, preferably in the form of chips.

He is the Irish Male.  Otherwise known as homos pintus unfitus.

And I am married to him.

So what happens when you take homos pintus unfitus (HPU) out of his natural milieu and force him to embrace his more metrosexual side?

For my birthday my lovely HPU gave me a smartbox for some much needed “us time” and so I booked us into a massage in the wonderful salt room at Haloflot.  He was apprehensive but desperately trying not to show it; he kept asking me what the massage would be like and I tried to reassure him that it’s just very relaxing. He wasn’t convinced.

Sara and RogerThat morning he tried on several pairs of underpants to “make a good impression”. I didn’t bother to ask for whom. I knew it wasn’t for my benefit.

Haloflot (C/ Aragó 371) has a very discreet entrance so we almost missed it.  Inside we were met by two big beefy guys, so taciturn and serious looking, I thought we’d walked into an episode of The Sopranos.  HPU gave an audible gulp. I’m pretty sure he thought the place would be full of Barbies. I couldn’t hide my grin.

We were ushered into a slightly salty smelling room with two massage tables. The lights were low, the décor suitably plush and there was a gorgeous cosmos projection on the ceiling that moved like at the planetarium.  Yoga music was “omming” us into Nirvana and we were told to strip off and lie face down. Another gasp.

I got the older guy. He looked like Paul Sorvino and had hands the size of shovels. If I pissed him off, I thought, he could snap me like a twig.  (I later found out his name is Javi and he is lovely!).  HPU gave a small strangled sound and put his head down.

Half an hour of heavenly pounding later, we rolled over and I snuck a peak at only him. He looked very serious. “You ok babe?” I inquired.

A slow “Mmmmmmmm” was his response. Was it working?

“I’m so oily I can’t get my jeans on”, he grumbled afterwards.  “But did you like it?” I asked. “It was interesting; I didn’t realize I had knots all over my body”.

We said our thank yous and goodbyes and as we walked towards Passeig Sant Joan HPU sighed, “I feel so soft and squidgy”.

Perhaps this is the start of a new phase? Will my traditional Irish husband become an expert at exfoliation? Will he pack BB cream in his backpack? Will he know his AHA’s from his PABA’s?

Considering that a few short hours afterwards he was chowing down on a burger, fries and coke, then went to see G.I Joe, I don’t think he’s got in touch with either his healthy or female sides yet, but I’m betting good money I get the same present next year.

Sara Gibbings

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