I was recently on holiday in Bali and some men did some things to me I will never forget.

Let me strip off, lie face down on the table and tell you about the massages I received.

The first massage I had was a new experience for me ... it was done by a man.

I walked into this room that looked like it used to be a brothel. There was a mirror on the ceiling. It was dimly lit, smelt a little damp and it's fair to say my 'red flag' count was mounting quickly.


I could hear the scooters streaming past outside, and I felt a little like I was in a prison for a crime I didn't commit.

The man came in and put my feet gently in a small basin of water and started washing them. It was weirdly nice having my feet washed by another gentleman. I was starting to relax, unclenching my muscles.

Then he looked up at me, right in to my eyes, pointed at the table and said, a little aggressively: "You put on panty."

I felt like I needed to buy my mind more time, so I asked the strong-handed wee fella if he could kindly repeat himself.

By that I mean I said: "What?"

He gestured toward the massage table I was sitting on: "You put on panty now."

I looked to my right and a small pair of black hair net material undies were sitting next to me. They had no distinguishable back or front — they were definitely one-size-fits-all and see-through.

He left the room at least while I was putting on the flimsy panties.


I lay down, thought about how much more I wanted to achieve in my life.

One does not simply quit and walk away. Photo / Supplied
One does not simply quit and walk away. Photo / Supplied

And how much Bintang (local beer) I'd need to get myself through this afterwards.

When he came back in he was presented with my lanky, pinkish, 6ft 4, face-down, blank canvas to rub me with all the force of a combine harvester. I really should've played harder to get.

He asked: "How you like it?"

"Soft, medium, or hard?"

Then he started to have his way with me. It was brutal. Like he pulverised me like the piece of aged-but-trying-to-hold-on-to-his-youth mutton I am. I thought he was going to crush my organs at one point. All I could think about is how much it was going to suck to pee blood for the next week and if I'd ever make it out of the Bali hospital I'd already checked myself in to in my mind.

There were times that he was pressing so hard on pressure points that I made that involuntary wince noise and my whole body would jolt.

But did I tell him to go softer? No. One does not simply quit and walk away. One endures the dungeon treatment and never begs for mercy for fear of losing face.

There were times during my pounding I thought my holiday might have gone better if I'd just bought a bodyboard bag full of weed in and ended up in a Balinese prison.

Later in the holiday I had a second massage.

This one was a couple's one. I thought strength in numbers. What could possibly go wrong?

My accomplice had a female to massage her and I had another guy.

We paid $12 each for the second massage.

This new guy basted me like a turkey in what I'm pretty sure was actually cooking oil. Like it had no smell and felt thick. Seriously, you could've curled me down a driveway.

As he started, I could tell he was a gentler soul than my first time.

His hands were smaller and warmer. Then I felt what would torture me for the next 60 minutes of my life — the rough bit of skin he had on his palm of his right hand. His nails were also too long and they dug in to my supple and mildly sweaty untoned white flesh, like when you're just about to break through when peeling a mandarin.

He also burped in my ear.

But all of this paled in comparison to what happened next...

He was much shorter than me and given I was lying down, he had to reach over me to massage all my back, which meant he kept bumping his body into the top of my head.

So I didn't have the most relaxing massages in Bali, but they certainly were memorable.

• Will Johnston is the local 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM. He's also a celebrant and MC. Follow Will on Instagram on @radiowill