Confessions of a Spa Virgin About Her First Time

Elizabeth Arden Red Door SpaMe, preparing for my spa treatmentI have a secret. I've never been to a spa, and I've never gotten a massage. Until the other day, that is. You want to know why it took me so long? Because I was legitimately frightened. 

Call me a weirdo, it's fine. But the idea of someone I don't know touching my body in certain places makes me squeamish. My thoughts: How can I lie there and relax while I'm wondering where else my massage therapist's hands have been, what she does in her spare time, and even what sort of family she comes from? Holy Moses.

But then an opportunity arose to check out the Stress Melter Ritual at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa right here in my concrete jungle of a backyard, and I decided it was time to face my fears. Because really, who can say no to a treatment that will "release built-up tension, increase blood circulation, and restore the flow of energy back into the body"?

So now ... off with my clothes!


When I got there, I was told to change out of my clothes and into the world's most comfortable robe. Right off the bat, I didn't feel as awkward as I thought I would walking around an unfamiliar place basically naked. In fact, the assistant who led me to the relaxation room was so sweet and accommodating that I sort of forgot I was missing a bra and underwear underneath all that snuggliness.

My massage therapist, KB*, greeted me and led me to one of the treatment rooms. Inside, she told me to put on the mesh undergarment (aka thong), remove my robe, and lie face-down under a towel covering the massage table. Your wish is my command, I thought to myself. And so I did.

The anticipation was scary. But KB seemed sweet; her voice was soothing. And since her name tag said she was a massage therapist, she totally had to be legit, right? I heard a gentle knock on the door, and within a minute, she was applying a deep exfoliating treatment on my right leg. Just when I was starting to get used to it, it happened. Yup, she exfoliated my bum. Caressing it like I was her own child. And you know what? It didn't freak me out. In fact, I started to realize I was actually really enjoying it.

After exfoliating my entire body (minus the lady parts), she massaged an aromatherapy oil into my skin and wrapped me up like a fresh burrito. For 20 minutes, I lay there channeling my inner Zen, trying to let go of my worries while listening to the soft, natural music playing in the background. Before I knew it, she was back to unwrap me and finish off the treatment with a soothing scalp massage. I tingle just thinking about it.

All in all, it was a good experience. I didn't once wonder about where her hands had been and didn't feel nearly as uncomfortable as I thought I would. And man, was I a LOT more relaxed than I was when I walked in through Elizabeth Arden's big red door. Maybe next time, I'll be even more daring -- and go for the full body massage.

Have you ever been to the spa? Does it make you relaxed or uncomfortable?


*Name has been changed

Image via Emily Abbate

Read More >