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Jakarta Post

By the way…Enjoying a traditional ‘torture’ massage

  • Michael Friis Johansen

  /   Sat, December 7 2019   /  02:12 am

Two separate signs on the front window of a massage parlor in Yogyakarta proclaimed: “No sex. No drugs”.“What about rock ‘n’ roll?” I asked inside. My joke didn’t translate well into Indonesian, if the polite smiles and silence I got back were any indication.A menu gave me my choices: from a 15-minute foot rub to two hours of therapeutic massage with various cleansing treatments. Since 90 minutes of massage seemed almost too much of a good thing, I chose an hour-long traditional Javanese full-body session.The receptionist brought me to a curtained alcove and gave me a modest pair of shorts to wear. When the masseuse entered I was already lying down on the padded couch, but without my face inside the hole provided for it.“Scream if you need anything,” my friend and occasional guide joked from the other side of the curtains.“Relax,” the masseuse said, seeing I was som...