I met one of Singapore's female orgasm experts by chance. OK, so it wasn't totally by chance. I have been involved in the Orgasmic Meditation community in the United States for a few years already, but I wasn't in Singapore on some kind of sexual experiment trip (I promise). But then, I saw that a guy named "Mike" with a bio that said he was "the founder of sensualmassageart.com—ask me about it!" had super-liked me on Tinder. I was (understandably) intrigued. So I swiped right and we hit it off immediately.
So, first things first—that website. Sensual Massage Art is an "advocacy site" that posts a lot about sensual massages and female orgasms. It's also into writing about cross-gender erogenous spots and sexual exploration. But it also offers some real-world stuff, including a self-taught "meditative sensual massage for women," that costs $200 SGD ($145 USD) per-session, hotel room included. The site also offers workshops for both men and women that are held once or twice a month in Singapore.
I decided to meet Mike for lunch. He brought along his business partner "Pothos" and the two men went to great lengths to tell me that this was all 100 percent legal. Also, before you ask, Mike and Pothos are both pseudonyms they use on the website.
So all of this is legal, which is unusual in normally straight-laced Singapore, but also not all that surprising when you remember what happens in some of the city-state's seedier corners. If it's legal, is it also profitable, I asked. Not yet, they said.
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“We market mainly through word-of-mouth, to friends and friends of friends,” said Mike, who works as a computer engineer during the day. “For us, as long as we can cover the costs and continue offering the experience, we are satisfied.”
So, here I was sitting across from two guys who claim they want nothing more than to help women have powerful, and memorably orgasms. It honestly seemed too good to be true. Is it?
“We know what most people are probably thinking,” Mike continued, “that we are a couple of creepy dudes who offer erotic massage for women so we can get into their pants. But the reality could not be further from that. Behind what we do are strong messages about sex positivity, body positivity, and mindfulness. We respect boundaries and we take consent seriously. That’s why we always make sure that clients fill-in the consultation form thoroughly before the massage.”
After a couple of hours of conversation, I was sold. I had to fill out this online consultation form full of probing questions like "are you multi-orgasmic?" and "do you squirt?" before the massage could begin. I was also asked if I wanted Mike to fulfill any particular kinks, like bondage or being blindfolded. And then came the big question, "are you open to any sex during the massage?" The choices were "yes," "no," and "ask me about it during the session."
As Mike checked into our four-star hotel in Katong, I waited nervously in the lobby, unsure what, exactly, to think about the entire thing. Despite all the feel-good talk about sex positivity, the reality of the situation started to hit me as Mike paid for the room—I was about to go into a hotel room to do something vaguely erotic with a man I only met a few hours ago. I started to feel panicky, then decided I had come too far to back out at the last minute.
The hotel room was mid-sized with a plush king-sized bed in it and a balcony that opened up to a row of shophouses. It was mid-day so outside it was bright and sunny. The ambience was comforting and reassuring enough that my panic started to fade away.
Mike began preparing all of his equipment. There were three aromatic diffuser lamps that glowed in soft colors in the dark, some bottles of aromatic massage oils, a huge vibrator, a padded eye cover, a silk blindfold, a smartphone with portable speaker, and a hygiene kit. Inside the hygiene kit was a toothbrush, nail clippers, deodorant, and toiletries. I learned that Mike uses this all to makes sure that he’s clean and groomed before every massage session.
He then emerged from the bathroom wearing only his boxers. His figure was slim and lean. He was pleasant to look at, but I couldn’t decide whether I found him sexually attractive or not. He was almost too clinical and too poker-faced for my tastes. Plus, humor is usually a big turn-on for me and I didn’t find Mike to be funny at all. Regardless, the idea here was that I should be able to enjoy a sensual—and even sexual—pleasure from the experience, regardless of my attraction to the masseur.
Mike turned off the lights and turned on his glowing table lamps and ambient music that sounded like soft percussion and nature sounds. I was nude, laying on my stomach, with a thin white sheet covering my butt. Mike climbed on top of me and began the massage.
The first few minutes felt like a pretty normal massage with oil, and, honestly, this was the part that I enjoyed the most. Mike used a good amount of pressure as he worked through my stiff back, my tense shoulders, and knotty neck. His pace was a bit slower than I was used to, and this was intentional. A good sensual massage, he told me, typically lasts between one-and-a-half to two hours, depending on the flow of things.
The next stage was where things got sensual. Mike made sure to announce everything he was about to do ("I'm going to work on your butt" or "I'm going to touch your inner thighs") before moving his hands. His touch changed from deep pressure to something light and playful. He was caressing me, lightly touching me in a way that was, to me, really ticklish and pretty awkward. There were moments during this part of the massage where I couldn't get out of my own head. I was unsure what to think or feel, especially as his hands moved toward my erogenous zones. I could feel tension building up in my stomach, but it was driven more by uncertainty and anxiety not sexual arousal.
And then things got more unpleasant. Mike leaned-in for a body-to-body massage. He pressed himself against me and began to lick my earlobes while breathing heavily. The whole experience made me cringe. It became clear in that moment that I wasn't attracted to Mike, and this body-on-body contact was too much, too intimate, even for a sensual massage.
Thankfully, this part was brief and he was back to using his hands. I turned over and he began to caress my stomach and breasts. At this point, I started to feel aroused. He sensed this and continued on, moving his hands up and down by body, hitting my nipples and the area above my vagina before stopping a moment to give me a little foot rub, which, honestly, felt pretty good.
I realized right then that the only way to have a pleasant experience here was to let go. I had to stop thinking about whether I found him attractive or not, about whether I wanted to have sex, or what I was going to write in this article, and just let things happen. I had to stop thinking and be completely in the moment. Once I switched to this mindset, I started enjoying it more.
That's when things started to heat up. Mike zoned in on my vagina, making light, circular movements on my mons pubis with his finger. I felt desire building up like a gooey swirling sensation that shifted from my stomach to my vagina and back. He then asked the big question, "do you want to experience the yoni component?" ("Yoni" is sanskrit for a vagina.)
I thought it was pretty good of him to ask at that point instead of just reading my body and going ahead with it without asking first. And, I'll be honest here, it was very tempting. I gave it some serious consideration for a while before deciding that I had already ventured too far outside my comfort zone for one day. So I declined, went to the bathroom, and took a long, hot, relaxing shower. We then both thanked each other for the experience and he drove me back home.
Sitting in my bedroom, I decided to read some of the anonymous client feedback on Mike's page and found a bunch of glowing reviews. "Yoni massage was spot on, there were lots of point that felt good,” one customer wrote. “I was brought to a level of ecstasy that I could not imagine possible,” wrote another.
I then felt a tinge of regret for my reticence. Maybe the yoni massage was something I missed out on. Did I just turn down the opportunity to experience mind-blowing pleasure from a true expert? Oh, well, it's not like I can't just find the answer myself by booking another appointment.
This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.