For men, getting intimate can present opportunities for embarrassment that go beyond performance issues. If you can't stroke your partner's leg with your bare feet because your soles are like sandpaper, then maybe it's time to consider a visit to your neighbourhood spa.
Internationally men now make up nearly a third of all spa-goers. This news comes via the International Spa Association, which reports that men are getting more than sports massages and manicures. They're getting facials, Vichy showers and body scrubs.
This upsurge has to do with spas taking steps to create gender-neutral environments where both men and women feel comfortable. Additionally, some spas are offering men's programmes that include treatment names like "The Refining Rookie Facial" or "The Bond Journey."
Culturally, men have avoided any activity that would label them as "weak". Psychiatric counselling, child caregiving, doing housework and attending spas could get one labelled "a wimp", especially when there's a bottle of "Black" on the table and Windies are up to bat.
Nowadays, the "men in spas" trend has developed to the point where entrepreneurs are opening "men-only" spas. Other spas are creating treatment rooms with wide-screen TVs, newspapers and business magazines all set in an executive-like decor.
From CEOs to salesmen, men are recognising that putting their best face and hands forward is now part of closing the deal. When a man has to create a great impression, a facial and a manicure are assets that have become indispensible in the boardroom. A million-dollar deal is worth a few hundred at a spa.
Go into any big-name drug store and the men's grooming section now stands on its own—no longer squeezed in between women's products on a bottom shelf. Today there's a whole array of products designed just for men's skin. All the big names are there—Azzaro, Hugo Boss, Lancome, Clinique and Lab Series, etc.
The men's section now boasts products with names like "night recovery lotion", "face wash", "eye therapy" and "skin revitaliser"... you get the point. We've come a long way from the days of shower, brush teeth, shave and go. In fact, sales of men's skin care products have shot up 41 per cent over the past few years. That's a lot of money, folks.
Caring for oneself shows respect for the vehicle that takes one from the cradle to the grave. This type of caring reflects self-esteem and confidence in one's appearance. Bad breath, foot odour, dirty, broken nails and crusty feet have nothing to do with manliness.
The women around you will testify that they are huge turn-offs to exciting and repetitive relations. It's time to move forward. Ask your wife, girlfriend or your sister to recommend a spa. Some spas even offer services for couples, so you can share in the pampering. Join the 21st century now!
• Lydia Ramesar is a Canada-trained advanced medical aesthetician and the owner/operator
of TruKomplexion Unisex Medi-Spa.