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I was in San Fransisco last week for the Super Bowl and while there were many new things for me to do and see, I had to experience a San Franciscan soak. I made a plea to my Facebook friends and they delivered, providing me with several possible soak destinations and spas.

And with this information, I embarked on a journey to Kabuki Spa and Springs on Geary Boulevard. I decided to schedule a massage because it was a vacation, and it’s not proper etiquette to utilize a 24 hr. day-pass when you don’t even live in the state.  So I took to the internet to reserve a 5 PM time-slot with a masseuse named Tee. I envisioned a voluptuous woman from Thailand or maybe Vietnam if I was lucky. After an enlightening Uber ride where the driver and I discussed how SF has changed over the years, I arrived at Kabuki.

I checked in and got a couple of towels and a key to my locker. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t provide sandals because getting sandals at a spa is like getting great bread at a restaurant. You’re fine without it but it’s definitely a great start. So I’m told to wait for Tee in the lounge area and let me tell you, that area wasn’t so nice because it was small and hot as balls. A few naked men walked by and I realized I seemed to be the only one wearing my robe. I stuck my head into some magazine and waited for Tee.

Tee arrived and she was not a ‘she.’ Tee was a man in his twenties and on the thin side, with black hair draped down the side of his face. It was fine that Tee was a man but my mind had already been made up that Tee was someone else. She was sweet and troubled in my mind but not so much anymore. This Tee was a young man and I’m pretty sure he vapes with his spa friends on the weekends.

Whatever. The massage was OK but you all know why I was really there. The soak.

And this is where it gets terrible, guys. I ask Tee where the facilities were and he brings me over to the entryway. He tells me to shower before I go into the tub like I’m some freaking amateur. Listen Tee, I don’t know what my back knots were telling you but I write a goddamn hot tub blog and it’s read by hundreds.

I get the rundown from Tee and can’t wait to showcase my USA bathing suit I just got from Chubbies. It’s a real show-stopper that reveals stars and stripes when wet and EVEN IF there were no women around, I’d feel pride from knowing I had the best looking suit in the tub. I stepped around the corner and it opened up to roughly 1000 square feet of spa. I have no idea if 1000 square feet is big–or accurate– but the place was massive. It was noted instantaneously that this area was densely populated by naked men.

Dicks everywhere. The place was just littered with dicks. You know when some people see a celebrity and freeze? Well I found out there’s a certain amount of dicks I could see before I lost the ability to process information. My dick threshold is 45. What’s yours?

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Some of you are probably thinking “What’s the big deal? It’s a spa.” Others of you are understanding the horribleness of it all. I don’t really care what you think. I just care about my own well-being. And I can’t begin to tell you how NOT READY I was. Maybe it was my Irish upbringing of values that included not showing your emotions or your penis. Though, if you know my father you’d think that I’d be a little more open to the nudist lifestyle. When he comes home from work, the first thing he does is drop his pants and turns on the television. It’s automatic. I’m pretty sure he only keeps his boxers on because my mother started to censor him. Anyways, back to the dick parade.

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The reason this is so ridiculous is mostly because I’m WEARING THE MOST OBNOXIOUS BATHING SUIT YOU CAN BUY in a sea of naked men. Also, it felt like a 1970s gym class where everyone had to shower in front of classmates and I was the kid who was huddled in the corner. The weird thing was that nobody was actually telling me I had to get naked BUT by sheer naked peer pressure, I felt the pressure. Is this what some women feel like on dates with creeps? Just kidding, this was much worse.

The hot tub was a fancy one but this fanciness usually means no jets. I’m not really a “pro-jet”guy because the noise sometimes limits conversation, but it is nice from time to time to blast at full-tilt. In a place like this though, no jets means you’re in calm and transparent waters. And even though a bathing suit doesn’t actually “do” much for cleanliness, I just don’t like the idea of complete nudity in the hot tub. Call me old-fashioned but a.) I don’t want to see floating dicks and b.) I want some sort of protective measure between the hot tub seat and your rectum.

Guys, I’m really just trying to work this out emotionally so if I’m all over the place it’s because when I hear or write the word Kabuki I get all sorts of triggered.

So I decide to SKIP the hot tub like an absolute coward and go straight to the steam room for reasons I still can’t comprehend. I think it was because it’s widely understood that you don’t talk during a steam and naturally, you just put your head down (in shame). So I enter with my towel around my waist so I don’t expose my flamboyant and patriotic swim trunks. At this point I’m PRETENDING to be naked and this moment cracks the top 25 for most shameful moments of my life. I can still see through the steam and realize the only seat available in this giant steam room is the seat in front of the door. I take it and sit down. My peripheral vision tells me I’m in the steam room with roughly 14 naked men from all walks of life. But the WORST part is my seat location. There’s a huge turnover rate in this concentration camp of dicks and men are coming and going every 25 seconds. Door opens, naked dude. Dude stops, uses a shower IN the steam room, exposes frontal body parts for steam participants to see and exits. Repeat. The routine still repeats sometimes for me at night.

You know, clearly this is a “me” issue, right? I’m a strong proponent of the idea that if 50 people are saying one thing, and you’re saying something else, you’re probably wrong. So maybe I was just a big fish in a small pond soak all these years. Yeah, I get that San Fran is very liberal and whatever but maybe this was the soak gods telling me to humble myself. You let a few weird looking naked guys stop you from soaking. Where is the pride in that? 

And that’s on me.

Nevertheless, I’m giving Kabuki a “C” grade.

Lounge: D+

Spa Area: A-

Service: C

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