I’ve had my share of massages in my life, but no therapist has every touched me the way that Sarah did in Belize.

It started innocently . My friend Maddy and I had booked a girls trip to the Belizean island of Ambergris Cay. On our second day, we enjoyed a lazy breakfast then went in search of a spa. Self care and that. The first one we found was a little on the pricey side, even after you account for the 2:1 conversion of $US to $BZ. So we moved on and decided to grab a quick drink on the beach before we resumed the search. To our surprise, just behind the resort we’d looked at stood a wooden hut at the end of a pier. It was painted bright turquoise, with the words “SPA” in big black letters on the roof. Just our luck.

We walked over and spoke with the owner, a friendly Belizean woman named Evelyn. And a little dog was running around the little waiting room, and through a beaded curtain, two massage chairs on which I could make out the two bare, tan-lined backs and four massaging hands, mid-stroke. When I travel internationally, I do my best to absorb the culture, and let go of expectations that things would be exactly as they are in the U.S. Dog in the waiting room at a spa in Florida? Gross? Puppy in the pier waiting room? Charming. We made appointments for the very next day.

We arrived on time, and they had us dress into robes in the same dressing room. You want to get dressed together? Was she winking at me? I don’t know. Maddy and I travel together often, and I never know what people make of our relationship. She uses me as a foil to fend off unwanted advances from strange men. I’d learned that the notions of shame and privacy are far less common in other countries than in the good old.

The crash of the waves, the soothing spa music in the background mingled with the sound of the waves, creating a blissful, relaxation.

Until, what. this now? Without any warning. She brushed my bathing suit bottoms aside like they were a nuisance. And I froze.

The day took me straight to a massage table at the end of the pier, face down with my bathing suit bottoms pulled down below one cheek.

Had I missed the TripAdvisor article that said definitely the little spa shacks at the end of the piers are the Belizean equivalent of the 24-hour Japanese massage parlors. If you’re in there

I often wondered how it was that you wind up in that place. What would happen if you didn’t know , and you just went in there innocently, asking for a massage? Was there a code? Surely, you didn’t just come out and say, “I’d like a happy ending.” That seemed like something you had to know. Some unspoken arrangement.

Maybe this is just how they do massages in Belize.

That’s when she pulled my leg out to the side, bent my knee and pushed it all the way up, opening my hip wider than yoga ever had. I felt like a frog with one leg bent and one leg straight. She pushed my bothersome bathing suit bottoems up and over to expose my my bathing suit bottoms up and over so my

Damn it! I purposely did not research this trip like I normally do every other vacation because.

Let’s be spontaneous, I said.

Let’s just go where the day takes us, I said.

Come to think of it, she had just whispered in my ear “How do you like the pressure? Would you like more? Less?”

“A little less, please,” I’d murmured. But, as I felt the snap of my bathing suit bottoms land under my butt cheeks, I had to wonder, “what had I really asked for?”

I’m just going to go with it. The rubbing continued. And I have to admit. She stayed clear of the

Is this adultery. I was dying to look at Maddy to see if she was also chickenwinged.

Does this mean I have to tip her more? Or less? The

Then she flipped me over.

What a tease.

When she had me lay on my back. Right where she wants me I thought to myself. She pinioned my leg in the same leg position. And this time she pushed my suit way over. Her hands came

Alright. This is Belize. Whatever happens, happens. This is the type of thing that happens in pornos. I would give anything to text my husband Charlie and ask him what he thought I should do.

I was relieved. And if I’m being honest, almost a little bit disappointed. Belize was going to be wonderful.

“It was, ummm, a little more, ummm., intimate than I’m used to.”

Maddy’s eyese grew wide. “Oh my god, I know. I think we’re engaged.”

“I might be pregnant.

Guess we’ll find out when we go back Sunday.