OPERATORS of a spa who claim to be the first one to offer authentic lingam massage in Cebu said the massage is not indecent.
Honey Yoo and Bella Bilocura, owners of Authentic Lingam Massage, said the exotic massage has the same purpose as other kinds of massage: to soothe and relax the client.
This massage technique involves stroking the male sexual organ. ?lingam ? is a Sanskrit word for the male organ.
Yoo and Bilocura said they were hurt by negative feedback from other spa operators.
?We want them to understand that we are like them, businessmen who are running our businesses professionally and have abided by the law ? securing business permits, health certificates and all other requirements required of us,? Yoo said.
Earlier Johnie Lim, president of the Spa and Wellness Association of Cebu (SWAC), said the association feared that the increase in the number of spas offering lingam massage would jeopardize the reputation of wholesome Cebu spas and violate high industry standards set by SWAC for spa operators.
But Yoo said lingam massage is a widely accepted form of wellness massage all over the world.
?It is accepted in strict Singapore and widely embraced in Muslim Malaysia, practiced in Egypt, Thailand, New York, California and London,? Yoo said.
Yoo, however, noted the sprouting of other spas who claim to offer lingam and said she doubted whether their therapists were properly trained.
Yoo said critics should get to know the massage first before condemning it.
Yoo said she and business partner Bilocura were planning to meet with Lim to explain what the massage was about.
?.. and so that he will have a well informed statement because I heard they (SWAC members) are meeting and planning to come up with an official statement soon. We don't want to be dragged by the bad publicity that some spa operators which are just copying our concepts have made for lingam ,? said Yoo.
She said she does not believe that lingam would give Cebu's spa industry a bad name.
?I don't think so, speaking for us though who are serious and professional about lingam as a massage. We have invested so much in the business. In fact eight of our twelve therapists are licensed and trained lingam therapists. I sent them to Malaysia just to learn the massage and with all that investment do you think we will just ruin our reputation and offer indecent service?? Yoo asked.
Yoo said that they have another spa in Makati, the ?Coco Spa?, which offers lingam massage.
She said the people there said lingam is nothing new to them.
She urged Cebuanos to be open to new ideas.
?We are at the onset of globalization. How will we become globally competitive if we will immediately judge and mislead our customers?? she asked.
Authentic lingam massage is a whole body massage with two therapists to attend to each customer, he explained.
One therapist massages the upper part of the body and the other one massages the lower part, including the prostate pressure point.
?This is also to protect our therapists because some customers cannot refrain from touching them (therapist). There was even one time that we had a Korean customer here whom we have to ban because he really doesn't stop touching the therapist despite countless warnings from us.?
Joseph Bullecer, president of the Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB), said he inspected the six spas in Cebu City offering this service after he received complaints about lewd practices.
?I have already done inspections of some spas and they told me the lingam is just a 10-minute finale of the one-hour shiatsu massage that they give to their clients,? he said.
Bullecer said he was not sure how massaging the male's prostate area could benefit the customer?s health.
?As a doctor I still have to research more about this and see proof that the massage could really benefit the health and wellness of a person,? he said.