I Got a Couples Massage with My Brother
With its flickering candles, soft sheets, and fragrant oils, there are few things more romantic than a couples massage. Sure, you’ve heard that you’re technically allowed to go with your mom or a friend, but do people actually do that?
Standup comic Ali Clayton did.
To Chicago, she’s known as one of the Laugh Factory’s most irreverent regulars, a repeat favorite of the TBS Just for Laughs Chicago festival, and one of AfterEllen.com’s “50 Hot Women in Comedy.”
But to her brother Bubs, Ali is just a great sister—and, one time, a quality couples massage partner. We’ll let her tell you the rest.
At Christmas, Mama insisted that my brother—who I call Bubs—and I open our gifts from her at the same time. So we did, parting the papers in unison to reveal: Massage Envy gift certificates. “Sweet,” we said, “we both get massages.” That’s when I looked at my certificate again—and died laughing. “Bubs, we’re getting a couples massage.”
My brother and I are extremely close. We were raised to have no boundaries. Walking around in our underwear is our normal. We pee with the door open. I’m 30 and Bubs is 33 and we still sleep in the same bed. We are best friends, and while some psychologists might say our relationship is inappropriate, we think it’s awesome.
So, the idea of stripping down to our underwear, in a romantically lit room, was actually not too weird for us.
When it came time for the fairy-tale-esque brother-and-sister retreat a few days later, I had a huge yellow and purple bruise from my hip to almost my knee. (The night before on Christmas, I’d celebrated a little too hard and tripped over my own feet to fall down a flight of stairs into my friend’s basement.)
But I wasn’t about to reschedule just for a bruise. So we kept our appointment, strolling into the Massage Envy in Raleigh, North Carolina, and assuredly signing our names at the desk. Soon, two massage therapists entered the lobby.
“Mr. and Mrs. Clayton, come right this way,” one said. “We’ll show you to the Lover room.”
We followed them in, giggling the whole way. “Oooh,” said Bubs, “the Lover room.” I batted my eyelashes at him and sighed, “So romantic.”
The massage was so relaxing—so relaxing that I completely forgot about the bruise until my massage therapist pulled back the sheet and gasped. She glared a hole through Bubs, who had obviously shown me who’s boss in our sibling marriage. Clearly, this massage was his apology. Instead of explaining, I just enjoyed my massage, and let her think that Mr. and Mrs. Clayton’s incestuous marriage was on the rocks.
For the rest of the session, we never mentioned that we weren’t married. And we still laugh every time we talk about it.
At this point, I’ve got my fingers crossed that for our anniversary, Bubs and I will be listening to the sweet, sexy sounds of Enya in the Lover room all over again.
Bond over more massage stories on the Guide:
A licensed massage therapist gives us the best tips and tricks for maximizing romance.
Not all massages are made equal. A pro offers four tips for your next session.