I am not the first man to enter a massage parlor looking for sex. It was 19 years ago in New York City, at a time when I had liaisons with more than one call girl. But since moving to Los Angeles a decade ago, I have enjoyed a different kind of massage. In 1996, after I had run the L.A. Marathon, my knees, which had endured a high school growth spurt that resulted in Osgood Slatters disease, felt cranky and lifeless.A weight-lifting trainer sent me to a Westside masseuse who kept her office door open, I suspected, because she wanted to be able to scream for help if any customer demanded sexual pleasures. She required all of her clients to strip naked, but she did comment that this was not a sexual massage. She proceeded to knead my legs thoroughly, although she avoided the knees, as I had instructed her. After the hour was over, I went back to Venice and got ready to jog for the first time since the marathon, about three months before. I felt like I had a new pair of legs and ended up running effortlessly for 14 miles or so, to the end of the bike path and back.I recently wrenched my back so severely that other parts of my body suffered too; my chest, normally defined and sturdy, caved in to a contorted, inverted shape. So I enlisted a new massage therapist or body worker, as she prefers to be called. Glenna Norris, the most sought-after body worker at the Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-656-1010), mixes Eastern Chi principles with Swedish technique. She also applies the greatest pressure of any body worker I know. I discovered that I have less tolerance for pain than my wife, who handles Glennas pressure with aplomb while I ask her to ease off a bit. After a few massages, my back regained its health, but I realized how much I need a massage on a regular basis. Not just to cure me of injuries, but to relieve the stress in my whole body back, knees, neck and shoulders. I also like to have my ears tweaked, but thats as far as it goes. Rates negotiable.
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