Natural Body Spa & Shoppe touts a large male clientele, which is why I went. I briefly spied another man when I arrived on a weekday afternoon; otherwise it was all women. By the time I left around six, several men were waiting. Presumably most come after work.
Natural Body is a franchise; the Potomac branch is the first one in this area. (An Arlington location is slated to open in late March.) You enter through the store, wall-to-wall with body-care products—the company specializes in natural treatments.
The spa in back looked like an office suite outfitted in a day by Anthropologie. I was scheduled for a “gentleman’s facial” and deep-tissue massage. The facialist told me to take my “top” off and left.
Should I remove my shirt and leave my T-shirt or strip down to my waist? Was I supposed to get under the sheets and blanket of the massage table?
I removed my shoes and shirt, kept the T-shirt, and stood waiting, annoyed that I wasn’t given specific instructions. On the facialist’s return, she nervously corrected me that I was to take the T-shirt off. Now I was annoyed and embarrassed.
The facial ($80) was wonderful, though—soothing, fragrant, and imparting a ruddy glow.
As I sat in the small waiting area with a female client before my massage, wearing a robe over my pants and socks, two men struggled awkwardly to move a massage table past where I was sitting. Add “self-conscious” to my list of feelings.
This was my first deep-tissue massage ($90 for an hour), a more rigorous form than Swedish. I’m not used to wincing during a massage, but the release after each intense kneading was worth the pain.