A myriad of pleasures bring women from all over to the Olympus Women's Health Club (8615 S. Tacoma Way,


Best of Seattle Critics' Picks

Bodily Pleasures


A myriad of pleasures bring women from all over to the Olympus Women's Health Club (8615 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253-588-3355, The club pampers its clients like queens, offering body scrubs, wraps, and moisturizing, as well as massage, reflexology, and paraffin treatments for hands and feet. Yet the ultimate sinful pleasure can be found in doing nothing—well, nothing but sweating for hours on end. The action happens in wet and dry rooms of varying temperatures. In the "hydrotherapy bath area," you can relax in herbal saunas or hot whirlpools with mugwort, then take a break in cooler waters. In the "energy heated rooms," you can spread out on mats covering heated mud, sand, sea salts, and granite. Then you can lie around, talk, or read magazines on a floor of warm tiles. You can sweat all day for just 20 bucks. Did we mention the ubiquitous nudity at this women-only club? Sorry, guys.


Cocksure queers and the bush bunnies who love 'em seem to favor a certain denlike rhododendron bush near the Thomas Burke memorial at Volunteer Park (1247 15th E.). As police monitoring intensifies, savvier sodomites have taken to a particular bench on the other side of the park—a bench situated in a row of flowers—where they sit, pink as pansies, waiting to be plucked. But there's still enough sneaky onsite salaciousness here to satisfy even the funkiest fun-in-the-foliage fantasies. The park has long been a hotbed for homos on the make, and those who tend the park must be wise to its local renown. They've posted a sign to the gate around a plot of fresh grass: "Area has been seeded and will remain closed until further notice." The rest of the park, meanwhile, is in healthy bloom—must be all the fertilizer in the soil.


You're working hard. You're stressed out. Your muscles are tight. You need to loosen up. But how to relax at the office? Enter Todd Beierle, the masseur from Montana (324-2185). Massage practitioners providing their services in those weirdo chairs was one of the great contributions of the '90s to American work life. And Beierle gives a glorious in-office treatment. He received his training at the Renton Technical College, and, just as important, he was seasoned by a stint at the massage bar at Sea-Tac. Beierle possesses great hands, strong yet soft, and he knows how to apply just the right amount of pressure—firm enough to take charge, but not so hard that your muscles freak out.


Despite the fact that "eat less, exercise more" remains the only proven method of losing weight and looking better (though we've heard great success stories about the stomach-altering gastric bypass surgery), most Americans still hope for a quick fix to flab. There are plastic surgeons galore who will suck and tuck you on your quest for everlasting youth, but we're drawn to Dr. Sepher Egrari's abdominal etching procedure (3006 Northrup Way, Ste. 102, Bellevue, 425-827-7878, First of all, you can do the one-hour operation on your lunch hour—thereby skipping at least one meal. Plus it sounds positively sci-fi: Using "sophisticated power assisted liposuction machine by Micro Air . . . Dr. Egrari chisels definition." Just 60 minutes and several hundred dollars later (prices vary), you'll walk out with a six-pack—and a sore belly. Who wants to waste time on those tedious crunches, anyway? Now if someone could only explain what laser vaginal rejuvenation is.


Most convenience stores only stock well-known adult publications like Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler. Then there are a few more daring spots that also offer titles like Barely Legal and that magazine with naked women on motorcycles. But the grand prize for convenient smut has to go to Ballard's Choice Deli and Grocery (6415 Eighth N.W., 789-0211). Choice carries over 25 titles—like Big Butt, D-Cup, Fox, Cuddles, and Young and Tight—and they don't hide them behind the counter. Such free commingling of porn with milk, bread, and jerky may signal a significant slip in civilization's decline or may be seen as a welcome rebuke to our nation's puritanical mores. Whatever it means, the Choice is undoubtedly a junior high schooler's dream come true. Remember, this is the same place that edited an advertisement on its marquee for "Henry Weinhard 6-pack" to read "Hard Weiner 69-pack" and then left it there for months.


Hey, ladies! Tired of coming home to an empty bed or a lifeless lover? Do you lie down at night and drift hopelessly off to sleep, without the lay, without anyone else going down, with all those pent-up, raging desires that the television, magazines, and the hot guys/girls in your office have subliminally planted in your lustful little mind? Do you fall asleep diddling because it just takes too damn long and it's so boring thinking of that same repeat-repeat-repeat fantasy? Do you need a release? Then head on down to to pick up the Hitachi Magic Wand at Toys in Babeland (707 E. Pike, 328-2914). No more frustration! No more dissatisfaction! No more need for other people! Just be prepared for a bumpy ride. Hold on with both hands and get off whether you want to or not. It's the best damn vibrator in the world—at the best damn toy store in town!


Outside of raising an eyebrow and cooing, "I've got an extra ticket to Madonna," the easiest, most guilt-free way to see a gay dude with his pants down is buying a membership to World Gym (Downtown Convention Center, 583-0640). Based on the surly butch boys manning the desk, we get the distinct feeling they'd like to pretend otherwise, but the place is like Neighbour's at least five days a week. Proximity to the Hill makes this the workout mecca for all shapes and sizes of the neighborhood's denizens, and, we're not kidding, the number of hot, naked waiters and bartenders in the locker room is fairly exhilarating, in a cheap, lowdown, rutting-dog kind of way. Combine this endless eye candy with a constant stream of piped-in techno remixes, and you'll soon find your mind wandering into fantasy as you lose yourself on the StairMaster.


So you've already had a needle shoved through your lip, eyebrow, tongue, septum, and, oh, both ears. Lately you've been craving some little steel rods through your nipples. Despite all the present piercings you've pleasured yourself with, you still wonder, "Will it hurt?" And it does. But the endorphin rush gives you such a giddy feeling that you and everyone around you almost immediately forgets about the pain. All this fun can be yours for the asking at the Laughing Buddha (219 Broadway E., 329-8274). Weeks later, desperate for more (pain slut that you are), you choose to have your girlfriend's name and the word "sucks" tactfully tattooed around your nipple in American Gothic.


When that glass of zinfandel and an hour of Friends reruns just doesn't do the trick, there's always post-work relief to be had at Basic Plumbing (1505 10th E., 323-2799). If you are both a possessor and a lover of penises (penii? penes?), nothing beats the no-strings-attached slap-and-tickle on offer at this venerable sex club. The discreetly situated space is said to be enjoyed not only by its Capitol Hill regulars but also a certain local TV investigative reporter who's either doing a really in-depth story or who just enjoys the surroundings as much as BP's other patrons.


Offering "EFFECTIVE RESULTS! Transformational Massage: Integrating massage with hypnotherapy—two therapists giving 2 powerful, healing treatments in one session," the mother-daughter team of Natasha and Jacqueline Conquest (1833 N. 105th, 365-6838), the former a Licensed Massage Practitioner, the latter an MA, State Certified Hypnotherapist, and Medical Intuitive Counselor (we don't know what this is, but we suspect we need one), will work over your brain and your body simultaneously. Hey now! You can stop smoking! Lose weight! Unleash motivation and success! Or, as their ad says, receive help with "Almost any issue." We like to have things unleashed, don't you? These women are also "Visionary experts in the field of spirit-mind-body medicine" and offer sliding-scale fees. Let us know how the treatment works out for you, and maybe we'll take these two around the block.


Waxing hurts. A lot. (Try sitting through nine innings of Mariners action having just endured a really, really thorough bikini job.) But, as Nietzsche wrote, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. And, folks, after several more sessions, you'll have to agree. If you're feeling shaggy, if your eyes droop and your unibrow isn't showing any signs of yielding to the occasional tweeze, get yourself down to a brow arch at Gene Juarez Salon (607 Pine, 326-6000). Our favorite is with Paulette, a serenely talented "brow artist" whose own brows are exactly how you'd want 'em: natural, thicker than a pencil line, and clean. What's more, you aren't subjected to the Eastern European-style brutality of waxing's pioneer days: Paulette invites you to lie down on a comfy bed beneath dim lighting as soft music plays. She dabs your brows with antiseptic-soaked cotton balls and then quickly lets the follicles rip. But even as you're wincing, you're planning when to book your next session. Then, another dab, a coupla tweezes, and voilࡠYour face looks, well, if not better, then less complicated—which is worth the slight red swelling above your eye sockets and a few hours with sticky eyelids. Here's looking at yourself, beautiful!


If you're a guy, you're going to have to work this one out on your own. If you're a woman, get thee to Hothouse Spa & Sauna (1019 E. Pike, 568-3240), the female-only spa on Capitol Hill that just celebrated its first birthday. This little gem has a spare, modern design conducive to achieving a Zen state; the ceiling above the sunken, tiled hot tub is deep blue with lights that look like glowing doorbells. The steam room also glows blue, and there's a sauna and a cold shower that dumps near-freezing water on your head when you yank on a metal handle. Massage is available, but no, this is not a lesbian sex club, just a place to escape from the mean co-ed streets and calm the hell down. As they put it, it's "good clean fun for girls!"


Out on Madison, there's a cheerful, cozy oasis where sensible women—and those rarities, sensible men—can take a seat in a comfortable chair, sip chilled spring water, and turn over custody of their battered, shoe-deformed feet to the attentions of one of the friendly, industrious experts employed by Frenchy's (3131 E. Madison, 325-9582). Frenchy's offers the full skin-care menu: manicures, pedicures, massage, facials, waxing—they'll even redesign your eyebrows. If you're dubious about your look, they're ready to advise you on cosmetics: Makeup and skin care products line the walls, ready to be tested, so while you wait or while your toenails dry, you can relive those glorious slumber-party days of yore trying on lipstick and blushers. There is an overwhelming feeling of pink about the place—more a state of mind than the actual color. But it's the pedicures, complete with massage, paraffin dips, and exfoliating grains, that set the place apart.


While QFC stands for Quality Food Center, the QFC on north Broadway (523 Broadway E., 322-8200) deserves the unofficial title Queer Food Center. Less alienating than the cavernous location at Broadway and Pike, and more happening than the marketlike store on 15th, Queer FC is where a gay man looking for packaged salami will discover that the meat also comes encased in denim. That's right: For every hungry shopper pushing his cart down the dairy aisle, there's another chum—oblivious to the sale on soy milk—cruising toward him from the opposite direction. Before they meet, let's review their other alternatives for interacting: a dingy bar, a shadowy sex club, an often-crashing Web site, a Honey Bucket in Volunteer Park. . . . Sounds like Queer FC, with its bright lights and easily accessible exits, is also a Quality "First move" Center. One more thing to ponder as we watch these two QFC customers make contact before the whipped-cream containers: When both sex and food are involved, multiple pleasures are likely.


According to a law passed six years ago by the state Legislature, health care plans in Washington are supposed to cover "alternative" medical care. But the insurance companies have been fighting the policy in court ever since. Earlier this year, they lost their final battle. Ruling in a class-action lawsuit against Regence Blue Shield, a federal judge determined that Washington's biggest health insurer is required to pay for "complementary" medicine—including acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and massage. That's good news for you—and your Swedish masseuse. Sure, this may bankrupt a few insurance companies, but we'll worry about that later. Couldn't you use some healing hands right now?


Sure, there's always Tubs, but if you want your aquatic sex with a little class, nothing beats the private bathing rooms at Ummelina International Spa (1525 Fourth, 624-1370). They call it "Oceana," and visitors are encouraged to "indulge in the healing mysteries of life-giving waters"—a.k.a. the healing mysteries of booty, if done with your honey (as offered with the Pacific Rim Journey, $130 per person). Guests are sent into a dimly lit room containing an authentic Japanese soaking tub tricked out with all manner of aromatherapeutic oils, salts, and scrubbies. Couples are left discreetly alone to "indulge," and those who still aren't feeling clean, if you know what we mean, may rinse off in the multihead showers provided before moving on to full body massages. If that doesn't relieve some tension, we don't know what will.


Head over to Brown Bear Car Wash (1800 15th W., 282-5400; 5111 15th N.W., 784-3030; 16032 Aurora N., 542-6008; other locations), drop $1.75 in quarters into the slot, grab your magic wand, and the countdown begins: You have exactly three minutes to wash your entire car. Start with High Pressure Wash and lather entire car. (Car Washing for Dummies: Save time by making wash selection before inserting coins.) Move selector to Foaming Brush, go get brush on opposite side of stall, clean wheels. (CWFD: Try not to tear off antenna with pivoting brush hose as you race to the other side.) You may use brush to soap windows and possibly both bumpers. (CWFD: Do not try to wash complete car with brush in the allotted time without first getting a doctor's approval.) Replace brush in holder, race back to selector, pick High Pressure Rinse. (CWFD: If you slipped and fell on soapy pavement and are in pain, the hospital can wait: You're losing precious quarters.) Switch selector to High Pressure Wax, spray off remaining soapy portions with waxy substance. (CWFD: During washing process, do not squander time looking at clock and do not belittle your man- or womanhood by inserting more quarters.) Done. Your car is somewhat cleaner, and you've helped save Mother Earth. (Mark Thorsby, executive director of the International Carwash Association, recommends self-serve car washing: "At home is not the environmental way to wash your car.") Congratulate self. Drive off into rain.

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow