Everything is blindingly hot. The walls drip steam as I lie on the smooth stone furnace looking upward, the ceiling glazed with a mosaic of rich colours and shapes. My eyes burn and I close them. Wearing nothing more than a bathing suit bottom, my back softened melts into the raised surface, sweated tears down my ribs, my thighs lose their muscle, my heart slows as my breathing mutes.
I love being touched. When it is my turn for a massage, I place myself face-up on the table, and I am surprised at how freely the woman’s hands run across my torso, over my breasts, rubbing them as she does every other part of my body. I remember sexual encounters I have had at which I wished that my partner would just touch me without fucking me. I feel safe in this moment realizing that I am only being touched, only being massaged, and that nothing else is going to happen.
This room is full of women, and they are so beautiful, I can’t help but stare. I am fascinated by the older women, their wrinkles, their posture, their changed breasts. I am fascinated by breasts in general. Observing the younger women, most of them slender and softened by the heat, I wonder if their bodies turn me on, or if I am only drawn to them aesthetically, as though they were living marble in a museum.
Outside the air is fresh, our hair is wet, and we have tea and pastries. We smile. We sigh. We breathe.