lingamThis is one article I wish I was writing under a pseudonym. Why? Because ours is a culture that finds certain innocent words referring to some parts of our anatomy “obscene.”

The words I am referring to are penis, genitals, orgasm, ejaculation, masturbation, and other terms that you, with your puritan upbringing, wish did not exist at all. And more than just the brute force of the words themselves, this article will evoke images of male sex organs being fondled by massage therapists in some dark spas in the city. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Here’s what. Last Oct. 1, the Business Section of this newspaper carried a story about how an official from the Spa and Wellness Association of Cebu (Swac) was protesting against the operation of spas offering “lingam” massages here. Swac president Johnie Lim said “lingam” massage is not bringing a good name to Cebu.

What kind of massage would give Cebu a bad name? “Lingam massage is considered a massage technique performed on all parts of one’s genitals. The word ‘lingam’ is the Sanskrit word for penis,” wrote Sun.Star Reporter Nancy Cudis. You heard the word right, my dear – penis.

I was not frustrated that Cudis didn’t provide more details about lingam in her story, other than writing further that the massage “is a two-hour service for about P900, involving a one-hour body massage and another hour of ‘sexual’ massage on the genitals.” I could imagine the struggle Ms. Cudis, a recipient of this year’s Cebu Archdiocesan Mass Media Awards, had to go through just typing the words “penis” and “genitals” in her story.

If a story with the words “penis” and “genitals” should be allowed to see print, it must be of crucial interest to the public. Indeed. Imagine all of Cebu’s men – husbands, boyfriends, sons, grandpas, tanods, councilors, the clergy, the Marines – going to lingam centers every payday. Lim himself narrated how a wife begged him to do something to stop lingam spas from operating. Either her husband, or son, or driver is a lingam disciple.

I did my own online research to spare you the trouble of googling “lingam.” A few clicks and here’s what I gathered: “Orgasm is not the goal of the Lingam massage although it can be a pleasant and welcome side effect. The goal is to massage the Lingam, also including testicles…”

More clicks: “The setting and your attitude are what make a Lingam massage a special experience for your man. Prepare a quiet, preferably dim, space with a bed, a futon mattress, or a blanket and pillows on the floor. The temperature in the room should be a little warmer than normal because you will both be nude.”

And another click: “Then, as a show of respect for his male power, ask permission to touch his Lingam. Simply ask, ‘May I touch your Lingam?’

One more click: “Pour a small quantity of oil on the shaft…” And one more click: “Then imagine using an orange juicer…”

And one final click, this time a video: “Access Restricted. Sign Up Now.”

Not one to give up easily, I clicked a related video: “This video has been removed due to

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terms of use violation!”

Oh, well. You can have your lingam. I don’t have P900 to spare, anyway.

By Insoy Niñal

Sun.Star Cebu
Oct. 6, 2009