FORGIVE the ignorance, but frankly I didn’t know that the lingam has its counterpart in the yoni until I read Richie D. Nolasco’s letter published in Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

The ignorance stems from the fact that yoni massage has yet to invade our shores.

Yoni is the Sanskrit word for the vagina. It is loosely translated as “sacred space” or “sacred temple” (whitelotuseast.com). And if there is a lingam massage, there is also such a thing as yoni massage.

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Here’s where our macho culture is unfair. Why are establishments offering lingam massage sprouting in Cebu while nobody is bothering about the yoni? Are men the only ones who want their sexual organs subjected to this form of relaxation and pleasure? Do massage parlor owners think men are the only ones capable of paying for such kind of service?

This unfairness extends to the debate on whether to allow lingam massage parlors to continue operating here or not.

Those who are for or against lingam massage are talking about the men. Largely forgotten are the attendants or masseuses, who perhaps are the ones suffering from exploitation and abuse, both physical and psychological.

The only mention in reports about lingam massage attendants is in relation to how they should conduct themselves while doing their thing. One lingam spa owner said they require their attendants to wear “proper” clothes and not skimpy outfits.

Clients are told not to touch the attendants.

I reckon the attendants are Filipinas who grew up in a culture different from the one where the lingam massage originated.

It is therefore interesting to find out the effect the job of fondling (okay, massaging) a number of lingams of different forms and sizes daily has on them.

This is aside from attendants fending off clients’ sexual advances and suffering from the indignity of cleaning their hands or their work areas if clients ejaculated. I am only referring here to the “professional” lingam masseuse and not the prostitutes who are fronting as lingam massage attendants.

In a country like ours, accepting a job is often a “kapit sa patalim” undertaking.

Filipino women may accept the job of massaging lingams, but it does not mean they are happily accepting the indignities they have to go through. This point should be considered in discussing the legitimacy of the operation of lingam massage parlors.

(khanwens@yahoo.com/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)