Feb 9, 2010

Discreetionary: aquarium

aquarium [a·KWEH·ree·yum] noun 1. a designated room in a gay massage parlor where the masseurs stay, and where the room has a window through which a client views and selects his masseur.

Before coming to Hilom, I’ve only seen a massage parlor aquarium in the movie Masahista (featuring the cute Coco Martin). Heck, that movie was actually my first glimpse of how such gay “spas” operate. I can’t remember anymore where I first encountered the term aquarium but it’s definitely an apt word. The idea of choosing a masseur in a massage parlor is like selecting the fishes you want to eat from a tank in a fresh seafood restaurant. Hehe.

One notable feature of aquariums is that the viewing window is typically one-way: the client can see the masseurs but the boys can’t see the client. I guess this is to preserve the privacy of the client as much as possible. In the movie Heavenly Touch, the viewing window is not realistic simply because the window is two-way. In the particular case of Hilom, their window is actually the aquarium’s glass door.

I guess this aquarium business is one of the minor reasons why I didn’t really enjoy my stay at Hilom. I’m a torpe kind of guy and the idea of me doing the first move (i.e., selecting the guy) is one thing I’m not comfortable in doing, compared to guys simply hitting on me. :-P


~Carrie~ wrote on February 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM:

Hi Vince. Been to Hilom once and bilang buena Mano, there was only three guys to choose from. But I picked a hunky one. The aquarium thing is interesting. This term is even used to refer to rooms with only one big glass window pane facing the walkway or corridor, as if it's bigger than display windows of malls. We had such classrooms in high school. Hehe

Joey wrote on February 9, 2010 at 9:06 PM:

The post on the Hilom is funny. Have never been to one since I don't like getting a massage. I did check out your link on being picked up. I think we all have such stories. The craziest for me was when I was 22 and in the US - a 70 year old man tried to pick me up. Gawd! Thoughts of Hannibal Lecter came to mind.

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on February 9, 2010 at 11:56 PM:

@Carrie, so did you only get a massage or was there something else? :-)

@Joey, you don't like getting a massage? Why not? If I had lots of money, I'd pamper myself with massages every week. Hehehe.

The idea of getting picked up by a 70-year-old man is indeed scary!