Men and Day Spas

The New York Times has an article today about men attending day spas. While it’s mostly fluff, it’s based, of course, on all the differences between male spa-goers (of which there are very few) and female.

Only 15 percent of the guests at Rancho La Puerta are men, and the educational programs are heavy on topics like menopause and elder care.

Apparently elder care, like menopause, is a biological feminine obligation.

As for destination spas, which focus on health, fitness and nutrition, men cluster at places that offer high-testosterone activities, first-rate golf or permit weekend visits.

I’m not sure what “high-testosterone activities” are. Peeing standing up? Golfing, apparently?

The dining room chatter can be embarrassing in subject and long-winded in style for the tastes of many men, especially those who consider conversation to be purely utilitarian rather than inherently pleasurable and think women talk too much.

No comment. But if I were male, I think I’d find that more than a little insulting.

The spa has made a few concessions for men. Their health club has a television set, which the women’s doesn’t, and it is generally tuned to sports or stock market reports. Until 1 p.m., three hours behind East Coast time and the close of the New York Stock Exchange, men toggle between the TV room and the adjoining Internet center.

Because men who attend spas are so hard-working that they follow the NYSE even when they aren’t in the office. Because that’s what businessmen do. And women… well, they usually just stay home anyway, right? Even the women who work apparently don’t need access to basic financial information. And sports? Forget about it. Girls don’t like sports anyway.

7 comments for “Men and Day Spas

  1. May 13, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    I am so numbly horrified that I don’t know what to say. Both the insinuation of the article and the fact that I cannot access the full text are disturbing.

  2. May 13, 2005 at 4:29 pm

    Congratulations on graduating;-)

  3. janet
    May 13, 2005 at 5:24 pm

    My husband is completely uninterested in watching sports, so I think he’d prefer the women’s health club. Neither of us likes to watch TV at the gym anyway; we’d both rather read. He does get some funny looks and comments when he brings a book on mathematical theory to the gym.

  4. piny
    May 13, 2005 at 6:18 pm

    >>I’m not sure what “high-testosterone activities” are. Peeing standing up? Golfing, apparently?>>

    …Intramuscular injection protocols?

    Is anyone else creeped out by the way the mainstream media is collaborating with the drive to make men just as insecure, product-happy, and (most importantly) consumerist as women? “Men Who Groom: Too Cute!” and “Pampering is Fun for Boys, Too!” It’s like watching your little brother step off the curb into traffic.

    Okay, maybe with a little more schaudenfreude.

  5. michelle
    May 13, 2005 at 6:44 pm

    The dining room chatter can be embarrassing in subject and long-winded in style for the tastes of many men, especially those who consider conversation to be purely utilitarian rather than inherently pleasurable and think women talk too much.

    “utilitarian rather than…pleasurable”? Where is this planet? This doesn’t even match media stereotypes of guys as a fun loving, beer guzzling bunch. Have they heard of Spike TV? Yeah, guys are gruff and boring and short on words. Like John Wayne. How many years ago did that stereotype go out of style? This article so bizarrely contradicts reality as any man or woman knows it today, that their attempt to bolster the “war between the sexes” makes me think someone is very, very scared of something.

    I haven’t heard that line that men think women talk too much (this from the gender that monopolizes 2/3 of the conversation in mixed gender groups) in print for a long time. Pretty interesting that this tripe was commissioned for the NYTimes. Who’s benefiting from convincing men that women are annoying and stupid, and women that men are hostile towards them – hrm?

  6. May 13, 2005 at 7:31 pm

    Okay, maybe with a little more schaudenfreude.

    No kidding.

  7. galnoir
    May 15, 2005 at 9:28 am

    “Men Who Groom: Too Cute!” and “Pampering is Fun for Boys, Too!” It’s like watching your little brother step off the curb into traffic.

    Susan Faludi talks about the trend away from emphasizing the functional aspects of men and toward emphasizing the ornamental in Stiffed. I can only provide anecdotal evidence, but guynoir (who is feminist-friendly but not necessarily an activist for the cause) read Stiffed and found that it resonated with him.

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