Why Do Men Go to The Spa?
It used to be that spas were the sole province of women, a place to go and relax, undergo some beauty treatments, and be pampered. Then that special group of grooming-obsessed men, the metrosexuals, began trickling in. That progression made sense, since metrosexuals are characterized as men who are intent on creating a good appearance, as opposed to the average guy, whose idea of good grooming is doing a sniff test on his shirt’s underarms before putting it on.
But now, it looks like those average, regular guys, the ones who usually end up spending .05 seconds getting ready to step outside their home, are starting to frequent spas. It’s not a stampede, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s becoming a noticeable trend.
Yes, men are finally starting to come around to the idea of spas
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Mintel, a marketing research firm, released a report that shows that not only are more so-called average men going to spas for basic grooming tasks, but they’re also beginning to avail themselves of an increasing number of standard spa services.
Perhaps it’s because society’s expectations of typical gender behavior are starting to relax. Men are beginning to accept the idea that if they go to a spa, they won’t get laughed at by women (the ones whose opinions they value, anyway), and as far as their buddies are concerned, who cares what they think? It also probably helps that there have been no accounts in the news of “regular, ordinary joes” going to a spa and spontaneously turning female.
But credit also needs to be given to spas themselves, which have noticed this new trend and are putting together services and packages that cater to the regular guy.
A point here needs to be made about metrosexuals. See, to “regular guys”, a metrosexual may as well be a different life form. To the above-mentioned regular guys, many metrosexuals carry that stigma of perhaps being a little too much into themselves and paying too much attention on their appearance, like some preening bird. Let’s put it this way: noted New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez has been labelled as a metrosexual. Most manly men (with the possible exception of a few in the Big Apple) don’t want to be A-Rod.
So, the idea of a regular guy going to a spa needs to not only overcome the association of it being a “girl thing”, it needs to overcome the idea of it being a haven for vain, egotistical metrosexuals. How to overcome these obstacles? Why, make the experience more manly, of course!
A Manly Spa Experience?
The article “Spa Treatments For Men: A Hot Trend” points out that some spas have created a specifically male-oriented experience to accommodate this new clientele. For instance, there are men’s spa experiences called things like “Men’s Tune Up”, “sports pedicures”, or “golf massages”. And hey, for Father’s Day, there’s always the father-son package! Why should going to the spa be limited to something only available for moms and daughters?
Some spas have areas with a more “manly” style of décor, like walls with darker colors, for instance. There’s a Ritz-Carlton in Maui that boasts of a gentleman’s spa that includes a sauna, a steam room, and a waiting area that has a flat-screen tv. Others feature awesome perks like bourbon, beer, and the ultimate in maleness, control over the remote!
If this doesn’t sound manly enough, then the “Brew n’ Renew” will end all doubts once and for all. If you find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and go to either the JW Marriott or Amway Grand Plaza, where the massages and pedicures use local hops and barley for the purposes of exfoliating the skin. Naturally, both properties also serve a variety of local craft beers.
There. Manly enough?
It Starts With A Massage …
There’s a way that men have been lured into spas and have had their opinions changed, and that’s by means of the massage. After all, real men have no problems with massages, right? Massages are cool. Athletes get massages all the time, as do high-powered executives who are trying to relax after a hard day of running massive mega-corporations. No real should have a problem with a massage.
Call it a gateway drug, if you will. A man goes into a spa for a massage, and that’s how it begins. Once there, he starts to notice the other things there, things like manicures, which are kind of okay as well. After all, a sharp-dressed man needs to look good, and that includes stuff like nails. Before you know it, he’s moved on to pedicures, facials, and who knows what else.
Bingo. He’s hooked! Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like such a bizarre idea to go to a spa. Rather than just dropping off the lady of his life at the spa, he may end up going in right along with her, and then veer off to the more “manly” part of the establishment.
Everyone Needs To Be Indulged Sometime
Whether male or female, everyone can use some downtime, relaxation, and the opportunity to be pampered. Fortunately, it seems that the stigma of men going to a spa to be spoiled for a little while is starting to go away. Good thing, too. Life seems to be more stressful than ever, don’t you think?
Byline: John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He’s waiting for the manly spa experience where they wrap you in bacon.