Transitioning My Back Massager Into A Vibrator…

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I’ve been plagued with back problems my whole life. I got diagnosed with scoliosis at 14 when I struggled doing backbends and anything arabesque in my ballet classes. It was like watching an ironing board doing front handsprings in a gymnastics class. My back just wouldn’t bend. In order to balance out my back deficit I over compensated by being extremely flexible in my hamstrings. I could do the splits all three ways and I even measured my straddle split out at 185 degrees. Take that! But my flexibility only added to my back problems because my lower back and hips were so loose, I was in constant lower back and hip pain even in my teens.

The first time I threw my back out it was 1994 and I was 26. I was working at Lucasfilm and did all the shipping and receiving for our computer equipment. I lifted large monitors, computer towers and printers out of boxes, onto carts and then desks. I bent over one day to lift a humongous monitor and my entire spine went into shock. I was frozen. I could barely breath it hurt so much and work sent me home. My dad flew up from Los Angeles to take care of me – he iced my back, stretched my legs for me and even walked me to and from the bathroom. Sometimes it would literally take me 45 minutes to walk from my couch to the bathroom – my entire body had atrophied.

Dad stopped at Target while grocery shopping for us and bought me one of those back massagers that you could use on yourself. “I got you one of these, Lip,” he was waving this huge wand up in the air. “They’re really good, I use it on myself all the time. You gotta start taking better care of your back or else you’ll end up like me and need surgery.” Dad recently had back surgery and went I went to visit him he was crawling around on the floor while he recovered. We all made fun of him. I’m a bad daughter.

This is as close as I could find to the massager

The massager had a big long handle with multiple settings and the end was bulbous with lots of hard nubs on them and a curve underneath that was more for the neck. “See Lip you wanna use it like this and really get in there with it,” Dad was demonstrating this on himself, then he came over to me and dug it into my shoulders, neck and lower back. It vibrated a lot and made my hands itchy after a while. Plus it sounded like a small lawnmower. Dad had a huge back massager at home. The kind you hold with two hands and looks like you could polish your car with it. I thought it was really sweet that Dad stopped everything to take care of me. He even did all the cooking and cleaning!

This resembled Dad’s monster truck back massager

Less than a year later my BFF Anne moved in with me. God those were the days. Anne was a flight attendant, was always lifting things and had recently pinched something in her neck. I’d give her neck massages in front of the TV when we drank wine and watched Friends or Melrose Place together. I told her about my back massager. I ran and grabbed it from under my bed.

“Hey Hurley you should really try this thing out!” I waved it in the air just like my dad. “Dad bought it for me and it has helped me a lot with my neck and shoulders.
“Oh wow Woods thanks so much! That’s awesome and I don’t have the daddy bucks like you do to get massages once a week!” She was always making fun of my elevated financial situation but believe me, I paid it forward.
“Where do you keep this thing in case I need it?”
“Oh I usually keep it underneath my bed or in my bathroom underneath the sink. Just come in anytime and grab it.”

So about a year had gone by since Anne and I had joint custody of the back massager. I had a huge crush and had given a blow job to this loser guy at work and was left hot and bothered. Late one night I got the great idea to grab the back massager from underneath my bed. When I turned it on all of a sudden the loud noise startled me, knowing I was going to use it for something other than my upper body. I shuttered, Did Anne hear me in the other room? I peeked my head out and listened in the hallway to see if Anne was stirring at all. She was a pretty solid sleeper and I could hear her snoring a bit so I figured I was OK. I snuck back into my dark bedroom, shut the door, pulled my covers over me and just like that I transitioned my back massager into a vibrator, a rather loud and clumsy vibrator.

Anne and I enjoying lattes on our patio in Marin

To be fair I didn’t even think Anne was using it anymore. One night after Anne and I had brushed our teeth and settled into our rooms for the evening, I went to look for the back massager and couldn’t find it anywhere. I ripped my bed apart, tore out everything from underneath my bed and my bathroom. Had my cleaning woman relocated it??

Then I feared the worst as I suddenly heard the loud vibrating mini-lawn mower sound coming out of Anne’s bedroom. “HIII!!” she said all smiles as I walked in, as if she hadn’t seen me all week. We never got sick of each other. She was grinning ear to ear, fully enjoying a self massage using Dad’s back massager on her neck and shoulders before going to bed.

“Oh my GAWD!” I started laughing so hard I couldn’t contain myself. I was laughing hyena-style, doubled over and crying.
“Woods, what? What’s going on?” I still couldn’t speak and just pointed at the back massager/vibrator. I finally caught my breathe.
“Dude I didn’t realize you’d still been using that and I’ve experimented and been using that uhm, below the belt.”
“Oh my GAWD!!!” Anne threw the massager at me and screamed so loud in disgust. This only made me laugh harder and she fumed even more.
“What the FUCK Woods??? Why the FUCK didn’t you tell me??? That’s so gross!!” She screamed again in full on disgust mode. I couldn’t stop laughing.
“Woods get out of my room NOW! I CAN’T EVEN LOOK AT YOU!”
“Wait what? Are you serious?” I was gasping for air from the laughing. And just like that she got out of bed, kicked me out of her room and slammed the door in my face.
“Not cool, Woods, not cool.”

The next morning I woke up, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and Anne was making coffee upstairs. I came upstairs and gave her a huge hug, “Morning!!” She turned around with a look of disgust.

“Don’t touch me.”
“Wait, what you’re still mad???”
“Mad??? Woods that was so disgusting what you did and then not tell me, you should have told me!!” I felt so ashamed. She was so upset she even told her whole family about it. Her brother John brought it up at Anne’s funeral as one of our funniest moments together.
“Oh yeah the vibrator story, we all knew about that one,” he said.

I finally graduated to big girl vibrators when a friend took me to Good Vibrations in San Francisco. Good Vibrations is an adult toy store run mostly by lesbians with goatees, who take their jobs very seriously. I came home with a stash of goods to try and didn’t feel ashamed anymore. Now I keep my vibrators stashed away deep in a drawer so there’s no houseguest mistaking anything for a back massager. I ended up throwing away the original back massager. I mean it still worked but I couldn’t donate it. I think of Anne sometimes when I shop for vibrators and I hope that she’s finally forgiven me.

6 thoughts on “Transitioning My Back Massager Into A Vibrator…

  1. I remember finding a big one under your bathroom sink when you lived in Midtown and my imagination went wild. The scent confirmed my suspicions. HAHA!!

  2. HAHA!! OMG!! I love your stories. You write so beautifully and vivid that I could actually see that whole scene playing out in front of me!! Miss you my friend! Chat soon.

  3. Not that deep in a drawer… I have found a big flashy green vibrator under your bathroom sink when you told me to look there for a hair-dryer … EJ & I finally decided to hide it under your pillow. God it was almost 15 years ago but it still makes me laugh!

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