Yes, Real Men Do Get Pedicures

I headed to Harrah's Red Door Spa to find out why

I’ve heard it all about my feet. Mind you, they are neither deformed nor scarred. No preponderance of open pustules. But when you ignore them, month after month, year after year, well, I’ve learned that they assume a general state of unpleasantness.

But recently I was convinced to visit the Harrah’s Red Door Spa in Atlantic City. It’s popular with nail-concerned men, probably because of the bevy of flat screens—virtually unheard of in the spa world. And with the warmer, sandal-appropriate weather upon us and the recent societal destigmatization of male nail care, business is good.

There I sat, robed, half-supine in a thick red leather massage chair, watching closed-captioned Law & Order (they’re working on wireless headphones) as Iva, a pierced-lipped Bulgarian aesthetician, bathed, scrubbed, clipped, snipped and buffed me to perfection—as far as my feet are concerned, that is.

That was all well and good. But then there was the foot massage. Gentlemen, if you’ve never had a proper foot rub, schedule a pedicure and you’ll understand why other men do the same. It’s all about the massage, the rubbing and stroking of which can make you feel really good and forget about everything else—at least, almost everything else. In my case, as Iva worked me over, one distracting female client, an older New Yorker, kvetched nearby about her marriage—her third, I learned—but I must admit to liking it just a little when she whispered to her girlfriend, “I wish he would tell my husband to get a pedicure.”