Berlin is known for its vibrant nightlife and seemingly no-limits, fetish-fueled parties, so I was very uneasy trying to find an establishment that would give me a regular massage.
Not a 'special' one, just the usual you'd get in a Westfield mall or at a hotel spa.
I'd been travelling for a couple of weeks by the time I reached Germany's capital. After a lot of carrying camera gear and luggage, my back was telling me it was time to do something about the pain.
I was desperate not to end up in 'one of those' massage places, and I had a plan.
Now, stick with me on this one.
There's a website in Europe that reviews 'those' massage parlours in all of the major cities, so I began looking for one in Berlin that had been given the lowest of low scores from people who were wanting a bit extra.
Surely, if someone visited a massage business wanting something more X-rated, and it wasn't available, they'd give it a low rating. That was my thinking.
I found the perfect place. Or so I thought.
It was quite a way from my hotel, which was right in the middle of Berlin.
The warning bells should have started when my Uber driver questioned me about the neighbourhood I was going to.
"You must know someone there," he said.
It was about a 25 minute drive, so I had plenty of time to start worrying about just what I was getting into. I kept searching Google for any reference to this establishment being dodgy, and there was nothing to be found.
We pulled into a cul-de-sac which looked a bit like the German version of Coronation Street. It felt like it would have seen plenty of drama over the years.
I found the address and saw steps leading to an atrium inside a very old, convent-looking building. None of the doors had numbers, so I was a bit lost as to where I was meant to be going.
I was just about to turn around and get out of there when I heard a door creak open and someone calling out to me.
"Massage is here, massage is here."
As I walked through the door, I was greeted by a row of six women, each holding a different type of alcohol.
I was offered wine, beer, vodka... anything I wanted. But I said no.
"Okay, men usually enjoy a beer afterwards anyway," the woman closest to me said.
I was then asked what I wanted to be done to me.
"My shoulders and back please," I replied, trying to point out I wasn't after anything extra.
"Just that? Oh, okay," one of the women said, as her and the rest of the group began to giggle. I felt like there was definitely an inside joke being shared at my expense.
I was shown to the massage bed. It was one of four in a large room that looked like it could once have been a dining hall or a gallery.
Each bed was separated by heavy, thick red curtains.
I lay down on the table and looked forward to losing the aches and pains in my shoulders.
Everything was going fine, their hands stayed on my shoulders and the massage was doing the trick.
It was then that I heard a noise. It was an unmistakable noise - someone just metres away from me was getting a massage too... with extras.
The nerves kicked in as I thought about how I'd react if my massage therapist would initiate something similar.
Then, into my ear, she whispered: "Do you want what he's having?"
I said "no", very loudly. This triggered another round of laughter from the rest of the women in the room.
It was time to wrap it up. As I was getting ready to leave, the sounds from a few beds down changed, more resembling those you'd hear at a pub.
The leading woman's theory turned out to be correct.
Men clearly do like a beer afterwards.