I had a celebrity client in my private practice a couple months ago and when his session was up he sat up on the massage table and said quite politely, “can we have sex now, please.” I was taken aback by the request and wasn’t sure I heard correctly, so I said, huh? He repeated his request and I jokingly responded “not today, maybe next time” with a nervous giggle and kept on giving my follow-up care suggestions. Well, he was friendly, very open to the energy and therapy I delivered and let’s face it, most people will be in a “very loving head space” at the end of a really good massage. I didn’t want to abruptly change that. He returned for one more session, but I am now wondering whether he did so because I said “maybe next time” rather than respond that sex was not on my menu of services. Since I was a little surprised by his request, joke or no joke, I decided that I would always refer clients to my Menu of Services, and remind them that I am not licensed to practice anything else, especially that which is illegal.
Earlier this week, I put the word out on my fan page that I was in the hunt for a new place to reopen for business. I would be open to suggestions that afforded foot traffic, signage and which was low-budget and unencumbered by anything porn related. A male colleague sent me an email, reiterating his earlier advice that I get out of any business connected to the porn industry since landlords are less willing to rent space to these businesses. This, although my colleague knows I am not doing pornographic massage, and that there are legal and reputable places here for legitimate bodywork. He has not been to my practice, because he prefers to have a happy ending after his massage and so he goes to these other places that offer that. Not really “my loss”….
At a stage in my career/business where I, as a single woman with no support from anyone, am struggling to survive along with everyone else who don’t want to “cross over,” these suggestions sort of well…break my heart. It isn’t enough to be concerned that some psychopath or pervert is going to request a massage that I get chosen to go out and do; or worst, maybe he comes to my home for the massage and does something to ruin my sacred space. I am not better than doing pornographic massage and actually I would make better money and live better if I were to cross over. This I have been told by many of the male colleagues in this area. Some people I played poker with were very frank with me and indicated that if I offered happy endings, they’d be there three times per week. I am a good-looking woman and I can’t change that this is how men think and it is mostly who request massages. How disheartening for those who want their chosen field of work to be anything but salacious, lecherous, and pornographic. All I want to give is clean, healthy, therapeutic healing and rejuvenation delivered by a healthy, clean conduit with amazing, loving hands and heart. These scenarios are the reasons I despise the words masseuse and masseur. They imply erotic touch, something immoral and, well,…shameful…unless you are a “person of the night,” an escort, a prostitute who is proud and happy about being that. I AM A MASSAGE THERAPIST, OFFERING MASSAGE THERAPY; NOT THE SAME THING AS THESE PROUD PROSTITUTES.
Understandably, the Wikipedia says: “Those who practice massage as a career are referred to as masseurs, masseuses, or, if certified, as massage therapists.” The words masseuse and masseur are from a French word, Masser, which means “to massage,” “to knead” (as in bread), “to rub down,” “to mass erotic massage or to throng together.” Hence the masseuse (female) and the masseur (male) does the “rubbing down” or [therapeutically] “mass or throng together” your broken spirits, bodies, energies, so that you heal, become whole again to go back out and face your challenges. These are the sentiments behind my massage practice. I desire to help people become whole again, if even for a moment, so that they can heal little by little and face their challenges with a loving feeling and maybe loving thoughts in their hearts. This was the original import of those words, although somewhere along the way they became popular in the whore houses of Europe, Asia and the Americas.
I belong to a religion in which modesty is a big deal. I have told many therein that I am a massage therapist and I watch for the look on their faces. Some have taken my card/number, possibly to “investigate” while others take it but will never call. Others have chosen not to associate with me because well, (1) I wear dreadlocks, which is to some an immodest, rebellious hairstyle among other things; and (2) they imagine that I am doing something “unholy” in my massage business and God knows where else I am unholy in my path and hence I must be ruled a bad associate. If I say I am a therapist, they instantly assume “physical therapist”…and that’s o.k…, but not massage therapist…they don’t know about that….
I have wondered what they would do if I said I was a gynecologist or urologist. Hmm…I wonder whether they would have a similar reaction. After all, these professionals look at vaginas and penises, etc. all day! These are the same people who go to the doctor and strip down for examinations and have no idea whether the doctor is a pervert, child molester, rapist, or whatever or care whether he or she shares their beliefs. They simply trust that he or she is a “doctor”, hence it’s fine and they assume no sexual connotation to this job title. Yet, our society has become so debased that people believe that sex and sexuality must be attached to every loving feeling or touch outside of that. It is “normal” to believe that one cannot touch another in a massage setting with only “therapeutic, non-sexual intentions.” One client told me I was being “absurd” and “unbelievable”, when I responded that I wasn’t thinking about any such thing when I massaged him or any other client. He couldn’t believe that I could have no sexual reaction to him or any other sexy men or women for whom I provided therapy. How unfortunate….