We have a disclaimer on our website and intake form stating that we reserve "the right to refuse service to any client who has acted in an inappropriate manner." A surprising number of people have asked for clarification about this. Here are a few of the things I look for:
- Sexual jokes, suggestions or requests: The "happy ending" line is getting old. Massage has gotten mainstream enough the public should know that is an inaccurate stereotype for 99.99% of massage practices. At this point, it's simply not funny and only makes you look ignorant.
- Requests to be undraped, especially if nude: Proper draping is part of the code of ethics for state licensing and for most professional massage organizations. Additionally, we don't want to see or touch your genitals. If you are cold or overheated, we will accommodate you to the best of our ability but certain areas stay covered, period.
- Trying to touch the massage therapist: An accidental touch is one thing, but multiple times is not accidental. We touch you, not the other way around.
- Heavy breathing, moaning or groaning throughout massage: We want you to enjoy a massage. Relaxation noises are not the same as sexual pleasure noises. We know the difference.
- Moving hips: If you're moving around because the pressure is too much or uncomfortable, let us know. Otherwise, it looks like you're humping the massage table.
- Requesting all butt work: Personally, I think the glutes are under-appreciated and definitely deserve some attention. However, spending an entire hour on the them generally leads to #4 & #5.
What happens if you do any of the above? First, the massage stops immediately. You will be re-draped and the massage therapist will step out of arm's reach. Second, the massage therapist will explain what you did/said that was inappropriate. Third, you will be given the choice of stopping that behavior and continuing with your massage or ending the massage and not being welcome to return. Consider it a one-time get-out-of-jail-free card. Most people get the hint. Throughout my ten years as a professional, eight clients have been fired for inappropriate behavior. Please don't give anyone a reason to add your name to a "Do Not Book" list. My previous post talked about how we, as massage therapists, respect our clients. We ask for that same respect in return.