When I’m not writing I make my living as a Licensed Massage Therapist. People seem to have that confused with prostitute. For some reason people mix these professions up frequently either in a serious manner or joking one. Sooner or later the inevitable question gets asked.
“Have you ever done IT with a client?”
“No. Do you fuck the people you work with?”
I don’t know why but they usually get offended when they get asked this.
I’m not a prostitute. I am a Licensed. Massage. Therapist. It annoys me when people don’t recognize the difference. I went to a credited school and have a state issued license. And I’m pretty sure good prostitutes make much better money then the best of massage therapists.
The massage school I graduated from unabashedly taught us that 25% of all men will get an erection on the massage table. Gay, straight, bisexual, abstinent or eunuch, it’s going to happen sometime. Let’s face it, massage feels good. The client is relaxing, and blood is being filtered through the entire body. It’s a normal occurrence that any massage therapist worth their license knows is bound to happen. Most clients will be a little embarrassed and apologize. I tell them they should never apologize for an erection; the day will come when they’ll want one and can’t get one, and that’s when they should apologize. The client laughs, and the top sheet quickly settles back down against his stomach. No big deal. No matter what’s under the sheet – professionally, I’m not interested. It’s a variation of theme at best, which causes me to say: ‘If I see something I haven’t seen before…I’ll shoot it’. I’ve yet to notch an arrow.
I know that sexual massage is a common fantasy – I’m not stupid. I only have to see how massage is represented in most movies, TV shows or colorful pictorial advertisements in the back of magazines to realize that. But a common question I get is:
“How do you handle yourself with all those hot, naked people on your table?”
Let me put it this way: Do you get hot and bothered when you’re trying to work? Most of my clients aren’t my type (although I have many that would be deemed very attractive), and even if they were there is this thing called professionalism. Remember this is my career. Much like an actor doing a nude scene on stage, I am concentrating on a million details trying to do my job and don’t have time to focus on your ‘goodie bags’.
But the fantasy of others I have no control over. I have my face picture in my ad, but I seriously doubt that’s what’s causing any great commotion. I’m an average man. Average height. Average weight. On a scale from 1-10, I’m comfortable at a self-proclaimed SIX. Even at six-point-five (if I’m having a good hair day) I can’t imagine desirability has fallen to the level that I inspire such a response through a one-inch squared, black and white, printed newspaper ad. My office attire is nothing unusual and I wouldn’t wear anything to work that I couldn’t wear in front of your mother. In all my advertisements I clearly present my state-issued, massage license number, and a list of all the major health insurances I accept at the office. This should attest to the kind of work I do.
I can deal with the occasional curious (blocked from caller ID) phone call that comes every few months inquiring. “Do you offer a Happy Ending?” I usually tell them that I don’t do sexual work. Sometimes they make a legitimate appointment. Usually they hang up and I don’t mind: I’d rather they ask in advance then assume on the table. Maybe it’s just me being a typical man, but the only massage happy ending I’m interested in, is my own – me cashing the client’s check.
There have been subtle clients and those not as much. One client at least waited until the end of the massage before declaring:
“You forgot to massage this!” as he threw off the top sheet, grabbed his legs and pulled his knees to his face, rocking back on his shoulders. As the Cyclops’s brown eye winked at me, I said the only thing that came to my mind.
“You do know that isn’t going to help your lower back issues, right?” Then I left the room and tried not to laugh out loud. He didn’t come back.
As I worked on the legs of another client (whose insurance was paying for the massage) I was a little surprised when he asked:
“Do you do Lingam work?”
I wasn’t sure what that was. As an explanation he reached under the cover and smacked his erection against the sheet.
“No,” I answered. Not wanting to make him feel any more awkward I explained. “I feel about sexual massage the same way I do about pregnancy massage: it’s a specialty technique that many others can do better than I. No judgments, I just don’t offer that service.”
He was persistent and repeated his sheet thumping either thinking that I didn’t understand his offer, or didn’t notice.
“Well,” he announced proudly, as if his achieving an erection was such a grand accomplishment. “As you can tell, I’m UP for it if you are.”
“Unless you can show me an official insurance diagnoses code, I’m not.”
It was the sheer audacity that irritated me. This was an insurance client and he was expecting a lot for that $15 office visit co-pay! I wonder how this CEO would feel if I walked into his office and tried something similar. While he’s trying to focus on his job I’ll saunter into his office, lay down on his desk, whip it out and expect that he service me. Right there. Right then. Something tells me he doesn’t want that in his workspace. But for some odd reason, he seems to think I won’t mind it in mine.
I wonder if this happens in other professions. Do people walk into a dentist’s office misunderstanding what “Oral Perfection” means? Has anyone turned to their hair stylist with trousers around their ankles, gyrating their hips and saying: “You forgot to cut these hairs!” I seriously doubt it.
It can’t be because the client is undressed. I ask you: How many people get horny at a vasectomy appointment or the OBYGN? I can guarantee those professionals get more personal and intimate in their offices than I ever do in mine.
Don’t think that it’s only men that are pigs. I’ve joked that I should change my business name to ‘Circe’ for a reason. Women have also crossed the line although nowhere as frequent. One woman called to gather information about massage. She asked about how insurance companies work, about deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions vs. referrals and concluded by making an appointment date.
“One last thing,” she asked. “Do you mind if my husband is in the room?”
Many women feel more comfortable the first few times with a new male massage therapist, or they want their partners to watch and learn how to administer a decent massage. This is not uncommon and I have no issues with this.
“When the massage is over,” she continued. “Will you fuck me while he watches?”
I literally burst out laughing. It was something completely not expected.
“I’m sorry,” I said between bouts of laughter. “You don’t know how many wrong trees you are barking up right now.” I hung up. She didn’t keep her appointment.
I honestly love my career as a licensed massage therapist. There’s a real benefit from seeing someone enter my massage room stooped over in pain, and leaving with a sense of physical relief. It’s extremely satisfactory for me on many levels, and I enjoy it very much. Even if I won the lottery and became the # 1 best-selling author, I’d still find time for some massage clients. As I continue work on my second novel my mind does daydream from time to time on this fantasy. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll write an anthology of massage stories. True Tales from the Table: Rubbed the Wrong Way. I doubt authors get fans coming up to them with their pants around their ankles saying, “I loved your book! Now blow me.”
I wonder how John Grisham would handle that.