August 19, 2010

Gender of-Fenders and Service with a Smile

I don’t like to think about sex in the context of massage, but I am somewhat ticked at what I see as some pretty serious whining going on amongst male therapists responding to Lynna Dunn's recent article about “discrimination” against male therapists.

Gentlemen, please put yourselves in the place of the person at the front desk, booking massages for multiple rooms and dealing with whatever comes their way in the form of client complaints. Any front office/schedule person, after five minutes in the massage business, will learn to ask that question. Why? Because a lot of male and female clients do not want a male therapist.

Is that right? No.

Is that fair? No.

Now get over it.

I sympathize, I empathize. I rage against human nature and its folly. Why is there such discrimination allowed in this enlightened age. But that won’t change hearts and minds. People are as people do. And most don’t ask for male therapists.

Massage is, after all, a service industry. We serve the clients. If the clients don’t want such an intimate service from a male, we can’t stand there and argue. Service means their problems, unfortunately, are our problems. Our problems get to stay our problems and should not be shared with the clients.

Sometimes this problem is sexual, sometimes it is about past experience and abuse, sometimes it’s about not having a perfect body.

On the occasions when I have asked clients about their preferences, I’ve gotten some pretty strange stories in reply. They may tell me about a creepy massage they had where the therapist seemed to be checking them out. One client told me that a male therapist had slapped her copious cellulite hip and recommended a local surgeon saying “Most clients who have this problem have it removed.”

On the bright side, I’ve had clients tell me they always ask for a male because they don’t want a namby-pamby application of oil from someone with weak wrists. One such lady told me she went to the spa only because she had a gift certificate. Otherwise she had a nice man come to the house and massage her “everywhere” for only $50 – for two hours.

Gentlemen, I feel your pain. I also know that in every other job I have ever had in my life, males have the advantage in pay, promotions and perks. So butch up!

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