The first, and probably last, massage

“The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”

― Auliq Ice

 

Disclosure: the following merely reflects my feelings and point of view and not the behaviour or professionality of the mentioned therapist.

 

I have never had a professional massage before

Except for occasional generous backrubs from my boyfriend

Or surprisingly rough muscle-ripping from my physiotherapist

Massages were always too expensive

I was too broke and too tense

I survived at a job for more than seven months

So on a Saturday afternoon, I took my insurance card on a splurge

 

I got there a few minutes early

But the door was locked, the building is usually free of souls on weekends

I work in the same building

Excitement was creeping on my anxious skin

I swiped my card and went in

 

He was surprised to see me come in

“How did you get in”, he asked

“I work next door”, I replied

 

We were in the room with a massage table covered in tan sheets

I was facing the wall to let him assess my posture

“You’re all legs, huh?”, he said

“Excuse me”, I extorted

“You have a very short torso, or at least so it seems in your high waist pant”, he replied

“Oh”, I exhaled, confused

 

“What type of music do you like?”, he asked, trying to play an album that would relax me

“Hard rock and metal”

“Oh, I like your taste in music, we’re gonna get along just fine”

 

I took off my top while he was out of the room and nestled under the sheets on my stomach

He strangled the tightness of my muscles

Engaged in conversation about music and travel

“So you have a petite lean body, do you run or walk?”, he posed, stopping for just a millisecond on the word “petite” with an inaudible teeth-clench that trapped a masculine grunt

“I go to the gym every day on my lunch break”, I muttered, feeling the blood pooling in my cheeks

 

“What are we focusing on at the gym?”

I explained how my physiotherapist gave me mostly back exercises

“I suggest you do the seated row with the V handle”, he advised, drawing a V shape with his index finger on my left buttocks

The spreading discomfort threw my mind into a whirlpool

I wanted to shrink and melt into the table

He kept uttering words that were indistinguishable to me and drew more shapes on my shorts

 

“Turn on your back please,” he said lifting the thin sheet

I hesitated

“It will cover you, I promise”, he smirked

I started turning, holding my breasts in my palms, digging my fingernails into my side

 

“Don’t worry I’ve got your hair”, he brushed my hair back and searched for the tense nerves on my neck

He went on to name different soccer clubs in the UK

I was trying to absentmindedly listen

His shape-drawing finger grazed my forehead and caressed a strand of my short bangs away from my face

My face, where the muscles weren’t targeted in this  massage

 

75 minutes into a 60-minute massage appointment, I was dressed and ready to leave

“Let’s gauge your posture after the massage, pop your butt out like a Kardashian”

He told me my hips don’t rotate properly

But I’d already stopped caring and listening

I only wanted to stop permitting the hideous unease crawl on my body

 

I left feeling tenser than ever

Perhaps relaxing luxuries don’t suit me

 

Am I a crazy prude, or is this how it goes?

 

 

13 Responses

  1. I’ve never had a massage, I think I would be uncomfortable the entire time. That guy did sound very forward though, asking questions I’m not sure the relevance would be to your tenseness.

  2. I’m trained in massage… this is NOT how it should be done, I would never ask to ‘assess’ a clients posture after a massage, especially referring to their bum in the process! (Or drawing shapes on it for that matter!)
    Please don’t let this put you off. There are many wonderfully trained males in the industry but maybe for the next one try going to a female masseuse, see if you feel a bit more comfortable. (And one on recommendation if you can) I’m sorry you had a bad experience, this guy gives a bad name to massage therapists. Very creepy from the sounds of things. What a shame. Please don’t be discouraged though!

    1. Thank you for replying to this post, I really wanted to know if that is normal or not. And now that I know it wasn’t right, I will go back, and maybe see a female this time. My physiotherapist has given me massages before, and she is absolutely wonderful.

      1. No problem! Maybe ask your physiotherapist for a recommendation on when to go for a full length massage? Unless she offers them herself. I’m glad your going to try again though. Don’t let this bad experience put you off as massage is so beneficial and it would be a right shame for you to miss out because of his lack of professionalism (and borderline harassment). Just remember he’s the minority not majority!

          1. Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful advice. I will do my best to erase this experience and give it another go. 🙂

  3. I’ve only had one massage in my life. It honestly made me feel really uncomfortable, even though she was very professional and did her job well. My wife in the other hand, had a membership to a massage franchise, and would go monthly. At one point, she had an LMT, that put his hands all over her and made her so uncomfortable she ended up complaining about him. She recently read how this franchise was being taken to court by current and former clients because a bunch of LMTs had books of complaints against them, yet kept them on the payroll. Kinda unsettling.

    1. Oh wow, that is really unsettling. I tried filing a compliant as well, but this person is the manager of the clinic. So I need to follow up with the provincial LMT centre.

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