A friend of ours recently gave us some insightful information in regards to how people act when choosing their massage therapist. What is normal for some people may not be comfortable for others. Some women prefer to have their massages done by a woman while others will always request a male. There are also women who don’t have a preference. However over her years of working at the front desk at a massage therapist office, our friend has encountered some instances that had people thinking twice before deciding who they want rubbing them down.
A very common example of this happens when a married woman has to decide whether or not it’s appropriate for a man other than her husband to touch her in places normally covered by clothing. Women know that men massage therapists have larger and strong hands and sometimes want the stronger and firmer feel yet are reluctant to cross a line that, in my mind, doesn’t exist.
It shouldn’t matter if a married woman chooses a male massage therapist. It should be no different than choosing a male hair stylist or a male dentist. There is nothing sexual or intimate about having a massage. Massage therapists are licensed professionals who are dedicated to treating those with sports injuries, arthritis, elderly patients, those with back pain among many other things. That is all. There is nothing beyond that.
Other times our friend witnessed people hesitate before choosing a male or a female massage therapist is when a man debates in his mind whether or not it’s “acceptable” to pick a guy. Women are generally more willing to have females give them massages, with guys it’s a much bigger deal.
I blame it on old fashioned stereotypes and think that men need to be more confident while selecting a massage therapist. It all goes back to the point that massages are completely professional. If a guy is comfortable with a man serving him coffee at Starbucks, then he should feel just as comfortable being massaged by a man. Perhaps society is not at the point yet but hopefully it will get there soon.
Unfortunately massage therapy has a reputation for being something that it is not and that makes selecting the gender of massage therapists unnecessarily difficult for some people…