I am a professional Thai Massage therapist, and I enjoy receiving massage as much as I like giving it.
Why? Because it makes me feel great!
However I can’t help but notice a trend towards establishing the benefits of massage in increasingly scientific terms. While this is certainly important and useful knowledge, I want to emphasize another aspect.
This is almost a trick question. By definition massage is a sensual experience. It is perceived through our senses. It makes you feel good. It is meant to be pleasing to the senses.
Is there an easy definition of sensual and sexual massage?
The problem arises with the fact that most people do not clearly distinguish between sensuality and sexuality. The distinction is quite simple:
Sensuality by itself does not necessarily have any sexual intent
Sexuality is sensuality with sexual intent
The original meaning of the word ‘sensual’ is that something is perceived and enjoyed through the senses. This is certainly the case with massage. And this is also what sets massage apart from medical and clinical environments which are generally not pleasing to the senses at all.
Where to draw the line?
I admit that it is often quite hard to draw a clear line between those two concepts. Therefore you can’t blame professional massage therapists for avoiding the issue and just distancing themselves from the entire problem by siding with professional, clinical and scientific concepts.
While that keeps us in safe territory, it also denies or downplays the fact that massage is in fact a sensual experience – as in pleasing to our sense of touch.
Most of our clients do want to experience this aspect – the enjoyment of being touched. So we end up with a dichotomy.
I took the plunge. Colleagues of mine advised me to never mention Thai Massage therapy and the “three-letter-word” in one breath in order not to tarnish the image of it, or – God forbid – make anyone think that Thai Massage could be anything other than a snow white unblemished healing therapy.
I happen to be a long time professional Thai Massage therapist and instructor, and I do belong to the snow white camp. But I also live in Thailand and it is obvious that there are a quite a number of places that use Thai Massage as a front for sexual services.
During the Vietnam war tens of thousands of US soldiers came to Bangkok for a vacation, and Thai Massage in the gray zone, or should I say in the red zone, became a booming business.