Some people actively or furtively seek out the combination of massage and eroticism. Others detest just the thought of it and would rather have it eradicated from the face of the earth.
Why this topic can be aggravating for professional massage therapists
This tends to be a sensitive topic for professional massage therapists. Sometimes they have had to battle a misguided public opinion that massage is just a disguise for sexual services.
And sometimes female therapists had to fend off callers who were clearly looking for non-professional services. Some of them might even have had inappropriate requests from men during their sessions.
Therefore the tendency is that professional massage therapists define massage as a strictly professional and clinical event. They regard any other aspects of massage as undesirable and unprofessional.
However there are other ways of looking at this subject without “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”, as the saying goes.
I am aware that when some professional massage therapists read this title, they might feel uncomfortable that those two words – ‘professional’ and ‘sensual’ – are mentioned in the same sentence.
I know – it’s a hot topic. It gets tempers flaring, and opinions shooting about like arrows.
But for the moment, I am asking you to step out of the clearly defined professional massage environment and look at this from a broader perspective.
Who is this article for
My hope is that some people will appreciate if someone is not afraid to talk about it, or dares to address a controversial subject, and is willing look at this subject in a different way.
If you are part of the latter group, I hope I can provide some food for thought. For the purposes of this article let’s look at massage not only from the point of view of professional massage therapy, but from other points of view as well.
Let’s allow ourselves for the moment to be open to all possibilities, even if that means to be ‘politically incorrect’. So here is the question:
‘Is massage with sensuality all bad, unprofessional, unethical, or could it also be beautiful, uplifting and inspiring?’ I will let you decide.
Massage and eroticism is not a black and white issue
We are not necessarily dealing with only two possible extremes here:
- On one end the professional massage therapists with a strict code of ethics
- And on the other end the “therapists” in the red light district with long painted fingernails, breasts bursting out of skimpy dresses and makeup more resembling a tropical bird than a human face.
There is an area in between. It can be a gray area, or it might not be gray at all. You will see.
Just to make it clear where I am coming from
I have been a professional massage therapist for two decades, and I am the founder of Thai Healing Massage Academy where we teach professional Thai Massage therapy through our online training courses. So I am definitely in the camp of professional therapists.
I don’t teach sensual or sexual massage nor do I practice it. However I recognize that there is a place for it, and that it can serve a good and beneficial purpose.
I have traveled all over the world and have seen massage in many countries and environments (read the story further down). That’s why I know that there is not just one way of looking at this.
I am writing this to give you some food for thought and to expand your way of thinking. Massage and sensuality is not a black and white issue; it is not a matter of right and wrong as you will see.
Let’s look at four different scenarios
Scenario # 1 – That’s the clearly defined professional massage therapy, or at least it is clearly defined in the western world. It is often not so clearly defined in other countries, like in Asia, for example.
There the line between professional and unprofessional massage is not a clearly marked straight line, but the dividing line can sometimes be more of a gray zone, as you will see in the next scenario.
Scenario # 2 – What exactly was this massage?
This one is definitely in a gray zone. This event took place when I was traveling to Hanoi, Vietnam. I wanted to experience a Vietnamese massage.
So I went to a tourism office and explained that I wanted a clean professional massage with nothing sexy about it. In some Asian countries you have to make that clear since massage can have different meanings there.
I did made it very clear, and they gave me the address of a spa. When I arrived there, I was greeted by a receptionist, and the place looked clean and professional.
All the therapists wore white uniforms and all treatment rooms had a private sauna which you could use before the session. Upon first impression, it looked good to me.
My therapist definitely knew what she was doing and she gave me a good professional massage. I was properly draped and everything seemed to be fine… until at the very end she put her hand on my genital and asked me if I wanted massage there. I declined, and that was it.
So now the question is: Did this one suggestion invalidate the entire massage which was otherwise good, clean and professional? Clearly this is not acceptable behavior as far as my standards are concerned, but aside from this, I got a good massage.
What we had there was a professional spa with optional ‘services’ that definitely fall into the ‘unprofessional’ category by our western standards. But apparently the Vietnamese standards are different from ours.
So… considering that I was in Vietnam, the question is if that was just plain bad… or just different? Is this a black or white issue, or can there be a gray zone? Can we measure everyone by our own standards? You decide! I don’t have a definitive answer.
Scenario # 3 – The beauty of conscious conception
This one is not in a gray zone at all. Imagine this: You and your wife decide to have a baby. You want to make the event beautiful, meaningful, loving, and full of good energy.
So you decide that you want to create a suitable atmosphere by decorating the room nicely.
You do that by lighting candles, burning incense, and giving each other a wonderful sensual massage before your attempt to conceive a child.
You want to make the time of conception a beautiful memory for both of you. Here we have a situation where sex and massage are perfectly compatible by the highest standards.
Scenario # 4 – Rescuing relationships
You and your partner or spouse have allowed your relationship to deteriorate into stale boring territory and it looks like it might not last much longer.
Your intimate life, if there is any, is totally uninspiring and there is not much attraction or desire. Your children are suffering in this situation as well.
Both of you start thinking about other options/partners for your life. But you have been together for a long time, and you have a lot in common. You also can remember that at one time you were very attracted to each other. What happened?
So you do some research about how to rekindle the flame of attraction between you.
You decide that both of you will learn some massage techniques so that you can give each other wonderful sensual massages and breathe new life into your uninspiring intimate routine.
You both find out that this feels amazingly good and that it works! It helps to give your relationship a new lease on life.
Now, instead of heading for separation, you discovered a new way of interacting with each other by using massage as a tool. It saved your relationship.
Massage to enhance life and relationships
I think by now it is clear that “sensuality and massage” is not necessarily a dirty word. It is not automatically an unethical combination. In fact, outside of the context of professional massage therapy it can be a perfect combination.
Sensual massage is enjoyable and can be loving and highly conscious. Granted, it doesn’t have a place in professional massage therapy, but it certainly does have a place in loving relationships.
And it doesn’t have to be a ‘dirty’ word, just because it is abused by some people.
It can be part of life in a fulfilling and positive way. It can help to make life better. My purpose is to defuse this ‘hot topic’ and provide some food for thought. I leave it up to you to make up your own mind, and I would love to hear your opinions in the comment section.
If you would like to learn professional Thai Massage, check out Thai Healing Massage Academy’s convenient and effective online training course: