Hot Massage Therapists
In the opening chapter of my friend Allison Winn Scotch's new novel, Time of My Life (out next month), the main character wonders if her massage therapist might make a move on her-while she's lying there on the table. If you've ever wondered if it happens (massage therapist-client love connections), the answer is, gulp, yes-it's not just a fictional scenario.
You go in for treatment of sore muscles or an injured back, but sometimes you get more than you bargained for, says Daniel Reinisch, LMT, a New York based massage therapist. In fact, he says, people develop crushes on their massage therapists more often than you'd imagine. And he's heard an earful from colleagues.
"The client may not know much about the therapist, but they certainly love their touch, and the trust that comes along with that, " he explains. "A friend of mine who is a male massage therapist had a female client ask him out on a date. The situation was awkward for him. She'd been coming to see him for a few months on a weekly basis. This particular day after the massage session was over, she paid him, and they set up the next appointment date and time. Then, just as she reached the door, she turned around at the last minute, looked at him with eyes suddenly displaying a huge crush, and blurted out, 'Would you like to go out for coffee sometime?'" The therapist kindly declined.
And, yes, says Reinisch, the reverse happens too. "One licensed massage therapist friend of mine, a man, works with a lot of models. No matter how many he works with they all are very attractive to him. Usually what he does when his mind wanders to a certain curve he finds titillating is bring his focus back to the work. After all, it would be ludicrous to deny his attraction to all these women, so instead he silently acknowledges it, and then proceeds to lengthen those tight muscle fibers as if they were anybody else's."
And when a therapist hits on a client? "A woman licensed massage therapist I am friends with had a regular male client she developed a huge crush on." Before she began the massage, she confessed that she was crazy about him. "To her surprise, " continues Reinisch, "he blurted out that he was also crazy about her." Long story short: They kissed right there, started dating, and now are married.
What's legal, ethical, crossing a line? "A massage therapist's boundaries can be different from say, a traditional psychotherapist, " notes Reinisch. But, "it would be a huge mistake professionally, psychologically and legally, for any massage therapist to use their clients as a dating pool."
Bottom line, he says, if your massage therapist makes advances that make you feel uncomfortable, get up from the table and leave the room immediately. Or, if you're developing strong feelings for your therapist, it might be best to move on.