Yes it is true…one of the most challenging issues you will face as a massage therapist is clients coming on to you and more directly looking for a ‘happy ending’. It just is appaling that massage therapists have to even deal with this behavior but the long history of prostitutes using the words massage therapy in their business names as a front for their prostitution business has been the cause of this problem. The profession also really needs to be doing more to stop this confusion, but they are not doing much.
ABMP has bought a little awareness program called Respect Massage and while the efforts are acknowledged, that words are still not really clear- respect what about massage? Respect is earned and not demanded. ABMP also recommends that states pass laws that make using the words massage without being licensed a felony.
“One of our main messages to massage boards and state legislators is that empowering massage boards and law enforcement to bring harsher penalties upon owners of massage parlors may help to eradicate these places instead of focusing on prosecuting the individuals perpetrating the acts, many of whom are victims of human trafficking.” ABMP News
Another thing that happened in a city in WA State where the local community created a nuisance law that made it so the neighbors could report on a business and it worked to shut many down.
Massage School will teach you how to deal with these issues. It is important to practice and practice in role playing so you are not caught off guard when it happens.
Sexual Harassment from Massage Therapists
The reverse also happens and is in the news frequently. Massage therapists have been caught sexually assaulting clients. How they even get into the profession is something that the profession really needs to look at. Some states required background checks and fingerprinting to help reduce the possibility of convicted felons becoming a massage therapist.
Back in 2017, there was a big news story on Buzzfeed where 180 massage therapists who all worked for Massage Envy were involved in sexual assault throughout the many locations and the response from them and the profession was less than adequate.