When clients say “Massage” but mean “Sex”

This post emerged from one of the NO HANDS members’ clinical call in August 2020.


When clients say “Massage” but mean “Sex”

The hard truth is that for some people, when they say “Massage” they actually mean “Sex”. Euphemisms are funny in that these people will often do anything to avoid actually asking for sexual services – which means there are two people in a conversation talking about totally different things!

One of the best ways to approach this is like you would do any interaction: with introductions.

The text message that arrives from an unrecognised number: “Do you do Massage?

The phone call: “I’m round the corner, can I come for a Massage in the next 20 minutes?

Rather than going straight into answering their question, start with introductions. Let’s go with the phone call:

Therapist: “Thanks for getting in touch, I’m [your full name, including surname]. Could I take your name please?”

Mumbling: “It’s Bill.”

Therapist: “That’s great, Bill – and your surname?”

More mumbling: “Smith.” or, more often, that click as the person who says Massage but means sex hangs up

Therapist: “Thanks, Bill. So, yes, I do do Massage. What has prompted you to want to book a treatment?”…

If the person on the end of the phone keeps going at this point (and hasn’t hung up) they’re either unsure how to end a call and will likely disappear and not contact you again, OR – and this has happened to me – they’re a genuine client who’s really nervous because they’ve never booked a Massage before and have no idea what to expect.

Everyone has their own style but most importantly, be comfortable. You’re a professional. You offer a vital service. And just because someone asks for something you don’t offer (even in euphemisms!) they still deserve your professionalism.


The advantages of working from a clinic

This week we celebrated one of our members getting TWENTY EIGHT NEW CLIENTS since she reopened after the first COVID lockdown. She’s an astute business woman and has a beautiful centre she works from. She shared advice she was given when she was starting out: even if it’s only for half a day a week, offer treatments from a clinic. It offers an accessibility and professionalism that is very difficult to achieve working from home. Members of the public often assume that a clinic will, by default, be “COVID Secure” – whereas assumptions about the home environment can be very different.

So if you’re currently working from home but keen to be at the front of the queue for new clients, check out what options there are in your local area to rent a room in an existing clinic, spa or other therapy centre.


Paying in advance: thanks COVID!

Within the NO HANDS community we always recommend asking for payment in advance – but many members still find this difficult.

Enter COVID-19!

So many places are now requiring pre-payment that it’s become the norm. This is your chance to do away with the uncertainty of whether a client is going to arrive (and whether you’ll get paid at all) and make it clear: payment in advance is the only way to secure your session.


The White Noise of Stress

Pre-COVID we were living in a stressful world. Now, we’ve got all the stress there was before (paying the bills, housing, climate change…) PLUS the huge uncertainty of what the future holds, PLUS the fear of both catching COVID and, often worse, the fear of passing it on to our loved ones.

Some very evocative descriptions of this were shared in this week’s call: the Hum of Stress and the White Noise of Anxiety. It’s vital we take account of this heightened attack on our nervous system – and that of those around us, friends, family or clients. This could mean increasing the amount of self care you afford yourself. Or giving the benefit of the doubt when someone snaps – with this increased baseline of stress, the population’s resilience and ability to cope has been seriously eroded.

So be kind to yourself – and to those around yourself. These are tough times – but together we’ll make it through.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Robin Dalglish

    Wise words on all subjects, especially about “say massage and mean sex”.
    as an ex-Army Orrficer (albeit fairly briefly),
    I must needs point out that “over” and “out” also mean different things. “over” means the conversation is carrying on, whereas “out” means “I’ve finished and have no more to say” so “over and out” much beloved of B action movies is a contradiction in terms, and anathema to a NO HANDS Master. Granumph granumph. (No idea what that means).

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