Massage therapists have to deal with some pretty obnoxious people, but who knew they could be THIS obnoxious!
A Woman That Truly Loves Her Work
“I can not tell you how many times clients have grabbed me.
The funniest was the guy who just reached out and ‘honked’ my ‘sweater kittens.’
The scariest was the time my boss booked someone who was obviously mentally disturbed. He was filthy, couldn’t communicate very well, and after years of invading people’s personal space, I feel confident in my assessment that he was a violent person. I tried to really impress upon him that this was a legit place and he was getting a real massage, but he didn’t get it and grabbed my upper thigh, hard.
The most shocking was a really friendly artist who waited until his session was nearly over to try to drag my hand down to his nethers. I dropped his head/shoulders and walked out. He spent some time in the restroom, made some creepy comments about me to the receptionist, left me a crazy big tip and left.
But biggest creep goes to a young man I worked on when I was in a resort town down south. He invited me up to his room for a drink, I refused. I told the manager he was not allowed back, and I thought that was the end of it. That jerk followed me around for 2 weeks, alternating between inviting me to run away with him back to his grandmother’s house in Detroit and saying I was a witch & he was going to kill me. If we’d known his stay was going to be so long, we’d have had him arrested.
Biggest pain in the butt goes to the old white lady that went on a racist rant for an hour.
The toughest thing I’ve had to deal with is the internship I did during school. It was in an oncology ward; many of the patients there did not have much time. They were my first ‘clients.’ They were so kind and so happy to see us. The most grateful people I’ve ever touched. And most of them are gone.”
A Different Kind Of Masseuse gets Creepy
I had a very eccentric (read: creepy) client who came into our clinic one day wanting a Tui Na massage (Type of Chinese Massage).
We usually leave the room to let the clients strip down into underwear before we commence, but with this guy, I had no chance to get away. Before I had time to give him a towel he dropped his pants to reveal sparkling blue underwear that barely kept everything in place. The guy was about 58, huge beer gut, gray hair, gold earring, and hairy like Robin Williams.
As I started the massage, the guy started to tell me that he worked as an erotic masseuse specializing in body slide massage. This is where the masseuse gets oiled up and rubs his body all over before a ‘happy ending.’
The whole time I was massaging him he kept telling me that I was ‘really good with my hands.’ He also repeatedly told me how good he was at his job and plugging his business with a hinting tone. A very awkward session.
Rude With Poor Hygiene, What a Combo!
“I’ve been an LMT for 3 years and have only had 2 incidences that stand out. And I don’t consider them very bad
I once had a very large woman who had clearly not showered in a few days, had greasy hair and breath I could smell from sitting over her. She was RUDE, telling me that just about everything I was doing was wrong and in a very unkind way. She was smarting off the entire time and was angry whenever I asked her essential questions. The woman farted on me when I was working on her hamstrings! Then left me a terrible review for my boss. Luckily, my boss knows that I NEVER get bad reviews and do everything possible (ok, not EVERYTHING) to make my clients happy. She tossed the bad review and ignored it.”
You Have To Have A Serious Will To Do Some Things
“A client came in unable to fully stand upright due to low back pain. I told her that I would likely need to work in the hip area so she probably should remove her underwear. She then said, ‘Oh, well I had an ‘accident’ earlier today and I threw away my panties so I would feel more comfortable leaving my pants on.’ I did the massage anyway although my coworkers were telling me to refuse to do it. But I felt like if you’ve already pooped your pants that day you’d probably feel even worse if someone refused to touch you because of it. However, at the time, I was assuming that she had actually cleaned herself post-liquid poop. I massaged her back and did compressions on her glutes and hamstrings with her pants on while the smell of excrement wafted in my face. Then I noticed at the end of the massage that she had brown stains along the cuff of her pants. She gave me a nice tip, but I had to thoroughly bleach the entire room and sanitize everything after she left, but nothing can sanitize MY BRAIN.”
A Lady Gets Bossy and Handsy
I used to work in the YMCA in my hometown. There was a group of four older ladies, around their early 50’s, that all played tennis together and afterward took turns getting massaged. At first, it was great, they were mostly doctors wives, fairly easing going and generous tippers to boot, but then things took a turn for the strange. One woman offered me a diamond tennis bracelet if I agreed to switch the order they were massaged in and did her first. I declined the gift but promised to use a rotating schedule in the future. She was fine at first but slowly became more aggressive. She would beg and bribe me to extend her half hour for 10 or 15 minutes in spite of her waiting friends. She constantly offered me expensive presents, shopping, home cooked meals, all kinds of things I was uncomfortable accepting. The more I declined her offers, the weirder and edgier she seemed to get around me. Finally, I guess she got tired of beating around the bush and made an outright advance by grabbing my hand and forcing it onto her chest. I told her I was very flattered, but I wasn’t interested in other women this way. She screamed (perfectly in range for all of her friends and all of my coworkers to hear) about how I had been leading her on for months and how I didn’t deserve any of her time and money. She berated my appearance and education before storming out the door, naked and furious. I quit that day, started waiting tables, and never quite worked up the nerve to go back.
A Toe Fetish?
“I once had this client, while still in school, who really wanted extra focus work on his toes of all things. After spending my time on his toes (blegh), he wanted glute work- pulled his tight shorty-shorts down and barred his harry bum. Not exactly what I was expecting being so innocent and new to the field. Needless to say, I pulled his britches right back up.”
Don’t Get A Spray Tan Before You Get A Massage
“I’m a beauty therapist and do massage too. I once had a girl roughly the same age as me (20’s) come in for a body massage as a present from her boyfriend. Whilst doing the massage I could see the oil looked weird, like a streaky brownish colour. And it smelt weird, well the client smelt weird. After the massage we chatted for a bit and she mentioned that she’d spent the morning fake tanning herself! Looked at my hands and they looked like I had just dipped them in chocolate, so so brown. I then had to explain to her that it wasn’t the best idea to do that as she’d now be one big streaky mess. Tan fail.”
You Lost Me At “Biohazards”
“I’m a massage therapist, doing medical-type work. My clients are all super-nice, so not many awkward experiences, but I’ll share two.
I came back to change the sheets after one client had gotten dressed and left, and found that he’d had some diarrhea on my table. Luckily our laundry service treats all our linens as biohazards anyway, but yuck.
I came into the room after washing my hands and letting my client get undressed, and she realized she hadn’t been specific enough about how she’d injured her back. So she got up (stark naked) and proceeded to demonstrate the motion she’d been doing when she hurt herself. (Not disgusting, bodies don’t scare me, but definitely felt awkward).
That’s about it! I love my job. I’d definitely suggest going into massage therapy if you’re compassionate and can handle a good amount of physically demanding work. If you’re worried about people trying to come on to you, stick to medical settings. If you’re worried about bodily fluids and/or smells, go the spa route. Good luck!”
A Really Uncomfortable Massage
“I was the massagee rather than the massager…
I was on an island in Fiji, and I thought it would be a good idea to get a massage in the little massage hut on the beach (seems like a good idea, right?). I lay stomach down on one of those tables with the hole cut out for your face and let the lady get to work. Unfortunately, with her technique, every time she touched me it was like the most ticklish thing ever and I would tense up. She seemed to be getting more and more stressed that I was tensing, which in turn was stressing me out. This went on for about ten minutes during which the atmosphere in the hut was getting progressively worse.
That’s when it got bad…
I sneezed. A big snotty sneeze that caused a dangling snot ribbon to cascade down from my face, not quite reaching the floor. I tried to sniff it back up but couldn’t get it all the way, so I reached up my hands to wipe off. However, because of the width of the table, I couldn’t reach my arms to my face while still keeping my face in the hole… so this dangling green jelly vine was swaying around from my down turned face as I desperately tried to sniff enough to get it back into my nose. It suddenly dawned on me that I should just let it go and be done with it, after all, we were in a hut on the beach, no big deal…
It was at this moment that she stepped around to massage my shoulders, positioning her perfectly pedicured feet right under the snotty ribbon. I sniffed and I sniffed and I sniffed but there was no getting this thing to retreat back into my nose. And it just kept swaying in the breeze, threatening to snap. Granted this was all helping distract me from trying not to laugh as her spidery fingers tickled along my back, but it was all I could do not to let it drop down onto her toes for the duration of the massage.
When she finished not long after, I lifted myself up and the green cable flattened itself across my face. She looked absolutely disgusted as she handed me a tissue. I thanked her awkwardly and turned to walk out. It was at that point where I walked head first into the low thick wooden beam that was supporting the exit of the tent. The crack on the head was like the icing on the cake to finish the worst and most awkward massage of my life.”
There Is Only One Thing That She Really Hates
“My mother has been a massage therapist for over 20 years. She’s in her 50’s, and she loves it.
She massages a lot of elderly people, doesn’t mind. Massages a few obese people, doesn’t mind. To her, people are people, and she’s not easily disgusted.
But when people proposition her for more ‘intimate’ things, she minds. One particularly troubling encounter was when she was massaging a friend’s husband, and he thought it would be appropriate to ask for ‘favors.'”
“My mom is a massage therapist. She used to work out of our house. She had a studio downstairs where she would have people over for massages. One day, a woman came over who was probably in her late 60s. Oldish, slightly overweight woman. Now my mom, as is standard procedure, asks this woman to disrobe and get under the covers while my mom waited outside. When she came back in after a few minutes after asking if the woman was done, the woman was standing in the middle of the room completely naked. The woman said ‘Honey, I’m sure you’ve seen more than this in your day.’ She had not.”
I Think She Was Angry About Something
“While in a deployed location, there was an opportunity to get massages from the local nationals. Now, we had heard horror stories of these ‘massage therapists,’ basically, just old ladies that beat you up. But, my buddy was having back problems and said screw it, I’m going to try.
So, he goes in for the massage. Note these women do not speak English. So he takes his clothes off, wraps the towel around him and climbs up on the table. This masseuse proceeds to literally then punch the ever living snot out of him (his back, back of his legs, and neck). PUNCH – Not massage, she just beats him up.
He said he was not prepared for the beating of his life. First off, the lady was like 130 lbs, looked like she was 80 years old, had arthritic, gnarled hands and he swore she could’ve knocked out Chuck Liddel in his prime she hit so hard.
Eventually, he kinda got used to it or something decided it felt good because he got aroused. Now, we’ve been without our significant others for about 4 months at this time, so it’s kind of understandable. Anyways, the old lady nudges him to roll over, and he complies.
As he rolls over, towel gets caught, and BOOM you-know-what is staring at this old ladies face. So, the worst thing he could possibly do, he does. He shrugs his shoulders, slyly smiles, and winks at her.
We’re all sitting around smoking and joking when we see him running to the tent like Quasimoto attempting to put his clothes on, clutching his junk, literally wailing like an infant. We run into the tent to find out what happens and in between sobs, he explains what happens after the wink.
‘She, she is unnaturally fast. I don’t even think I fully completed the wink before she had one hand on my privates. She squeezed harder than a trash compactor’ This is where he starts crying again, just replaying the memory.
Of course, we’re dying laughing.
Needless to say, he was pretty sure his stuff was broken, and I still talk to him about it to this day, and he swears to never get a massage again.”
This Ends With The Guy On A Watch List
“My brother is a massage therapist for a side income and has tons of horror stories.
One of the strangest ones is a man came to their studio (he shared one with others) and specifically asks for a man. Well, he is left in the room with the typical instructions(undress and get under a sheet) and when my brother comes in, the guy is sitting on a couch cross-legged naked as the day he was born. Anyway, weirds out my brother who apologizes and asks him to again get under the sheet and leaves for about 5 mins. He comes back and begins the massage, apparently, this guy had a huge, inappropriate tattoo of a private part on his back and kept ‘hinting’ for more. The guy even started slightly pulling the sheet off his butt with his hands(they were by his sides) and saying things like ‘it’s just the two of us in here, what happens here stays here, I wouldn’t say anything.’
Basically, all this unnerved my brother a good bit and was all too happy when the guy’s time was up. But like a champ, he continued to do massages, although they did add that guy to their ‘watch’ list.”
Sometime’s, It’s All Worth It
“I’ll start off saying I’m female, as I believe it has a lot to do with how you are treated in this field. I’ve owned my own business and contracted out to spas, clinics, chiropractors, and even a massage chain within a travel center (read: truck stop…) I’ve dealt with unwanted advances, I’ve had men try to touch me, and a few touch themselves – it takes a lot of professionalism to not just throw them off the table screaming ‘GTFO.’ You’d be surprised just how many people genuinely think every massage is supposed to end that way. Working at the truck stop and the clinics, it wasn’t uncommon to find that the client had gotten ‘excited’ all over the sheets.
I’ve also had people come in with horrendous body odor or breath. You’d think it’d be common courtesy to at least shower the day of your massage… I once had a farmer come in that was gritty from a hard day’s work, musty with sweat. But the worst part was his breath smelling EXACTLY like pig manure.
Massage is not for the squeamish. You need a strong stomach and even stronger empathy towards your fellow man. We see them at their most vulnerable. They are naked, often hurt, and putting their bodies in our hands.
But then there’s the good side to everything. You get to see people smile as they get up and they feel relief from the pain; the happy chemicals flooding around and making them feel a natural high. People thank you for helping them. I always got so much pleasure from seeing progress.
And I have helped people. I’ve given someone the ability to walk without a limp. I’ve given people mobility back in their arms, shoulders, legs, you name it.
I had a client who’d never had a massage before, she was in her thirties. As I was working on her neck, there was an abnormality right along her spine. I told her that whenever she went into her doctor, to have him check it out. She had no idea it was there. She came back a year later to thank me. It was a tumor, and it was surrounding her spinal column. She went in the following week, had it looked at, and he told her she was lucky, any longer and she could have been paralyzed or worse. It was then that I knew for sure that this is I was meant to do.
So yes, it’s all worth it if you can make even just one person’s life better.”
Sometimes, People Smell. Bad.
“I haven’t really had anyone awkward, but I’ve had a few people with questionable hygiene habits. I trained at a natural medicine school, lots of hippie-types doing energetic healing or yoga classes (they did teach the sciences too, anatomy, chemistry, diagnostics…it wasn’t all super-cosmic).
I was paired up with a hippie-type guy who obviously didn’t believe in deodorant, and of course, we were doing chest and arm muscles that day. No matter how many times I washed my hands and arms with soap I couldn’t get his funk off me. Even after I drove the half hour home with the windows open, I walk in the house and my husband goes ‘holy crap what is that stink?’ I showered maybe 3 times that night!
Another client I had was a slightly overweight 16-year-old girl, who was wearing sheepskin ugg boots, with no socks, on a rainy day. She took her boots off and the room filled with the scent of an elderly Labrador that had been caught in a rain storm. After she left there were candles burnt and doors flapped to try and circulate some fresh air.
But apart from that, most people are great. You get the perks of the odd very attractive person coming in, but I find that once you get them face down on the table, covered in towels, exposing just the part of their body you’re working on, that they’re a bunch of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It’s rewarding when you can feel that muscle release under your hands, and people say how much better they feel when they leave you, especially when they book another session.”
A Guy That Really Loves His Work, Despite the Downfalls
“I love it. (Guy here) I have to say there are some creepy phone calls but that is as bad as it gets. One dude asked exactly what kind of massage I did (a common precursor to ‘do you do extras’) and I told him clearly about Swedish Massage. He said ‘Ah that’s something my partner and I would be interested in’ and asked: ‘…and for the ladies do you do sensual massage?’ I find this euphemism so frustrating. It literally doesn’t imply what they want to imply but it has become recognized as a word for intimate time. I said ‘no.’ ‘He then said, ‘could you?’ I said ‘no!’ Then follows a common awkward situation where we try and both pretend that he hasn’t just asked me for some kind of ‘special’ service in return for money and finish the conversation as you might otherwise.
This conversation and the time a rather lonely, elderly gay man told me how much he appreciated ‘having a pretty man to take care of him’ were the weirdest moments. Admittedly when Mr. Lonelygay said that to me I felt a bit gross but also internally giggled, blushed and said ‘aww he said I’m pretty.’ For a fleeting moment considered a life as the wealthy boy toy of an aging thespian. My ticket into the high society of Homosexual retirees, feeling slightly jaded and ashamed of my life built on lies but driven by the idea of inheriting his immaculate house and fortune. Then remembered I was a bit far down the road of life for that change of tack, having married a woman. I decided that I would diminish and remain Galadriel in the West.
But the weirdness is worth it. Swedish massage is a fascinating practice based on Western medical understanding of human physiology. You’ll learn words like ‘desquamation’ and ‘lymphatic.’ There are perks like ladies pay you to touch their body. There is admittedly a slightly pervy pleasure when you are massaging someone really lovely but it is seldom and balanced by your professionalism and the amount of slightly tubby men one deals with. As a guy, I have a disproportionately high level of men because many women therapists won’t see guys. It is great though because men have more muscle and that’s the fun part for me; getting deep into a thigh or shoulder and working bits loose.”