To Our Therapists:
As a licensed massage therapist, you may have encountered various forms of harassment, solicitation, and inappropriate behavior from clients. A recent study published by the University of Toronto Press found that 74.8% of massage therapists have experienced sexual harassment from clients, with only one therapist reporting the incident to the police.
Another survey conducted by the Association of New Brunswick Massage Therapists showed similar results, with 75% of respondents reporting harassment or assault at least once in their career. These traumatic experiences can result in physical and psychological consequences, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.
The massage therapy industry is often stigmatized by the association of massage with sexuality and the happy-ending trope in pop culture. Jokes about happy endings contribute to human trafficking, as they create a misconception of massage therapy that makes legitimate therapists vulnerable to solicitation and violence. Moreover, establishments that engage in illicit sexual services are often fronts for human trafficking, making the massage therapy industry one of the most common venues for sex trafficking.
To increase your personal safety as a massage therapist, it is important to be proactive in protecting yourself from solicitors. Planning ahead and recognizing the signs of a solicitor can help you avoid dangerous situations and take control of your circumstances. Some red flags to watch out for include power dynamic negotiations, gaslighting, boundary pushing, and explicit language or gestures.
It is also important to establish clear boundaries with clients and become familiar with your company’s policies regarding harassment and inappropriate behavior. In the event of harassment or assault, it is recommended to report the incident to the police and seek support from your colleagues and professional organizations.
Remember that you have the right to feel safe and protected while at work. By being proactive and informed, you can take charge of your personal safety and navigate the challenges of working in a stigmatized industry.
In conclusion, as a massage therapist, it is important to be proactive in protecting yourself from solicitors and to establish clear boundaries with clients. Watch out for red flags such as power dynamic negotiations, gaslighting, boundary pushing, and explicit language or gestures. In the event of harassment or assault, it is recommended to report the incident to the police and seek support from colleagues and professional organizations.
Within Pure Awakening we are all connected by one or a few freelancing groups on WhatsApp and these spaces should be utilized not only for job opportunities but a safe space to share if anything inappropriate comes up, or to report the clients that ask for these services, this way we protect each other, and we are closer to creating a industry that does not condone sexual services.
To our Clients:
At Pure Awakening, we adhere to a strict policy against any form of sensual or sexual practices, including ‘happy endings’, massages with any sensual or sexual nature, body-to-body massage, oral favours or sex. Our therapists are highly qualified and committed to providing professional, quality mobile massage and beauty services. Your personal safety and comfort are our top priority, and we strive to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all our clients and therapists.
Mobile massage services are a convenient way to receive a professional massage in the comfort of your own home. However, it is important to remember that massage therapy is a therapeutic treatment and not a sexual service.
Asking for any form of sensual massage, happy endings, or anything related to sex is inappropriate, disrespectful, and a form of solicitation. This behavior is frowned upon by qualified massage therapists and established businesses, and it goes against the ethical standards of the massage therapy profession. It is important to respect the boundaries of massage therapy and to only request legitimate therapeutic treatments.
I hope by writing this blog I make myself and what my business stands for crystal clear, to my amazing team, stay strong, and clear in your boundaries, and report any individuals that brings up unease and a red flag.