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Question: Why are some women shocked when a male therapist turns up to do there treatment

Asked by andys 5 years ago

15 answers

Most male therapists are professional and are upset by this reaction

Treatments:
Therapeutic Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Lomi Lomi Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Aromatherapy

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LizWM 5 years ago

I think because for the most part, massage therapy is a female-majority profession, many female clients who've always been to a female therapist (or always pictured a female therapist in their mind) may have never thought about the fact that if they go somewhere new, they could get a male therapist and so don't think to specifically request a female if that's only who they'd feel comfortable with. Many females don't feel comfortable with any other man (other than a husband, or boyfriend, etc) touching them, especially when they're most vulnerable- lying on a table mostly or completely naked.
I feel for you males in the profession, it must be difficult, especially working in a spa environment or someplace similar. Most men don't want to be touched by another man and many women don't want to be touched by another man other than their spouse. That makes it hard to get clients for sure! I guess that's why you mostly see male therapists at chiropractors or medical facilities because there, patients don't have a choice and the fact that it's a medical facility might make them feel a little more at ease.
I definitely understand you and most male therapists being upset though about a reaction like that! I would be upset too if I wasn't even given a chance to show a client that I am very professional and can do a great job!

Other answers (14)

ProLmt 5 years ago

Andy, you asked a simple question that has no simple answer. It also deals with issues that constantly cross gender barriers.

First, I would offer that this starts with poor communication between the people making the appointment. The gender of the therapist should never be a surprise, but even with the best of communication, clients can become confused and not hear the name correctly or the receptionist merely doesn't make it clear. When those circumstance occur, how you deal with it can make a world of difference. Try to be understanding and compassionate of the situation the client is in. Sure, it's disappointing to miss out on a session, but respect the client and the situation and life goes on.

Often the problem is one of trust, something that any therapist regardless of gender has to deal with when it comes to building relationships with clients. My first job was in a spa that specifically recruited male therapists to meet the demand of their clients and I rarely ran into this problem. When I did I was able to empathize with the client and by doing so was able to keep almost 85% of them for the appointment.

When I was director of a massage school the entire staff tried to relate to the students that when it comes down to it, massage is about the client and the work that we do, it's not about gender. Yes, gender does play a role, and it will always effect the relationship between male and female therapists and clients, but our attitude and treatment of it can make a difference.

We may never know why any client becomes shocked or unsettled at the gender of the therapist, or looks and body type for that matter. It could be a matter of trust, misconceptions about pressure, or a history of abuse. Whatever the reason, how you react to it can make a world of difference, not only for you but any other therapist the person may encounter later.

kgline 5 years ago

I've found that most women have had a bad experience with a male in the past. So they look at all men are alike and forget to think that you are a professional therapist. I also have found that some people still look at massage as touching and sexual. Weather it is men or women and they aren't comfortable with a man giving the massage.

mellowmassage 5 years ago

It's not personal, many women just are not comfortable being naked around a man they do not know. The women who prefer a female therapist should specify that when booking their treatment, but they usually don't think about it because it has never come up. I honestly prefer a male therapist, as they tend to do deeper massage, but honestly I can't feel too sorry for you. Every other industry in the history of the world has been dominated by men. Having chosen a female dominated profession, you must now deal with the fact that you do not have the upper hand because you are a man. Now you need to work harder to prove yourself. Good luck.

healer98 5 years ago

Because the profession is gender biased in favor of women. I used to work at upscale resorts and when someone called for an appointment the first question was "Do you PREFER a male or female therapist?" Well, when you put it that way of course the majority of time people will say female. One place I worked, however, would say "We have both female and male therapists; is either ok?" That still gives the client a choice but emphasizes the massage NOT gender. I got more appointments that way. Also, because with the tainted history of massage and the association with prostitution there's a sexual under tone so if a male shows up for an appointment there's an assumption there will be sexual acts conducted. Personally, I find male therapists to be superior save for the few females that really got the job done.

Oakynleaf 5 years ago

They are shocked to see a male therapist because they were not properly screened at the time of making their appointment concerning gender preference of who would do their massage. As for male therapists who are "professional", yet become upset when a female customer is "shocked", maybe they need to work on their professionalism.

There are many personal reasons why a customer's gender preference needs to be an integral part of appointment screening. There could be recent past experiences that contributes to a gender preference. There could be agreements between spouses, for whatever reason. There could be childhood incidents. The last time I looked at the data, one out of every three women have experienced some form of sexual abuse (bear in mind that sexual abuse could be anything from exposure, to inappropriate touch, etc.). That a customer, male of female, has a gender preference of who provides their massage is not an affront or insult for a professional male massage therapist. A professional male massage therapist understands the dynamics underlying a customer's preference. He knows, and expects, and has compassion for this customer. And he understands that sometimes his front desk staff will fail to properly screen for gender preference. That's when he carefully approaches the issue with the customer and assures them that this is not an affront, and that he will help her get scheduled with a female MT.

andys 5 years ago

Fantastic answer from LizWM THANK YOU

lomi-lomi 5 years ago

Speaking from a consumers perspective I think it comes back to what an individual is comfortable with. In many cases having a full body massage involves being practically naked in front of your therapist, even if you are covered in a towel for the majority of the treatment there will still be times during the treatment when you either need to turn over or when the towel moves when you could feel very uncomfortable about a male therapist seeing you naked but wouldn't think anything of being in the same situation with a female therapist.

Reformednurse 5 years ago

I'm not sure why you are getting female clients who have not been asked if they have a preference. I know there are men with the same bias. This should be a question on the intake form. Then, no one is surprised or embarrassed.

LadiiAce 5 years ago

The reason why most women are used to seeing female theapists. Sometimes they already have the mind set for a female therapist.

EmeryMassageandBodywork 5 years ago

I do not know, unless they have not been informed prior to the massage.

EmeryMassageandBodywork 5 years ago

I do not know, unless they have not been informed prior to the massage.

McGeorgemobilemassage 5 years ago

well i think its due to the fact that it is generally a womans proffesion even when i was schooling the male aspect wqas kinda different, women are uncomfotable with the "your not my partner"

DebraBes 5 years ago

I don't think i could explain it better than LizWM.... very well put!

Spabeautyforu 4 years ago

May be because most men are not GAYs and most females are not Straight ! ! !

Answer Comments

sweet99 4 years ago

I prefer a male doing a massage as you seem to get a better massage !!

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