There is definitely a bias when it comes to the gender of a Licensed Massage Therapist. Most women prefer to be worked on by a woman, and most men prefer to be worked on by a woman. The vast majority of the time, men and women will wait to schedule with a woman over a man. Now granted, over 80% of all Licensed Massage Therapists are female, so it’s an industry saturate by women, much like nursing. But is it saturated with women because more women are interested in being Massage Therapists? Or is it that the stigma of seeing a male Massage Therapist that prevents males from pursuing careers in Massage Therapy?
There are a few main reasons why men and women shy away from a male massage therapist.
- Judgement – Is he going to judge your cellulite? Stretch marks? That your body isn’t of Victoria’s Secret caliber? That you have scars? That your muscles aren’t perfectly toned? That you have body hair?
- Sexuality – Some people view touch as only being sexual, so having a man massage your back or legs might seem too sexual to feel comfortable. Part of this also stems from homophobia. There are men who aren’t comfortable with a man massaging him because if a man touches another man, even if it’s for professional reasons, that automatically means someone is gay.
- Safety – Massage is a vulnerable activity, and most assume they will be safer with a woman over a man. Women have always been cautioned to be alone in a room with a man, mainly for safety reasons.
- Nurturing – When seeking a therapeutic massage, many want someone who is nurturing and kind and loving, and many think that a man won’t be compassionate to the person suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, recovering from injuries, etc.
Now to address these concerns:
- Judgement – No, he’s not judging you. He will be evaluating your muscles the same way a female does. No, he doesn’t care if you have body hair or cellulite or stretch marks or splotchy skin or greasy hair or literally anything else you might think he will be judging you for.
- Sexuality – He’s a professional. It’s really not any different than a female massage therapist massaging a man. It’s our job. Male Massage Therapists receive the same training and are held to the same ethics codes as their female counterparts. A Massage Therapist is a professional who follows a code of conduct and who has the goal of helping the client reach health goals, recover from injuries, and reduce stress in their lives. A man massaging another man does not mean anyone is attracted to the other, just like a woman massaging a man or woman does not mean that she is attracted to her client!
- Safety – Again, he’s a professional. In the state of Colorado, you have to pass a full background check in order to get your license. Colorado will not grant you a professional license in Massage Therapy if you have anything violent or sexual on your record. He is there providing services to help you reach goals. He wants to help you! Not hurt you!
- Nurturing – Bedside manner is a term used with doctors, referring to how kind and compassionate they might be with a patient. Well, Massage Therapists have a whole chunk of time, usually an hour, to get to know the client, help them with their pain, set goals, learn what level of pressure is not only tolerable for you but also most beneficial, among so many other aspects that go into a massage. Regardless of why someone is seeing a Massage Therapist, there is a level of compassion that you must have to perform hours of bodywork every day. Also, learning a mindful bedside manner is part of the training for most Massage Therapy programs.
Regardless of the client, a male Massage Therapist has a job to do. He is educated, trained, and passionate about what he does, just like female Massage Therapists. He might even be more suited for what you need from a massage. He might be able to help you recover and reach your goals better than anyone else in the industry, if you just give a man a try!
First and foremost, we absolutely want you to be comfortable with your Massage Therapist, so if you still haven’t been swayed to possibly see a man, that’s perfectly okay as well. But we hope that maybe after reading this, you will feel more comfortable with trying a massage with one of our fantastic male Massage Therapists.