Article in ABMP magazine

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pamobilemassage
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Article in ABMP magazine

Post by pamobilemassage » Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:02 am

I am a MT student to graduate in a month or so, and I was wondering is any one else offeneded by the article written in the ABMP magazine that makes such statements that men need to realize that they are going to have sexual urges about there clients. How can a female MT possibly understand the difficulties of being a male MT? This article does not discourage me from what I want to do , however it makes me question how a professional organization can publish an article that has so many detremintal comments about male MT's. Am I off-base in my assumptions from this article?

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:07 am

I agree with you, that as a woman I cannot make statements of what men *will* think or feel in any given situation. Which magazine was this in? What was the article? Is there a link for it? I don't recall that - or maybe I haven't read it yet. I am a little behind on my reading..... :?
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Post by Blisss » Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:09 am

Which article was it? Here's a link to the current issue:
http://www.massageandbodywork.com/currentiss.htm

I don't have time to read them all, but if you tell me which one you're referring to, I'd like to look at it.

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Post by moogie » Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:44 am

I believe this is the article the original poster is refering to:

Massage from Mars or Venus?

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:12 am

Okay, I just read it. I have to say, while there is some good information intertwined with the ..... :roll: stuff....... I am not impressed.

Yes, we are sexual beings. No, that is not ALL we are. Duh.

Imagine this article being written about gender roles in nursing. The women she interviewed ALL "know" if they have a massage by a man, he'll be thinking about sex?? What does that say about women? We're all ditzy? Or just that conceited?

I could go on. I think the only answer I can give you is to find what information in this article is helpful to you, roll your eyes at the rest, and get on with your new profession. BE professional, deal with the stupidity that comes up just because we are human (we'd deal with some sort of stupidity in any profession), and enjoy your life. It's okay.
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Post by sjidoulamt » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:37 am

Rose of Sharon wrote:I think the only answer I can give you is to find what information in this article is helpful to you, roll your eyes at the rest, and get on with your new profession. BE professional, deal with the stupidity that comes up just because we are human (we'd deal with some sort of stupidity in any profession), and enjoy your life. It's okay.
I completely agree with Rose of Sharon here, but in addition, perhaps you could write a strong letter outlining your point of view. Silence is acceptance.

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Post by maestra » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:57 am

Yeah, it's a strange article. Some good points & advice and a lot of stuff that doesn't paint people in a very good light. I agree with Rose of Sharon, take what you can use and "with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."


On the other hand, there's also a couple articles from our own Razor included in the same issue.

Man Power - Male Therapists talk about Discrimination:
http://www.massageandbodywork.com/Artic ... power.html

10 Marketing Tips for Male Therapists:
http://www.massageandbodywork.com/Artic ... 0tips.html

The issues male massage therapists face are thought provoking ones and perhaps that is what this issue was meant to do... just get people thinking and discussing the issues male MTs face?
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Post by Spock » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:01 am

I agree this article bristled me until I talked to a few male therapists about it who said.."uh, it's kind of true". I was like "It is?!"

Then I recalled massage school..and the difficulty the males in class were having in this regard and they discussed it with the teacher.

And then I also recall the MT I worked on who "hoisted sail" every time I massaged him. Every time. And he owned his own place too, he was very active in working on people and had been for years.

I'm not sure what to think about that article now. Perhaps some of our male bretheren can comment on it's validity.
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Post by palpable » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:07 am

I only skimmed the article, but it seemed to be making the point that it is the general public that thinks men can't separate sex/sexuality from the work. I did not get the impression that the writer felt that way.

In general, it seemed the article was focused on public perception of sexuality and massage (both F and M MTs).

At least, that is what I got out of it.
Move on as quickly as you can to people who get you and what you do. -Robert Chute

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Post by Blisss » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:54 am

I read the article in full, and I agree the writer wasn't so much sharing her opinion, as quoting the opinions of others. As a female MT, we were disparaged as well. Check out this quote from Jocelyn Olivier, founder and director of the Institute of Conscious Bodywork in Corte Madera, California (regarding female MT's being sexually propositioned by massage clients):
“I think females have been taught to win approval by being sexual,” she says. “They can be eliciting the overtures they receive by the unconsciously seductive quality in their touch.”
This is the same woman who says:
"Even if it is not acted upon, the temptation within a massage session to fantasize will affect the quality of touch experienced by females from their male practitioners. "
I disagree with both of those statements. Thankfully, she's not the only person quoted in the article, but the majority of the people quoted to seem to agree with Olivier, saying that sexual energy exists in every massage.

That has not been my experience. Do any of you agree with either of these quotes?

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Post by softhearted515 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:05 pm

I have mixed feelings about this article. It just seems that its saying what society already is confused about..... massage is associated with sexual feelings/thoughts. No that wasn't said specifically but I did my best to read this article as an 'outsider' as well as a MT.

As well as being slightly sexist. Because there isn't enough of that in this field. She talks of men fantasizing.... well hello! A female MT can do just the same but society makes man to be the highly sexual being. It might apear that way because if men are aroused, it shows.

And this chair massage man, I never heard of him but sure don't like what he is saying about mainstream massage.

I had to laugh when she says that ppl will see a male MT for more therapeutic work and I find that to be true. For the most part, the men I have seen and still go to are less into the whole relax... candles, pretty room, ect. And I choice that at this point in my life. The 2 men I see in NYC work in clinic style rooms. There are typically 3 other clients in there at the same time. The man I saw last week, on the surface he wasn't 'gentle' but his massage proved that wrong.

Socitey won't change if we don't allow for change in our own business. Look at your own referral base. Do you have a male MT listed?

And what of the male MT's that are known for bad behavior? I went to school with one that has a horrible reputation and I replaced a male at my current job because he liked breasts. :shock: But no women will report him so he continues to work at a MT.

Anyways... enough ranting. I work ethically and feel I represent my field well. I am single, I don't date or flirt with clients. We can hope that everyone was ethical but that isn't going to happen. Some people truly feel it is ok to offer happy endings. To each his own. We can hope that licensure in each state will prevent it but it doesn't. I wish we lived in a society that legalized prostitution then there would be no confusion.

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Post by Spock » Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:46 pm

I must be from another planet because honest to god, I have never had a sexual thought about a client. And I have had dancers, body builders, on my table. I see the body in the clinical way and am so concentrated and focused on the muscles and therapeutic work, I'm not evaluating their attractiveness, regardless if they are obese or a weight lifter.

Someone once said to me that touch in other parts of the world can be separated from sexual touch and healing touch, but that Americans have trouble separating the two, especially male Americans. I can't really say if that statement is correct or not.
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Post by BJB-LMP » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:26 pm

softhearted515 wrote:And this chair massage man, I never heard of him but sure don't like what he is saying about mainstream massage.
Really? I didn't get anything negative from what the David Palmer quote. I just interpreted it as "Clothed massage is a way to expose a lot of people to massage who would otherwise never give massage a chance, and here's why they might not give it a chance." He's a good guy, literally invented the massage chair, he's been around for over 20 years, totally dedicated to the profession. All my correspondence w/him has been very positive and helpful.
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Post by Rose of Sharon » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:39 pm

BJB-LMP wrote:
softhearted515 wrote:And this chair massage man, I never heard of him but sure don't like what he is saying about mainstream massage.
Really? I didn't get anything negative from what the David Palmer quote. I just interpreted it as "Clothed massage is a way to expose a lot of people to massage who would otherwise never give massage a chance, and here's why they might not give it a chance." He's a good guy, literally invented the massage chair, he's been around for over 20 years, totally dedicated to the profession. All my correspondence w/him has been very positive and helpful.
If I hadn't known quite a bit about David Palmer before reading this, I would have come away with a different understanding of his quote than what I did. I knew what he meant because I've seen his videos in school and read some of his material. In the context this was plopped, and with the very narrow quote (not in context), it could easily sound as though he was criticizing swedish massage.
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Post by EgoMagickian » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:13 pm

And this chair massage man, I never heard of him but sure don't like what he is saying about mainstream massage.

I literally laughed out loud so hard when I read this. Thank you! Palmer is smart and opinionated, and very good hearted. All of that combined often means "very easy to take the wrong way".

Someone once said to me that touch in other parts of the world can be separated from sexual touch and healing touch, but that Americans have trouble separating the two, especially male Americans. I can't really say if that statement is correct or not.

Well it seems like for most people in this country, any given instance of touch (especially non-casual touch) is either sexual, unhealthy, or both.

Combine that with the fact that touch is so feared for legal reasons and so disdained by most of the health care system, and I'd guess most people don't even realize there is such a thing as "healing touch" let alone being able to identify and distinguish it from other forms of touch.

I agree this article bristled me until I talked to a few male therapists about it who said.."uh, it's kind of true". I was like "It is?!"

Ugh. That does not meet my need for ownership of individual experiences, non-generalization, and just plain accuracy. It may be "kind of true" for them.

I present myself here as living evidence that it's not true for everyone. Particularly as a member of a community often stereotyped for its supposed ability and tendency to act on the more general male sexual stereotype exploited in the article.

*rant: on*

I guess I have to state the obvious, too: even if we were unable to escape "unconscious seduction" of people we were attracted to, even if we just had no way to step into the "clinical view" mentioned earlier, the simple fact remains that we would not find nearly every client attractive. How ridiculous for someone to think that any random male therapist is going, without fail, to have sexual thoughts about them.

*rant: off*

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Post by melb » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:02 am

Totally agree with rant. To say male therapists can't control themselves when looking at a client is like saying male clients can't control themselves when looking at a therapist.

I think one of the key annoying premises of the article relies on the statement that men are wired that way which was made when I recently asked several young women I bet if she had asked if they thought the guy at the counter of McDonald's was leering at them they would've said men are wired that way If it had been a wider age group there probably would've been a wider variety of responses - maybe the same result of not wanting to see a male, but certainly not all coming up with the same underlying isse that men are wired that way.

I didn't read it toooo closely but I don't think there was any attempt to address the issue of all the MALES that won't let a male therapist near them.

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Post by softhearted515 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:58 am

I did notice in the article that she said she spoke with several 'young' women. I can't recall what age but maybe that is part the problem.

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Post by Blisss » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:05 am

Although "young women" were quoted at the start of the magazine article, how do you explain the quotes by Jocelyn Olivier, founder and director of the Institute of Conscious Bodywork? She's an older woman who has many years experience as both a massage therapist, and massage instructor. Her quotes bothered me the most, because she puts the weight of her experience behind them. She believes female MT's get propositioned because they unconsciously put sexual energy into their touch, and male MT's sexually fantasize about their clients.

I'm starting to wonder if the writer of this article specifically chose outrageous quotes by people to support the viewpoint that this is the way it is? Or is it really possible that we on BWOL are the exceptions, apparently working in a profession where professionals and clients alike cannot separate sexual energy & touch?

That premise is completely opposed to my experience & my own beliefs. I just can't believe those quotes accurately reflect the majority of people in this career.

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Post by Spock » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:02 am

Rant on Egomagician! :D I was hoping you'd give your view of this article.

I think your correct to about the healing vs sexual touch.
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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:36 am

I recall, not too long ago, being chastised roundly for making the blanket statement that while not all men (in a massage setting) are perverts, all perverts are men.

Looks to me like this article says the same thing, both for those on the table and those standing over it.

I admit the statement was wrong in making it an absolute, but I doubt you will ever get such an admission out of the author. Sounds like a serious axe to grind!

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The opposite view...

Post by Lite Touch » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:38 am

Well I would like to propose the opposite point of view. How may of you think that your female clients (assuming you are male) get aroused when you work on them? I am not talking about overt "happy ending" type massages but run of the mill Swedish, relaxation massage.

Maybe they don't show it to you or even outwardly display their feelings but I am willing to bet that quite few do have those feelings.

Just a thought!

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Re: The opposite view...

Post by Rose of Sharon » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:54 am

Lite Touch wrote:Well I would like to propose the opposite point of view. How may of you think that your female clients (assuming you are male) get aroused when you work on them? I am not talking about overt "happy ending" type massages but run of the mill Swedish, relaxation massage.

Maybe they don't show it to you or even outwardly display their feelings but I am willing to bet that quite few do have those feelings.

Just a thought!
:roll: Wrong.
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Re: The opposite view...

Post by moogie » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:59 pm

Lite Touch wrote:Maybe they don't show it to you or even outwardly display their feelings but I am willing to bet that quite few do have those feelings.
I've gotten plenty of massages over the years from male therapists and I can honestly say that I have never once been "aroused." Outwardly or inwardly.

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Post by Lite Touch » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:33 pm

Well, I stand corrected...

My apologies.

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Post by JasonE » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:02 pm

I don't give a damn whether the person on my table internally sexualizes the experience or not, so long as they don't express it externally.

I am professional, have rock-solid boundaries, and nip any hint of "weird vibes" in the bud. We've got important things to do, and I'm not letting anyone's hormones get all wacky and throw us off course. If that's an issue for anyone I treat, they are welcome to find another therapist.

People that write stupid articles normally submit them to editors that should know better before publication. Incidents like this make me wonder what the editorial staff was thinking... or if they just print whatever people submit. Professional journals should promote professional attitudes, not recycle outdated opinions.
Karrie Osborn is the contributing editor for Massage & Bodywork magazine. Contact her at [email protected].
Oh snap! She's a Contributing Editor. :lol:

I see women of all ages, some of whom bring their children to me as well. Many of my regulars are heterosexual males, and they are all ages, from a broad variety of professions. The only complaints I've had were from people that didn't feel "beat up enough" afterwards, or who simply fabricated stuff to try getting out of paying for the session.

I don't care if some people are uncomfortable with male therapists. This is no surprise and hardly warrants reporting. Personally I dislike being treated by therapists that smoke - it always seems to leak out of their pores and scent the room, ick! Should journals write about discrimination/attitudes towards MTs that smoke? Some people I know dislike seeing obese MTs, or aged MTs, or young MTs... is any of this noteworthy?

Someone alert this article's author - maybe she can bless us all with a series of sensationalistic puff pieces to rival this one. :roll:
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