My schedule a couple of Fridays ago included a man who was new for me. He booked an hour and a half. When I greeted him at our scheduled time, he said, “I ride a Harley quite a bit and I need my adductors and glutes worked on.”
All I could think about was all the stories on Facebook about men who ask to have these areas worked. I work out of my house, so each new client is like inviting a stranger into my home. But having seven younger brothers, a few husbands (only one at a time!), son-in-laws, a stepson, etc., I do not think a man is a “creep” very easily.
Most people need their glutes and adductors worked at times in their lives. We headed upstairs to my office where I told him to get undressed and get on the table. I worked his posterior hips without the sheet, hand to skin, and found that he definitely needed the work. When I turned him over and began to work his thighs, he commented on how good it felt. His adductors were definitely tight. “I always need adductor work.” He said. I smiled. “You find that amusing?” He asked. “Just a question: how do you know you need adductor and glute work?” I asked.
“My last therapist told me. Each time she worked on me she said, ‘now these are your adductors, feel the tension? And your glutes are really tight too.’ She just moved to Arizona to care for her mother after a stroke, but I saw her for seven years, once a week.” I explained to him that for many therapists men who ask for these specific areas seem like they are after something sexual. His answer was that if he wanted that he would simply go to one of the massage places that provides that, it would be silly for him to come for a therapeutic massage.
Now, I know that there are men who do exactly this, however, I was left with two thoughts during this exchange:
1) not all men who ask for work in this area are after something other than pain relief, and
2) we are always talking about how as massage therapists we need to train our clients, his other therapist had obviously done exactly that.
If I had been put off by his words, I never would have figured that out. Now I have a new client, one who appears to be very consistent and in need of the work.