A Decade of Rubdowns

It’s Labor Day today, so I guess this is a good time to talk about my job. This month marks 10 years of me massaging bodies. The milestone is sweet, but sometimes I ask myself, how did I survive this? How in the hell I survived ten years working my body to work on bodies (professionally, of course)? This is a physical job, y’know. Thank my instructor for teaching me and my class proper body mechanics, as well as my lucky stars for not getting horribly injured in any way (knock on wood) and having a growing private practice where I make all the moneys for mahself so I don’t have to work so much.

I accepted my very first massage job in September 2011, three months after I graduated from massage school. And I left it six months after I started because I quickly learned that two-faced behavior also exists in the spa industry. How and why I dealt with that shit for six months is beyond me. It’s OK, though–that spa closed up for good a couple years after I left.

Insincere ingrates is just one of the many, many, many things I’ve dealt with in my decade of massage.  I’ve worked with catty therapists. Diva therapists. (They’re the ones who must have everything they want at work, like reserve the same room in a spa every time and set the thermostat at their preferred temperature, even if others find it too hot or cold.) Therapists who no-show for their appointments (and get fired after). Therapists who are addicted to their phones to where they’ll have one hand on the client and their phone in the other. I know this from doing couples’ massages with them. (Look at your therapist once in a while during the session, clients.) Therapists who are total new age ninnys and swear by crystals and essential oils for healing while ignoring science. (Sound familiar?) Therapists who happen to be sane. Therapists who become long-time friends of mine.

And then there are the clients. I lost track of how many I’ve taken care during my career, but there are a few client stories worth sharing:

–I’ve told this story to friends in the past, but it was five years ago that I took care of this one lady whose dumper was an obvious fake. The girl was built like a cartoon character–slim elsewhere and her ass sticking out there. Fittingly, she needed focus on her low back/upper glutes, and to massage her fake ass felt weird, like I was gliding on something obviously man-made. Saline? Silicone? Water balloon? I hope women these days still aren’t getting ridiculous ass implants in an attempt to look like a substance-exempt reality show ho, because that was a trend that should’ve died in the 2010s, never to be resurrected again.

–Years ago, one client had the nerve to say (in a review left to my then-boss) I was “the worst therapist” they had ever had. Funny that she says that and also referred her IT band (which she wanted focus on during the session) as her “PT” band. Mind you, what I did with her was no different that the service I’ve given to my other clients. She was a Karen before the term existed. As for me, I joked to my co-workers about me being the worst-ever therapist. Laugh to do away with stupid criticism.

–There were creeps. Oh, there were creeps. Creeps are the bastards who want to rub one off under the sheets, come onto you, or ask you about happy endings. I can count on one hand how many pricks had the nerve to harass me, but, ideally, I shouldn’t have to count as there shouldn’t have been any in the first place. I’ve been taught how to deal with a creep fuck back in massage school, but you never know when they’ll strike. I’ve had to stop the massage immediately when those creeps got out of hand, and I’ve gotten them banned from my places of work. The last incident happened over three years ago, and I hope the streak does not break.

–On a more lighthearted note, I’ve also taken care of a few famous clients. I had one Super Bowl winner who never tipped but at least I got his autograph. I know, still crappy. Maybe I should sell the autograph to make up for the tip I never got. I also massaged a prominent name in the cosmetics industry. She’s the founder of a makeup brand that’s only sold at Sephora, hint hint. That woman gave me some of her products in addition to a tip. Yaaaassss.

I currently have my own private practice and also work for a mobile massage company. I’ve massaged in gated, fancy McMansions with elevators inside and million-dollar views outside. I’ve also massaged in budget motel rooms where I had to lug my table up a couple flights of stairs because no elevator (see, I told you this job is physical!) and set up in a cramped space. My two jobs pay far more than what spas and massage clinics used to pay me, and my clientele for the most part have been great and compliant with my needs. That said, will I still be massaging bodies ten years from now? Ideally, I would prefer to write about my times in massage while getting my feet rubbed by a shirtless hottie as opposed to still living them out, but we’ll see.

I shall celebrate this milestone by using this amazing device on my shoulders before hitting the hay. I had a busy weekend. (Side note: the Theracane rules. Get yourself one if you have busted shoulders like I do.)