Massage Blues: Tales from the Trenches II
He was a new #massage client, and one that I wasn't sure I should see. He texted me about an appointment, and over the course of about 30 minutes between appointments, we finally agreed on an appointment time. The problem was, every time he said something that sounded legitimate, he would say something that would raise warning bells. I decided to go for it since it was an early afternoon appointment, and I had back up at the office if it was necessary.
Well, Ole Kissie Face started slowly with his harassment. We reviewed his health intake form, and at one point, we were discussing his hydration level. I palpated his arm to test his hydration, and he grabbed mine and started doing the same. I gave a raised eyebrow, and backed away. I then told him to undress to his comfort level, and lie face up on the massage table under the top sheet. Upon re-entering the room, he was particularly chatty. I began #massaging his neck and shoulders, then when I moved to his side, he made kissing noises at me. I told him to behave. He made another comment about how he thought I would be fun, and I said that I am fun, just not with clients.
A now more subdued Mr. W must have decided to change tactics. He began telling me about how he had lost his wife of 40 years about 10 years before. I expressed the appropriate sympathy, and he decided to begin telling me how wonderful their sex life had been. My response was something to the effect that I hoped so, since he had married her and spent 40 years together. He then made another comment about how the plumbing just doesn't work like it once did. I pointedly ignored that. As I finished the massage and left the room, he called out, "You didn't help me undress and now you won't help me dress!" I answered, "I'm very selfish that way," and closed the door. He paid me with a crisp $100 bill.
"You didn't help me undress and now you won't help me dress! I answered, "I'm very selfish that way,"I'm so conflicted about clients like this. I'm sure that he thinks he is being funny. I'm sure that he finds himself quite witty. I'm sure there are others that would agree. The problem, though, is that it is harassment. I could have stopped the massage. I could have angrily shown him to the door. Perhaps, if he had been a younger man, I would have. What would you have done?