Massage Etiquette for Men

Discuss any concerns with your massage therapist.
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Men are often uncertain what to expect before their first visit to a massage therapist. However, learning typical massage protocol and expected behavior in advance puts those concerns to rest, avoids unnecessary embarrassment and paves the way for a relaxing, beneficial massage. For the most part, typical rules of etiquette apply.

1 Erections

Concern about the possibility of getting an erection and the resulting embarrassment is cause for many men to avoid getting a massage. However, there is no cause for discomfort, as massage therapists understand that arousal during a massage is a normal physiological response. If you are noticeably uncomfortable, the therapist may change technique slightly by moving to a different body area or adjusting the pressure of the massage.

2 Cleanliness

Massage therapists should never be expected to work on a body that is sweaty, dirty or smelly. If you schedule a massage immediately after a workout or a long, hot day, allow time to take a refreshing shower before your massage. Therapists or other clients may be sensitive to fragrances, so forgo scented deodorants or aftershaves until your appointment is finished.

3 Underwear

Massage therapists are accustomed to working on naked bodies, and underwear may get in the way if you want the therapist to work on certain muscle areas, including the gluteus maximus. A towel or sheet covers the body during the massage and only the area being massaged is uncovered. However, if you feel more comfortable wearing shorts or swim trunks, that is also acceptable. Don't wear expensive or new underwear, as the massage oils may stain the fabric.

4 Cell Phones and Jewelry

A ringing or vibrating cell phone presents a disruption during a relaxing massage. Turn your cell phone off for the duration of the appointment, even if the phone is in a gym bag in the changing room. Jewelry such as watches and rings and necklaces get in the way during the massage, and some materials may be damaged by massage oil. With the exception of a wedding ring, leave your jewelry in a locker or other safe place.

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.