The Elephant In The Massage Room

The massage profession has quite the naughty reputation – and not without reason. It is a popular medium for prostitutes to cover up their illegal practices, and when you’re completely undressed on a table with a stranger rubbing your body, it can make you feel a little vulnerable. Add to that the fact that massage has certain physiological effects on the human body, and you have a cocktail for what seems like an uncomfortable experience waiting to unfold.

Of course, what are those “physiological” effects that I’m talking about? I won’t dance around it – receiving massage can make one feel aroused sexually. On the surface, it seems like an issue that only men can experience, but that’s not true. Women can become aroused during massage as well, although it is less visually obvious.

Regardless of gender, the feeling of arousal on the massage table can be confusing. It can leave the recipient torn between whether or not they foster sexual feelings for their therapist. This can be difficult to deal with if the therapist is a gender or age different from what the recipient usually prefers.

On top of being confusing, getting an erection on the massage table can be embarrassing. It could leave the client feeling like a pervert, or as though the therapist believes him to be.



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It should be noted that arousal on the massage table is totally normal. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. Massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which causes arousal, so an erection on the massage table is possible. Some people may even experience orgasm, although this is very rare.

Arousal during massage does not necessarily indicate sexual desire for the therapist. A client who experiences arousal during massage will do so whether a young woman or an older man is performing the massage. As long as you feel relaxed and comfortable, there is a chance you may experience an erection on the massage table.

You don’t have to worry about your massage therapist addressing the topic. So long as the client does not seem to have inappropriate intentions, the therapist will not mention it to you. Inappropriate behavior includes touching yourself, making sexual suggestions, thrusting your hips, etc.

Massage can be a sensual experience, but it should not be confused with a sexual one. A client who knows that arousal is a normal response to massage should not use it as a means to experience sexual arousal. Please do not take advantage of massage, or your therapist.

Yes, your massage therapist will know if your intentions are less than pure. I had a client who saw me twice a week for two hour sessions and would continuously thrust his hips during work on his low back and thighs, where he’d specifically asked for work. Always wanting to believe the best in my clients, I allowed it to continue for a few sessions until I realized that the black netted object I’d seen hanging with his clothes at each session were actually this man’s underwear, meaning he was intentionally using massage as a means to become aroused. I refused to work with him again.

A massage therapist will not allow you to take advantage of them in that way. Please do not compromise a massage therapist’s reputation, or the integrity of her practice.


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About Tonya Sapiel, LMT

My goal with The Wellness Seeker blog is to educate the general public on the benefits of massage therapy, why it is an important addition to their health care routine, and what they can do to help themselves in between their massage therapy sessions. I welcome feedback and questions. I also accept requests for post topics. For more information about me or my practice, please visit

One response to “The Elephant In The Massage Room

  1. Pingback: One Year of The Wellness Seeker! | The Wellness Seeker

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