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Why Gay Erotic Massage Therapists Make Business Hard for ‘Legit’ Ones

Gay massage therapists — the type who do not advertise themselves in the Village Voice‘s “erotic services” column, thank you very much — face some of the same dilemmas as gay wrestlers: Clients (or opponents) think you’re in it just to get sweaty and rub nasties with another dude. (Unlike openly straight college wrestler Hudson Taylor, who’s in it for LGBT rights, and not the chance to do this.) So what’s a legitimate gay masseur to do if he doesn’t want clients thinking he’s going to strip down and give ’em a handy?

Not advertising on certain Craigslist sections, or the back pages of alt weeklies, is a good start. But that won’t be enough to overcome some of the more common stereotypes in the massage industry, writes Jason Knight. “Whether straight or gay, therapists frequently battle homophobia from straight male clients who assume all male therapists are gay and looking to exploit their position for sexual pleasure. Conversely, therapists battle the extreme opposite with gay clientele who are looking for sexual pleasures from male therapists. On either side of the coin, being a legitimate gay male therapist can be nearly impossible.”

“Nearly impossible” might be taking things too far (and we’d argue the recession has a big part in the difficulties of a massage therapist these days), but certainly there’s more cash to be made in adult services. “The only way for a male to make a great income in the massage industry is by catering to gay men who are looking for a hot guy to rub them down,” a 20-year massage veteran in Cincinnati tells Knight. “Catering to erotic and sensual massage is where the money is at.”

And perhaps you’re among the very clientele shopping for these services? Word to the wise: Despite many law enforcement agencies turning a blind eye to the rampant Craigslist adverts, even sexual/sensual massage is illegal — it’s a form of prostitution, we’re told to believe. “When you exchange sex or sexual gratification for money, in this case, under the guise of a massage therapist, it is prostitution and we take that very seriously,” says the Seattle Police Department. Ugh. Just when we had settled on a career.

By:           editor editor
On:           Feb 22, 2010
Tagged: , ,
    • Drake

      Queerty – brush up on your French. A male is a masseur, not a “masseuse”.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      Queerty wrote that entire piece without mentioning “happy ending.” Such restraint.

      I’ve had a few straight and real massage therapists that eventually succumbed to the inclusion of the “happy ending.” I kept them for a long time. My favorite was Kyle. He was even a Christian. God, I miss him.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nate


      Gross. I’m sure he does his best to forget the experience.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @Nate: Gross? The only thing that’s really gross is the “fat” massage therapist or the fat client.

      Look, he enjoyed it. In fact, he probably can’t forget it and neither can I.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TampaZeke

      Actually a good start would be for you and others to drop the terms “masseur” and “masseuse” when referring to LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS. The terms are outdated and completely inappropriate when speaking of licensed professionals due to the sexual connotations that come with them.

      TampaZeke, LMT

      Feb 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Uki

      “Conversely, therapists battle the extreme opposite with gay clientele who are looking for sexual pleasures from male therapists”

      I think Queerty is talking about @Josh

      Feb 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @Uki: I run marathons and I appreciate professional massage without or without the happy ending. But, the inclusion of the happy ending is much better. It’s not really a “sexual pleasure” as much as it is a release, a happy ending.

      And, don’t reply telling me it’s “illegal,” speeding is illegal, too.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      Great Josh AZ. You turned some good christian kid into a whore. Not really on the front end of bettering society.

      But your dick was happy… I guess that’s what really counts….

      Feb 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.: Happy ending a whore makes? What are you a Preacher?

      Jesus Christ, it’s just a nice hand job after full relaxation. Christians still make that wrong? There’s just no pleasing you old-timers.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thom

      if he was willing…

      Feb 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lady Ga-Gasp
      Lady Ga-Gasp

      Can I just note that no one, apparently, on these posts has actually hired an erotic massage therapist?

      What does that say about Queerty readers?

      Cheap little critical shits? Maybe. Except I haven’t either.

      I mean, it just seems weird to me. I hired the odd hooker back in the day, but it was because I would hit on some random hot guy who then sprung it on me that he was only gay for pay, and my inner Corbin Fisher was ok with that — but it was unplanned, spontaneous.

      To actually go out and seek it? No there yet, and with the looks of things Social Security and 401k-wize, I doubt I ever will be.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      I perfectly fine with just a great one hour massage. If it does include the happy ending, I am perfectly fine with many of them.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      Josh AZ: I was not giving an opinion. sarcastic display of facts, yes. my opinion is that you spent way too much money since the crack whore on the corner would give you a hand job for only 10 bucks – and hers would be better since her hands are ribbed for your pleasure.

      oh, i called her a crack “whore”. maybe you want to call her something else…. call it by any other name you want, but the only thing that you are trying to justify is a hand job for money. I like hand jobs too – so again… no argument here.

      I’m sure your dick is very important to you. My dick is important to me too. So if you want your penis massaged, then go to the appropriate place and order a licensed masseur to relax your body and then handle your very valuable penis.

      Otherwise you are perpetuating the problem mentioned in the article and regular, well-trained massage therapists (male and female – gay and straight) have to weed through people only concerned about the ‘happy ending’ a crack whore can do, and could care less about the health benefits of the actual massage which costs thousands of dollars in training and equipment.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chango

      I’m still laughing at the “good Christian kid” line.

      Thanks Dr. Laura.

      Feb 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      you liked that Chango? writing, it’s all in the details. take one word out and the entire joke falls apart.


      Feb 22, 2010 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.: You must be a frustrated massage therapist. Let’s be very clear. I only hire licensed massage therapists. More than have of them have included the happy ending. I never asked for it and it was never the reason for the massage. I admitted to frequenting the ones that were nice enough to include it.

      Just so YOU understand, the viable alternative to the licensed massage therapist that will not touch the penis and provide the happy ending, is ANOTHER licensed massage therapist, not a crack whore.

      BTW, what are your stats?

      Feb 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Catering to gay men? Give me a break. I bet most male erotic masseurs are catering to closeted bisexual men, most of whom are married. A gay man who is out and about on the scene can find all the dick he wants in clubs and saunas – he ain’t going to waste his dough on a male masseur.

      Feb 23, 2010 at 6:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Also, there’s a ton of straight guys who like the feeling of being massaged whether by a man or woman. They might prefer a massage from a female but they’re not going to reject one from a man. If all they have to do is lie there and absorb the feeling, the gender of the person isn’t going to matter to them.

      Feb 23, 2010 at 6:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      Josh AZ – i only commented because i thought your first admission was appalling. the fact that you are not only defending it, but proud of it, puts it so far into the “disrespectful” category, i really don’t have much else to say. I agree with Jason – an out gay man would never waste his money for a “happy ending”.

      please don’t get me wrong though – i’m all for prostitution…. so please don’t think that i have a moral problem with any of this. but just because this industry is intimate doesn’t mean you have to bring people over to the prostitution side.

      as for me… i dated a massage therapist for 8 months… one of the hottest people i’ve ever dated – and his constant frustration was in dealing with people just like you who keep saying “oh… i wasn’t looking for a happy ending… but one would be nice *hint* *hint*”. he would get so depressed because he would have to make it perfectly clear on the phone and then STILL had to deal with the situation in person. he finally just gave it up. that’s what people like you do to the industry. in the process of looking for that ONE happy ending, you piss off everyone else.

      don’t get me wrong – massage as foreplay is FANTASTIC. but disrespecting professionals in this field so you can get your rocks off is not cool (TO ME). your penis is just not as important to me as respecting my ex, his fellow therapists, and an entire industry.

      my stats? i’m younger than the generation that thinks this is acceptable behavior and much older than the generation that falls for it.

      Feb 23, 2010 at 8:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.: Oh, get over yourself. It’s just a hand job. I never once asked for it or even hinted at it. It just happened. It was NOT prostitution.

      If you can date a massage therapist knowing it happens, then don’t. Date a Flight Attendant or Waiter. No, wait – there are stories with them, too. I’ll be quiet.

      For all the Licensed Massage Therapists reading this: If you have a good client, one you’ve massaged several times and it ends happy, don’t feel bad about it – it is appreciated.

      Feb 23, 2010 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      Main Entry: pros·ti·tute: 2 : to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes : debase

      by all means, let’s encourage all licensed massage therapists to become whores. if you have a problem with the word, please bitch at Merriam-Webster and leave me out of it.

      Feb 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      and for god’s sake, Josh, you can’t give that plea and expect someone who has spent thousands of dollars in training and licensing to take you seriously. if word got out of their actions or something was reveled in some way (a client boasting of his pleasures on a blog perhaps) they would lose their license. the regulations vary from state to state, but they do exist.

      Feb 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jonjon

      What is the matter with prostitution? If it is not exploiting poverty (like in international sexual tourism) I can’t imagine who the fuck it hurts. Legitimate and/or sexual…who the fuck cares? Do you people live in Kansas? Or Oklahoma?

      Feb 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

      No. 5 · TampaZeke

      Actually a good start would be for you and others to drop the terms “masseur” and “masseuse” when referring to LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS. The terms are outdated and completely inappropriate when speaking of licensed professionals due to the sexual connotations that come with them.

      TampaZeke, LMT

      You are 100% correct (that I re-posted your comments!)

      Feb 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.: Shut up. Just shut up. Free will ass hole – we have free will. Take your rules and show them up your ass. Be a LMT and deal with the terrain. Stop complaining – there isn’t a way things are supposed to be – there is life. Grow up and shut up.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 12:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      The (Happy) End(ing).

      Feb 24, 2010 at 12:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      thanks for the repost dontblamemeivotedforhillary.

      And Josh – “free will”?? LOL! that is a used justify a lack of concern for other people. if you lived on an island by yourself, excercise all the free will you want. but you don’t. you live in a society… with other people… and a generation of gay people coming after you. it is your free will to act selfishly, but it is also my free will to call it out.

      you forget that I am PRO-prostitution. I don’t mind that you pay for sexual favors. It’s okay. The difference between you and I is that I call it what it is and you want to create some elaborate justification to cover a simple reality: you pay… and encourage licenses massage therapists to cross over from muscle therapy to erotic sexual behavior.

      I cannot and will not apologize for finding it disrespectful.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 8:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.:

      You’re insecure James. A Happy Ending is not prostitution. Get over it. It’s not a big deal. Each LMT can take care of themselves, but you shouldn’t date one again.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ki

      As a professional masseur who specializes in and even teaches erotic massage with happy endings I can sympathize with the LMT’s who have to deal with sneaky clients who want to get their extended medical benefits program to pay for their sexual gratification needs. It’s simply rude for clients to push that on the licensed professionals.

      Also I have know of many LMTs who willingly cross their own professional boundaries for the sake of their own pleasure and financial needs. After all it can be as much a pleasure to give a happy ending as it is to receive one. Plus in a competitive service industry like massage therapy it may simply be a financial need to make more money and have more repeat clients. If so if it pays the bills and you enjoy giving hand jobs then why not?

      However that does lead into some tricky territory. Because many clients have difficulty clearly expressing what they want and don’t want, especially erotically. So when a LMT crosses the line he opens himself to a lot of potential problems if there has been any miscommunication.

      BTW there is no crack whore who is going to give you the type of full body relaxation, pleasure and gratification experience that a professional erotic masseur will give you. Many discerning men – gay, straight, and bi just appreciate that level of service.

      Finally all the religious sex-negative, pleasure-negative, body-negative, moral crap and the antiquated prostitution laws that stem from it have to go imo. Let people enjoy themselves and make a living in peace.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @Ki: Well said. It is between the LMT and the Client. Now, roll over. Ahhhh.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      Josh: PLEASE leave my ex out of this. i dated him on the tail end of his frustration and i worked like mad to get him back in it after he let his license expire. i offered to get him a new table, even screen the calls for him… anything he wanted. legit massage can be real good extra money. his heart just wasn’t in it. i do have insecurities, yes… but this was not one of them.

      MY OBSERVANCE is that you are being disrespectful to the LMT industry. that’s it. i’m observing your bragging and pride and i’m saying that it’s disrespectful due to the nature of the LMT standards. there is a separate industry specifically for erotic massage.

      MY OPINION is that you should leave the licensed professionals alone. they are there for your health and a hand job is not required for you to be healthy.

      REPEAT… YET AGAIN: i have no moral problem with happy endings or prostitution. i want prostitution to be legal. even if it’s not, i still have a great IRA that’s building now… that will be spent on escorts when i’m old. yes… my retirement plan includes whore-fucking money.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.: I’m sorry for your loss, but that doesn’t change anything. If a licensed massage therapist wants to provide ahappy ending, that is up the him, not you or the “massage therapy industry.”

      Plus, I will decide if a happy ending is “required for my health.” I suggest it completes the massage nicely. I’ve never asked for it, but the majority of LMT that I’ve had included it and I frequented the ones that did.

      Nobody was hurt or embarrassed or upset. Now, it’s your turn.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      my turn for what? all you did was re-iterate my point.

      i’m not arguing against you since i’m (once again) pro-prostitution.

      you know that whatever happens between the therapist and the client is private, especially when the client goes blabbing it all over the internet. now every massage therapist named Kyle in the state of Arizona is going to be inundated with calls from closet cases wanting hand jobs – whether or not Kyle was actually in Arizona or not is irrelevant.

      people can do whatever they want… i don’t care. i’m just not going to give shit a fluffy name and i’m going to call out braggarts who celebrate their success in turning massage therapists into something they didn’t intend to be.

      to be more specific Josh… it was your comment, “that eventually succumbed to the inclusion of the “happy ending”” that completely set me off.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tikihead

      Never had a happy ending, never wanted one.

      The biggest risk I faced with LMTs was the constant barrage of New Age BS while being a naked, oiled-up, captive audience. It’s so bad that I now just ask up front if they plan to talk about Space Brothers, the Fifth Dimension (not the band) or Chakras. Luckily I found a woman who does not do that.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      @james p. p.: “Eventually succumbed” was HIS choice. Please stop suggesting LMT can’t choose whether or not to provide a happy ending. Stop calling it prostitution. I’ve never once “requested it” but it was provided most of the time.

      Thank-you, again – LMTs.

      Feb 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • james p. p.
      james p. p.

      josh: right. you are now trying to re-write the obvious, so i’m going to call ‘check and mate’ on that one. but thanks for playing.

      tikihead: LOL. THANK YOU.

      Feb 25, 2010 at 1:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh AZ
      Josh AZ

      Well, at least people in Austin TX know James p.p. isn’t very generous. Don’t become an LMT. Really, you won’t do well.

      Feb 25, 2010 at 10:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Happy Homo
      Happy Homo

      Josh, please don’t comment with some snyde remark. I was a massage therapist, but gave up because too many “clients” gave me shi!t. They’d not turn up for appointments, they’d turn up, then not want to spend the money, etc. Guys & gals – if you want great massage then please don’t scare off the good therapists, or you’ll be left with masseurs who burgle houses when they aren’t giving you BAD massages. As for hand jobs, it never happened as mainly female clients actually let me massage them (& I wasn’t going to be used by client’s I’d never see again).

      Aug 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JOHN C
      JOHN C

      @james p. p.: CAN’T GET
      ENOUGH SEX MASSAGE GREAT 323-465-5479

      Oct 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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