There are warning signs massage therapists can look out for when faced with a client looking for a happy ending. Sometimes, the signs are vague and easy to miss because the sexual solicitor is fearful of getting caught and arrested for illegally soliciting sex. Some clients can slip through your screening process, which can result in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous confrontation. Watch out for these warning signs to protect you and your practice.
The First Question They Ask is a Red Flag
If the first sentence of your interaction is a question about draping, groin pulls, or needing an appointment immediately, that is a pretty clear sign you should not schedule this client.
Late Night Requests
If a client is contacting you late at night or they are requesting a late–night appointment, this is a warning sign you should not overlook.
The Client Refuses to Give You Their Personal Information
If you are taking booking information from a client and they do not want to give you their last name, address, or phone number, it is typically because they are protecting their identity from an interaction with the authorities. A good way to screen these clients out is to request a credit card number for booking. If a sexual solicitor wants to stay “off the books,” that means they want to pay in cash.
The Potential Client Pushes Boundaries or Questions Your Professionalism
Examples of this include: “I have a groin pull and other massage therapists have worked on it,” or “I get hot, so other massage therapists have done the massage without sheets.” If the client tries to bait you by saying other therapists have done it, and it’s not a problem because you are a professional and you should be able to handle it, that’s a good sign this client is going to push boundaries further. If this is what the first interaction is going to be like with this client, imagine what they will be like in person.
Trust Your Gut
I know, I know, every article about sexual solicitations says this. That’s because it’s true. If your massage therapist intuition is kicking in, it is for a reason! For massage therapists, this is the clearest warning sign you are going to get. Do not dismiss it.
Not sure how to a screen a client? Go here.
Protect You and Your Practice from Solicitors
Take the ABMP Respect Massage CE course, “Ethics: Create A Zero-Tolerance Practice,” for a complete list of 30+ red flags, how to spot sexual solicitors before they are on your schedule, excuses to get out of dangerous solicitations, plus real–life practice scenarios to test how you would react when your boundaries are challenged.
The Logo Works
Protect your business with the Respect Massage logo. Use it as a deterrent for sexual solicitors. The Respect Massage Zero Tolerance logo makes it clear that your business is not a parlor and does not provide happy endings.
Share the #RespectMassage Movement
Share this link and information with other massage therapists and bodyworkers you know. We can shut down sexual solicitations if we stand together and know what to look for.
For more information about ABMP membership, liability insurance, legislative advocacy, podcasts, magazines, and continuing education, go to ABMP.com.