I Googled “How to Ask for Happy Endings” and here are my results. It was not a pleasant experience and I was shocked at what I found. Make sure you are not sending the wrong message with your massage therapy business. Avoid these code words and behaviors.
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.
Be Clear with Your Intentions
Sexual solicitors are usually vague. They do not want to get caught asking for a happy ending, so they are very sly and subtle in their requests. If they present with any of the behaviors I have mentioned in the video or in this article, you have full permission to not schedule the client. Be prepared for them to act shocked and insulted that you would suggest that they are looking for such a thing! This is going to be the natural reaction from someone looking for sex from a massage therapist. Stand your ground and do not let this reaction make you doubt yourself or feel bad. If they are showing the behaviors and your gut says that you do not want to work with this person. Trust. It.
Have an extremely thorough intake process and be very clear with your expectations. They may be vague and unclear, but you should not be. Use medical terms, have an intake form, use your assessment skills. These are all behaviors that will not happen in a massage parlor. Make it clear that you are a trained professional with firm boundaries from the very beginning of the massage.
Start clients face up. Happy endings happen at the end of the massage with the client supine. I feel like I should not have to say this, because if you are to the point where the client is on your table, you should already have screened them to the point that you are positive they are looking for a professional massage. However, if you are in a situation where you are not sure of a client’s intentions, start the massage with the client supine. That way, at the end of the massage, when the happy ending would happen, they are prone.
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Neon Open Signs
Massage parlors typically have a neon open sign. If you want to present yourself as a legitimate massage therapist, do not use neon signs.
Create clear business hours in which you run your business and post it publicly. Do not post “by appointment only” which could lead to clients who ask for happy endings. If you do provide later hours for certain clients, you do not have to publicly post those hours.
Something that came up in my Google search on “How to Ask for Happy Endings” was a blog post where the author talked about if you find a massage parlor in a basement, that is where the real freaky stuff will happen. So, do not rent an office space in a basement! You will get all sorts of unwanted clients.
Males Lingering Outside the Office
It is typical for males to linger around massage parlors. Sometimes the place is busy and they are told to wait until the next available appointment, so they just hang out outside. As a massage therapist, avoid office locations where there may be men hanging out outside your office. Examples could be an office near a gym or a pizza restaurant. You do not want it to look like there are a bunch of male clients waiting in front of your business, so avoid renting space near other businesses where males would be in front throughout the day.
Reasons to Immediately End the Massage or Not Schedule the Client at All
If, after you have clearly told the client to get on the table under the sheets, blanket, or towel and they choose not to do so, end the massage. If you walk into the treatment room and the client is laying there naked on top of the sheets, close the door and tell them the session is over. This is why it is extremely important to be very clear with your clients that you want them under the sheets, and to show them by pulling the sheets down a little, and then get a verbal, “yes I understand” from the client. So, if they do not follow the instructions, you will not question yourself for a second when you terminate the massage before it has even begun.
When a client is scheduling an appointment with you and they ask about draping or glute work right in the beginning of the conversation, you either need to follow up with more screening, or do not book the client. It is one thing if they genuinely have a groin injury or they are concerned about draping, but if it is the FIRST thing they ask, they are probably looking for a happy ending.
If you find yourself being challenged by a potential client about draping DO NOT rattle off your local and state laws about draping. State YOUR boundary. Tell them exactly why you drape and it is because of your own personal boundaries. It is going to hold much more weight if it is a personal boundary as opposed to something you are required to do by law. Keep in mind, the person is looking for a happy ending which is against the law (in most places), they most certainly do not care that your state requires you to drape.
Code Words to Avoid
- Full service
- Full body
Avoid using these words at all costs. They are code for clients who ask for happy endings. The Google search that I conducted were all in agreeance that these are words to look for at parlors that provide HE. Yes, “full body” is a legitimate term used often in our industry, but you may be attracting inappropriate requests by using it. There are lots of other ways to describe your massage sessions, choose something else. Need help with this? Take the free mini-course on describing your work in your own unique way. Enroll here.
Stay safe, Therapists
Some of these code words and behaviors were even shocking to me, and shutting down happy endings is my specialty! The more you educate yourself on this topic, the easier it will be for you to shut it down. Looking for more info? Take the Respect Massage E-Course that covers over 30 red flags, ways to escape dangerous situations, and real life scenarios to practice how you react to sexual solicitors. Enroll now.
Looking for more resources?
- How to Screen Massage Clients
- Should I Have My Picture On My Massage Business Webpage?
- Security Systems for Massage Therapists
- Respect Massage Store
- Respect Massage E-Course
- Respect Massage YouTube Channel