There are warning signs for massage therapists to look out for when faced with a client looking for a happy ending. Sometimes, they are vague and easy to miss because the solicitor is fearful of getting caught and arrested for illegally soliciting sex. Clients can slip through your screening process, which can result in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous confrontation. Watch out for these warning signs for massage therapists to protect you and your practice.
The leading question is a red flag.
If the first sentence of interaction is a question about draping, groin, pulls, needing an appointment immediately – then that is a pretty clear sign that 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 that you should not overlook.
The client refuses to give you 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 solicitor wants to stay “off the books”, they are going to want to pay in cash.
The potential client pushes boundaries or questions your professionalism.
For example, “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 they are trying to bait you by saying other therapists have done it and it is not a problem because you are a professional and you should be able to handle it – it is a good sign that 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. It is because it is true. If your massage therapist intuition is kicking in – it is for a reason! This is the most clear warning sign for massage therapists that you are going to get. Do not dismiss it.
For a complete list of red flags, excuses to get out of dangerous solicitations, and practice with real-life scenarios, take the Respect Massage Ethics and Boundaries Course.
Not sure how to a screen a client? Watch this free video.