OUR PERSONAL BLOG

On this page we’ll post our occasional musings and wonderings when it comes to the subject of massage and human touch in general. Some of it is meant to be informative, whilst other parts are just our thoughts and opinions.

Some of will relate directly to massage, and other posts will have looser connections to our services.

BOUNDARIES

One of the difficulties we continue to have when it comes to tantric massage, is the degree to which we might allow each individual client to interact back in some way. In all forms of massage, someone gives the massage and someone receives the massage. In fact, in most forms of massage, the client might think it rather odd if the therapist said, “Go on... now you massage me". The client is paying for the therapist to do the massage, not the other way round or as some part of a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” sort of thing. But it’s not always the case when it comes specifically to tantric massage. There may be some parts of the routine where it’s actually necessary or advisable for the client to place their hand on the therapist, for just a few moments. This is not a problem. All massage is sensual to some degree or other. If one person is touching another person then the sense of “touch” is occurring. This is true even for a gym-goer who comes for a deep tissue sports massage on his legs. However, tantric massage is deliberately and unashamedly sensual in a more erotic sense, and arousal is common. This would be a problem during a conventional spa-type massage, where relaxation is king but clients are expected to suppress any feelings of arousal. But in tantric massage, all feelings are allowed, and clients sometimes feel the urge to touch us too... in ways that have not been discussed or consented to by us in advance. Notice we said “all feelings are allowed”, not “all responses”. The more a client is distracted by thoughts of interaction, the less they are concentrating on the receiving part. Or at least they’d be receiving enjoyment in more mutual ways that are not strictly massage!

When a potential client makes an enquiry or books in, we know nothing about them. They are a name in an email or a text message. We have no idea who’s going to turn up at the door or what their disposition is like. So when someone asks, “Can I touch you too?”, the honest answer is that we can’t decide that in advance of meeting you. Our default answer is “probably not”, because we need to manage client’s expectations in realistic ways. But whilst our boundaries start off the same for every client, they do not always stay exactly the same, and can vary from client to client over time. There are times when it’s a bit awkward if there’s a mismatch between the client’s hopes and Val’s current boundaries for that client. Unfortunately, some clients have totally over-inflated opinions of themselves and come with the assumption that Val just can’t wait to “get it on” with them. Methinks they haven’t taken on board the info sheet properly, lol. A lot of clients hope that they’re going to be the exception, and that frolics of the sexual variety will occur at the end of the massage. But exceptions are just that... they are exceptions! In reality, Val takes a really dim view of any client who attempts to touch her sexually without checking if it’s okay to do so first. And many times the answer is no. Client trust and rapport happens over several visits, but sometimes it never develops beyond common courtesies and professional actions. Every client starts with the same boundary, but after several visits each individual clients has their individual boundary. The client is booking to be touched by Val. Val is not booking to be touched by the client. Some boundaries flex over time, but many remain more or less the same; it all depends on trust and mutual chemistry. Nothing should be assumed, and consent is king.

 

NATURISM

At the beginning, we didn’t start off offering naturist massage to clients. For the first seven years we were conventional, conservative and conforming in accordance with general massage practice as it commonly occurs in hotels, beauty salons, health spas, and sports clinics. If anyone requested to have their massage in the nude, we politely declined; worried that our reputation might be tarnished and making sure our halos were intact, lol. Privately, though, it really wouldn’t have bothered us.

We are not “proper” naturists ourselves; or at least not in the truest sense of the word. We are part-timers who exercise our legal right to be naked when we feel like it. Most of the time we’re clothed to some degree. So how did we get to doing this? Ten years ago we got to that age where you start to assess and evaluate the first half of your life, and decide what you’d like the second half to be like. What’s great... and what sucks? What needs ditching... and what needs adding? One thing that needed adding was to be a bit more curious and open-minded when it came to doing new things and having new experiences. We engaged in some organised activities that brought us into contact with some people who turned out to be naturists, and so our curiosity about naturism began. Now, lots of our friends are either naturists, or are at least relaxed about social nudity as and when they feel like it.

Hardcore naturists have a personal preference to be naked as often as possible, unless it’s downright cold or they need PPE! Casual part-timers (like me and Val) are clothed most of the time, but are quite relaxed about stripping off for a bit of naked sunbathing or visiting naturist friends or visiting a naturist resort.

Although there are designated beaches for naturists (plenty even in the UK), it is actually perfectly legal to naked in public (in the UK) as long as it not done deliberately to offend people with some kind of sexual intent.

Some naturists try to claim some kind of superior living standards, by stating how natural it is. We are the only animals that wear clothes! The lioness doesn’t say to the lion, “Oh for god’s sake, put something on. Don’t go walking through the Serengeti like that”. Some like to link it to more ethical, green ways of living. But the credibility of this is difficult when you need your central heating on three times as much as everyone else, and you lounge around in the energy guzzling hot-tub at your local naturist club. And then there’s the carbon footprint from the aeroplane due to the three holidays a year that so many middle class naturists seem to have. And the big 4x4.... etc. You get my gist. So we’ve always found the ethical living claims to be flaky at best; it’s never really washed with us. To us, it was more about the liberty and freedom of casting off the social conditioning that still restricts so many.

One of the things we noticed when we started mixing with naturists, is that there are far more male participants than females, and there is regular debate as to why this may be. Popular theories include that women tend to be more body-conscious than men and have more hang-ups about their bodies. Another theory is that women are more easily socially conditioned into believing what’s acceptable and not acceptable in society. This can lead to debilitating conformity and being overly concerned about “what will other people think of me?”

We also discovered that non-naturists would often make sweeping assumptions that weren’t necessarily true at all. Like “naturists must be swingers”. We discovered that the same variety of values, beliefs, sexual practices and political stances occurred amongst naturists as they did amongst society in generally. So yes... some of them are swingers. So what? It’s no more prevalent than you’d find in society at large. But many aren’t. They just want to be naked; nothing else, no other agenda.

So I suppose it was only a matter of time before we decided to offer clients the option of receiving their massage in the nude. It’s possible we may have lost a few clients when we did this, but we gained more than we lost. And besides, we still offer conventional massage too; you don’t have to be nude, lol!

"ADULT" ONLINE FORUMS

“ADULT” FORUMS. Oh my god... if there’s one thing that rubs us up the wrong way it’s sleazy “adult” forums. The fastest way to switch Val off and lose all chance of gaining any genuine rapport is to mention you found us via a forum! In fact... please don’t come at all if you’re into these type of forums, and definitely don’t come if you intend to post about if afterwards!

We first discovered we were being talked about on forums by a guy who was enquiring about massage. Because we have zero interest in such playground nonsense we’d never really imagined this would be the case. We took our massage seriously and most of our clients seemed “okay”. (Most... but not all).

So we took a gander and were horrified at some of the comments. Okay... some of it was quite nice and flattering, but some of it was a bit nasty or just pure imaginary BS! What struck us most was the tone of the whole site. It lowered massage and the therapists that offer their services to the prostitutional meat market. To make matters worse, back-street “massage parlours” who operate a quick turn-around of jerk-off services were talked about alongside more genuine and holistic practitioners.

If you Google “tantric massage” and spend long enough going through all the search results, you’ll soon notice a big variety of practices that come under that banner; from genuine new-age sort of hippies in yurts, to the sex trade who abuse the word “massage” to disguise their true activities; as though the photos of young, attractive scantily clad women in provocative poses on their websites are going to fool anyone. Nothing wrong with these establishments, but for god’s sake please don’t call it massage, because it gives some people the wrong idea about all the genuine massage therapists. I bet none of these women have ever attended a proper massage course in their lives!

That’s why we insist that new clients read, understand and accept our info sheet before booking in, because it describes exactly where we lie on that scale.

WHY DO PEOPLE COME FOR MASSAGE?

When we first started in 2011, we went down the very pleasant route of learning and providing Swedish massage for relaxation, and because it felt good to be treated and pampered this way. We rubbed shoulders with a variety of holistic and complementary therapists and provided massage at sporting and charity events.

A treatment or activity can be described as “holistic” if it benefits both mind and body, and that was our aim... to provide relaxation for mind and body. As the “givers”, we also find it quite relaxing too, although physical repetition can cause all sorts of aches and pains that we keep hidden form the client, lol. In the circles we mixed with, clients could enjoy human touch, but any form of arousal by client or therapist was meant to be suppressed, and would have been thought of as “inappropriate”. Knickers or boxers would be left on. This is still mostly the case in mainstream massage services provided by salons, spas, hotels, and sports clinics.  And besides... not every client wants a sensual experience. For example, some may want a deep tissue sports massage because they’re training for an event or stepping up a gear in the gym. Massage improves recovery times and improves flexibility.

One of the things we learnt was the variety of expectation amongst those who enquired of us. The “norm” that mainstream practitioners promote was not universally shared by the general public. Clients had their own particular views on what was considered “the norm”. We met some people who were “horrified and disgusted” at the thought of naked massage where “full body” literally means “full body”. And we also met people who just assumed that they would be naked for their massage and were genuinely perplexed why anyone would want to have their massage encumbered by underwear! Similarly, many therapists are against sensual massage as they claim it causes them problems if (male) clients think that every therapists provides that sort of thing and brings the massage industry into disrepute. But there are also massage therapists who are okay with this aspect. Some of them have even told us they were wary about being open about it for fear of a fierce criticism by their halo-wearing peers. (Funny how some people seem obsessed with dictating the behaviour of others?)

I (Bri) recall recently having two female clients back to back; the first asked me to include her bum in the massage, but the other looked aghast with horror that I’d even made mention of the option! So it varies.

It was only about three years ago that we went public with giving clients the option of naturist massage, ie being naked and undraped. Then we looked into tantric massage too, which was entirely new to us.

Most (genuine) naturists we know get a little bit annoyed when non-naturists equate their interest in naturism with aspects of sexuality. But it’s also true to say that naturists are part of the human race too! And are therefore sexual beings just the same as everyone else. In our experience, clients who opt to be naked for their massage don’t just ask for it because they prefer to be free and unrestricted without clothing, but also because they want “full body massage” to mean exactly that. This means that arousal is common, and we made a decision three years ago to be okay with that, as long as there were no presumptions by the client that we would be anything more than massage providers, or that one thing would inevitably lead to another.

Whilst Val and I aren’t ardent naturists ourselves, we have several naturist friends and we have no problem with stripping off when in the company of naturists, or at a naturist event or a naturist beach. We started mingling in naturist circles gradually over a period of twelve months, and we soon discovered that naturist men outnumber naturist women by about 10 to 1. Maybe more. It was clearly a male dominated thing, and there are never-ending discussions amongst naturists as to why this glaring imbalance might be. (We have our own theories... for a different blog). This imbalance is also reflected in the clients who book in for naturist massage. It seems that (generally speaking) men are far less likely to have hang-ups about sexuality, human touch and body-image issues than women are. They are also more likely to seek out erotic human connection in the absence of anything going on in that department at home. Women seem more likely to just lump it. Men also seem far more likely to question and push back against restrictive social conditioning where other people’s opinions are used to control and dictate the behaviour of others. For some reason, women seem more susceptible to the controlling influences of others. Not all of course... I’m just generalising (before some angry female gets on my case, lol).

So there are clients who come for relaxation, for stress relief, for a bit of peace and quiet. And then there are clients who want something more erotic, and hold the view that this is a perfectly legitimate, valid reason despite all the critical, pious voices in the background.

Next we have clients who book in as a couple. And this is where we have to probe further and get some clue as to what’s going on beneath the surface. Some couples just fancy a massage; a straight-forward, conventional, undies-left-on massage, and that’s it. But others come for a shared sensual massage experience with either boundaries in place or something specific in mind that they want from us. We welcome couples who communicate clearly with us and have properly talked between themselves about what they want. Some couples want to share a sensual experience without having an affair or going behind each others backs. A sensual massage can make you feel like you’ve done something different and daring without the feelings of deceit or infidelity. However, the two biggest issues we’ve found with couples are 1) They are far too coy when it comes to being upfront with us, and just hope that we’ll magically read their minds. 2) Each partner has not fully disclosed their thoughts to the other and therefore the couples themselves are not singing from the same sheet. This is often because the man believes he is more adventurous than his partner and is apprehensive about her willingness to discuss erotic curiosities that involve other people (in this case, Val and I). This can result in a thread of email enquiries that fizzle out without a booking; the female having either poured cold water over the idea or the guy has bottled out of even bringing it up.

Moral of the story? Couples... please talk to each other before you enquire. And then be upfront in your communication with us.  

TOUCH DEPRIVATION

There have been umpteen studies into the effects of touch deprivation from birth onwards. I don’t claim to have read them all but I have read about some. There are benefits from receiving nurturing touch from others, although it’s also possible to become over-reliant on getting too much. Children who don’t receive much caring touch tend to be more likely to have social problems later in life. Touch that feels pleasant releases all sorts of desirable hormones that make us feel even better, such as dopamine and oxytocin.

Some of our clients come simply because they feel touch-deprived. Unfortunately, this can occur in long-term relationships too; each partner taking the other for granted until one of them realises the physical spark is getting weaker and weaker. Other factors can come into play too, such as depression, stress, mid-life crisis, effects of illness, medications. Some people withdraw from human touch when faced with these things, but some seek to feel connected to others again, both psychologically and physically. It is not uncommon for clients to tell us they “need” human nurturing connection. And massage is a great way to fit the bill.

 

WORDS

When I was a teenager, if a young couple booked a weekend away there would often be humorous remarks about the possibility they were “going for a dirty weekend”. The word “dirty” was used to describe any sexual interaction that may take place.

My mother would describe tv shows or comedians as “dirty” if they contained any sort of sexual innuendo or references, and shows or comedies devoid of such references would be described as “good clean fun”. She wasn’t alone; lots of her generation were like that. So “dirty” was associated with sex, and “clean” was associated with anything that didn’t have sexual reference. Dirty was bad... clean was good. You washed your dirty clothes to make them clean... because clean is better. You washed your dirty hands before mealtime... because clean is safer.

Is it any wonder some people have unhealthy hang-ups about sex when our parents talked in this way!

Virginity was talked about as “innocent”, implying that once you had sex you were “guilty” of something. This got extended to “the age of innocence”. You then “lost” your virginity. Losing something is not usually good. But nobody ever talked about finding something in return; finding fun, novelty, excitement, orgasm, connection. A great big sarcastic thank you to all the parents who talked this way. Thanks for nothing!

EVENING AMBIENCE

Now the evenings are drawing in, the massage room takes on a different ambience when it’s dark. Clients who usually book during the day comment that it’s like being in a different room. The lighting and candles create a different sort of atmosphere. Why not book an evening tantric massage and see for yourself?

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