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.