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Any moaners in the audience? - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Sep. 10th, 2003

11:35 pm - Any moaners in the audience?

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I'm going to post this right out front because I want a variety of opinions on this:

Here's a question of massage ettiquette for ya though...when you're paying for a massage do you give any feedback to the massager? I mean when I'm giving a massage there's nothing more valuable than the sighs/moans/purrs/whatever of the massagee to tell me if I'm hiting the right spots. And when I'm getting a massage I like to let loose with whatever happy sounds my body feels like making, it's relaxing. But it just seems kinda creepy to make ANY HAPPY SOUNDS AT ALL when you're half naked alone in a room with a professional massager who is supposed to be entirely detached from the sensuality of the experience. I think that's why I prefer to massage and be massaged by people that I'm comfortable reacting around.

Comments:

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From:spillshercoffee
Date:September 10th, 2003 09:44 pm (UTC)
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To my knowledge... it IS ok... to admit (in whatever way you're comfortable with) that you are or aren't having a good time. These "professionals" are supposed to do what makes you feel GOOD, so it would stand to reason that you give them feedback as the process moves along.

Just my experience.
And for the record, I got my first paid "professional" massage when I was in San Fran in January. It was mediocre at best. I received a pro-bono massage from a pro on my birthday the previous year which was amazing. So it depends on you, where you need it, and the sensibilities of the masseure/massuese.

Just as in sex... communication is key to the enjoyment.

My two cents.
;)
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From:zarfmouse
Date:September 10th, 2003 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Just as in sex... communication is key to the enjoyment.

Yah but sexy things and people you pay aren't supposed to go together in polite company. :)
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From:assclouds
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:04 pm (UTC)
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Damn. There goes that party I was planning...
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From:zarfmouse
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)
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Oh...like our house is polite.
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From:assclouds
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:26 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I do my best. I blame the flies.
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From:spillshercoffee
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)
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Hahahaha.
Umm.. yes. Good point.
*ahem*
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From:domystic
Date:September 10th, 2003 09:46 pm (UTC)
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i must say i have never had one good massage. i say this with the confidence that my pastlife luddite masseuses are not listening. i repeat: not one.
but i still say, as a point of etiquette when you are not sure that nonverbal communication will communicate, use your words. and don't forget your safeword, depending on the pro... which reminds me of a little joke... why did jesus die on a cross?
...
...
...that's right... he forgot his safeword.
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From:hannibalv
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:00 pm (UTC)
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why did jesus die on a cross?
...
...
...that's right... he forgot his safeword.


Greatest...joke...in YEARS. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
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From:folkyboy
Date:September 11th, 2003 05:42 am (UTC)
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bless Bitch & Animal :D
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From:zarfmouse
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Haha. Now _there's_ something that'll give a massager the wrong impression right off the bat...negotiating a safeword. But then I'm sure your Jesus had the same misgivings about offending the romans.

Since I'm such a massage newbie, at least at my very first ever (and so far only) professional massage I wasn't comfortable with verbal feedback because I didn't really know anything about the process. So I didn't know if it was appropriate to ask her to dig in deeper because maybe the "technique" is to build up, or maybe it'd wear her down too soon. I didn't want to constantly be saying "that's good" or "that's bad" because I just wanted to chill and be quite for a while. Spoken feedback is kind of counter to the whole "go with the flow and let the massager do all the work" vibe of the thing whereas just letting loose with the natural sighs/deep breaths/moans isn't any extra work (it's work to censor those).

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From:domystic
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:21 pm (UTC)
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okay i don't want to be a pest or anything, but speak, boy! speak! speak, and you might get a treat.

clearly it is past my bedtime so i am signing off, ta-ta.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:September 10th, 2003 10:27 pm (UTC)
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Ha. Alright.
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From:boannan
Date:September 10th, 2003 11:25 pm (UTC)
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hmmm. The good massages I've had have pretty much come from folks who can tell when what they're doing is right and when it's wrong, even if you don't say anything. I think empathy is definitely important on the part of the massager (this might be TMI but I've had very cool massage experiences when you and the massage person are breathing in tandem. It's a weird in sync thing).

I have spoken up when a massage caused pain (I usually take a whole honkin amount of pressure cause of the knots in my back) and that's been totally fine. (and man, I always thought it took a really big guy to generate a lot of pressure, but this 4'11'' woman in Kauai tested different pressure levels on me and I had to tell her, "boy, go medium on me lady! you are _strong_!) and since I still have some massage nervousness, long massages are much better (your subconscious enjoyment overcomes your conscious nerves).
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From:uss_hairball
Date:September 10th, 2003 11:39 pm (UTC)
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Hey, you know what's funny? Some of my best massage sessions are when I'm using the little bit of Tai Chi I learned from IMSA! The last time I was able to really take advantage of that, I massaged my friend's mom (who I just met that day, mind you) for 3 hours! I remember feeling almost like I was in a trance because of the rhythm she and I had developed. Call me weird, but I totally felt like I was in a timeless dimension and that I was an extension of her body. It totally surprised me when we finally realized how late it had gotten!

Honestly, I'm in the school of thought that longer is better than stronger. Stronger wears me out faster. Longer is easier to maintain and lets the body unravel at its own rate. That is a happy thing.
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From:uss_hairball
Date:September 10th, 2003 11:26 pm (UTC)
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Maybe it's just me, but I think if they're a professional at all, they will probably understand and respect whatever happens during the session (well, as long as you're not hitting on them or anything). In fact, if they've been doing it for some time, they probably have heard and seen it all (including unintended male reactions), and if they haven't yet, they will eventually.

Personally, when I give massages (to people I know and don't know as well), I do welcome the feedback because each person's body is different. I can't really tell what you're feeling because I'm not you. However, I also understand if the person I'm massaging is not comfortable giving me feedback the first time I touch them because really, you haven't developed a relationship with the person's body -- or mind, for that matter -- yet.

If I have not massaged the person before, a lot of times I will do a slightly more general massage to see what works for them or what doesn't work for them. Kind of like testing my limits. "Ok, they have a little arthritis here, make mental note to go lighter there... Ah, they always tense up there, so start softer to warm them up and then dig a little deeper there..." As I get to know the person's body a bit better and as their body begins to build trust in me, I can more efficiently massage them. Usually at that point, their mind will also have become accustomed enough to me to allow some self-expression during the session.

Of course, I have never had a professional massage, so what do I know? However, as an amateur masseuse, that is the philosophy I embrace. You know, you can always ask the masseuse upfront what they expect before you guys begin. "Hey, what are the rules? Do you want feedback, or do you want to just do your thang?" As your first responder mentioned, communication is key, whether it's verbal or physical... I personally think "happy sounds" are flattering because at least I know I'm doing something right. :)

Anyway, if someone's already written a similar entry anywhere else in your LJ, I apologize. I'm still catching up. This caught my eye, however, so thought I'd put in my $.25. ;)
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From:goytoy
Date:September 11th, 2003 08:17 am (UTC)
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I’ve been to several great massage therapists/masseuses and I always felt comfortable making noises to show that something felt particularly good. It probably isn’t as necessary as w/ an amateur, because the pro presumably can more easily sense the muscle tension than your average pal. But it just seems to come out naturally, and bottling that up would no doubt make for a less relaxing experience. (I also find that trying to actually vocalize can get in the way of relaxation.) I mean, as long as you aren’t doing a porno-like “Uhn, uhn, oh baby, yeah. Right there. Give it to Daddy. Mmm!” then there is really no reason for them to be squicked out by your happiness.

Love the joke, by the way! I will have to tell all of the sick folks I know.
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