Can You Throw Off The Covers During A Massage?

female massage therapist
••• Most men prefer female massage therapists. Jupiter Images/Getty Images

I just got some feedback about an article on spa nudity. This man would prefer to do without the draping while he's getting a massage. "I don't want to be all covered up. I am not talking about anything of a sexual nature, just a way of massage that makes me more comfortable and that is to be totally nude while receiving the massage.  What would be wrong with that?"

In some countries, nothing. But in the U.S. it's illegal.

All licensed massage therapists have to observe proper draping techniques -- covering the parts of the body they aren't working on. Sometimes I quickly take off my robe and get under the sheets while a female therapist is still in the room and it doesn't seem to be a problem, but they have rules to follow and this won't happen if you're a guy.

In the 1950s, sex workers started calling themselves masseuses who worked out of "massage parlors," taking what had previously been a respectable business and making the the butt of jokes.  Massage therapy was professionalized in most states, and the draping is there in part to indicate that this is therapeutic massage. It's also there to make the therapist more comfortable.  She doesn't want to look at someone's johnson during the massage.

Other countries are more relaxed about nudity. I enjoyed a fabulous body scrub at Rockhouse Hotel in Negril in Jamaica and was surprised that the therapist didn't cover my genitals when she was giving me the scrub.

"Do you so the same with men?" I asked, and she said yes. I asked her if they gave her any problems, and she said no.

I noticed the same casual comfort with nudity when I went on a spa trip to Germany, where one of my colleagues had her breasts massaged during a treatment, and there was a lot of co-ed nudity in the "Sauna Worlds." So maybe we have to have draping because as a culture we just aren't grown up enough to be comfortable with our bodies.

Even with the draping, lots of guys push the limits with the female massage therapists.

Guys, here's what your female therapists don't want you to do:

* throw off the covers during a massage.

* ask for "a more sensual massage".

* grind on the table when you're face down

* moan suggestively

* watch her as she moves around the room (the eye cover can always help with that)

* get a big boner.  (They are taught in massage school that this is a relaxation response, but the male massage therapists I know think it's under your control.)

What is a Happy Ending Massage?

A happy ending massage takes place when a massage ends with sexual contact and orgasm, usually through a hand-job.  In America, a happy ending is illegal and not done at legitimate spas. If you ask for a happy ending at a nice spa or send signals by groaning and grinding suggestively, you are likely to encounter a mortified massage therapist who warns you that she will end the massage if you don't stop.

It is never appropriate to ask for a happy ending at legitimate spas around the world or during an in-room massage at a hotel. Doing so can open you up to embarrassment and a quick end to the session.

Women who are interested in happy endings from a male therapists should also watch their step.

 (Yes, it happens.)  Most likely you'll face a very embarrassed therapist who will tell you about the boundaries of his profession.

What about Happy Ending Massages Overseas?

Happy endings are easier to find overseas, especially in Bangkok, Thailand, Bali, and other Asian countries. Cebu City, Philippines, is known for its lingam massage, which is a more sensuous and highly skilled massage that ends with a massage of the "lingam," or penis.  

You should not assume that you can get a happy ending anywhere.  Basically, the establishments that have it on offer give off sexual signals that should be impossible to miss.