Mastrubating Client???

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MassageIsMedicine
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Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:52 am

Looking for advice from male and female M.T.'s. I have a client who has been coming to me for about 4 years. He comes every week. I have never had any problems with him at all. Recently I noticed sounds coming from the room after I was done with the massage. I always leave my shoes outside my office door and usually they slip on quickly and I go to wash my hands so I don't linger outside my office door long. But one day I had a pair of complicated shoes and it took my an extra few minutes to get them on. While I was struggling with shoes I heard very disturbing sounds from him through the closed door. I will try to describe them as best I can...Heavy breathing which increased rapidly, soft groaning, and a skin rubbing skin sound :shock: I was so shocked that I ran into the bathroom to collect my thoughts. I did not say anything to him, I believe in innocent until proven guilty and I have no proof at all. Just a feeling that the sounds I heard were him mastubating. There was no evidence left in the room except a large wad of tissues in my garbage. What if I am wrong? I cannot accuse him of something without proof. What if I'm right? I cannot have this going on after I give him a massage! What he does at home is obviously none of my concern but in my office there are rules. Besides, how would I ever bring it up to him anyways? I probably never noticed it because I never stood outside the door long until the shoe malfunction day but what if he does it every time? What if another client or co-worker walks by my office door and hears it too? I am at a complete loss here and need advice. I asked my husband what he thought and after he had a good hearty laugh he finally took me seriously and stood in the halway outside my office one eveing while I tried to mimick the sounds I had heard so that he could hopefully give me his male perspective. He thinks what I heard is definatley mastrubation.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by JLWmassage » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:07 pm

This guy has been seeing you for awhile has he ever given you the creepy vibe before. This seems like a long time to feel you out. Does he get weird about the sheets talk about his sex life or lack there of while on the table?

So it maybe best to write him a email telling him you can no longer see him as a client. God only knows what else he is thinking while you are working on him.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:13 pm

He has never given me a creepy vibe. He has never talked about his sex life or anything personal at all. He never comments on the sheets or draping either. Perfect client in every way. He also referred his niece and her husband to me and they are now regulars as well. I've been faced with many dilemas before but this one has me stumped. I also think that even though it took me 4 years to hear these sounds, that doesn't mean he wasn't doing it (alledgedly) all along. Just means it took me that long to hear it. Like I said, I don't normally have any reason to linger outside my office door once I've left the room until that day with my shoes.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by Pete » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:25 pm

Personally, I would have knocked on the door upon hearing those sounds and asked (through the door) if everything was ok.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by Taoist » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:12 pm

Pete wrote:Personally, I would have knocked on the door upon hearing those sounds and asked (through the door) if everything was ok.
Maybe you could do this next time he comes in. My guess is that he'll either come clean about being dirty or be embarrassed enough to knock it off.
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by JaeMarie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:49 pm

I had pretty much the same thing happen to me last year. Long term client - a runner who's into marathons and always coming in for specific, therapeutic work. In the years he's been coming for massages, he's never once done or said anything to in any way raise questions about his intentions.

Last year he came to see me, had his massage, let me in the room when he was done so we could talk about the session, and he left. As I was walking around the table gathering sheets, my shoe slipped in something wet on the floor. :confused: My first thought was "how did I drip hand sanitizer WAY over here?" I grabbed some tissue, wiped it up, and when I went to throw it away, found the wad of kleenex in the (previously empty) garbage can. I threw on disposable gloves and shifted the contents of the can around enough to confirm my suspicion. In my case, the client was gone by the time I noticed. I went to my manager, presented the evidence and explained the situation, and he took it from there.

There's different ways of handling this, so it's up to you. Some would be willing to see him again and wait to catch him "in the act", assuming he does this everytime, or you were "lucky" enough to catch him the first time. Personally, I wouldn't want to give him the chance.

Does he have his next appointment scheduled? If he does (if it were me) I'd probably call him, and tell him that after his last session I heard some noises coming from the room, and found something disturbing in the garbage can - is there something he'd like to explain. He might get embarrassed, he might hang up, he might fess up - who knows. Bottom line, unless he told me he was grunting and groaning because he was vomiting in the garbage can, I'd cancel his appointment and inform him not to call back. If he doesn't have an appointment, I'd say the same thing if he calls for another.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by pueppi » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:41 am

JaeMarie wrote:... my shoe slipped in something wet on the floor.
That's just nasty.
Does he have his next appointment scheduled? If he does (if it were me) I'd probably call him, and tell him that after his last session I heard some noises coming from the room, and found something disturbing in the garbage can - is there something he'd like to explain. He might get embarrassed, he might hang up, he might fess up - who knows. Bottom line, unless he told me he was grunting and groaning because he was vomiting in the garbage can, I'd cancel his appointment and inform him not to call back. If he doesn't have an appointment, I'd say the same thing if he calls for another.
I like this option.
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 am

Thanks all. Very good advice. I have not heard anything through the door n a while. But, I had also accidentaly run out of tissues and kept forgeting to restock them. Maybe since he didn't have anything to clean up with he stopped?? Not sure, but based on the long term flawless record he has with me as a client I still feel that calling or emailing him is not right at this stage. I'm still only going on what I heard and not what I saw. There is still a small possibility that I may be wrong. And if I am, I will be losing 3 clients because his niece and her hubby are clients as well. I like the suggestion of knocking on the door when I hear the sounds and asking if everything is ok. That way, I am confronting it as best I can right when the act is taking place.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by pueppi » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:09 am

MassageIsMedicine wrote:I have not heard anything through the door n a while. But, I had also accidentaly run out of tissues and kept forgeting to restock them. Maybe since he didn't have anything to clean up with he stopped?? Not sure, but based on the long term flawless record he has with me as a client I still feel that calling or emailing him is not right at this stage.

<snip>

I will be losing 3 clients because his niece and her hubby are clients as well.

I am pretty sure the reason it was suggested to call/e-mail the individual was because we all thought this was a problem that had happened during his most recent session and the client had not returned yet. Obviously, he has been returning and your initial post seems to be about something that had happened some time ago.

It also sounds like having no tissues is working for you and a good way to do damage control is to keep it that way (for this client).


Last,, don't expect that you will loose three clients. If they (the other 2 family members) like your work, I expect that they will continue to come, regardless of the problem the initial client has produced. I seriously doubt that he is going to run to them and say you fired him because he was getting his jollies on in your therapy room! Possibly, but doubtful.
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by Taoist » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:07 pm

POTUS wrote:A lot of clients get "stimulated" by massage. Does he have an erection - that would suggest he is "taking care of it".
That doesn't make it ok. No matter the reasoning behind it, it's still inappropriate and has to stop.
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by simpleman » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:46 am

We have had "something" left behind twice...out of about 10,000 clients since open. Just confront him. The 2 guys that did so with us never came back, which is fine. And to clarify what he does at home....ALL of us guys do it at home, well 97% the other 3% lie and say they don't. But to do it at someones office, would be like doing it at someone elses house. Completely inappropriate. Especially, in our line of work. But sadly, there are still a very large amount of people that look at massage as a sexual thing. Lots of education still left to be done.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by [email protected] » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:44 am

MassageIsMedicine wrote:Looking for advice from male and female M.T.'s. I have a client who has been coming to me for about 4 years. He comes every week. I have never had any problems with him at all. Recently I noticed sounds coming from the room after I was done with the massage. I always leave my shoes outside my office door and usually they slip on quickly and I go to wash my hands so I don't linger outside my office door long. But one day I had a pair of complicated shoes and it took my an extra few minutes to get them on. While I was struggling with shoes I heard very disturbing sounds from him through the closed door. I will try to describe them as best I can...Heavy breathing which increased rapidly, soft groaning, and a skin rubbing skin sound :shock: I was so shocked that I ran into the bathroom to collect my thoughts. I did not say anything to him, I believe in innocent until proven guilty and I have no proof at all. Just a feeling that the sounds I heard were him mastubating. There was no evidence left in the room except a large wad of tissues in my garbage. What if I am wrong? I cannot accuse him of something without proof. What if I'm right? I cannot have this going on after I give him a massage! What he does at home is obviously none of my concern but in my office there are rules. Besides, how would I ever bring it up to him anyways? I probably never noticed it because I never stood outside the door long until the shoe malfunction day but what if he does it every time? What if another client or co-worker walks by my office door and hears it too? I am at a complete loss here and need advice. I asked my husband what he thought and after he had a good hearty laugh he finally took me seriously and stood in the halway outside my office one eveing while I tried to mimick the sounds I had heard so that he could hopefully give me his male perspective. He thinks what I heard is definatley mastrubation.
If you have been seeing this client for 4 years and have never had an issue before, I would at least give him the opportunity to clear his name! He may have been stretching and groaning because he felt great after his massage? He may have been rubbing his foot, or hand, or neck, etc? Maybe his sinuses were stuffed up and he blew his nose? Maybe he did vomit/or cough up something and needed a tissue?

I don't want to say he was or wasn't doing something inappropriate but you should at least ask him. You are obviously feeling your own intuition on the situation and your gut usually is right.. This is a very tough situation.

You could address the situation directly, but professionally by having a new massage form signed at his weekly appointment that states something about massage is for non sexual therapeutic purposes, and any clients that ask for or perform sexual acts in building will be banned and the police will be called immediately. If he acts guilty, you will tell, and if not, you can always stay you had an issue with a client, and therefor want ALL clients to sign this NEW form.

I agree with the previous response to not leave tissues in the room where they are available to him, maybe in a cabinet or cubby?

You could also consider changing your after massage routine? Tell him you want to try some full body clothed stretching for the last 5-10 minutes of a session (that he can do at home), and you will step out of the room, and WAIT BY THE DOOR, while he QUICKLY changes so you can come BACK in. Lights full up. Good firm clothed stretches, post massage consult, and out the door! :grin:

But then again, it you feel uncomfortable, it would be best to ask him not to rebook.

Please update us on your decision!
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:47 am

Thanks for all the suggetion and ideas. He never has had an erection while I was working on him. Never spoke inappropriately to me or made me feel uneasy in the slightest. Any alledged self-gratification he does happens after I exit the room. I have been putting my tissue box in my cabinet before his appointments and have not heard anything since. If I do, I plan on knocking on the door and asking if everything is ok. Hopefully it will work to alert him that he is loud.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by pueppi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:43 am

MassageIsMedicine wrote:Hopefully it will work to alert him that he is loud.
:shock: :smt017

At the risk of sounding picky... hopefully you will alert him to the fact that he is no longer welcome at your business.

Being horny in a quiet manner on your table is no more acceptable than doing it loudly.
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:08 am

pueppi,
I agree completely. However, if I knock on door and ask if everything is alright I suspect his answer would be that he was fine. My hope was that it would make him stop doing whatever he was doing immediately, realize he can be heard through the door and never do it again. I still would not have proof of his actions and I seriously doubt he would come out of the room and apologize for or admit to mastrubating. Rather, I think he would hope that I had no idea what he was doing. Maybe he would be too embarassed to return but I'm not sure.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by pueppi » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:22 am

At the risk of beating a dead horse... you can be sure he won't come back, by alerting him to the fact that he is no longer welcome.

If the man is making sounds on your table, after you have left the room, that in any way alert you to the possibility that he is acting in an unbecoming way a second time --- why in the world would you allow him back in your practice?

I don't know, I am just not getting it. :smt102
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:47 am

I agree with you that if he did something inappropriate that he is not welcome to come back for massage. Leaving semen on sheets or any other inappropriate behavior during session would be a no-brainer but the problem with this paticular situation is that I cannot prove he is doing something inappropriate. There is no eveidence other than tissues in garbage and sounds I heard. I am conflicted on how to accuse a client based on that. My gut tells me that what I heard was one thing but I can't prove it. As another poster wrote on this thread, what if he wa stretching/groaning or rubbing his hand or foot after his massage because he felt good?

I had asked in my original post how I can confront him on this issue and potentially loose a longtime regular client if I'm wrong. I got some good suggestions and will follow through with them. I don't like this client's personality but I don't want to let my personal feelings about his client cloud my professional judgement.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by JasonE » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:33 pm

MassageIsMedicine wrote:I agree with you that if he did something inappropriate that he is not welcome to come back for massage. Leaving semen on sheets or any other inappropriate behavior during session would be a no-brainer but the problem with this paticular situation is that I cannot prove he is doing something inappropriate. There is no eveidence other than tissues in garbage and sounds I heard. I am conflicted on how to accuse a client based on that. My gut tells me that what I heard was one thing but I can't prove it. As another poster wrote on this thread, what if he wa stretching/groaning or rubbing his hand or foot after his massage because he felt good?

I had asked in my original post how I can confront him on this issue and potentially loose a longtime regular client if I'm wrong. I got some good suggestions and will follow through with them. I don't like this client's personality but I don't want to let my personal feelings about his client cloud my professional judgement.
Tissues in garbage is sufficient evidence.
I have fired a client for this. The essence of our conversation went something like this:
"After your last appointment, tissues with fresh semen were found in the garbage. We have a zero-tolerance policy for things of this sort, and you are henceforth banned from the premises. Any attempts to return will be viewed as trespassing, and police will be alerted." :smt013 :smt013 :smt013

That took care of the issue permanently.
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by pueppi » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:52 pm

MassageIsMedicine wrote:... but I don't want to let my personal feelings about his client cloud my professional judgement.
But, your professional judgement is that he was previously getting it on with his hand. According to your initial post, even your husband "definitely" thinks so.

You keep saying the problem is, the problem is, the problem is... "My gut tells me that what I heard was one thing but I can't prove it". Well what do you want to do, see the man in action? Or, find goo on your sheets? Hopefully you won't, but yet in your mind, you know darn well what has happened and are now talking about knocking loud on a door if it happens again, but aren't serious enough to say that he'll have to go, if you end up having to knock on the door, because... you still might not have your visual proof.

I can't tell you what to do, but I am frustrated that you don't feel the strong need to take a stand if this or anything similar occurs again. I don't know why you would want to keep someone like this around, unless you need the money that bad. If you do, I can understand why you are not taking a stand, but it doesn't mean that it is a good business decision when it comes to keeping your boundaries in your office. Passive predatory clients are not the ones we want to keep around. They only serve to throw off our energy. And, if we're not careful, it can permeate our businesses and affect our other clients. That's just my opinion.

And, as an addendum, you may have another problem. <this section edited by myself and PM'd to OP, so as not to give any weird-o's any additional ideas>
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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:13 am

In hindsight I should have smelled and examined the tissues in the garbage. pueppi, I have replied to your private message. Thanks.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by Elliemare » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:26 am

Personally, I would have knocked on the door upon hearing those sounds and asked (through the door) if everything was ok.
I second that.
Does he have his next appointment scheduled? If he does (if it were me) I'd probably call him, and tell him that after his last session I heard some noises coming from the room, and found something disturbing in the garbage can - is there something he'd like to explain. He might get embarrassed, he might hang up, he might fess up - who knows. Bottom line, unless he told me he was grunting and groaning because he was vomiting in the garbage can, I'd cancel his appointment and inform him not to call back. If he doesn't have an appointment, I'd say the same thing if he calls for another.
And that.

I wouldn't want him back. I don't think I could work on a client again after hearing something like that. I know its hard to reprimand someone without sufficient evidence, but I would be too uncomfortable to see the guy again if it were me. Or if he's been good lately and the tissue thing seems to be working, try adding some conversation about his mother, or wife or kids (or roadkill!) just prior to you finishing the massage! That might help turn him off! :lol: Seriously, I would fire him if I were you, but I do understand your predicament.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by naturalhealing » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:40 am

Elliemare wrote:
Personally, I would have knocked on the door upon hearing those sounds and asked (through the door) if everything was ok.
I second that.
Does he have his next appointment scheduled? If he does (if it were me) I'd probably call him, and tell him that after his last session I heard some noises coming from the room, and found something disturbing in the garbage can - is there something he'd like to explain. He might get embarrassed, he might hang up, he might fess up - who knows. Bottom line, unless he told me he was grunting and groaning because he was vomiting in the garbage can, I'd cancel his appointment and inform him not to call back. If he doesn't have an appointment, I'd say the same thing if he calls for another.
And that.

I wouldn't want him back. I don't think I could work on a client again after hearing something like that. I know its hard to reprimand someone without sufficient evidence, but I would be too uncomfortable to see the guy again if it were me. Or if he's been good lately and the tissue thing seems to be working, try adding some conversation about his mother, or wife or kids (or roadkill!) just prior to you finishing the massage! That might help turn him off! :lol: Seriously, I would fire him if I were you, but I do understand your predicament.
Ouch! I hope my husband does not think talking about me is a turn off! Honestly I wouldn't do anything about a one time issue that you can't really prove. If it is a problem again, he's fired.

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by Elliemare » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:15 am

Ouch! I hope my husband does not think talking about me is a turn off!


I used to have a client who never, ever spoke of his wife. It was strange. Over time he started to get more and more flirtatious with me. Like the OP, I had no "proof" that he had ever done anything wrong, but it seemed as if the session was more to him than a therapeutic massage. He never outright asked for anything sexual, it was just a vibe I would get and he'd make some (what he thought were cute) flirty remarks. Perhaps there might have been a little fantasy going on in his mind. If I ever asked about his wife, it totally killed his mood and instantly put an end to the flirtatious remarks. It was like a magic switch, click OFF! That's when I fired him as a client. I still had no proof that he had done anything seriously wrong, but I didn't like his attitude toward his wife or me!

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by MassageIsMedicine » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:29 pm

Thanks again to all. :D

It has been brought to my attention that some may misinterpret what I'm saying so to clear up any confusion there may be about my professional ethics, I am not questioning if mastrubating in massage offices is bad, good or tolerable, I'm asking how do we prove it's going on and how do we best confront client.

I have worked full time as a MT for 15 years and have nothing but the deepest respect for the ethics and morals of the industry. In the past unfortunately, I have had to terminate clients who acted inappropriately during session. When the situation is cut and dry I have not hesitated to terminate the session and refuse re-booking. This situation is different in that there are many gray areas, it is not black and white. Taking into account a flawless 4 year client relationship before terminating is a decision I'm comfortable with. I wanted to put thought into this before I did anything rash and one of the ways I put thought into it is by asking fellow MT's out there via this thread of their experiences, advice and suggestions. it is not a matter of "needing the money" or desperation for clients. It is a matter of the sanctity of the client/therapist relationship for 4 years. It seems other MT's have had similar experience (after reading JasonE's post, note to self to stock laytex gloves in office in case of having to sift through garbage for used tissues...eeewww!) I appreciate the feedback.
Peace

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Re: Mastrubating Client???

Post by pueppi » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:08 pm

Personally, I don't think you have to sift through garbage to get concrete evidence of a client's "yuck". As a matter of fact, I don't think you have to have concrete evidence at all. I think you should go by what your gut says in a case like this. You heard something. Flawless 4-year client he may be, but you know in your gut there is a problem or you wouldn't have brought it up. And, you certainly wouldn't be planning for the potential for it to happen again if you didn't think there was a problem. You have mentioned that you have an issue with his personality already. You aren't new in practice and don't have to provide the sessions to him in order to stay in business.

I certainly don't think you have bad ethics. I just think you don't have to proove this to anyone in order to let the man go if it happens again. If you don't wish to confront him, just send him a letter and let him know you heard something coming from the room that was disturbing and won't be able to see him anymore. If you want to be nice, you can add in: "unless it can be explained". However, you may be skating on thin ice by allowing him to explain at that point. That will depend on your instincts I think.

Hope this helps.
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