Is an erotic gay massage still an option during social distancing?
I should say this from the outset – having a massage is not in line with social distancing. It’s pretty much the opposite of that. Whether it’s still an option is another question.
At Touch of London, our view is that unless we get clearer instructions from the UK government, it’s down to each person to make the necessary judgement call. We’ve also been in touch with colleagues around the world to try and ensure that we’re following a similar approach. Are erotic gay massages still an option during a time of social distancing? Ultimately, it’s down to both the masseur and the client to make that decision.
Is Touch of London still offering massage services during the shut-down?
We are. Masseurs are freelancers and it’s down to each of them to decide when they stop working (and when they start again). We are offering them support by keeping them informed about safer working practices and by helping them access other financial assistance where possible. But ultimately, it’s their call.
Has Touch of London still got a lot of demand from clients seeking erotic gay massages?
As you would expect, the demand has fallen sharply – that’s understandable. There are also some people who try to take advantage of the situation by asking for things we don’t offer. Those requests are denied.
What steps is Touch of London taking to ensure that we’re protecting our masseurs and our clients from Covid-19 infection?
Back when the pandemic first began, we issued our own safety guidelines to all masseurs, based on what was offered by professional bodies of massage therapists around the world. When booking, we ask our clients about their state of health – we don’t offer bookings to those who have cold or flu symptoms. We are very clear that no masseur with cold or flu symptoms can work. We limit the risk, but the risk still exists.
How to book a good erotic massage
Here’s some tips on how to book an erotic gay massage that’s safe, high quality and enjoyable, as well as how to avoid the common pitfalls.
Where to look
When you search the internet, there’s a plethora of gay massage sites out there, but broadly you have two choices: agency or independent masseurs. Agencies will always have their own sites – you’ll generally find these through an online search for gay massage in your location. If you’re looking for a specific massage – such as tantric or nuru – then search for that, as there will be directories that specialise in your area of interest.
Independent masseurs will either be listed in directories or they will have their personal sites as well. Worldwide, the most popular directories are probably Rentmasseur and Masseurfinder, but there are countless others. If travelling, you can also use gay travel guides such as Travelgay and Patroc.
Red flags are indicators that something may not be right, and you should know how to recognise the most obvious ones. If you see something that feels like it might be a red flag, be careful. Here’s our guide to a few potential red flags to watch out for.
Lack of clarity.
Before you attend your massage, you should have agreed how long it will take, what it will include and how much it will cost. It will be much harder to argue these points once you are already there. If the masseur or agency try to evade your questions and don’t offer you the information beforehand, take your custom elsewhere.
Some masseurs use their own photos and some use stock photography to protect their identity or to improve their marketing. If you can see only one photo, ask for more and see if they are of the same person. If you think it’s stock photography, ask the masseur or agency upfront. They should be straight with you about what photos you are looking at. Don’t be too sceptical of high-definition photos, many career masseurs pay for professional photography in order to attract more clients.
Refusal to answer questions.
Masseurs and agencies get a lot of people who contact them just for chit-chat. They obviously try to avoid that because it wastes time. However, they should never avoid legitimate questions about their work. If someone can’t find a few minutes to discuss your needs, how can you trust them to give you an attentive massage?
Not always a problem, as fewer people will review an erotic massage than, for example, a restaurant. But it’s definitely a sign you should be a little more careful. Ask probing questions.
These are a few things that should be avoided:
A massage service is not a market stall and you are not buying onions. You might be offered a discount under some circumstances, especially if there is an issue with your booking, but haggling is frowned upon. Some agencies and masseurs will not even deal with a client who attempts to negotiate a discount.
Don’t be rude.
It’s only nice. We’re polite, you’re polite, everyone has a good day.
Don’t be crude.
There are polite ways to ask even the most intimate of questions. Enquiries that are phrased in a crude way indicate that the person who wants to book might not be that good at respecting the masseur’s boundaries. In which case the masseur or the agency might decide not to make the booking.
Don’t ask inappropriate questions.
Erotic massage is in a bit of a grey area, certain aspects of it might not be legal in some countries. If you have to ask about something that could be of questionable legality in your area, don’t do so directly and use euphemisms. Don’t be annoyed by this indirectness – a masseur who understands the legal vagaries and can be careful when speaking to you, will also be careful with your safety and privacy.
Questions to ask
Here are some of the useful questions you might want to ask before booking a massage. Keep in mind that depending on the legal standing of gay massage in your area, your masseur or agency might have to be circumspect about some things.
- Do you have somewhere I can shower, and will towels be available?
- What is included in the price and what happens during the massage?
- Is the masseur qualified?
- Is mutual touching allowed?
- What happens if my circumstances change and I need to postpone or cancel the massage?
- Do you accept card payments or is it cash only?
- How long does the massage take and how much does it cost in total?
Don’t just ask questions, tell them anything that they need to know beforehand. A former injury means your collarbone needs to be handled carefully? You really like it if the masseur gives a lot of attention to your feet? Let your masseur or agency know.
How to choose your masseur or agency
Some of the things you might want to consider are:
- How long have they been working in the massage industry?
- What are their reviews? Don’t just check on their site, do an online search for their name and see what comes up.
- Did you find them clear and polite in their communications to you or were they unhelpful?
- If you are dealing with independent masseurs, keep in mind that some might speak little English, despite being excellent professionals in their field. The most important things to consider in those circumstances are: was their tone friendly? Could you understand them? Could they understand you enough for you to be able to explain what you like or dislike in a massage?
Agencies are likely to be a little more expensive, but the flip-side is that you have someone besides the masseur to turn to if anything is not as expected. Someone who has invested in a website – whether they’re an independent masseur or an agency – might be a safer bet than someone with a potentially throwaway profile. They’ve spent time and money to build their brand, so they won’t want to ruin it by providing a bad service.
Most masseurs are there to do their job well and to get paid for it. There are some who don’t know what they’re doing, and a few dishonest people, but don’t be discouraged. A little effort beforehand will prevent misunderstandings and ensure that you’re getting the best experience you can.
Masseurs really enjoy working with regular clients with whom they’ve built a rapport. Once you’ve found a masseur who meets your needs, this can be a long-term and rewarding relationship for you both.