It's Monday morning and I just got back from a beautiful fall getaway with my husband. I checked my email and this is the message I found: "Hi Jessica, I found you online. I'm in Halifax for the weekend and am looking for a massage tomorrow (Sunday). Do you offer 'happy endings'? I couldn't tell from your site."
Over the many years I have been an RMT, I occasionally get emails and phone calls with a variation on this question. If I'm feeling generous I answer politely. If not, I just don't answer. But I found this email insulting on two counts. First, as a professional health care provider. Second, as a writer. Is my writing so vague and this blog so unclear that someone could read through it and be confused about the nature of my work?
Let me make myself perfectly clear. The answer is NO, I do not provide any sexual services.
When you see RMT after a massage therapist's name, it signifies that they are a Registered Massage Therapist. It means we are health care providers. Compare it to a Physiotherapist or an Occupational Therapist if you must, in order to understand. It means we have successfully completed a rigorous, two year, full time college program consisting of studies in anatomy, pathology, orthopaedic testing, therapeutic massage, hydrotherapy and clinical practice. We learned how to use massage therapy as a means to treat symptoms resulting from cerebral palsy, whiplash, muscle spasm and plantar fasciitis and many more conditions. It means we learned how to do a relaxation massage to decrease the effects of stress from working all day at a desk or walking around a hospital floor all day. It means once we graduated from our program, we became members of a professional association. In my case, this is MTANS, the Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia, " a self governing body of massage therapists dedicated to protecting the public, serving its members, and promoting the highest possible quality of the practice of massage therapy."
If you are looking for sexual services, you are not looking for an RMT. You are looking for a sex worker. I don't judge people who provide sexual services for money and I don't judge people who go to them. That is their choice. But that is not what I do. That is not what any massage therapist with RMT after their name does.
If the massage therapist does not have RMT after their name, do not assume they provide sexual services. I know many skilled Massage Therapists who offer massage therapy but who do not qualify to join a professional association and earn the designation RMT, usually because they were trained in another country and cannot attend massage school in Canada or join an association, due to language barriers.
1. If a Massage Therapist has RMT after their name, they are a health care provider and they will NEVER provide sexual services.
2. If a Massage Therapist does NOT have RMT after their name, it does NOT follow that they are a sex worker. Do not assume anything.
DO NOT make an appointment with any Massage Therapist of any kind and ask for a sexual act in person or worse, in the middle of a treatment. If you absolutely cannot tell from their advertising, it's a simple question you can ask by phone or email ahead of time. If you ask in person and they are not a sex worker, you will make that Massage Therapist feel startled, uncomfortable, confused, threatened and probably angry. If you ask for sexual services in person or during a treatment, your RMT or Massage Therapist might phone the police and report you. So figure it out ahead of time and make a well informed decision.