Should We Work the Glutes?

“What?” I asked, mid-massage.

“Should we work the glutes?” he said. “I only ask because I need to know how to drape the sheet.”

“Whatever,” I responded.  Not sure of exactly what the male massage therapist was asking. Had I known, I think I would have changed my answer.

Yesterday, I got a massage. I was in need of a little TLC. I’ve been feeling a little on edge, lately, probably because of all the half days my kids get this time of year (they started Wednesday, of last week, and go straight until Thanksgiving), which makes my schedule way too hectic. But, of course, me being me, I waited until the very last minute to book one. I lucked out with a cancellation, the only opening of the day. Before I got off the phone, the receptionist asked, “You’re not opposed to a male therapist?”

I said, “I guess I have no choice.”

She said, “I just wanted to let you know, because some people feel really strongly about not having a male.”

Before yesterday, I really didn’t care that much. Now, I’m not so sure.

Let’s talk about massages. If I could get a weekly massage, I would. It’s right up there with my wish for a daily housekeeper, and possibly, a personal chef. But, I am not a rap mogul, or a Saudi prince, so I’ll take one every few months, unless I find a Groupon, and can up the ante.

In all the times I’ve been getting a massage I think I’ve only had a male, once before, and the one thing that stands out in my mind is that he wouldn’t shut up. I couldn’t relax because I had to converse with him.


Yesterday, besides the obligatory, how’s the pressure, and breathe in banter, the guy was pretty quiet. Which was good. I was relaxed and feeling fine. That is, until, we got to the glute issue.

When I said, whatever, in answer to his question, I didn’t know that working the glutes meant shoving the blanket up my butt, a la sumo style, or my answer would have been a definite no. But once the blanket went in my crack, what was I to do?

Total. Awkwardness. Because all I could think about after that was my ass hanging out there for all the world, or at least, the male massage therapist to see. Now, I was no longer relaxing, I was thinking, and thinking is bad. It is the opposite of relaxing.

I didn’t know what to do.  Do I tell him not to do the other side? Do I pull the blanket out and say, what the hell? I kind of felt like turning back would be totally insulting and presumptuous, sort of like calling him out professionally.

So, I didn’t say a word. Of course, I didn’t relax, either, until the other side was done, and even then, I couldn’t stop thinking about the view from behind. I’m sorry, but that’s just not the way it’s supposed to go. I’m not supposed to be thinking, or tensing, or anything.

To make matters worse, I stank, but I didn’t realize this until the very end of the massage when I was getting dressed and caught a whiff of myself. I don’t make it a habit to go around au natural, but a few months ago, I switched to Tom’s of Maine deodorant, and while I may be putting less chemicals on my skin, it doesn’t always get the job done, or last very long. Yesterday, my husband was in the shower while I was getting dressed, so I couldn’t get in the bathroom to get to my deodorant. I made a mental note to put some on before I left, but I forgot, hence, the stench.

In the end, I could barely look the guy in the face when he handed me my water with the instructions to hydrate.

These are all issues I would have shrugged off with a woman, but, then again, no woman has ever asked me about working the glutes, before, or shoved a towel up my butt, mid-massage. So much for relaxing.

I think, next time, I might have to pass on the male massage therapist.

One thought on “Should We Work the Glutes?

  1. I’m so sorry you had a weird massage experience. As a massage therapist, I read this and cringed, because I don’t know why that guy shoved the blanket up anywhere–he probably thought that it was securely creating a boundary, but I’ve had a female therapist do that with me, and I know I didn’t like it. There are way better ways to place the draping, and honestly, really nice work can be done on the glutes without even undraping a side.
    I would definitely recommend that the next time you feel uncomfortable during a massage, just say that you’ve changed your mind, and could the therapist please move on. He should have checked in with you to see if you felt comfortable, but sometimes we forget. But that time is yours, so you should feel as comfortable as possible, whether it is to do with draping, pressure, or if they’re talking nonstop like the first guy.
    I hope you have better luck next time!

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