People wonder why I take offense when people equate my career as a massage therapist with something of the sex industry. People find it funny to associate massage with sex and money and “services rendered.” While I was in school, I told an old coworker what I was studying, and he told me I should call my business “Happy Endings” because people would find the double entendre funny.
I tried to explain the unprofessionalism aspect of it, the crudity aspect, the ethics, the image, the legalities, what it would do to the image of me, my career, career field and colleagues. As a matter of fact, I’ve had similar conversations with people since before I started school, and yet still, my points are not quite acknowledged or understood. I began to wonder if I am being too respectful in my kind explanations, giving up when I realize I’m getting nowhere.
So I’m changing my strategy. Because it’s an issue worth speaking out about. An issue not often spoken of, and thanks to the media and television- an issue highly misunderstood.
You think it’s funny to joke about somebody going in to a pretty young massage therapist and getting their “happy ending” or “full body massage”? It happens. In other countries, in our country, in your town. It happens.
What most do not, or will not realize is that this “massage therapist” may very well be a victim. A victim of human trafficking, of rape, of abandonment, physical abuse, and slavery. She (or he) is probably forced to take the money you hand her for your “happy ending” and use it to pay off a debt she doesn’t owe to human smugglers, pimps who abduct, buy, or coerce these young women (and boys) into the sex industry using threats and/or acts of violence, promises of jobs and legitimate employment, claiming they owe them a debt and cannot have their freedom until they pay it back. They are beat and raped and terrorized if they don’t do the jobs they are told to do, if they don’t cooperate. They are often drugged or tortured for compliance. Many are from other countries and can’t speak our language, don’t know any better, or are sold by their own families. Many are not even 18 years old yet.
The practice of hiding this criminal, depraved and perverted business behind the term “massage” is one not unheard of, and used purely to evade police and legal involvement, anyone finding out what they are doing, while still getting across the message that it is a “physical” endeavor to those seeking the services these poor young slaves are forced to provide. It’s beyond heinous, and has given the term “massage” a meaning that it should never, ever, ever be equated with. Perversion, abuse, atrocities of indescribable nature.
Massage, real massage, is a healing practice of the mind, body and soul. It is about healing, human touch, with physiological and psychological benefits that cannot be measured. It is spiritual, it is health, it is acknowledgement that the human body cannot function without full homeostasis, the true balance of the mind body and spirit as we were meant to exist. Harmony, peace, health. It promotes and creates homeostasis. It can’t get much better than that.
So when you joke around about “happy endings” and ask me what kind of “extra” or “non-menu” services I offer, please keep this in mind- The next time you go to get a “massage” from one of those “therapists”, you may just be assisting in the criminal enslavement and sexual abuse of a victim, a possible minor, either foreign, or domestic. (Yes, the human trafficking problem in the USA is JUST AS PREVALENT as many other countries. It is happening right in your state, right in your town, right under your nose.)
And even if that isn’t the case, if you find a “massage therapist” working of their own free will, you are still involved in illegal activity and the promotion of human trafficking and using the term “massage” as a cover. Stop and think. Think about how many young lives have been destroyed. Is it so funny now?
Remember, Massage is about healing and harmony. Not sex. Give it and real therapists the respect they deserve. Speak out against human trafficking and enslavement. Thank you.