The Fifteen Commandments of Mobile Massage and Personal Safety

  1. Thou shalt: not be afraid of thy clients, as most of them are normal, harmless individuals and perfectly lovely people. Being prepared for a bad client is not bad juju, negative thinking, or paranoid.  It is simply cultivating the tools you need to go into a potentially dangerous situation confidently so that you and your client are both at ease.
  2. Thou shalt: understand that most people seeking sexual services are not violent, and can be avoided with clear communication.
  3. Thou shalt: understand that de-escalation and removal of oneself from any dangerous situation is the first goal.
  4. Thou shalt: understand the predatory mindset, and realize that most victimizers go after easy prey so projecting steady confidence may be an effective deterrent.
  5. Thou shalt: always inform a colleague, friend or family member (exit buddy) of where they are, and when they will be checking in. In addition, always have detailed instructions for the exit buddy in the event no call/text is received. (How soon to call, when a 911 call is appropriate, etc) and consider making two safety calls: one when the service has concluded and one when safely in his/her vehicle. If texting, thou shalt consider including a specific code word or phrase to verify identity. It may not be a bad idea to delete these text messages immediately after they are sent.
  6. Thou shalt: feel comfortable with screening clients thoroughly and not be afraid  to ask over the phone: “Just to be clear, are you seeking sexual services?” if you have a feeling they are. If asked such a direct question in a polite manner, most creepers will either hang up or say “Yes”…at which time you can politely let them know you don’t perform those services and to have a good day, then hang up. Do not be rude or scold…that is simply feeding the troll and may result in some unwanted flak. Firm, yet polite, is the best policy I’ve found to avoid harassment. You are not condoning their behavior, you are simply refusing to engage with them. and there is nothing wrong with that.
  7. Thou shalt: get all pertinent details about thy client at the time of booking and NEVER be afraid to refuse service at the risk of offending someone, when thy personal safety is an issue. Pertinent details include: First and last name, phone number, address, name of community (if any), gate code (if any), service length and type.
  8. Thou shalt: feel comfortable both googling a client and mapping the address ahead of time on google maps to verify the location if they have any apprehension.
  9. Thou shalt: not accept wishy washy crap from anyone when booking and shalt not be afraid to say the word “No.”. Examples of wishy washy crap include:

    Q: Can I decide how long my massage will be when you get here
    A: No, I need to know how long your appointment will be ahead of time so I can schedule other appointments that day.

    Q: Can I decide what type of massage to get when you get here?
    A: No, I need to make sure I bring the right supplies for the service…which ones were you trying to decide between?

    Q: Can you met me in the hotel lobby?
    A: No, I check in at the security desk before and after each appointment and they need to know where I am in the hotel for security purposes.

  10. Thou shalt: create or obtain and use a written client intake form including an informed consent specifically stating that sexual innuendo is not tolerated and will result in the termination of the session without a refund.
  11. Thou shalt: be aware of thy surroundings, including other people in the space, exits, and possible red flags. If thou shalt spy visible condoms, an envelope marked gift, or any other sexual paraphernalia thou shalt resist the urge to become visibly indignant and leave as quickly as possible.
  12. Thou shalt: never enter a dark room in front of a new client or turn thy back on a new client.
  13. Thou shalt: consider obtaining training in self defense, including but not limited to: martial arts, verbal judo, and firearms or other weapons training including (very importantly) weapon retention. Thou shalt understand all local laws and that in close quarters and without proper training, an attacker is much more likely to disarm you and use your weapon against you.
  14. Thou shalt: consider carrying non lethal personal safety devices such as high quality personal alarms and pepper spray. Thou shalt understand local laws regarding these devices and substances.
  15. Thou shalt: understand that avoidance is a form of self defense. The goal is to be prepared for any bad situation that arises, but above all else to avoid putting oneself in a dangerous situation in the first place. Trust your instincts.

    Image Courtesy of vudhikrai at FreeDigitalPhotos.com

    You could always bring him with you…but that may be just a tad off-putting.

Resources:
MassageCop.com
Article by Butch Watson of MassageCop.com
Interview with Butch Watson on The MassageNerd show
MassageTherapy.com/Outcall Safety
Massage Magazine Reader Advice

 

Please note: all content provided on this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for training or legal advice. The author will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The author will not be held liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
This entry was posted in Client Relations, Education, Massage and tagged , , , , by Ariana La Cour. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ariana La Cour

"Ariana La Cour, a Nevada native, lives and works in fabulous Vegas (baby) . She is a full time licensed massage therapist who runs her own small mobile massage company, is a part time massage blogger, runs the Las Vegas Massage Therapy Meetup Group, and is an aspiring author. She is the main shenanigator over at MassageHacks.com. She adores both kale smoothies and chocolate equally, and doesn't see a problem with it. She is a sucker for bouquets of newly sharpened pencils. She dislikes pointy toed shoes, complacency, and when people don't use their turn signals. You know who you are."

3 thoughts on “The Fifteen Commandments of Mobile Massage and Personal Safety

  1. “Being prepared for a bad client is not bad juju, negative thinking, or paranoid.”

    Thanks for *all* of the great advice contained in this post, and an extra appreciative “thank you and it’s about time!” for including this simple but important point.

    Many years ago, I chose to shun magical thinking in my day-to-day life. As a person with a history of suffering from serious OCD, I am all too aware of how magical thinking can spiral into full on obsession in the blink of an eye.

    Here’s to NOT blaming our *preparation* for bad crap that happens! :)

  2. Terrific! And, #4…Something I don’t usually come across, and so very true. I’ve had a mobile massage practice for almost 30 years and while for the past 25 years I have almost entirely worked by referral, when I first started out I didn’t have enough of a client base. My “steady confidence” and professionalism was without a doubt a clear safety measure.

  3. “NEVER be afraid to refuse service at the risk of offending someone”. This is so true, but can be difficult. Identifying it after the fact is easy, but in the moment my need to not offend takes over.

Leave a Reply