I recently had a call from News Talk 106 fm wanting my opinion on: “Happy Ending” massages, since an article about this had appeared in a UK tabloid. It seems that it is a widely offered “holistic massage” in “Sex and the City” sort of circles!
They wanted to know if I had heard of this being done by same sex therapist and client and by opposite sex therapist and client. I had!
The radio presenter and journalist were intrigued and amused and the journalist talked about Tantric sexuality practices, (Tantra, I must add, is not just a sexual practice, it encompasses a much broader way of being) and about people becoming addicted to this type of massage and how it is deeply relaxing and so on.
Personally, I do think one needs to look a bit deeper than they were looking. They were trivialising an important issue and I find it interesting to consider the following:
What really are the motives of the therapist who gives these Happy ending massages and what are the possible emotional after effects for the client?
Orgasm, we all know, can be the result of purely mechanical stimulation with no depth contact between the people involved. Prostitutes know this!
The notion of massage being part of a deeply gratifying orgasmic sexual experience is understood. Wonderful when the relationship is deeply intimate and both hearts are open to each other. Great! But when money changes hands and one person is in the role of therapist the whole dynamic changes.
A therapist working in a healing capacity must ask themselves about their motive for doing the work that they do. In all healing work, motive and intention are hugely important. Therapists can abuse their position of trust and exploit clients for their own gratification both sexual and financial.
How about the client? How does the client really feel having to pay for sexual pleasure? It may feel good in the moment, but later on, on reflection?
I believe people are really looking for some deep connexion in their life and risk being left with complex feelings such as emptiness, loneliness, and shame. Possibly anger!! There are always emotional spin offs! It is naive to think otherwise. Happy ending massages may offer some temporary relief to a deeper unarticulated need but they are not the answer. Human beings are complex beings.
Sadly, with more people becoming more disconnected from themselves I believe we will be hearing more about this kind of massage. Anything anywhere can be couched in all kind of esoteric terms to justify and rationalise such practice ….we live in a world full of people trying to make sense of their lives, therapists and clients included! I end with a beautiful Indian proverb which I believe to be true.
“When beautiful love falls from its heights
and becomes just sex the heart becomes empty.“