Have you seen this new show? The Client List... it’s on Lifetime starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and it’s about a massage therapist who gives her clients a lot more than massages. Now, I am all open about sex and sexy time, and ways to have it, but this show just pisses me off.
Why? Because before I was a Bossy Italian Wife, I was a massage therapist!
I practiced massage therapy for about three year when I was in my early 20’s. It was a great profession, and I actually made a good deal of money. But it’s really hard work, and it just wasn’t for me. One of the reasons it just wasn’t a good fit? Jerks who think that television and movies are reality.
I was propositioned more than once for sex during a session--once by a man who I referred for couples counseling and was MARRIED!-- and I have to say it is one of the most humiliating experiences a massage therapy can encounter. It’s awkward, not to mention completely insulting. Massage therapists are educated people--they aren’t whores.
They are men and women who have gone through at least six months of training for their jobs, clocked countless hours in anatomy and physiology and passed state and national tests to become certified. Massage therapists have to maintain their educations as well by taking continuing educational units as required by the state and national levels.
What bothers me the most about this television show is that it undermines the integrity of the massage profession... and let me tell you, without a show like this, massage therapists have it hard enough. Remember, I worked in the field long before this show was ever even a story board. Still, many times when someone would ask me what I do, I would get snickers and “hehe, do you give happy endings?”
I know that some executive thought, “hey sex sells” and pitched this show based on ratings and all that jazz. But can’t they muck up someone else’s reputation?? Poor massage therapists have a hard enough time maintaining respect without Jennifer Love Hewitt’s bra-clad body rubbing down hot television guys and then servicing their johnsons!
I suppose it’s all a part of the plight that people in the industry face, but the problem of men thinking that massage therapist is synonymous with prostitute is a very a real issue for those who work in the industry, and it’s a unique problem that they face much more often than other industries. And let’s be perfectly frank on the issue that the women in the show who play the “massage therapists” they are just too pretty to be prostitutes.
Never would a high-end place like that be providing sexual services. If they wanted to fit that stereotype they should be a run-down creepy little place where women with c-section scars, pockmarks, and broken arms do the massages...you know, like in strip clubs. But that is another one of the points that really makes me fume: even the high end salons and spas that have massage therapists, by this television show’s standards, look like brothels to the self-centered male clientele they serve.
So what exactly is this show trying to say? And should the men be offended too? After all, most men I am acquainted with know where to find sex... and it isn’t at your local spa!