Professional Sensual Massage
So all your friends say you give great sensual massages, and you're thinking of trying your hand at professional sensual massage.
How do you start? This course is for you.
This course covers the business fundamentals of running a successful sensual massage business, a practical collection of tried-and-true strategies that will get you up and going without all the pitfalls. The course will cover such topics as incalls vs outcalls, service levels, safety protocols, as well as how to best communicate with your clients.
Please note that this course does not teach massage techniques (we assume you already know those), but rather how to run a massage business and successfully manage clients. For an exploration of massage and bodywork techniques, please consider our “ The Art of Tantric Edging” course.
In addition to the type of touch your offer, determining your level of service includes identifying an work boundaries/preferences you have regarding your working conditions (eg available time, location, session length gender of your client etc)
- Do you work on weekends?
- Do you require day-before advance booking?
- How much notice do you require?
- What is your minimum session length? 30 min, 60 min, 90 min —> one hour for me!
- Do you work with couples?
- Do you do outcalls?
- Will you travel?
- Do you work with other service providers ( 4-hands)
Getting clear on the conditions you want to work under and the rates you want to charge makes your work much more enjoyable!
There are skills to be learned at all levels and each level has its challenges and opportunities. Lower levels of service allow you to focus and finely tune your offering. Higher levels of service require higher levels of communication, self-awareness, creativity and presence.
Start at a low service level. - Give yourself time to integrate your experiences and learn what works for you at a slow pace. It takes time for your body and nervous system to adjust to new levels of contact with so many new people. Lowering your level of service or starting at low-level makes you much more likely to avoid burn-out.
You may offer different levels of service for different clients. - For example, you may be willing to offer interactive touch only with clients whom you’ve had several sessions with already. You should only advertise your baseline services, which you offer everyone.
Responding to a client’s creative or unique requests. - Exploring fantasy, sensation play can be a great opportunity to be paid to learn new skills. However, if often helps to simply offer a standard sensual massage in the first session with clients. This gives you and the client a chance to get to know each other in a way that you feel comfortable with.
Be clear about your own range of services, prior to starting the session. - Don’t change your level of service mid-session, when you’re in altered states of arousal, and your client is too. There is a greater likelihood for mis-understandings around what is being offered/requested and the price. You have a bunch of other stuff to be paying attention to ( timing, massage and payment ) without adding in the complexity of a decision about service and pricing. If you want to consider offering a new level of service with a client say “ I don’t change my level of service mid-session. But if you are interested in that, lets talk later/after”
Tips for changing your level of service
Track your body and thoughts - Notice the distinction between unsafe and uncomfortable situations. Trying a new level of service will likely involve some discomfort or arousal, which may include body sensations ( heart racing, sweating, muscle tension ). Your mind may automatically interpret these sensations to mean ‘this isn’t safe’. Its good to bring consciousness to the difference between safety and comfort, by observing your sensations while offering a new level of service and mindfully asking yourself “am I safe”
Raising your level of service is a great opportunity for growth and learning. Make sure you’ve set up the necessary support, ( ex peer supervision ), time for reflection and rest you need to make the most of this growth opportunity and properly evaluate if the new level works for you.
Signs you many want to lower your level of service:
- you are struggling to manage your nervous system (feeling buzzed on erotic energy all the time and it is too much)
- You are turning to drugs/alcohol to numb yourself
- You find yourself dreading your work
- You have a universally negative attitude towards your clients and can’t find loving presence
As a professional sensual masseur, it is up to you to offer the level of service that is best for you. There is a wide range of services which you can offer, and your happiness and longevity in this industry depends largely on your ability to set and maintain your boundaries. But how do you know where you best fit on the spectrum, especially if you are just starting? How much is too much, and how can you tell?
Ki, an experienced and respected sex worker in the city of Vancouver, offers a breakdown of the different levels of service along with a suggested pay scales. In this table, Ki described what the practitioner would offer at every different level. He suggested that beginning sensual masseurs should begin at level 1, and gradually increase their level of service until they reach their comfort level.
Remember there is no virtue in going beyond what you are willing to offer! While one practitioner may be comfortable offering services at a level 3, another practitioner may not be comfortable going beyond Level 2, and that is totally fine! Find your limits and work within them, with the understanding that this comfort level may change over time and with different clients.
Levels of Service
So what Service level is best for you?
Low Range / Level 1
- Rates: $100 -$120/hr
- Practitioner remains clothed
- Touch is from practitioner to client, and is mostly hands
- Gloves may be used for all genital/anal touch
- Both the practitioner’s feet remain on the ground at all times
- All touch happens on the table
Lower - Mid Range / Level 2
- Rates: $120-$170/hr
- Wear more revealing clothing - example lingerie
- Light interactive touch (client can touch your back arms or legs, maybe butt)
- More body-to-body contact, using belly, hair, possibly breasts for sensation/contact
Upper - Mid Range / Level 3
- Rates: $170-$220/hr
- Practitioner wears revealing clothing or topless
- More interactive touch in ‘intimate’ areas (breasts, pussy, cock, butt)
- Practitioner offers body slides & gets on the table
- Practitioner uses face to touch, may kiss parts of client’s body
- Practitioner receives massage from client
- Incorporates role play, dirty talk
Upper - Range / Level 4
- Rates: $200+
- Practitioner offers full nudity
- Session includes touch off the table (dancing, cuddling, on a bed, showering with clients)
- Practitioner receives very intimate touch from clients ( ex genital massage)
- Role play, fantasy, power exchange
- Pegging, strap-on play
- BDSM, sensation play
- This range can extend into more classic full service sex work → kissing, oral play, intercourse which is way more expensive $300+
When it is time to pull back a little bit and reconsider your level of service? What signs should you be looking out for?
While the lure of higher rates may tempt you to push your own boundaries, there are tell-tale signs that you are over-servicing and should pull back a little.
These symptoms include,
- Increased alcohol and/or drug use
- Dreading seeing clients
- A growing negative attitude towards the work
If you find yourself suffering from these or similar symptoms, it may be because of over-servicing and you should consider reducing your service level to more manageable levels. And again, your boundaries may shift over time so just because you are operating at a Level 2 today does not mean that will always be at that level. Plus, you may offer different levels of service with different clients. For example, I have a client I have seen regularly for over 2 years and my comfort level with him is different than, say, a completely new client. Pay attention to yourself, and you’ll see what level of service is best for you.
So what happens if you follow all of the above strategies, but still find yourself with a client trying to have non-consensual interactions with you. Do you hit him over the head with a heavy object and scream at him to get out? While this may feel good in the moment, there may be better ways to deal with this individual.
The first strategy is to remember we live in a screwed-up culture when it comes to sex, and many people struggle with guilt and shame about their sexuality. Add to this the stigma attached to seeing a sex worker, and you may start to see the reasons behind their unacceptable behaviour.
Your job, ideally, is not to demonize the non-consensual behaviour and paint yourself as a victim. Stay true to your boundaries and your limits, but don’t shame them or blame them. Be firm yet friendly.
I know this isn’t easy!
You won’t be perfect from the start, but with practice you will avoid feeling victim-ey and so avoid the bitterness that so often results from playing the victim game.
So, how can you stay true to your boundaries and still maintain a connection with a troublesome client? Here are some tips:
- Maintain Loving Presence. This attitude makes everything so much easier!
- Move your body out of reach, move your body away while keeping your hands on them or towards their feet.
- Use your hands to guide the client’s hands off your body or onto places that you desire touch.
- Let your client know if you don’t care for an activity or touch they’re offering yet give them an alternative. Ie “My nipples are feeling over sensitive right now, but I’d love some touch on my back.”
- This line works really well, “It would be much easier for me to relax into the session if you could just receive my touch”.
- If all that doesn’t work stop the touch and move away completely from the person and even end the session. It is extremely rare for things to go this far.
You know the scenario. You are at a family get-together or a backyard BBQ, and someone turns to you and says, “It’s so nice to see you again, remind me what you do?” While it would be nice to just say, “Oh, I’m a professional sensual masseuse and I’ve been working out of my apartment since I moved in. How are you doing?”
Chances are if your family is anything like mine, this would not go down well. If you are speaking to someone living in the same apartment building as you, word will probably get back to the landlord and you may find yourself evicted.
So you think quickly and say, “I’m an accountant, thanks for asking”, thinking that this will be the end of it. You know nothing about accounting, but don’t see the trap you set for yourself until the neighbour’s face lights up and she says, ‘What a coincidence, I also work in accounting! What do you think of the new tax law that came out this year…”
And now you’re in trouble.
So it is not only important to have an airtight cover story, it must also be something you are familiar enough with to withstand the questions of a well-meaning relative. Ideally it is something that you have done in the past, so you don’t have to work too hard when faced with questions from someone knowledgeable about the field.
What’s my cover story?
Although sensual massage is my main career, I also offer relationship wellness coaching which I can talk freely about with my close friends and family. For those times that you are in new surroundings or there are strangers around I rely on my other skills. I have worked in web development and I understand the industry. This makes “web design’ or, even better, “IT” a good cover story because I can hold my own should I get any questions. Plus it helps that most people’s eyes glaze over when they hear the words “IT” and tend to change the subject. Alright by me!
Imagine you're at a social function and an acquaintance asks you, “So, what do you do?” What do you say? Write down your answer
Once you have vetted your client and set a session time, now’s the time to make sure you have everything you need to create a great sensual experience. This is my checklist I go through before every session.
- Send the client a confirmation text with address, start & finish times and cost - do not include the suite & buzzer (they will get that when they arrive). This works as a reminder for the client, as well as an opportunity to emphasize to the client of any special instructions they may need. It also shows the client that you are professional and take your time, and theirs, seriously. It is also a good idea to ask the client to confirm upon receipt.
- Make sure your phone is turned on and charged to get that text from the client! A dead battery or the volume turned off can be a real downer.
- Shower, hair and makeup for the girls, shaven and deodorant for the guys. Also, are your hands rough? A little hand cream is always a good idea.
- Trim, clean and file your nails, especially when you will be doing any digital penetration.
- You’ve eaten - food is important!
- You used the washroom.
- Oils are warm and ready.
- Check the floor - is it clean? Make sure there are no oily footprints or obvious hair.
- Check the bathroom. Empty the wastebasket. Is the floor clean and the bathtub free from oil and hair? A build-up of oil in the bathtub can lead to a very slippery tub, so make sure to clean it daily especially if you offer showers to clients. You don’t want your client to slip in the shower!
- Candles are lit and incense is burning, and make sure any other items you need (ie. toys, stool, etc) are ready.
All my toys are silicone and I use condoms on them. I will have the condom already on the toy, so I don’t struggle to open the wrapper with oily hands. It helps keep the rhythm of the session and adds to your professionalism. I also have a lube injector already filled so I can apply it as needed.
Get a good night's sleep, eat well, drink enough water. Exercise regularly, practice Yoga or Pilates and/or attend exercise classes. Prioritize your physical and emotional health and make it part of your job. You will attract more clients and offer better touch if you feel great in your body.
- Maintain a vibrant social life. Schedule and make dates with friends, especially those who know your career path and are supportive of it. Exercise classes not only make you healthier but they can also provide social contact.
- Value your work! Consciously appreciate and value yourself, and remind yourself that you are making a positive difference in the world. Keep a journal of your really good sessions and read it before your first session of the day or week.
- Monitor your Level of Service. Are you offering too much, or do you think you can offer more? Should you increase your rates? Do you feel tired or irritable, and should look at taking some time off? Regularly re-examine the services you offer and try to stay in a zone that feels good for you.
- Enjoy Life! There is life beyond the massage studio! Having fun outside of work will energize you, ground you and invigorate both you and your practice. Whether you are taking a walk on the beach, journaling, hiking or signing, doing what you love is a must for keeping yourself sane.
- Take some time before your session to prepare yourself however that may look to you. This may take the form of meditation, deep breathing or affirmations. If you are prepared for your clients, whether you are taking a call or in the session itself, preparation builds confidence and confidence is super hot! Being in control and confident in your practice ensures positive and rewarding relationships with those you serve.
I recently had some communication with a potential client which I found to be testing my patience. I had to reevaluate how I perceived he was “treating me”. We all have biases that affect how we think others should be treating us, instead of trying to see how they are trying to reach us.
I thought about this scenario when I was writing this course, because a stranger can’t always know what your protocols are when you have not created a relationship with them. (unless of course their requests firmly overstep what you are advertising). I stepped back from answering their latest email so I can manage my feelings before reaching back out to them to better communicate with them to get the best possible outcome I can.
I always get excited when I can find direct lessons that I can remind myself and apply to real life situations!