When is a "tent" just a tent?
Dearest Gentle Readers--
You will note the use of many euphemisms throughout our first letter. This is because using proper terms might land This Author in internet/email jail, and would likely send this missive directly to your spam folder.
Please forgive me for all the highly amusing work-arounds for the word that rhymes with "direction." I trust that you will understand.
I'm a 22-year old guy who's in massage school, and I love it! But a problem has come up. And up. And up.
I'm very very ticklish apparently, and it's turned into something of a nightmare. Every time a massage partner works on my abdomen or my upper legs, it tickles, and then -- dude, it's mortifying. I pitch a tent. Right there in front of the whole class. I swear I'm not a perv, and I definitely don't have a thing for any of my classmates, but I can't make it stop!
It's gotten to the point that the first thing I do when I'm partnered with somebody new is tell them about my "meerkat popping up to take a look" issue.
We laugh about it, but it's really uncomfortable and I don't know what to do. I don't want to scare or offend the people around me (they're all women, not that makes a difference), but I just can't help it when the captain wants to salute.
My, that's quite a pickle!
Your situation, that is.
This is one of those things that massage students always worry about, but truthfully, This Author has encountered only a few Unintentionally Erect Objects in ten years of massaging and teaching.
First off, I believe you have handled it (the situation) perfectly. You, when on the table, have an annoying reaction to being tickled or touched in certain areas. Because it's class, you cannot simply ask for these areas to be skipped, but if you were a regular massage client, that would be an option.
Telling your massage therapist upfront, before the massage begins is ideal, and I applaud your candor. It will be an awkward conversation, but remain firm. It's worth it in the end.
But what about if someone on your massage table gets a spontaneous sproing?
There's really no need to mention it. The massage therapist should be professional enough to look away, reposition their client, or toss an extra towel over the . . . protrusion.
A pile of linens and blankets also camouflage and put some weight on the accidental pup tent. Another solution is to have the client turn over onto their stomach.
My dear students (or less-experienced massage therapists), please remember that a salute is just a reflex, not a threat. Treat it like you would a loud stomach grumble: it could have been triggered by just about anything, or nothing at all, and will go away on its own. (please see postscript below)
And if all else fails (for either the therapist or the client), remain calm and think of England.
Some clients do come to us with nefarious, nasty, or criminal intentions. In the unlikely event that an abuser makes it through your hopefully-rigorous intake procedures, you should take whatever measures you need to protect yourself, including ending a session early, calling the police, and/or thwacking them with a well-aimed massage stone