Would you be happy to have a male spa therapist? Spabreaks.com talks personally and professionally about sexism in the spa world …
It isn’t often in the UK that you hear stories about sexism that place men in the position of disadvantage, but when it does happen, it isn’t any more acceptable than when it happens to their female counterparts. So what do you make of a survey that suggests that 32% of people would be suspicious of having a male therapist at a spa, and in a survey of 2000 people 26% of men and 16% of women said that beauty therapy was a role that men should not do?
It seems there are two key reasons as to why the idea that men should not be spa therapists is outmoded: in the initial instance, in the UK we aspire to equality and at least in doctrine that is, for the most part, what we have. What is written is only effective however, if attitudes follow and apparently this is where there is something of a bottleneck. Surely it is time for us to accept male spa therapists just as readily as we accept female CEOs?
On another note, and one that is of more immediate interest no doubt to the individual who is set to be imminently pummelled, caressed, and slathered in products by a complete stranger, the reality is that many men are extremely good therapists, whether it’s in terms of their (generally) greater strength that allows for a deeper tissue massage or simply because of their personal enthusiasm and knowledge. In the same way that any female therapist will bring their own unique qualities to the treatment table, so too will any man
All that said, it is understandable why someone might feel uncomfortable undressing and subsequently being massaged (or whatever treatment you are having) by a man they have never met, which may have something to do with the discomfort at the thought of male spa therapists in general. However, in all honesty unless you have had a fair few spa treatments or are an incredibly confident or matter-of-fact individual, most people feel a bit peculiar when having a full body treatment for the first time, regardless of the gender of their therapist. With any amount of thought, why would you forgo the chance to have the best treatment possible based on the sex of the person delivering it?
That said, it is important to recognise that spa treatments and beauty therapies are a time and space that’s all about you. It is time when you are supposed to be relaxing and winding down and feeling good about yourself. It is an intimate thing to have a treatment because it is a time when you also feel vulnerable. So the most important aspect in any scenario is that you feel comfortable. If our own advice and experience counts for anything then we would encourage anyone presented with the opportunity to have a male therapist, to give it a try and not to think too much about it, but ultimately it’s your shout.
We know people of both genders who would always choose to have a male therapist, and we know people who would always choose to have a female therapist. Personally however, we would simply choose to have a good therapist.
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