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Sexual harassment in massage world

Last week I had a really horrible experience – some of you know about it, because I was asking for your help. It started with somebody sending me link to an Instagram account, adding: they pretend to be you.

I checked the account. The person was right: somebody created an IG account using my pictures, and claimed to do lomi lomi as erotic massage.

This really hit me hard for two reasons. First one is that, for over four years now, I’ve been educating people that intimate touch doesn’t always mean sexual touch. That massage with oil, performed on a naked body, doesn’t mean it’s erotic, and that infamous “happy ending” is NOT a part of lomi lomi, that genitals are covered and not massaged, etc. And then, I saw photos of MY face advertising “erotic lomi lomi”. I felt… absolutely broken. Devastated.

The second reason is that somebody (most likely not a real person, but an automatically created account) used photos of ME and MY BODY for sexual purposes. There was one photo in particular, of me leaning over a massage bench, showing how to work with your own body weight in lomi. The caption under that photo, on that fake account, said: book me and feel me.

I almost threw up when I saw that. Even now when I’m writing about it, I am nauseated.

To cut the long story short: I reported that account, I asked for your help and many of you reported it as well. It was deleted. And immediately… another, almost identical was created. I reported again. But I don’t know how many more fake accounts with MY face and MY body are there, selling erotic lomi lomi, massages with “happy ending” and an opportunity to “feel me” (my hands are shaking when I’m writing this).

The story doesn’t end here.

Because you know what I did, after these fake accounts were deleted? I went to MY own IG account and archived my photos that could be considered even slightly sexual. Just to make sure that they will never be used like that again.

But then I said to myself: what are you doing Magdalena??? THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You have nothing to be ashamed of! It is NOT YOUR FAULT that some sick minds see these photos as erotic.

You see what I tried to do there? I tried to BLAME MYSELF, like I did many times before, when I was sexually harassed as a massage professional. Many times I thought: maybe what is say about lomi is unclear, that’s why men send me requests to massage their penises? Maybe my photos are… flirty, improper, tempting, sexual? Maybe it is simply how it is in that profession, so I need to clench my teeth and get used to it? MAYBE I AM DOING SOMETHING WRONG?

No. FUCK NO. I am absolutely SICK TO THE BONE of pretending that sexual harassment in massage world doesn’t happen, because it DOES, often. Even in the world of the most beautiful, holistic and healing art, lomi lomi.

We need to talk about it. This is a BIG THING, it happened at least ONCE to most of my massage friends – female and male! Improper comments, gestures, vague suggestions, like that client once, who after showering, winked at me and said “Next time you can join me under the shower”. I froze and said nothing. Then I cried for 3 hours for not saying something like “Please kindly fuck off and never come back”.

I am sick of blaming myself

I do nothing wrong. Now, after 4 years, I am much wiser and I know what to do when my limits are crossed. I know what to say and do, I even teach other massage professionals what to do in such situations. Still, things like that fake account throw me off.

And OF COURSE 99% of my Clients are the most amazing human beings. It is an absolute honor to massage you and I love you. Thank you for you – you inspire me to do what I do.

But today I want to speak out loud about these few cases that I experienced, because there shouldn’t be ANY. Today I am saying: #metoo. And I know that there are more of us. If you are a massage professional who experienced improper comments or even behavior from your client, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am so, so sorry that this happened to you. If you want to talk, send me a message. And if you feel that you want to speak out loud about it, please do. Because this is not normal. Because this needs to change.

#metoo

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