Massage Parlor Etiquette: 8 Things To Know Before You Go!

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If you have never been to a spa for a massage session, you may be unaware of massage parlor etiquette.

Massages involve strangers touching your exposed body in various places. It’s a very personal experience and can be quite intimate, even without anything sexual going on. You need to know the standards of behavior in order to protect both yourself and the massage therapist who will work on you.

You see, there are some spoken and unspoken rules that practitioners and clients are aware of. These rules are vital for actualizing the goals of the engagement. The same is the case for massage parlors.

The massage therapist is expected to uphold a high degree of professionalism, while the clients are also expected to conduct themselves responsibly. This is by adhering to massage etiquette.

Here are eight vital spa etiquette rules to bear in mind during your massage.

Massage Parlor Etiquette

Most spas will have explicit rules which you will need to read and understand before you go in, for everyone’s safety. Don’t shrug these rules off, and make sure you carefully review them. The list below contains many of the most common rules, but your spa may have different or other rules.

Always follow your spa’s etiquette rules.

Always follow your spa’s etiquette rules.

1. Always Take A Shower First

The first massage etiquette we want to address is cleanliness. Before leaving home for the massage parlor, make sure you take a shower first (even if you’re doing a Vichy Shower Massage!).

No massage therapist will be happy touching the body of a sweaty, dirty person. We are sure you wouldn’t either! Even if you didn’t engage in any strenuous work and have been at home all day, you should still take a shower or bathfirst.

So make sure you clean your body thoroughly.

Also, clip your toenails and fingernails before you go in.

2. Arrive On Time

Unless the massage therapist is coming to give you a home service, always arrive a bit early. If you were scheduled for a 2 pm session, it’s a good idea to arrive 5-10 minutes beforehand. You may have to fill in some forms and pay for the session.

Massage parlors work with the time and often handle different clients at different times. The last thing you want is to arrive late. You might find the therapists already working on someone else.

Even if the massage therapist is free, there is already a time allotted to you. You will only get less value for your money since they will not go beyond the time slot given to you.

3. Switch Off Your Phone

Massages are supposed to be done uninterrupted. Breaking the massage session to answer a call is not good for the therapist or you.

Your body should remain calm and in one place as they work on your muscle. Your body and senses are already engaged. The last thing you want is any distraction that could make you mentally unbalanced.

4. Undress As Much As You Are Comfortable With

Massages are done on a partly or completely naked body, but you don’t have to be naked if you don’t want to. Massage therapists will tell you to wear what you are comfortable with. If you want to go completely naked, they will offer you a sheet to cover your buttocks.

While doing that, they exit the massage clinic room to give you temporary privacy. If you don’t want to undress completely, you can wear your underwear, and that is fine. Your genitals are never exposed during a massage in an Asian massage parlor so let your mind be at peace.

5. Communicate Your Feelings

If you are not comfortable, communicate your feelings to the therapist. Don’t stay silent.

As they work on you, your massage therapist will ask you what type of pressure you like and what you don’t like. Be sure to let your therapist know if you don’t like what they are doing at any point. You are within your rights to do so.

Be sure to let your therapist know if you don’t like what they are doing at any point. You are within your rights to do so

Note: You don’t have to chat if you don’t want to. You can lay still and quiet as they do their job, and that is fine. If you feel to engage in small talk, you can do so.

6. Passing Gas

Many people have reported the uncomfortable scenario where they pass gas during the session. This is a common occurrence, however uncomfortable it may be. As your body remains still and the therapist works from top to bottom, you may pass out gas in the process.

You may feel embarrassed, but don’t take it to heart, as this is normal.

Apologize if it occurs.

Apologize if it occurs.

But note that licensed massage therapists won’t be amused if you start farthing too much.

So if you feel like you are building up gas in your bowels, ask for a pause. Then go into the bathroom to release before coming back to continue the session.

7. Dealing With Erections/Wetness

This massage etiquette is worth talking about in a massage parlor. Some people experience sexual reactions and even unintentional ejaculation during a massage. Even in a non-sensual massage!

Some men experience an erection while some women may get wet. This may occur without the therapist touching near sexual organs, and not doing anything actually sexual to them.

If you experience sexual reactions, don’t feel embarrassed. It happens, don’t dwell on it too much. If your reaction is noticeable, apologize, ask for a break, and get yourself together before continuing the massage.

If you experience sexual reactions, don’t feel embarrassed. It happens, don’t dwell on it too much. If your reaction is noticeable, apologize, ask for a break, and get yourself together before continuing the massage.

It comes with the job, and they are used to it and will ignore it.

Many people avoid going to an Asian massage parlor because they fear that this may happen. While their fears are valid, in the massage profession, professionals deal with this almost daily. They will not think too much of it.

8. Don’t Ever Pass a Sexual Comment

Last, but not least is to respect yourself and the therapist doing the actual massage.

It is against the profession for a therapist to recommend performing a sexual act on you. You should not make a joke about it either or demand it.

If you do, you will likely run into major problems. This includes getting kicked out, upsetting the therapist, or in worst cases, they may sue for harassment.

Be respectful before, during, and after the session. Especially as massage oils are poured on you!


Massage parlor etiquette protects both the therapist and the client. That is why rules are in place.

Follow the rules of your massage parlor, and you’ll be fine. A massage is an intimate experience, and can really be life-changing. You just don’t want to make it awkward and uncomfortable for either you or your therapist!