Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain wrong.
The internet lit up brighter than a Lite Brite this week with the rumors flying that Taylor Swift had broken up with her latest guy, Calvin Harris, after finding out that he had received a “happy ending massage” at a Thai massage parlor.
Now, two days later, everyone seems confused. Did he or didn’t he? Are they broken up or are they together?
One convincing argument in favor of Mr. Harris’ innocence appeared on Defamer. Author Jay Hathaway put forth the premise that the active pursuit of happy ending massages has produced an “internet subculture” in which “guys [known as ‘mongers’ or ‘hobbyists’] are more than willing to talk, in open and graphic terms, about the services they receive. In other words, if Calvin Harris was presented with the opportunity to participate in a sex act at the massage parlor in which he spent two mysterious hours, the mongers would know about it.”
To be honest, I really don’t care if the stories about Harris are true or not. What I do care about is that this rumor/true story has brought to the forefront of trending news the dark underworld of “happy ending” massages, the men who swear by them and the disposition of both married and single guys towards them.
I first heard the phrase “happy ending” when a client expressed to me concern that her husband might be getting them. Since then I have found that while many women are unfamiliar with the term, all of the men I mention this to know exactly what they are, exactly where men* in their area get them, and exactly how men ask for them.
What amazes me more than anything is how the majority of the men I have discussed this issue with have either defended the practice as completely innocent or have felt ambivalent about whether or not it should raise any concerns.
I have heard, from men I otherwise respect and enjoy having as friends, happy ending massages referred to as a “therapeutic,” “authentic” and “harmless” form of “tension release.”
I find this troubling on two fundamental levels.
Happy ending massages are a form of prostitution. They are illegal. The laws and legal ramifications vary state to state, but a man who pays for this service is putting himself, and his family if he has one, at risk. Not to mention the fact that he may be passively supporting the insidious business of sex trafficking.
Happy ending massages received by married men are in no uncertain terms a very real form of infidelity. You can pretty it up all you want as “manual release,” “nude adult relaxation” and the like, but there is nothing harmless about it to the wife or girlfriend who later finds out that her husband paid for and received sexual gratification of any kind.
As I see it you have the following options available to choose from.
- If you are that deeply in need of a “manual release,” you know where to find your own manual devices.
- If you whole-heartedly believe that these services are therapeutic and innocent, sit your significant other down for a chat and explain that to her before you seek such a service out. If she’s cool with it, hey, that’s your deal with each other. I make no judgments.
- If she isn’t cool with it, than you should respect that and opt out.
- If you are too scared to sit down with her and have the conversation because you think she will freak out, then she probably will, so you should respect that and opt out.
- If the need to receive a happy ending as your therapy of choice is so important that you just don’t care how she feels about it, then she is not particularly “significant” to you after all. End the relationship so you can take your risks on your own emotional and legal dime, while allowing her to move on with her dignity intact.
I realize I am likely preaching to the choir here, but maybe if we sing this song loud enough together, someone who needs to hear it finally will.
Even if Taylor declines to write our lyrics. Although that would be epic!
*Note: Yes, women can and do pay for happy endings services as well. All of the above should be considered to hold true no matter the gender of the masseuse, the client or the betrayed partner.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.