This post is based on a conversation between two gay masseurs in London: our masseur, Anthony, and his friend, Rodri, who works with a few other agencies.
Keeping their own hours
I first asked them about hours that they work and how they ended up working as gay masseurs in London. Anthony tells me that he got into the industry through a friend. Rodri nods, he also knew someone who made the first introductions. “It was not on Indeed [a job search site], that’s for sure”. And the hours? Freelance work allows them to keep their own hours. “Although, of course, you have to think about the clients, and when is a good time for them”, says Anthony seriously. “So sometimes you end up working late, but, on the other hand, at other times you get to sleep in”.
How gay masseurs in London let their hair down
What do they like to do in their free time? They both laugh in a way that’s almost shy. “Clubbing”. “Going out. It’s a physically demanding job, so it’s great to have a drink and relax a little afterwards”. They both love Soho, although Rodri is concerned about the future of this Central London area, with the gentrification and new developments threatening its bohemian spirit. “Gay masseurs in London, like other gay guys, have a safe space here…and freedom. But I don’t know, people have been saying it’s going to change”. What else do they like doing? Anthony likes soaking in a hot bath, and just relaxing in general. Rodri likes travelling. He says that he will often treat himself to a short break abroad, given the opportunity, and Italy is his favourite destination.
Their favourite client? These guys tell involving tales of good times they have had. Champagne in hotel rooms, dinners in the best restaurants of the city, unforgettable massage experiences. Looks like the life of gay masseurs in London can be really rewarding sometimes. “But sometimes it’s just meeting someone who’s really nice, and the chemistry is right”, says Anthony. As much as they value a touch of luxury, these masseurs get equally excited about compliments and good feedback, which sometimes reaches the agency without them knowing. “You finish the massage and you hope you were able to give a truly special experience to someone. But you don’t know, you are not sure. Then [James] calls, says the client said all these great things about me. It makes my day”.
Anthony jumps up. He’s got a client in an hour and a half, but wants to have a shower and prepare beforehand. We say our goodbyes. I settle the bill, and feel relieved that these masseurs did not order champagne on this occasion.