Over the years I have treated hundreds of clients in Stoke Newington and Islington and each time, after sitting them down and finding out what I can do for them, I ask them to undress - 'Strip off to your comfort level,' I always say. Despite the fact that I have done this so many times, it can still be a slightly difficult moment. Neither women nor men quite know how much they should take off – 'Shall I keep my bra on?' the women ask. And men sometimes don’t know if they should keep their underwear on or not. ‘It’s up to you,’ I say. As someone who feels almost no embarrassment about the naked body, I don’t mind if people prefer to be nude – I keep them covered with a towel or sheet in any case. After all, we're all naked under our clothes.
At the massage school I went to we had to learn how to properly drape someone. I still do that if I feel the person needs that kind of protection. But you can easily end up with this kind of nonsense where draping your client can turn into a bizarrely ornate origami.
I mean, really! It’s like you’re wrapping up a return Amazon package. A large towel or a sheet is much better for covering a person as you can move it around easily.
There’s quite a difference in attitude between English clients and those from certain other countries who tend to be far less inhibited about taking their clothes off. A German or an Australian will often have taken everything off before I’ve had time to hold up a towel or leave the room. I feel slightly flustered whenever this happens and yet feel I shouldn't be. As the German guy who lay straight down with nothing on said to me this week: 'It's just anatomy!' I wish it was that simple.