Should We Ditch the Term “Outcall Massage”?

When it comes to the world of massage therapy, semantics matter.

In a past blog I talked about differences in terms like masseur, masseuse, and a massage therapist and whether or not each possessed different connotations. For this entry I would like to discuss use of the term massage “Outcall Massage“.

Mobile Massage

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For individual massage therapists and companies like mine that provide a mobile massage service, or “traveling massage” service if you will, use of the term outcall has traditionally been pretty standard practice.

If you were to ask a massage therapist who does housecalls, “do you do out calls” there would be no negative connotation from use of the term. It’s accurately describes a massage therapist who performs a legitimate service on-site as opposed to in-house.

At the same time, the truth of the matter is that the term “outcall” is also commonly used by those who provide shall we say non-therapeutic “massage” services or “adult” massage, and it is also associated with escort services.

Body Well does quite a lot of marketing including on the Internet with search engines, and it came to my attention recently that the search engine Bing and also it’s affiliate Yahoo! search would not allow use of the term “outcall” in any advertising on their sites.

They allow for an appeal in situations where something is disallowed, and I made one because I feel like this is a term that has legitimate use for massage therapists.

However despite my bringing all of this to their attention they still maintain that it is an “adult” term and will not allow it to be used.

I feel that it is unfortunate enough that massage therapists must constantly battle against perceptions that we are prostitutes cloaked by a massage license.

Along these same lines I recently fought and won a battle in Alexandria Virginia which had very prejudicial and discriminatory laws on their books which made practicing as a massage therapist difficult if not impossible under certain circumstances simply because of these outdated perceptions (Fortunately the City leaders in their wisdom repealed the outdated regulations).

Now here we have mainstream advertising venues which are wresting away from us terms that we commonly used to describe what many Massage Therapists do to make an honest living.

These are terms that many people use and recognize, and are far from being necessarily linked with anything illicit or duplicitous.

The field of professional massage therapy has come along way, but as situations like this demonstrate we still have a long way to go to gain the recognition and respect that we deserve.

Dan Melmed, LMT
Owner & Founder, Body Well