Presenting a ground breaking and "terrifically exciting" 11,000 word article, published on November 3, 2012 in a Sexuology yearbook - on the internationally controversial topic of Massage & Sexuality. "Integral and Transpersonal Sexology; Human sexuality and Intimate Relationships from an Integral, Transpersonal and Somatic Sexological Perspective" Edited by Dr Tara Long.





Massage & Sexuality.

Ideal and Practice, from Sport massage to Sexually-tinted Tantric massage

An Exploration of Taboos in the Border areas of Massage

This is Chapter 1: Sport massage / Swedish massage

Author: Drs. Kees Kaldenbach. Amsterdam.


On this page you will find the text and links to the full text HTML page divided into 2+6 chapters, without visible footnotes,

Plus a downloadable PDF file of the entire article, complete, with footnotes: Kaldenbach-massage-sexuality.pdf

Table of contents

0a) Abstract and Introduction chapter

0b) Definitions of the following six kinds of massage

1) Sport massage / Swedish massage

2) Medical Massage / Physiotherapy

3) Chinese / Japanese rub massage and pressure point massage

4) Holistic Massage

5) Erotic Massage - and finally

6) Tantric massage ; thesis; conclusions.

For each field I present these sections: Brief descriptions, Best practices, Perceptions, Schematic map.

This is Chapter 1: Sport massage / Swedish massage


1b Best Practices, the masseur's point of view (in American English: a masseuse or masseur - m / f) in sport massage and Swedish massage.

A sports masseuse / masseur just wants to give a good straight sport massage. In the world of sport massage, a-sexuality is a standard and strict reticence regarding the areas of sexual organs is taken for granted. The general guideline is that the masseur (m / f) focuses on a large part of the physical body in massage, but in intent and touch stays away from touching genitals and uses prudence in touching inside the upper legs and the groin. It is all about the aforementioned functions of repair, the garage job, and not about enjoyment, although pleasure and enjoyment can come up as by-products; the intention and practice among the entire massage is neutral and a-sexual in the mind of the masseur (m / f).

A good reason for asexuality is that the parties involved are unequal in knowledge and expertise about what effects touch can bring about. The masseur (m / f) is the professional, knows the tricks of the trade and just because of that basic inequality there must be a code to hold back, to keep a professional distance.
Many sports masseurs want to keep a spotless personal reputation and must exclude any risk of allegations and accusations. That is why some sports masseurs insist that their clients keep on underwear and sometimes even a bra during massage. Another way to emphasize chastity is the planned way to move folded sheets and towels, a precaution that has been elevated to a fine art in the USA. If a massage of the buttocks region happens at all in the massage plan chosen by the client, then sometimes the touch is done through the underwear or on the bare skin, if it is covered by a cloth and thus chaste and invisible to the masseur (m / f).

The subculture of sports is often dominated a strong culture of tough heterosexual males (especially in soccer, American football and cycling). There a male masseur will massage the naked male buttock of the sportsman; is has become so logical and so expressly desexualized that such action is acceptable, and thus established.

Remains the problematic area of contact in the region of the groin and sex organs. Sports masseurs must sometimes for technical reasons address complaints and deal with the groin. There can be pain in or around the genitals themselves. And then the body "on automatic" can react with excitement, with an erection, becoming wet, etc.
For the male, erection and erection fear is a known problem and can poison a massage by becoming more focused on fear and danger than staying in the moment, in the here and now. An erection can be expected when touching the skin and areas close to the sex (abdomen, hips, groin, buttocks). An erection that comes op in a man in – even in liberal The Netherlands but also in other countries is often experienced as an uncomfortable problem area during sport massage and Swedish massage.
For women, the perceived problem and the minefield are usually larger and the red zone extends from the region of the breasts to the abdomen, hips, groin and buttocks. From childhood, the physicality of girls and women often has become a sensitive area, sometimes after painful experiences. Association: Mimosa pudica, aka sensitive plant, shameful plant.

The official held asexual nature of sports has its price. Masseurs touch the bare skin of men and women. In some cases, Eros may come into play and erotic feelings may emerge in one party or both of the parties at the same moment.
A number of male and female sports masseurs / Swedish massage therapists, have eventually abandoned their profession because some customers repeatedly called for touching the genitalia - especially men do - so the massage threatens to become a one-sided sexual service provided by the masseur (m / f).
Alternatively, a female client can become sexually excited while receiving a regular sport massage or Swedish massage and can clearly express this through sounds and body movements. Again, emerging horniness on the massage table opens up a potential minefield of contract, order, intent, ecstasy and sexual excitement.
The commonly held code of sport massage and Swedish massage is that the masseur (m / f) cannot respond to erotic wishes or behavior of the client and that even explicitly expressed desires of the client should not be honored. By definition, no sexual services are provided. After the massage, the masseur can put into words what happened.

However, the reverse world also exists on the massage table. There are masseurs (m / f) who find a specific body of a man or sportsman attractive and who are eager to do exciting things to this man, famous or not. Some men, athletes to Federation and Olympic level, have told me that to their surprise official hired sports masseuses (in competitions abroad) within the privacy of the massage room spontaneously went across, and ended a sport massage with an erotic massage including contact van genitals and serving a happy end. Later on, at the bar, drinking a beer, these sportsmen discussed it with grinning amazement.

Another case of massage, performed in a private home in South Africa in 2008, a masseuse working with a regular male client unintentionally was so carried away by the ecstasy of massage of her hour-long touch on the body of this man, that she finally proceeded to kissing and licking the penis of the man in her mouth. Shortly afterwards her shame hit and her feeling of guilt intensified.

A male customer reported going to a beauty salon in England and receiving an unexpected blowjob from a masseuse while having only ordered a regular massage.
In a spa in a five star hotel in Cape Town, a masseuse told this to the author: Of all massage clients eight in ten are neat. Two out of ten, mostly men from the Middle East, behave in an annoying way, and grope the masseuse. She usually chooses to give a warning and otherwise walks away. At the reception counter there is usually a first survey and estimate. A potentially nasty customer may get a somewhat older and less attractive masseuse!

1c. Experiences of clients with sport massage and Swedish massage.

For most people in the Netherlands who go out to get a massage, the sport massage and Swedish massage are the most popular home & garden variety. Just because it is considered normal and is usually accepted by the social environment. The vast majority of women and men experience this massage in a neutral way.

The receiver is nude or nearly nude and is touched in a prolonged way. This can be a situation where the client is feeling vulnerable. Or alternatively the client is sexually stimulated, for the sexual-response curve to a stimulus in an average healthy man is often fast, uncomplicated, primary and primitive. In the form of a cartoon the effect of the average man is to be compared with an electric switch with a down position and up position. Associations: Man the hunter. All Men Are Pigs, that's the perception.

The release of feel-good hormones can occur sport massage in small doses and in Swedish massage perhaps a bit more. A majority of heterosexual men will not mind at all on the massage if at the end of the massage session an attractive masseuse moves beyond the initial order of sport massage and Swedish massage to more sexually oriented styles. From the masseuse’s point of view that can be good for client satisfaction and future sales.

The woman, by contrast, is in terms of emotions and experience of her body and willpower usually much more complicated and she is usually slower in the upwards curve of her sexual excitement. In this image, the physical and emotional switchboard of an average woman in a similar cartoon is the rather complex control panel in the cockpit of an airplane: Many are the switches of various sorts, and there are a multitude of red and orange warning lights. Association: "Was will das Weib?, What does the woman want?".

Some women on the massage table experience a growing wave of Eros, during sport massage or Swedish massage, and they allow themselves to be surprised, and carried away there at that moment time, possibly with a reduced neocortex consciousness, saying 'yes'. That excitement can be unintentional and arise naturally. The masseur (m / f) can select two paths: one of self-restraint and remaining neutral (that is the accepted best practice) or more or less go hand in that erotic stream and go beyond the accepted code and start stimulating and acting "bad". In circles of sport massage and Swedish massage the latter approach is seen as highly undesirable. What is prohibited, can however be very exciting. So sometimes things happen in the privacy of the room.

Case: In a large Amsterdam school, chair massage is given to teachers and other staff members. One of the male masseurs is a pretty, well built, dark skinned guy coming from Surinam. Female teachers, comparing notes afterwards have admitted to each other that he is so "nice and exciting” that some females have repeatedly offered their bodies.

The female client can thus go along, and ride along the wave like a beach surfer, enjoy her unexpected crest of Eros and at that time say "yes" in word and gesture to the masseur (m / f). That word provides validation to herself, and validation is also the masseur's experience.
And then, be it a few hours or days later, she may have doubts. Angry or outraged, she demands satisfaction. A complaint is filed with the practitioner or also, in revenge one floor up, with a fellow practitioner, a salon director or a professional organization. A partly comparable situation can arise in a consensual sex date, which is later reported as a “date rape”.

Experiences on the massage table on the boundary of sexuality are often kept secret by masseuse and client. There are a lot of stories on this topic that can be found in the section Erotic stories on the Internet and in print. To what extent they are based on true events is difficult to ascertain. Eros is powerful and has many loopholes.

Definitions (repeated from chapter 0b)

In order to ensure that author and readers can broadly understand each other in terminology, a few brief descriptions will follow first.

1) Sport Massage and Swedish Massage

Sport massage - in short - is a pleasant, positive tune-up for muscles and tendons, a technical maintenance and repair job for the physical human body.
The comparable Swedish massage is also a form of tune-up, but then including a system of pleasant touch. Both are distant and neutral in character.
Sport massage (and therefore also Swedish massage) is beneficial for many different things; promoting the flexibility of the body and the maintenance of healing of the body’s "hardware". Not only do muscles and tendons receive attention, but connective tissue and skin as well. The result is enjoyable for a feeling of total relaxation. Sport massage also supports and enhances other biological systems in the body: blood circulation, hormonal levels, control of mind over body and the feeling of being alive and healthy. It can also help in reducing or preventing injury, inflammation and pain.

Qualification, Certification, Licensing:

In the Netherlands anyone can nail a sign ‘Masseur’ on the front door. The profession is thus totally unregulated by law. When a salon or a hotel hires a new masseur (m / f) one is usually asked for a diploma, issued by a generally recognized and renowned training institute for massage, such as Leffelaar in Amsterdam. In neighboring Belgium, in contrast, the professional qualification ‘masseur’ is arranged by law, as it is in the vast majority of countries in Europe at present.
In South Africa there is a legal distinction between therapeutic massage (requiring medical licensing) and beauty massage (only requiring a certificate).
In the USA, the massage professional must have a permit (license) in those 32 States, which have a "massage law".

Strangely, a certified or licensed massage therapist does not necessarily do a better job than a masseur who by practice and self-study has found his or her own way. A good quality touch reveals itself within one minute to the recipient. A good sports masseur or Swedish masseur (m / f) knows in broad terms what treatments can and cannot be performed in an given situation (see below).

A small but distinctive feature between the six fields of massage is the concept of the term "energy". “Energy" is used in sports and Swedish massage in the sense of power, battery, purely in a technical, almost objective way.

A remark about the term “transcendence” (flight of the soul) as represented in the visual model: transcendence is the experience of deep (soul) connection. A symbol for transcendence could be this: a man or woman standing on the ground, feet connected to Mother Earth, with arms stretched wide out to the side; these outstretched arms indicating the relationship with fellow human beings and the raised head focusing on the relationship with higher powers.

In this article, the author ranked sport massage and Swedish massage as follows:

Fig. 1. Sport Massage and Swedish Massage.
X axis: high for social acceptance
Y axis: high for "garage job"
Z axis: low to transcendence (flight of the soul).

=== notes===

20. A masseur’s career is also dependent upon reputation. Compare the slogan from the USA, 1950s: “ A girl has got to watch her reputation.”

21. By comparison, many states of the USA also enforce strict laws on the use of many covering towels in massage and even avoiding chest massage near nipples for men.

22. Many of these stories were told to the author since 2003.

23. Stories told to the author since 2008.

24. Interview, November 2010 by the author of a male client, who was not charmed by this event, South Africa, The masseuses response:  “Oh, how terrible, I have just been so utterly unprofessional and bad, normally I do not do this stuff at all, I do not know what came over me.”

25. Story told to author, January 2011.

26. According to my source (female, ca. 35 years), in December 2010 this chair masseur has been reticent and did not enter upon these offers. 

27. The essential difference is in fact the inequality between masseur and client.


Dutch version.


0a) Abstract and Introduction chapter

0b) Definitions of the following six kinds of massage

1) Sport massage / Swedish massage

2) Medical Massage / Physiotherapy

3) Chinese / Japanese rub massage and pressure point massage

4) Holistic Massage

5) Erotic Massage - and finally

6) Tantric massage.

For each field I present these sections: Brief descriptions, Best practices, Perceptions, Schematic map.



Published 2012 in:

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This is in English. Click for an Dutch version, Version Française.


Photos: Jeroen Leclercq,




Reaction, questions?

Center for Applied Massage Art - Kees Kaldenbach, Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs, 1058 JS Amsterdam (near Surinameplein, ring road exit s106, tram 1 and 17). Telephone 020 669 8119; cell phone 06 - 2868 9775. Open seven days a week.

Masseur Kees Kaldenbach is collaborating with a number of masseurs and masseuses in Amsterdam. He is also active as a masseur in the finest and most luxurious hotels.

I give this massage at various addresses: at my home address (see above), or atyour own home or at your hotel.

Lichaam & Ziel [Body & Soul] is registered at the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, number  3419 6612.



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Psychological Bulletin, January 2004 highlights


Psychologists at Illinois University have researched effectiveness of massage therapy. A series of visits to the masseur may reduce depression, anxiety and pain. Even single visits may help alleviating anxiety and pain and may reduce hypertension and a high heart rate.

Psychological Bulletin, January 2004