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Help, I get erection during massage!

Dear Julie,

This has become an embarrassment to me. I am a young man who lives a happy but often stressful life. I visit a massage parlour during weekends to ease off but I’m worried about what happens when I’m virtually naked and being rubbed all over by another person especially female massage therapists. I get full erection during massage and there seems to be no way to hide it. How do I deal with this? I don’t know how the people feel but am I perverted? I feel strange when I’m lying on the table and standing at attention.

Desmond, Abuja
Dear Desmond,

It’s understandable that you’re worried about having erection during a massage. Erections, no matter how common, can be unpredictable, and hence, a cause of worry. But rest assured, this topic is discussed by massage therapists in training because it is a normal aspect of anatomy and physiology.

During a massage, as the body relaxes, some people may fall asleep, drool, or pass gas, all of which are completely normal physical responses to tension relief. But, like erections, these normal occurrences are stigmatized socially as embarrassing. The irony is somewhat amusing when you think about it — the goal of massage is to relax, but as your body shows signs of relaxation, you become preoccupied with how those responses may be perceived. Many massage therapists and health care professionals try to normalize these bodily functions and responses to decrease clients’ feelings of anxiety or insecurity.

Many people have learned to associate erections with purely sexual arousal but, in fact, erections occur for a variety of reasons. They can occur during sleep, when someone is angry or scared, or when someone is deeply relaxed, like during a massage. Reflexive erections, a normal physiological response to touch, relaxation can go away within minutes. Massage therapists know this and will often simply ignore an erection during a session, as long as the client is behaving appropriately. Some masseuses and/or clients may choose to address the potential issue in advance. As the client, you can discuss the topic with the massage therapist before a session, if it helps soothe your concerns. You are certainly not alone in your worry. Erections are a normal part of your body’s response to relaxation and a professional massage therapist will likely be understanding.

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