UPDATED EDIT 21/02/2024 at 7pm
QUICK UPDATE FOR THE NEXT WEEK OR SO (as things stand now).....
Lots of availability on some days, no availability on others.
Short notice available time for 11am tomorrow (Thurs 22nd) with either Val or Bri. After that the next available time is Sunday 25th from 11am.
Monday morning and afternoon are available, but not the evening. Tuesday (27th) evening only with Bri. Wednesday 28th onwards tons of availability.
I've copied the latest newsletter below. This got emailed out to subscribers last night. I've also deleted lots of the previous bits-n-bobs that have been on this page for ages now, as it was getting a bit too cluttered.
JANUARY is a time when some folks hunker down in hibernation mode till the crocuses herald the first signs of Spring. For others it’s a time to take stock and do a mini life-audit as they imagine how the coming year might unfold.
So with that in mind, this newsletter is going to have a philosophical air to it.
January has got off to a slow start for us. The first week is always slack because clients are often still doing family stuff before the kids go back to school. But it’s been slow to gather pace after that, so we’re hoping that’ll change soon.
The cabin is always a bugger to get up to a working temperature in the winter, but once it’s there it’s really warm and cozy, and we are feeling the benefit of the changes we made to the cabin last year. On some occasions this winter it’s actually got a bit too hot as we get used to the new heater settings required for a comfortable experience.
The quality mattress topper underneath the duvets has also worked out well, making it more comfortable for tantric massage clients.
BOOKING. When making an enquiry, please be specific about the times you can make it. It really does save a lot of unnecessary messaging. For example, if you know you can only do 2pm on Saturday afternoon, please state this in your enquiry rather than saying “Are you available this weekend?”, because that implies you can make it anytime from 5pm on Friday to 7pm on Sunday. Thanks.
MALE-TO-MALE MASSAGE. I’ve massaged loads of males in the conventional fashion (ie underwear on), but when we started offering clients the option of being naturist (ie naked) for their massage this posed new considerations for me to think about, as some men would ask to book with me rather than Val. I don’t have space to give a complete run-down of the processes that went on in mind at that time, but I will try and explain the current situation with regard to male clients who want naturist massage with me.
I’ve discovered that there are more males out there than I first realised who either prefer a firmer massage than they think Val might provide, or they genuinely don’t mind about the gender of the therapist, or they are gay, or they consider themselves heterosexual but have a curiosity about what it might be like to receive a massage in the buff off a male therapist. It’s the number of clients this last category that has surprised me the most. I have also surprised myself in gradually realising that I am able to provide male-to-male naturist massage without too much discomfort. It was difficult in the early days but I’ve kind of got used to it now. Tantric massage demands a little more consideration, and to this day I have still only provided this for a small number of male clients. Nevertheless, I am willing to consider requests from male clients on a case by case basis.
If there’s one thing that has really got my wick during and since lockdown, it’s the growing number of courses/experiences provided online. It’s like folks have forgotten how to meet and speak face to face. Some of these courses baffle me completely, especially when key elements of the courses are dependant on in-person interactions or practical experience. My bafflement (is that a word?) is compounded by the sheer number of people who seems completely happy to be reduced to a small segment on a laptop screen, as they struggle with lousy internet connections or other course members who don’t know how zoom works. Give me the old fashioned way of turning up at a hotel conference room and actually mixing with real human beings and chatting during coffee breaks and lunchtimes. Online courses?.... urgh!
You can even do massage courses online, supposedly. Well how on earth does that work! You really need hands on practice with a tutor present.
There are lots of worthwhile experiences that you can’t do online. You need to get out the house and act. You can’t go to the baths and swim online. You can’t go to the gym online. You can’t experience the Lakeland fells online. You can’t get a sauna online. And you can’t enjoy a massage online! The internet is great, but you have a soul and a body whose needs cannot be solely met by being glued to a screen.
NATURISM. Many, but not all, of our massage are performed with the client naked and undraped. Massage therapists who provide this option usually refer to it as “naturist” massage. Naturism is the belief and practice that being naked, socially and individually, is a perfectly natural way of being, and that it should not be labelled or stigmatised as vulgar or obscene. After all, we are the only creatures who wear clothes! And for practical reasons too. However, there are those who would have us believe that nakedness is wrong or shameful in some way. Not helped by the nonsense of religion. The lioness doesn’t say to the lion, “Bloody hell George, don’t go walking round the Masai Mara with nothing on. Get some clothes on”. It’s only humans that have invented the absurdity of nudity being shameful. Mark Twain said (sarcastically I assume, lol) “If God had wanted us to be naked we’d have been born that way”. Most people are only naked when taking a shower or when having sex, so maybe it’s not surprising when folks assume all naturists are sex maniacs. Naturists are sexual beings the same as everyone else, but the act of social nudity is no more sexual than any other social context. We know because we’ve occasionally attended naturist events and thus it was so.
If 2024 is the year when you wish to dip your toe into (social) naturism then please feel free to ask us more about it. There are naturist beaches in the UK you can visit and there is a naturist spa in Birmingham which is a great place to give it a go and see how you feel. At most naturist events, the males outnumber the females, and this can be intimidating for some women, so the spa in Birmingham does days when only couples and females can attend; no single males on these days. Just message us if you want a link to the spa website.
Regarding the legal stuff, many folks are surprised to discover that public nudity is perfectly legal. It’s the intent to shock or upset people by sexual means that’s the illegal bit. Thousands of folks sunbathe naked in their garden, or at beaches like Morfa Dyffryn in Wales, and nobody gets prosecuted. There are naked rambles and skinny dips organised by British Naturism, and nobody gets prosecuted. So if you want to know you’re on the right side of the law when getting your kit off I’ve given two links below for you to check out. One from the CPS, and one from the Royal College of Policing. Note that if somebody takes offence at your nudity that it is not enough for police action. It has to be proved that you intended to cause upset by sexual means.
BRITISH NATURISM is an organisation that represents the interests of those who wish to exercise their legal right to be naked both privately and in the company of others. Val and I were in it for a short while, but we eventually left as the things we weren’t keen on started to outweigh the things we liked. Nevertheless, we met some lovely like-minded folks who we regard as friends and still meet up with. BN puts on lots of events and holidays UK-wide and has a quarterly magazine. Joining BN is just one of several ways for those who wish to explore being naturist can do so in relatively safe and accommodating way. However, there were some aspects that we didn’t particularly like. Firstly, there were too many zealous ideologists, who seemed to treat naturism more like a cult than a casual option. They were a minority but a fairly vocal minority; often critical of the pitiful “textiles” who wore clothes! As though naturism was imbued with some kind of inherent philosophical superiority. That used to get on my wick. Val and I are far more occasional and casual about naturism. We’re not fanatics like some of them were, and we spend far more time clothed than naked. The central heating bill would be too high, lol.
If you are thinking of joining it might also be worth knowing that male membership vastly outnumbers female membership, and for some folks this matters. It is not unusual to turn up at an event and find eighty percent males and only twenty percent females. This unsettled some female members. However, the holidays they put on seemed to have a more even balance. Some members questioned why the stats mattered at all, but others (like us) didn’t like this unbalance. It was always a subject of debate amongst members as to why this might be. Lots of theories were put forwards including:
Men are less likely than women to care about what others think of them.
Women are more body-conscious than men.
If a guy is overweight, he’s less likely to be bothered or embarrassed about it than a female.
Women, generally, are less exhibitionist than men.
Women don’t want to be gawped at or too much male attention. (But some seem to love it, lol)
Women, generally, are more likely to only do something if their mates are doing it too. They are less individualistic. (I’m generalising of course)
These and many more theories were put forward. What do you think?
EVER HEARD OF A SOUND BATH, OR GONG BATH? Val and I have booked in to go to two sound baths; one in Chester and one in Liverpool. We’ll let you know what we thought of them in the next newsletter. A sound bath has been on our bucket list for ages and we’re finally getting round to do it.
“How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow”, and how the gods have again and again granted you periods of grace of which you have not availed yourself. It is time for you to realise that you are a member of the universe, born of nature, and that a limit has been to your time” - Marcus Aurelius
“People say that we are all seeking the meaning of life. I think what we are seeking is the experience of feeling alive.” - Joseph Campbell, anthropologist.
“It is not death that should worry us. Rather, our concern should be to live while we’re alive. To release ourselves from the spiritual death that come from living behind a façade designed to conform us to external definitions of who and what we are.” - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, psychologist.
What is on your “to do” list that you’re able to do but aren’t? What is holding you back? I’m not talking about the things that are unaffordable, or the things that your present circumstances won’t allow. I’m talking about what you can do, but are not doing. Procrastination means “irrational delay”. Sometimes we delay things for perfectly logical reasons; that’s not procrastinating. But other times we keep delaying and putting off for reasons that are irrational and weak. Have you promised yourself a massage but keep putting it off? What else is there?
EVER BEEN TO GLASTONBURY? The town, not the festival. (The festival is actually about five miles out of town). There’s lots of housing and all the usual retailers in large stores on the outskirts, but the town centre is quite small in relation to the town as a whole. There’s only one well known brand name on the High street, and that’s a small branch of the Co-op. All the other shops are a unique blend of all things weird, wonderful, wacky, holistic, pagan, spiritual etc, etc… you get my drift? There’s shops here the likes of which you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else on a UK high street. Or at least not in such density and abundance. It’s a pagan hippy’s dream, lol. And the town is full of all sorts of characters that definitely aren’t mainstream. A melting pot of all things holistic, complementary therapies, new age beliefs, spiritual (in the broadest sense of the term), vegan and most of all, pagan! The whole town smells of incense sticks because almost every shop is burning it inside the front door. A truly interesting place for staying over for a couple of nights. Lovely pubs too. You could be stood in a shop queue alongside a vicar, a hippie, a druid, a witch, a yoga teacher, a crystal healer, a tantric guru, and a reiki master; all at the same time. It’s one of those places. There’s things that are normal in Glastonbury that aren’t normal anywhere else. Which brings me to my book plug. Author Vicki Steward has written a wonderful account of her years living in Glastonbury. It’s called “Normal for Glastonbury”. It’s a really pleasant and easy read and I highly recommend it.
ONE OF MANY REASONS.
One of the things that got my attention during 2023 was that we had several clients of both/all genders who made use of our services to help their confidence when it came to getting back into the dating scene. Often after a period of sexual inactivity or following the loss of a partner by bereavement or splitting up. This has caught my imagination and I think it’s worth mentioning in case there are others out there reading this who might benefit also.
It’s also the case that those who have a long-standing history of promiscuity and have become erotically burnt out and numb, or have devoted themselves to ensuring other people’s (sexual) needs are met without due consideration to their own needs might benefit from tantric massage to reconnect to their own sensual self. This last point especially applies to women who have been conditioned into believing that their role is to let their man take the lead and to devote themselves to meeting his erotic needs without any thought about what they themselves might want.
THE CLIENT-LED MASSAGE. American therapist Betty Martin wanted to devise a way by which people who were not used to asking for how they wanted to receive touch could practice doing so in a safe and consenting way. She was also a massage therapist and she suggested to one of her clients (to whom this applied) that she has her massage in a way and an order that the client was in complete control of. Betty would only do what the client asked… when she asked. For a good ten minutes or so the client lay on the massage table with nothing happening. There was tumbleweed as Betty just stood there and waited. Eventually, the client said “Can you put your hand on my leg?” So Betty placed her hand on the client’s leg. She didn’t rub her leg, because that’s not what the client said; she merely placed it there. The client got rather emotional and said “That’s the first time I’ve ever thought about how I’d like to be touched and asked for what I wanted, and somebody actually did it. All my life has been spent making sure that other’s needs are met.”
Val has enough on her plate at the moment, providing our existing services, but I’m (Bri) offering clients the opportunity to receive a massage like this. Betty Martin called it “The Bossy Massage”, but I’m not keen on that title, so I’ll call it “The client-led massage”. It applies to both men and women, but men don’t often have trouble in this department so the offer is made mainly with female clients in mind. Feel free to enquire and provide any background you feel may be helpful.
HAVE-A-GO-YOURSELVES DAY. We’ve got our first booking of the year for these day-long workshops we provide for couples who wish to have a bash at doing some massage on each other. I’m going to continue to plug these workshop days as I completely admit to loving putting them on. Lots of times we hear clients say “My partner tries to massage me but he/she is pretty poor at it, or gives up after two minutes.” Well here’s your chance to learn something! You’ll be learning and practicing with both myself and Val. And we include light refreshments too. Lasting approximately from 10am to 4pm and bookable any day of the week. If you wish to come but don’t have a (relational) partner them you can still come PROVIDING you can find someone who wants to come with you. The fee is £180 per couple and we only book one couple at a time; so you’ll be interacting with each other, and with me and Val, but not with anyone else. We have a format for the day, based on Swedish massage, but it is adaptable depending the requirements of each couple. For example, do you want conventional (underwear on) massage or naturist massage? Do you want tantric or sensual elements included during the day or purely platonic and relaxing?
More details on request, but please make sure your partner is on board with the idea before enquiring.