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Safety Tips

Safety Tips

Body-workers tend to be the nicest people! However, just to make sure you don't find yourself in an awkward, or even unsafe, situation we would like to offer a few tips for your utmost safety and benefit of our site.

Friendly but prudent

Please be aware that we do not (and can not) validate every member. Although we strive to be a professional site for body-workers and massage hobbyists, there's always the possibility of someone of less than savory qualities joining.

  • Treat your new contact in the same way as your might treat someone you've just met. They're probably who they say they are, but they're still a stranger.
  • You should confirm what they say before meeting.

Do not disclose your e-mail address - keep all correspondence on-site

We strongly advise members not to share their e-mail address and take their conversations off-site for these reasons:

  1. If you wish write a review of another member, we must have supporting documentation of the arranged meeting in your e-mail correspondence to deter fraudulent reviews.
  2. If a member becomes annoying you can simply block them (via the block button.)
  3. If a member sends you an inappropriate message, we have a copy as evidence and we can close their account.
  4. Members can only send you photos that we have approved.
  5. In the rare case of a fraud or scam we have evidence in the form of an e-mail exchange and can close their account.
  6. On-site communication keeps people polite since they know if they cross the line they can be reported.

Knowing this, tricksters will try to take their conversation off-site to avoid detection. They will often pressure you with these, often false, statements:

  • "my membership expires soon" – Your safety falls below their meager financial commitment?
  • "it's easier for me to correspond off-site" – Your safety falls below their convenience?
  • "I can only send a small number of on-line messages" – Not true. Members may send 100 e-mails/day, a limit rarely, if ever, reached.
  • "I need your e-mail so I can send you my photos" – Not true. Our standard photo gallery is a great place to place photos for sharing. We also have a Private Gallery to selectively share photos with specific members. Each gallery can hold up to 26 photos for a total of 52 photos. There's no need to e-mail photos, and an abundance of reasons not to.

For your safety and peace of mind, keep all correspondence on-site. By the way, we'll remind you every time you visit your mailbox:

Please keep communication on-site! Don't disclose your e-mail address; don't reply to a member's e-mail address.

Don't be so quick to disclose personal information

Don't disclose your telephone or home address until you two have met in person at least once and you feel comfortable enough with this person to disclose this information.

Do reveal and request information

Things you should ask or verify of your new acquaintance:

  • If a professional, ask for their name, office address and office telephone number, and web address.
  • If your locale licenses bodywork professionals, does your new acquaintance have a license number or are they operating illegally?
    • We provide a Verify License link for many states in the member profile. Use it!
    • See our Bodywork Licensing information page.
  • Is their Bodywork School legitimate or one they made up? Does it even exist!?
  • What are their goals? What are they looking for?
  • Is anything left blank in their profile? Ask!
  • Verify what they say, perhaps with your phone book, bodywork directory, or via the Internet, before you set a meeting date.

Look at their Photos

A photo reveals much. If they've chosen not to display a photo at MassageExchange.com, ask them why not! Then ask your new friend to upload a photo or two of themselves. Photos can be very revealing about a person.

Meet and chat first

Meet at a public coffee or tea house, bookstore, etc. for a chat first. Get to know your new acquaintance before agreeing to meet for a massage.

Do your massage at a public bodywork location if possible

For your safety, consider meeting at a public place for at least your first session.

  • If you're a body-worker, consider doing the massage at your place of work.
  • If neither of you have employment at a bodywork center, consider renting space at one, and split the cost of course. Many bodywork centers offer massage rooms to the public with tables very inexpensively. Try a web search "massage room hourly rentals" and include your city. Make sure to check if they supply sheets and oil or if you must bring your own.

Beware of meeting in an out of the way / unknown location. It might be in a dangerous neighborhood and should be avoided.

Red flags!

If it sounds strange, maybe it is. Some things to be concerned about:

  • Are they stated as Professional or Student? Verify that they have a valid bodywork school, bodywork school city, and a reasonable number of formal training hours. You can use the Internet to verify a school and location.
  • Do they claim to be proficient in a huge or diverse number of modalities with little formal training?
  • Does your state require bodywork licensing yet they're professional and they don't have a license?
  • You've corresponded by e-mail a few times but is certain information given inconsistent, such as where they live, work, their age, their occupation, what they practice, or their goals?
  • Do direct questions you've asked remain unanswered?
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