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3-22-24 On tipping and other reflections; Ides of March 2024

Just as I suspected, and according to a Google search for massage tipping, 20% is the standard rate for a massage tip. So that if your fee is $120 for 1 hour; that would be $24. I always tell clients that “of course, this is at your discretion” as I try to walk the fine line between being a “tip NAZI” and not intimidating new clients. More than a week ago I had a late night Outcall, a businessman from OK., and he paid me the flat $160 rate. Considering all I put into the session (smile, which was my choice); I confess I was disappointed. Fact: he was staying at a brand new, luxurious hotel on West 34th St. And fact:  he made no bones about asserting exactly what he wanted and then expressing his letdown when I was not going to serve up his preferred dish on the massage menu. Thank God for common sense! Which, as I’m writing this now I’m reflecting that is probably why he didn’t tip! LOL. Still my gut tells me this guy was just a cheap bastard. Though I didn’t say anything to him (as a rule, it’s not my style to complain about tips), I did block him after the session to ensure he couldn’t contact me again which was probably unnecessary considering all the facts. He was sure to be onto the next masseur flavor featured on the RM site upon his next M4M massage search. Why, heaven knows there are so many to choose from!

 It’s a fine line. Kinda like asking point blank for the money up front, which I don’t do as it sets a certain tone that is not me. After so many years of doing this, only 2 clients were true scammers. One “Mark Squared” from the Rentmasseur site, a youngish, tech guy from L.A., and one Brandon Jackson, a true non-hot “mess” (and truly evil queen) who used to live a block over from me here in the E. Village. 


After the latter client, I went through a period of about a month when I asked all clients for the money upfront and then stopped because it made me feel like crap. The former client, this Mark Squared character stiffed me upfront and it was partially my fault too—long story. But he had ample opportunity to come clean and make good on what he owned. I believe it's called making amends in the 12 step world. A few months after this he had the audacity to book again claiming he was going to pay me what he owed. And he didn’t show up for that session. Then he actually was so scurrilous, he had the balls to write a glowing review about me on the RM site! After I complained to those Euro-queens who run the site, I was ignored (they are notorious for their awful customer support—we aren't really paying advertisers to them; just number whores). It was only after I contacted the law firm in Munich that deals with their online copyright issues that the “scammer review” was finally removed.

I really don’t like advertising on RM as the private photos masseurs post are just porno for horny guys (who subscribe) and have nothing to do with the quality of a practitioner's work or lack thereof. To be fair every masseur on that site who shares private photos should get a share of the profits (from the clients who pay to see the photos, i.e., “subscribers”) returned to them (the masseur-advertisers). But who said the world was fair?

Fact; A 20% tip on a $160 Outcall is $34 bucks.


Come to think of it, I’ve been practicing since 1991 and to have been scammed only twice in all that time. It just goes to show you that MOST massage clients are truly sweetie pies. But like terrorist attacks and sharks, you never know in this business (like any business) especially now that scams are getting more outrageous, insidious and sophisticated what with the rise in criminal hackers, spammers, A.I., and the like.


In light of all this weight on my shoulders, time, experience, and knowledge, I reflect on how challenging it is to still have an open heart and let wisdom take precedence over bitterness and cynicism.


A fellow queer gent of my age made no bones about referring to New York City as “New York Cunty.” On a particularly bad day it’s too easy for me to view the glass as half empty. But today, luckily, having the gift of health, I’m grateful to report the glass remains half-full.

Come for a great rub--BEFORE I MOVE (or block you he-he).


Steve Orr





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