5 ways to understand what is (and is not) considered infidelity in your relationship.
A while back the internet lit up brighter than a Lite Brite over rumors that Taylor Swift broke up with her latest guy, Calvin Harris, when she found out he purchased a “happy ending” at a Thai massage parlor
It makes no difference to me personally if the stories about Swift and Harris are true or not. What I appreciate is that this situation brought to the forefront of trending news the dark underworld of “happy ending” massages, the men who swear by them and the opinions of both married and single guys towards them.
I first heard the phrase “happy ending” when a client expressed concern that her husband might be getting them.
Since then I have found that while many women are unfamiliar with the term, all of the men I mention this to know exactly what they are, exactly where men* in their area get them, and exactly how men ask for them. What amazes me more than anything is how men I’ve discussed this issue with have either defended the practice as completely innocent or have felt ambivalent about whether or not it should raise any concerns.
I have heard, from men I otherwise respect and enjoy having as friends, happy ending massages referred to as a “therapeutic,” “authentic” and “harmless” form of “tension release.”
I find this troubling on two fundamental levels. Happy ending massages are a form of prostitution. They are illegal. The laws and legal ramifications vary state to state, but a man who pays for this service is putting himself, and his family if he has one, at risk. Not to mention the fact that he may passively support the insidious business of sex trafficking.
Happy ending massages received by married men are in no uncertain terms a very real form of infidelity. You can pretty it up all you want as “manual release,” “nude adult relaxation” and the like, but there is nothing harmless about it to the wife or girlfriend who later finds out that her husband paid for and received sexual gratification of any kind.
As I see it, you have the 5 following options available to choose from:
1) If you are that deeply in need of a “manual release,” you know where to find your own manual devices.
2) If you believe these services are therapeutic and innocent, sit your significant other down for a chat and explain that to her before you seek such a service out. If she’s cool with it, hey, that’s your deal with each other. I make no judgments.
3) If she isn’t cool with it, than you should respect that and opt out.
4) If you are too scared to sit down with her and discuss this because you think she will freak out, then she probably will. I suggest you respect that and opt out.
5) If the need to receive a happy ending as your therapy of choice is so important that you just don’t care how she feels about it, then she is not particularly “significant” to you after all. End the relationship so you can take your risks on your own emotional and legal dime, while allowing her to move on with her dignity intact.
I realize I am likely preaching to the choir here, but maybe if we sing this song loud enough together, someone who needs to hear it finally will. And if Taylor decides to write our lyrics, that would be epic!
*Note: Yes, women can and do pay for happy endings services as well. All of the above holds true no matter the gender of the masseuse, the client or the betrayed partner.
This post is republished on Medium.
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