Anonymous Massage Question
November 4, 2010 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Ethical dilemma. Should I book a massage with someone I had a huge crush on in high school, just for the thrill of it?

In high school I had a HUGE closet-homo crush on a guy named Mark. He was the super athletic jock and I was the invisible sad nerd, and he was barely aware of my existence. He was incredibly beautiful and I fantasized about him for years, though he was not a particularly nice person from what I could tell.

Well, we graduated thirteen years ago. I have very rarely ever thought about him since, and I am fully comfortable with my sexuality now. But... today via Facebook's sidebar recommendations I discovered that he now runs a successful sports massage clinic in my hometown. I live 2000 miles away, I look nothing like I did then, and my name is different. I'm seriously considering booking a massage with him during my upcoming trip home.

I'm not interested in doing anything pervy of a physical nature -- I am certain I could act just like a regular client, and I typically don't have any problem refraining from getting erections during a massage, even in cases where I find the masseur attractive. If anything I'd be too nervous! I'm just fascinated with the idea of being touched by someone I used to feel so intensely about, without his knowing who I really am. It would be the kind of memory I would (perhaps) greatly treasure in retrospect. He would probably never be the wiser. If he ever did find out, I'd be long gone.

I know that this might sound really creepy, but I want to stress that I would in no way take the massage session any further than the usual clinical visit. But I don't know if this seems like I am taking advantage of him somehow. I suppose I am objectifying him, but is this really so different than people visiting a masseur that they are personally very attracted to, even though they never ever act on it? Am I way outside what is appropriate here?

Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (65 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
If there's any chance AT ALL that you will fall in love with him during/after your massage session (touch is powerful!), don't do it. It would just make things incredibly complicated.
posted by tamagogirl at 9:54 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Assume that he WOULD remember you, and your massage would not be anonymous. Does that change your inclinations?

I say this only because I've been surprised, repeatedly, by who remembers me from high school. I was also an "invisible" nerd, but far more people from school seem to remember me than vice versa.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:54 AM on November 4, 2010 [12 favorites]

Yeah, this is kinda creepy. Sorry. And, like tamagogirl says, probably a bad idea for your mental health, too.
posted by Night_owl at 9:55 AM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

As far as 'ethical dilemmas' go, this seems pretty inconsequential to me. If I were you, I'd go for it. Objectify away - you may even feel some catharsis when you tip him.
posted by Pecinpah at 9:56 AM on November 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

I myself like to get a massage so that I can relax. Your plan doesn't sound very relaxing. It sounds potentially incredibly awkward. I am not seeing the "thrill" potential there.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:56 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

You'd be using false pretenses to physically involve this person in your erotic life without his consent. It feels creepy to me, and it sounds like it feels creepy to you, at least a little bit-- which is good. That's the sort of thing that can eat away at your humanity.

My advice: Go see the guy for a massage, if and only if you can do it while being up-front about your identity. Greet the guy heartily. Tell him you're pleased to throw a little business an old classmate's way. You don't have to disclose the existence or depth of the former crush. If you can't do that, then you should probably abandon the whole enterprise.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2010 [19 favorites]

Go for it. You aren't a creeper. Would you hesitate to get your hair cut by someone in a similar position? For many people that is just as intimate a touch - and a truly mundane task that would raise no red flags. If you're staying above board and not going to ask for a happy ending, you should be fine. I'd consider it catharsis.
posted by jph at 10:02 AM on November 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

I think you should go for it; there's nothing inappropriate about it (on preview, it's exactly like if he were a hairdresser). And if you don't go, you'll always wonder.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:05 AM on November 4, 2010

I know that this might sound really creepy, but I want to stress that I would in no way take the massage session any further than the usual clinical visit.

A desire to take it any further or not is not what makes this sound creepy.

is this really so different than people visiting a masseur that they are personally very attracted to, even though they never ever act on it?

I've gotten massages from people to whom I was attracted, but it was an incidental aspect of the experience - I was there to unknot my horrible back and so on. It'd be kind of different if, say, I asked for them again in the future and the only reason was that I thought they were hot.

Are you objectifying him? Yes, and if this question were asked by a straight guy about the blonde cheerleader he had a crush on thirteen years ago, it'd likely get a pretty overwhelming negative response.

Is this pervy? Absolutely.

Is this creepy? It really kind of is, and if you were to decide to follow through with it regardless of whatever other advice you get, you should really not go around telling people you did it. It's made a little more so by the fact that you don't particularly care about how finding out would affect him - although, of course, in a perfect world it wouldn't affect him at all.

Will he find out? Well, you're going to have to ask for him specifically when you schedule the appointment, and they'll want to know why, so you'd better have an airtight story.

With all that said:

Should you do it? Yes, of course you should, don't be silly.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:07 AM on November 4, 2010 [12 favorites]

Be aware that if you do, his professional ethics will prevent him from pursuing anything. You will just be another client with another body. You think it would be a thrill for you, but realize this is this guy's job. He does this regularly and routinely. It's nothing new and probably far from erotic for him. Realize if you go through with this, it's entirely one sided and nothing will nor should happen. If you at all expect a relationship of any kind whatsoever outside of the guy's office, then you really shouldn't go.
posted by zizzle at 10:12 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

if this question were asked by a straight guy about the blonde cheerleader he had a crush on thirteen years ago, it'd likely get a pretty overwhelming negative response.

Not from me. I still see that as totally fine. The blonde cheerleader/super-athletic jock person now runs a successful sports massage business, where the job is to put their hands (professionally) all over anyone who requests it. It's a totally boring, everyday experience for them. Even if they knew you purposefully sought them out, the reaction would probably be more along the lines of telling friends afterwards ("can you believe this guy?) vs. full on creeped out/disgusted.
posted by coupdefoudre at 10:14 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

It is rather creepy. Nonetheless, if the chance of him recognizing you is less than 5%, I'd absolutely go for it. Because y'know what? It's harmlessly creepy (except perhaps to your own psyche, potentially). No one gets hurt, no one gets weirded out (again, except perhaps you), dude gets paid (and a nice tip, which you are required to give if you do this), you get this outta your system. Everyone's a winner.
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:14 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't see any ethical dilemma here. He's a professional and you're a client interested in paying for his professional services. You don't have to justify your motivation; it's just as good as any other reason you might pick him. I think it's quite possible you will see him very differently and wonder what you ever saw in him, but it could be an interesting experiment if you're not too invested in the idea that it's going to be something to treasure. I would gently ask you whether that fact that you think it might be creepy or pervy is an echo of feeling ashamed of your attraction to him in high school, because I don't see what's creepy about this. I think it might be great if you mention to him that you used to go to high school together -- why not? But you're not obligated to do so.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:15 AM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

Go for it. No regrets.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 10:19 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a massage therapist I find this very creepy. Please don't do this.

I want to stress that I would in no way take the massage session any further than the usual clinical visit.

You already have, and you're planning to tuck away the memory to return to later in creepy fashion too.

If you want a massage, get a massage. If you want to fantasize about your old crush, fantasize about your old crush. Just don't do both at the same time. Therapeutic massage is not erotic/romantic/intimate.

I suppose I am objectifying him, but is this really so different than people visiting a masseur that they are personally very attracted to, even though they never ever act on it?

The fact that other people do something unethical/dishonest/offensive does not make it ok for you to do it too. Your old crush is a professional, in a profession that has fought--and continues to fight--a long uphill battle for legitimacy. THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE IS NOT EROTIC/ROMANTIC/INTIMATE. Ugh.

Am I way outside what is appropriate here?

Yes. Please don't do this.
posted by headnsouth at 10:20 AM on November 4, 2010 [24 favorites]

It's weird and creepy - and that's what makes it something that turns you on. If he's as beautiful as you say he is, he's probably had more than one client who has appreciated him this way before. There is a fine line and I understand the mental health concerns others have -- but you seem really well adjusted so why the fuck not.

The thing is -- because of the kind of business he runs (it's not like he's putting up ads on the adult section of Craigslist) you know it's not going to go anywhere. So you're not going in there with any expectations. The human mind is a lot tougher than people give it credit for. You know what you can handle, and if you can handle it, please do it. And enjoy it. (And don't expect others in your life to understand -- even though I TOTALLY understand and think it's awesome.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:21 AM on November 4, 2010

Not from me. I still see that as totally fine.

I know, and I agree. I still think the general tenor of repsonse would be to advise against it, but I'd say the same thing I did here: it's pretty creepy in principle, and he should absolutely do it anyway.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:21 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Because of the secretive, distance, and planing nature of this question: yes it comes off as pervy. The fact that you are gay and he is not adds a negative twist in my mind. I might do it. but I would be careful; having someone freak out because they figure out what is going on half way though would be devastating. Also if he knows you better then you think, the whole thing might just be awkward as hell. I think my answer would be HELL YES if he was gay.
posted by Felex at 10:25 AM on November 4, 2010

All creepiness aside (and I do think it's creepy), bear in mind that not everyone ages well. He might not be the hottie that you remember, which might creep YOU out in the end.
posted by Nutritionista at 10:27 AM on November 4, 2010

Go for it!
Just remember this is his profession.
There is nothing wrong with having some form of internal one sided enjoyment out of this experience.
Remember to be like any other client and life is fine.
I really don't get how this is creepy. Its not like you are stalking him, harassing, or otherwise violating this individual in anyway.
posted by handbanana at 10:28 AM on November 4, 2010

Won't you feel creepy? I think I would feel creepy and not very happy with myself if I did this.

It seems like one of these things where fantasizing about the experience is probably better than the experience itself would be, with the bonus of not involving him (so you don't have to feel bad about involving him in real life).
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:30 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

I know that this might sound really creepy...

You wrote, and I quote: ' I live 2000 miles away, I look nothing like I did then, and my name is different. I'm seriously considering booking a massage with him during my upcoming trip home.'

You are considering traveling a long distance and hiding your identity in order to satisfy your own urges. It's beyond creepy, IMO and you definitely an ethical nono. You're not going there just to get a massage, your going to a specific person to indulge a fantasy, which sounds kinda slimy. It's one thing to get a massage from someone who suits you well and helps relax you, it's another to do it to some sort of secret thrill from someone you're attracted to.

Would you be comfortable explaining all of your reasons to him and then asking for a massage? If not, then I don't think you should do this.
posted by nomadicink at 10:31 AM on November 4, 2010

You are considering traveling a long distance and hiding your identity in order to satisfy your own urges.

Nowhere did the OP say that he was travelling or changing his appearance/name for this one massage. "considering booking a massage with him during my upcoming trip home" implies that the trip is already booked for other reasons, and people usually do look different 13 years after highschool. You're reading an awful lot of negative things into the OP's words, I think unfairly.
posted by ripley_ at 10:39 AM on November 4, 2010

For goodness sakes, this is one of those cheap thrills that makes life so fun and interesting and ... addictive! Go for it!
posted by thinkpiece at 10:41 AM on November 4, 2010 [6 favorites]

Yeah, creepy. Don't do it. Certainly unethical.
posted by electroboy at 10:42 AM on November 4, 2010

I don't think there's anything excessively or prohibitively creepy about wanting to get a nonsexual therapeutic massage from a former crush; I'd do the same thing if a particular former crush of mine had a massage business, and I'd get a little kick out of it, myself.

What is excessively creepy is the fact that you're planning on concealing your identity when you do it, and that part of the thrill for you is that you'd be getting away with it. I totally get that particular fantasy, believe me, but it's one of those that is usually safest staying in the realm of fantasy. On a practical level, this is also where this plan can go horribly, horribly wrong. If you're honest about who you are, the worst that can happen is that you show up and they tell you in a polite, professional manner that they're not comfortable working on former classmates--and if they are comfortable with it, you still get a nice massage from an old crush. If you lie about who you are and they recognize you, they're going to think it's super-creepy, wonder why you lied, and possibly freak out, and possibly tell other people about it.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:52 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd compromise and see him for a neck & shoulder only massage. Fun, but not too creepy then.
posted by meepmeow at 11:01 AM on November 4, 2010

Go for it, but one caution: I once got a home massage from a woman who had been my secretary before starting that business, and to whom I'd been attracted but I'd been careful to stay professional while she worked for me. Things got sexy during the massage and fantasies were fulfilled which was nice but this made paying her for the massage very awkward!
posted by nicwolff at 11:02 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was also a shy, nerdy, practical non-entity during high school -- people did not look twice at me, and the cool kids didn't look once, and never, ever spoke to me. Flash forward ten or twelve years and I'll be walking along minding my own business and someone's like, "Sara? Remember me?" and there's one of the cool kids that never said a word to me during four years of high school being all like, "It's great to see you again!" This has happened more than once. Whatever you decide, I don't think you should assume there's no chance of him recognizing you, and whether that would be uncomfortable for you should factor into your decision.
posted by frobozz at 11:11 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

i think some people try to rationalize their fantasy life too much.if everyone was being honest, we all have people in our lives who we, purposefully or not, put in the spank bank. i mean, i don't ask every single person who has ever showed up in my thoughts while i'm double clicking my mouse if they think it's ok and non-exploitative. i used to be a mall photographer and i know there were customers who came in for pictures because it's a very hands on job. as long as they weren't creepy to me, i couldn't care less - it helped my sales average and they were generally the nicest customers.

the only thing i think you need to concern yourself with is "what if he recognizes you" and, considering you feel he never saw you in high school, will it be emotionally damaging to not be recognized now? other than that - he provides a service, you will pay him for that service, and you will not try to pay him for any other services.
posted by nadawi at 11:23 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd say go for it, it's harmless fun. Any masseur/masseuse has no idea what the person is thinking while they're massaging them -- so maybe it's creepy to be a masseur/masseuse and think that your client is imagining sexual things, but that's just part of the job. You could be at the dentist's getting masturbation material, too, if you found the dentist attractive.

My only caveat is that I feel like it's inappropriate if you are in a committed relationship -- or at least something you'd want to discuss with your SO.
posted by MeiraV at 11:25 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, I've had frobozz's experience exactly. People change a lot and in good ways. He could totally remember you and have a good recollection of you, which would make it all the weirder that you've been stirring this cauldron of lust and spite.
posted by sweetkid at 11:27 AM on November 4, 2010

Pssh. Whatever. Go for it.
posted by Busoni at 11:30 AM on November 4, 2010

Yeah, no.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:39 AM on November 4, 2010

There is no ethical issue at all, the only question is whether you might feel awkward when you are actually there which would a) be embarrassing and b) kill a perfectly good fantasy.

As for whether it is creepy or not, whatevs. All sexual fantasies about real people are creepy, that's why you should keep them to yourself!
posted by ninebelow at 11:41 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Want more creep? Have your mom call and make the appointment - it's just a sports massage, your shoulder's been acting up. Then you can be all "oh I didn't know it would be you" if he recognizes you.
posted by CathyG at 11:47 AM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just in case anyone missed it: headnsouth, an actual therapeutic massage therapist, has weighed in from both a professional and personal point of view.

Now, the question is, Anon: how much respect/credence do you give their perspective?

Or, to put it another way: Say you go through with your plan to see your former crush for these purposes. Could you imagine going to a meetup to speak to headnsouth in person, and tell them that you went and did it anyway? Why or why not?
posted by scody at 11:57 AM on November 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

I don't recall ever reading such a split response. Here's how I would answer:

There's how you act and there's what's in your head. If you act normally and professionally, then you will be within the boundaries of the business service he offers. It's his job to massage muscles, not to care what his clients are thinking when he's doing so (as long as they act appropriately). What you think about it is your own damn business, and telling you not to do something because you might get some personal erotic satisfaction out of it seems a little like punishing you for your thoughts.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:09 PM on November 4, 2010 [7 favorites]

Chances are if it's been 13 years and he was a high school jock, you will no longer be attracted to him in any way. In fact, it's likely that your first thought upon seeing him will be, "whew, dodged a bullet on that one..." and not "oh, damn, this is going to be one sexay massage experience I am going to masturbate over for the rest of my days".

I'll also say that, if you grew up in a small town and he has his business in the same town, it is likely that he sees many of the same people you guys grew up with as clients. Unless he knows you had a massive crush on him, or anything happened between the two of you in the past, there is not going to be anything weird about this from his standpoint. Half his regular clients are probably people he grew up with, with all the baggage that entails.

Though I do agree with others who've said you should not try to hide your identity or deny being your old self when you meet. Because there's a strong possibility this guy knows who you are and would recognize you.
posted by Sara C. at 12:27 PM on November 4, 2010

Swap "massage therapist" with "barber" or "podiatrist" and ask yourself the same question. That makes it easier to say go for it.

This opinion assumes the OP has the stoic powers to stick to all of the things mentioned in the original post. And yes, it might be even better to be up-front and say "Oh sh*t, I remember you from high school.. how's it going?".
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:48 PM on November 4, 2010

Chances are if it's been 13 years and he was a high school jock, you will no longer be attracted to him in any way.

I'm not sure how that follows. Life doesn't necessarily imitate back-to-high school comedies.
posted by electroboy at 1:02 PM on November 4, 2010

I think you should do it, but I think you should tell him before the massage that you know him from high school or afterwards ask him something like "hey you look familiar, did you go to central high?" Just never admitt to knowing he was the masseuse when you booked the appointment.

Otherwise I see no problem with it or anything creepy, other than the whole trying to be incognito thing.
posted by WeekendJen at 1:04 PM on November 4, 2010

To the people who are saying, "go for it," have you ever been involved with the massage profession? Intent is everything! I've worked on hundreds of people during my years as an LMT, and you can spot people with dishonest / sexual / creepy intentions a mile away.

Bottom line: Do not go if you are hoping to get some sort of creepy thrills or fantasies out of it. Please.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:16 PM on November 4, 2010 [5 favorites]

Electroboy - thirteen years is a long time. People change. Both physically, in terms of teenage beauty, and emotionally, in terms of what we find attractive. In my experience it would be very unlikely that someone who has changed enough to be physically unrecognizable and even go by a different name would also still be attracted to the same people he was as a teenager.
posted by Sara C. at 1:18 PM on November 4, 2010

I'd agree with that, but that'd be generally true of everyone you went to high school with, jock or no. The jocks don't all develop a beer gut and male pattern baldness, and the nerds don't uniformly blossom into beautiful swans.
posted by electroboy at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2010

One of my brothers was The Most Popular Kid at our high school, homecoming king, played multiple sports, girls swarming just to make eye contact with him. Now, at 25, he's just another dude. He's good looking enough I guess, but I imagine that nerdy girls who had crushes on him 6-7 years ago probably wouldn't be into him now. And nerdy guys who later came out and moved to the big city would probably not touch him with a ten foot pole.
posted by Sara C. at 1:48 PM on November 4, 2010

You already have, and you're planning to tuck away the memory to return to later in creepy fashion too.

Have you never jerked it fantasizing about a teacher, coach, aquaintance, in-law, whatever? How is his masturbating to this memory anything for his masseur to be concerned about?

There isn't a gay man alive who hasn't spent most if his sexual fantasizing on men who would not reciprocate and who'd be creeped out if they knew the truth. That's one issue with being gay: about 95% of the persons you might find sexually attractive and wank-to-worthy are not only not interested in you but in the vast majority of cases don't even share your sexual orientation. So now we're supposed to suppress our fantasies because our _____ (masseur, professor, boss, carpenter) would be creeped out knowing we'd tucked his memory away?

Fuck that. This guy's not declaring his attraction and neither do your customers. We're gay, not mentally retarded.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:57 PM on November 4, 2010 [10 favorites]

I'd say be prepared for the fact that he might recognise you, don't come on to him, and if you can do that and just enjoy it for what it is, then go for it. Just behave appropriately for the situation - he's a professional, doing his job, which is to give a therapeutic massage. You should be a client for a therapeutic massage and behave accordingly. What goes on inside your head is for you to enjoy. Just let it remain inside your head.
posted by Decani at 2:10 PM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Take the creep factor out. Go in, tell him how you found out about his business and say you thought since you were in town and needed a massage (don't know about you, but airplane trips kill my back) you thought you'd throw some business towards an old classmate.

Whatever fantasy you want to have stays totally out of it. I think trying to remain anonymous is what makes this creepy.
posted by TooFewShoes at 2:23 PM on November 4, 2010

Super creepy. Fuck no.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:24 PM on November 4, 2010

On the crush/massage thing, I'm creeped out by professional massage so I can't comment there.

But if there's a "oh that's hilarious"/revenge thing, think about whether that's hilarious for a whole hour-long massage.

A girl I hated for years -- who depantsed me, with underwear, in front of the entire 7th grade class, thus cementing my "torture me" status in jr. high -- served me pizza when I was in my early 20s. She was 7 or 8 months pregnant, bringing me and my old high school friends a really heavy stuffed pizza. I didn't plan it and my friends thought it was awesome. "Oh god, that's -----. Ha, that's revenge." It felt terrible. She obviously knew us and had to serve us in this totally low moment and was really humilitated. I didn't say anything, tipped well and never went back to that pizza place again when I visited back home again.

With everyone I've seen from high school, there have really been only two dynamics:
1 - Wow. They turned out really successful and they were total a-holes. I'm a failure and I wasted my life. (This was very rare.)
2 - Oh my god, he/she got fat/old/ugly/Christian/self-righteous/has had a terrible life. I feel like a total jerk for having succeeded in getting out and being somewhat successful. I think I shall avoid making eye contact and hope we don't have to have a conversat-- oh crap. They're coming over. They're pretending like we were friends in high school. I have to make small talk now. Gah. (Days pass) Oh god, they've friended me on Facebook. Why can't I go back to being anonymous.

But perhaps you're less neurotic than me and it'll be cathartic rather than misery inducing.
posted by Gucky at 2:39 PM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

I had a long comment typed out, but after consideration, I'm cutting it short to say:

There are some good arguments above for how this could just be a normal transactional interaction if you're able to separate your mind/actions and keep the fantasy out of it, but from your question, I am not at all sure that you will be able to do so.

That being the case: Creepy. Please don't be that guy.
posted by alleycat01 at 2:50 PM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

A long comment here, but decided just to sum it up in a single word:


Please don't. Just ask him out to lunch or something.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:10 PM on November 4, 2010

My gut says: creepy.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2010

FAMOUS MONSTER and Greg Nog have it, except I'm not so sure you should never tell this awesome, hilarious story about how you did something absurd and compulsive and creepy, and what the consequences were

We should all be a little more open to the ridiculous, potentially humiliating experiences available to us; in the short term, it makes us better party guests, and in the long term, you don't want to write a book some day?

Do it. NPD, and you'll have a story. Which you should start off by relaying to us via the mods, please.
posted by longtime_lurker at 4:09 PM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Some final thoughts: I try to do everything I can to avoid unleashing any unnecessary negativity/mean-spirited-ness into the world. I usually advise others to do the same. I do NOT think your plan would violate this principle. It's one of those rare things which is more creepy in theory than in execution (I don't think it's likely that you'll be recognized. If you are, I don't think it's likely to be mentioned, or to severely disturb your masseuse).

Also: I think this thread is so polarized because there are people who "get" and delight in the occasionally off-the-wall, totally fucked-up, inappropriate gesture... and there are those who find it horrible. Neither side is "right", of course. I personally think that following through on this would be sort of AWESOME... but I'm not exactly PROUD of feeling that way.
posted by julthumbscrew at 5:01 PM on November 4, 2010

Just ask him out to lunch or something.

This sounds so much creepier to me.
posted by hermitosis at 5:15 PM on November 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

The consensus here is "Go for it." (I'm bored at work and we took a poll.)

Look, you live far away and will be fleeing again afterwards, you know it's not going to go romantically one way or the other and you're not going to try to make it go that way, if you keep your private thoughts to yourself and go into it with a relatively chill attitude, hell, why not. We're all spank bank material for people that we would be grossed out if we knew they likey-liked us like that anyway. Yeah, it's mentally creepy, but most one-sided attractions kind of are by default, and it's a one time event that isn't too likely to traumatize him for life or embarrass you for very long. Yeah, he might not be hot anymore, but then you learn. Just don't ACT creepy.

The only major caveat here is that yeah, new name and new body aside, he might STILL recognize you. Don't ask me how that stuff works in a small town (I'm one of those nerds who is still all "uh, who heard of me now?" when my mother talks about random people I supposedly knew in high school), but it is entirely possible he'll recognize you anyway. As long as you can deal with that possibility, okay.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:31 PM on November 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

i'm with FAMOUS and greg on this one. to me the question read more like doing it for a shits-and-giggles type cheap thrill, rather then a truly sexual one. if he figures out that he knows you, you can always pin it on someone else. ("omigod, friend X from high school recommended you, but i thought it was just because you were a good masseuse. i didn't realize we were classmates!")

but yeah you only live once. why the hell not? i'm sure people have had creepy thoughts/ intentions towards all of us before, but what we didn't know didn't hurt us.
posted by lblair at 8:01 PM on November 4, 2010

+1 for what headnsouth said. I'm a massage therapist as well.

I've massaged beautiful people, ugly people, "normal" people, sick people, well people (ok, they might be a bit sore here and there) and stinky people.

They're all people, they're all having massage/soft tissue treatment for a reason. Some people (men and women) are just really attractive, and some people are just nicer to massage. However: especially, *****ESPECIALLY***** as a male therapist, professional boundaries are paramount.

Occasionally, male clients can get erections, purely as a result of being relaxed. I always add a bit of extra draping around the groin area in case this happens, to avoid any embarrassment.

However, if this happens in your case, and for whatever reason you sexualise the treatment, the therapist will probably say something like "I'm sorry, but that behaviour is not appropriate, if you continue I'll have to end the treatment".

I'm not saying that you shouldn't get the massage, but do it for relax or treatment purposes, not for a thrill.
posted by flutable at 2:06 AM on November 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Disregard those that say your planning and scheming are pervy. Awareness of yourself and your reality, and planning ahead do not make you more pervy than if you just walked in for a regular massage by a stranger and found out by surprise that the stranger was your ex schoolmate. Those opinions are residues of misunderstood worship for ignorance and innocence. Go for it.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:29 AM on November 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just ask him out to lunch or something.

This sounds so much creepier to me.

LOL, rethinking this, you are right.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2010

The question is this: what is your motivation? If you're motives are to meet up with him, but you are too nervous to do so, then by going to get a pseudo-anonymous massage, you are just wasting your time.
posted by antgly at 8:40 AM on November 6, 2010

Pff. AskMe recommends massage all the time to single people who don't want to date/hook up but are craving human touch. This isn't incredibly different from that.

As a woman, if I were to book a massage with an attractive guy I crushed on in high school... Yeah, I would do it. But I wouldn't try to remain an anonymous stranger. I greet him, make short small talk, and then proceed with the massage as usual. To me, the obscured identity is the creepy thing in your question:

I'm just fascinated with the idea of being touched by someone I used to feel so intensely about, without his knowing who I really am.

Part 1, okay. Part 2... creepy.

Now I'm curious who's running the massage practices in my hometown!
posted by heatherann at 6:57 AM on November 10, 2010

I would greet him... Ha!
posted by heatherann at 7:00 AM on November 10, 2010

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