What Do I Wear to my First Massage?

So glad you asked!  Here is the very short answer: As long as you are covered by the sheet when we return to the room, the details are a matter of your comfort.

Massage Drapping Time Lapse

If you come to our shop, you will likely hear this: When I leave the room you will disrobe to your level of comfort.  Everything from completely clothed to completely nude is normal, and anywhere in between is fine.  About 50% of folks leave their underpants on, you will be draped modestly during the entire massage.

Some folks snicker when I say that “completely clothed” is normal.  One of my favorite clients of all time heard the above speech.  When I returned I found that he had removed ONLY his shoes and lay there in his button up flannel shirt.  I looked forward to summer, because then I was greeted with short sleeves.  But this was HIS level of comfort.  I did a different sort of massage through clothing, but we were both comfortable.

The important thing to remember is that no matter what you are comfortable with, draping WILL be used.  I can’t speak for all states, but here in Missouri, draping is mandatory.  No, you cannot lie on top of the sheets and blankets “necked.”  I have run across a few clients who claim that it is very “American” to be so concerned with privacy and modesty.  Well yes, that’s where we are.  Massage is about warming the muscles, so in addition to modesty, the sheets and blankets we use preserve heat.

Should I leave my underwear on? Up to you, but here are some reasons you might want to leave them on:

A: You are having IT band issues, your hammys are tight and you are hoping your MT will do lots of assisted stretches.  Leaving your drawers on makes it easier for your MT to move your leg around without an uncomfortable breeze.

B: You prefer that your MT work on your glutes through fabric.  Ok by us, we can work through fabric OR avoid any area that you’d rather not have us work on.  Just say so.

C: You don’t want to miss an opportunity to promote Uncle Frank’s used car business, and those Uncle Frank Boxers are the BOMB!

When we say “you will be draped modestly” what do we mean?  We use either a sheet, and a blanket or a towel and generally uncover JUST the part of the body we are working on.  For ladies, this means that when we work on the arms the sheet will be just below the collar bone; for men just below the breast bone (sternum).  For front and back of legs we drape at about wear a swimsuit would hit.  For the back, we pull the drape back to the level of underpants.  If we wouldn’t see it on a conservative American beach, we don’t see it in the massage room.

Some ladies feel more comfortable wearing a bra or a sports bra during their session.  Some of the work we do might be a bit less fluid, but your comfort is more important than our convenience.

If you have long hair, putting it in a pony tail or bun on TOP of your head is good.  If you don’t want us to touch your head, please let us know.  Some folks don’t want to have to  “fix their wig,” and we understand.  A hair cap or bandanna can help keep things in place if this is a concern.

Socks?  If you have chilly feet you might leave them on during the massage.

So that’s it, in a nutshell.  If we’ve missed anything,  just ask!  Send questions to:


3 thoughts on “What Do I Wear to my First Massage?

  1. Thank you so much for this information! Many people, including myself, avoid massage because we are not sure what is expected of us, or how things will be in the massage room. This eases my mind quite a bit.

  2. Great article. This is a must read for anyone that has not experienced a massage. I agree with Stephanie that most people do not know what to expect and many would never ask.

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