ABMP Gets an Apology from Redbook for “Happy-Ending Massage” Article


Update, July 7, 2014, 4.13 p.m. MST:
Dear Leslie,

Thank you for reaching out—I truly appreciate your feedback. While the story was a first-person account of one woman’s experience and was certainly not meant as a reflection on the massage industry or the professionals who work in it, we have chosen to remove it from the site. We absolutely recognize the valuable, healing services that licensed massage therapists provide: REDBOOK has covered that important work in the past, and certainly will again.

I truly had no idea what a pervasive and important issue this was—today has been very eye-opening!

Thanks again for bearing with us, and for bringing this issue to my attention.

Editor-in-Chief, REDBOOK

In response to Redbook’s recent article, “I Get Happy-Ending Massages and It Helps My Marriage,” ABMP Vice President Communication calls for an apology to the profession for linking therapeutic massage and prostitution.

July 7, 2014

Attn: Jill Herzig, Editor-in-Chief
300 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019

Dear Ms. Herzig:

No doubt you’re getting waves of response about your July 3 Redbook feature: “I Get Happy-Ending Massages and It Helps My Marriage,” as told to Anna Davies. How disappointing.

We represent a profession of more than 320,000 U.S-based massage therapists, more than 80,000 of whom are our members. They consider it offensive and dangerous when anyone—particularly the media—blends discussions about the massage therapy profession and the sex trade. Make no mistake, you’ve published a feature about a married woman who has retained a prostitute, not about a consumer of massage therapy.

Our members are specifically educated and dedicated to providing therapeutic massage services to their clients. About one-sixth of those are male professionals who admittedly already face gender-based challenges and must endeavor to break through barriers in this profession. You’ve succeeded in alienating them and building additional walls for them. You’ve also put up barriers for consumers who seek the many benefits of massage because you’ve questioned its safety. And you’ve endangered practitioners’ personal safety as ill-intended pseudo-clients seek to push the barriers of appropriate behavior in a bodywork session.

We look forward to an apology from Redbook to our members and to the massage therapy profession, and we’ll share that apology across all our social media outlets. Yours is an historic publication. We’d like to help you move forward with pride and accuracy, not sensationalism.


Leslie A Young, Ph.D.

Leslie A. Young, Ph.D.

ABMP Vice President Communication

leslie@abmp.com or 303-679-7648/direct

Massage & Bodywork, Editor-in-Chief