There are many schools of thought on why a client should or should not drape. Some have to do with state laws, if your state requires draping then the massage therapist must drape with at least a towel or sheet to fulfill the letter of the law. Other states laws, say that you drape to the comfort level of both the therapist and client, this means that both have to be comfortable with no draping to not be covered with a sheet or towel. While still, other states have no laws concerning draping, I feel that it is still important that we respect the comfort level of both the therapist and client in these states also.
What is draping? This is when the client is on the table they are covered with some form of cloth, which can be a sheet, blanket or towel. The client and therapist can choose one or all three during the massage to cover the client.
Why should I drape or not drape? Draping, in reality, is to either preserve the modesty of the client and therapist, cut down on sensual thoughts and actions or keep the client warm. Not draping is for clients and therapist that are comfortable with the human body. Not draping also gives the therapist more time to work on your muscles during the massage instead of moving draping around to reach the muscles. If you are wishing to have full body massage strokes then you will need to not drape. Some clients like to use no draping while face down but have a towel across them face up. This is totally fine, as well.
Do I need to wear any type of clothing on the massage table while I am draped or not draped? This once again is up to the therapist and client’s level of comfort. I recommend that you do not wear any type of clothing, you should be in the buff. This allows me to work on your glutes and lower back to relieve back and leg pain. This can not be done with any type of clothing on. Since massage is a very personal experience, you will need to feel comfortable with your therapist to be able to relax in the buff whether you choose to drape or not.
Does draping matter if you are male or female? No, whether you drape or not should not be based on your sex. Draping is a personal choice and doesn’t depend on gender.
In conclusion, I prefer to not have my clients drape but understand when a client prefers to be draped. I also ask that clients remove all clothing before getting on the table. My massage is not sensual or ever meant to be sensual. I just enjoy relieving the client’s muscle pain. See you soon on my table for a massage in the buff!