Toward A More Perfect Union

Face to Face New York couple
A Face to Face New York couple toasts their union

Sidebar: The New Newlyweds

As more states move toward legalizing same-sex marriages, more spas are welcoming same-sex couples for wedding parties, couples treatments and showers. Enrique Ramirez of Face to Face New York, a gay-owned and gay-friendly spa, has a few tips for spa owners on how to make all kinds of couples feel special in your spa.

“The spa itself might welcome anyone, but spas often have technicians from all over the world who might not be as open-minded,” Ramirez says. “It’s our job as owners to train and educate staff on how to treat people equally and how to talk with sensitivity.”

For starters? Never assume anything, Ramirez suggests. If a man comes into your spa and says he just got engaged, don’t assume he got engaged to a woman—and vice versa. Follow the same rules of polite conversation you’d employ regarding religion and politics: Don’t ask intrusive questions or engage the client in a discussion about sensitive matters such as how his or her family feels about the union, or the politics of marriage equality.

“Everyone wants to feel safe and welcome, and not different,” Ramirez says. “As spa owners, we need to make sure that happens.”

If you want to make sure people know your spa is gay-friendly, Ramirez suggests cross-promoting with local hotels, bars and businesses that are directly connected to the gay community, as well as advertising in gay magazines and on travel websites. “Let others know,” he says, “that yours is a welcoming place.”

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