Deep tissue massage is less about hard, painful pressure and more about skillful lengthening of muscles to get to the deeper tissues. Our muscles are layered, and the superficial muscles, lying closer to the surface, need to relax in order to let your therapist beging working on the deeper layers. Hard pressure can incite the muscles to tighten in order to protect the body: good massage shouldn't be painful in an overall sense, though there may be some unusual sensation in areas of more tension. A well-trained therapist uses body mechanics to change depths of pressure, and need not be male. An important consideration is to schedule enough time for this to occur. If you are feeling particularly sore or tense in a specific area, thinkk deep tissue is your solution but have limited time or funds, have your therapist spend time there and forego the full body experience until your next massage.