(1968-10-19) October 19, 1968
|Alma mater||Rockville High School|
Dorothy Stein (née Leckner; born October 19, 1968), better known as Dr. Dot, is an American massage therapist. Dubbed the "rock and roll masseuse," Stein is known for her signature "Bite Massage" and her long-list of music industry clientele, including the likes of David Bowie, Simon Cowell, and Katy Perry.
Early life and career
Stein was born and raised in Manchester, Connecticut. She is of Swedish and Italian ancestry. According to Stein, her Swedish ancestors were "chased from England and ended up drunk pilgrims in America." She moved to Dover at the age of ten. Since her father was in the Navy, Stein moved often and attended fifteen different schools before graduating from Rockville High School in 1985.
She started massaging at the age of five. Stein's mother encouraged her to bite her since she was not strong enough to give a good massage. Her "hippie" parents taught her massage techniques followed by more formal training. Her parents would also take her to concerts from a young age, including several Grateful Dead ones. Following her parent's divorce, Stein started to sneak into concerts, but then began offering her massage services in exchange for concert tickets and backstage passes. At age 15, her first clients were Def Leppard. Stein commented that she "went to every Def Leppard show and massaged them. I built a network with those people and eventually started massaging bands to get into shows." Stein traveled with The Stones on three consecutive tours and went on three tours with the Rolling Stones, where she made $2000 per week. She gained a reputation for "having hands of steel." Stein estimates that she has seen at least 3,000 free concerts.
Frank Zappa gave her the "Dr. Dot" moniker in 1988 in reference to her "expert skills." Following the birth of her daughter in 1989, Stein moved to Berlin. Stein worked for free until 1994 when Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts convinced her she needed to get paid. Subsequently, Stein went to massage school and became certified. She was trained at a medical massage school in Berlin and received some professional training at the San Francisco School of Massage.
Stein has a rule about not having sex with her clients. Her one exception was with actor Bruce Willis who she had a brief affair with after his split with Demi Moore. Stein noted, "That was the biggest mistake I ever made." According to her, the actor threatened to sue her if she published anything about him in the United States.
Stein has built a repertoire of celebrity clients over the years. Some of her clients include Katy Perry, Eminem, Courtney Love, Robert Plant, Simon Cowell, David Bowie, Juliette Lewis, Kanye West, and Mariah Carey.[note 1] To help keep up with the high demand of her services, Stein assembled a team of massage therapists. She named her business Dr. Dot International Massage and Chiropractic Team and the contracted therapists are known as "Dot Bots." Stein employs a staff of over 1,000 across 30 countries. Stein vets and approves each therapist who must be either certified or licensed and have at least one year of experience. Treatment starts at $150 per hour and increases as it gets later in the evening. Stein and her team of masseurs tailor their massages to address common physiological conditions in musicians, such as tendinitis, trigger finger, and myofascial pain syndrome. Stein also provides a mobile spa service that offers facials, pedicures, and manicures.
Stein trademarked her Bite Massage in 2017 and videos of Stein's massages have gone viral. Stein admits the Bite Massage is her "most controversial" technique. She claims biting someone's back results in better blood circulation. Without adding any oil, Stein bites the client's entire back in a "very fluent motion section by section" and avoids biting any bones. Stein also bites the client's neck, shoulders, and sometimes the glutes. Her bites are large but not enough to break the skin. According to Stein, the bites go deep enough to "tenderize" the back muscles and prepare them for the traditional massage that follows. Stein only offers the Bite Massage to select clients.
Some medical experts have raised concerns about Stein's Bite Massage. Physician Holly Phillips says that "about 10 to 15 percent of human bite wounds become infected by bacteria. There is also the potential for transmission of viruses like hepatitis B." Joshua Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, stated that human bites can transmit infectious diseases and "does not recommend, under any circumstance, being bit by another person."
In February 2009, Stein flew in to Georgia to treat then-president Mikheil Saakashvili. Stein posted an image of Saakashvili's arm around her on her blog and an account of her trip. Some members of a Georgian opposition group used the photo as a poster campaign against Saakashvili. Russia Today sought to portray Stein's visit as "a sign that Mr. Saakashvili is using his office to live a life of at least mildly kinky luxury, fit for a rock star." Stein responded that "Georgian media and opposition were distorting the contents of her blog by taking things out of context." Opponents of Saakashvili accused him of using public funds to fly Dot to Georgia for a massage. Giga Bokeria, a top advisor to Saakashvili, stated that the government did not spend money on Stein's visit and the president's opponents were "trying to smear his reputation." Saakashvili maintained that he received only a single massage from Stein. However, Stein said she massaged Saakashvili multiple times and received €2,000 in compensation. Stein also said Saakashvili gave her "a bunch of presents" including a gold necklace with a religious pendant. In 2014, the Prosecutor's Office filed embezzlement charges against Saakashvili; one of the expenditures included Stein.
Stein is also a popular sex advice columnist. Her column, "Ask Dr. Dot," ran in Penthouse and the New York Press and now is published exclusively in the English-language German magazine Exberliner. Stein has also posed in Penthouse.
Stein dated musician Joey Ramone for three years. She was 14 at the time and maintains that Ramone did not know her real age. Stein had a daughter at age 21 with a German man she met at a Grateful Dead concert. Stein stated that they are "still good friends" and he takes care of their daughter when Stein visits Berlin on a tour. Stein later married and divorced her second husband, a Turkish national, whom she had a son with. Stein is raising the child on her own. She speaks German.
- See here for a full list of Stein's celebrity clientele.
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- "Eamonn Holmes getting bit by massause is the strangest thing you'll see". Heart. June 30, 2018. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
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- Taub, Amanda (2014-09-21). "What you need to know about ex-President, current hipster Mikheil Saakashvili". Vox. Retrieved 2022-05-15.
- Evans, Lauren (2014-09-19). "Ex-Georgian President Fits Right In Here In Williamsburg 2014". Gothamist. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
- Klikushin, Mikhail (2015-02-16). "Georgia President Who Ate His Tie Advises Ukrainians How to 'Capture All of Russia'". The Observer. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
- "I love Saakashvili! – Massage specialist Dr Dot". Georgian Journal. August 14, 2014. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
- McGlinchey, Eric M. (September 2009). "Searching for Kamalot: Political Patronage and Youth Politics in Uzbekistan". Europe-Asia Studies. Routledge. 61 (7): 1147. doi:10.1080/09668130903068665. ISSN 0966-8136. JSTOR 27752341.
- Bowen, Alison (September 10, 2015). "Zen commute can take you to a better place". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
- "Dr. Dot: Building an empire one massage at a time". The Local. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
- Official website