I've been gone a bit due to some big life changes including moving to Europe to be with my German GF, working for a very ritzy hotel...and being offered the Lead position after only 6 months of working there despite beginning with the warning, "you might get less clientele since you're a male"...and reopening my private practice here as well. It's been one heck of a ride from my first client to this point in my career but I wanted to chime in on this from my perspective after dealing with this from day one.
Before coming here to post this, I was JUST told by a business opportunity here in Germany who services celebs and VIPS in many areas of the world that, even though she loves getting massages by males, her clients prefer females only. Funny that, huh? I come to "liberal" Europe and hear the same stuff I did the past 8 years in the states? And from a fellow American of all things. LOL The funny thing is that my Euro clients (except for some from the Britain area) don't even consider gender preferences.
Was this woman discriminating? Nope. She was just being honest. Do clients discriminate? Possibly to probably, but also understand that there are some religions that prevent contact with a person of the opposite sex besides your spouse. And, as long as as 1) Humans 2) Choice and 3) Money are a factor in provided services, this type of thing is gonna happen whether we view it as discrimination or not. It's their money and their choice if the businesses give it to them, right or wrong.
It sucks but you're reading the words of (yet another) male CMT that's run the whole gambit of biased receptionists, jealous husbands, clients asking me to "act gay" when their man comes around (hilarious story!) and a psycho co-worker trying to exploit my gender vulnerability in the profession by crying wolf and making me go through months of drama that had polarized male and female CMTs in my area against eachother but actually turned out to boost my reputation exponentially (and equally lower her rep...karma is glorious!) when the truth came out and expose that discrimination is rarely one-sided.
You know what immediately came to my mind after getting the turn-down from this honest woman? I thought, "Well...luckily I have other Celeb/VIP clientele of my own that gave me a chance due to my reputation for good work". And THAT's where you want to get to.
Discrimination be damned, fellas. Do what I did and do your thing the Tiger Woods way. Let your talent/skill do the talking for you. The Country Clubs had no choice but to eventually let him in and the same will happen with you in the closed minds of others. Hunker down and build your own reputation from the ground up...with every client from the spa that takes you, with every client you work on outside of that type of job, with every grain of knowledge that pushes your career forward. The road is gonna be tough for many of you like it was for me but, if you really love this profession and devote yourself to making your craft stand out as top-notch, you'll be suprised at just how many of the stigmas and stereotypes melt away from the minds of people who count...the ones that become and stay your regular clientele.
Bottom line, life isn't fair in that some people are given opportunities while others have to earn them. But guess which ones feel better about themselves when all is said and done?
Earn it, gentlemen!