Asking clients if they want a male?

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naked eye
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Asking clients if they want a male?

Post by naked eye » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:12 pm

Quick question just out of curiosity:

Where you work, if you are a male therapist, do you (or receptionists or front desk people who book) have to ask the clients if they are comfortable with a male MT?

If you could let me know yes or no, and what area you work in (like spa or chiro) I'm just wondering what the norm is?

swarren07
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Post by swarren07 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:07 am

In my career span as a massage therapist I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. So here is what I experienced:

In a spa setting most receptionists' are programmed to ask the client up front if they have a preference to a male or female therapist. If there is no preference specified then they book the first available therapist for the time slot that has been requested.

In a chiropractic setting the clients generally do not have a preference as most of your work is done in 15 to 20 minute increments. I say most here because you spend a lot of time doing specific work that the chiropractor has requested be done. Unless it is a client that has specifically come in for a massage.

In my own personal office well it leaves them no choice as I am the only therapist. They either want the appointment with me or they book elsewhere. I do try to accomodate everyone. In the case where my work may not be deep enough (not usual), or not to the liking of a client I try to be able to refer them out to one of my co-therapists at their office be it a male or a female.

In a medical office sometimes they ask and sometimes they don't. Then you run into the issue of the client wanting a different therapist when they get to the clinic.

Hope this helps.
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moogie
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Post by moogie » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:36 am

I work in a massage clinic and when we have had male therapists working there we did not ask up front but we made sure to let the client know that they were booked with a male therapist so there were no surprises when they arrived....."we have you booked with Mark at 1pm on Tuesday the 18th" for example.

To ask up front would imply that there was something wrong with having a male therapist and we wouldn't want to do that.

Angie

naked eye
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Post by naked eye » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:52 pm

Thank you for your responses! Very helpful! :D

It's good to know what other places do.

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Male Therapist

Post by Spavelous » Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:27 am

Unfortunately in this industry, it has been my experience that more clients seem to prefer woman therapists when given the choice. Men may be homophobic and woman sometimes have body issues so, they just feel more comfortable with a female therapists. I have always wanted the male therapists to be as busy as the female therapists. All therapists are professional and for whatever reason, each guest always seems to get the person that is right for them. With that said, I did not ask if they had a preference for male or female, I would schedule the appointment and then tell them who it is scheduled with this would give them the opportunity to make the request or change. Many men and woman would then request the same male therapists even though up front they did not think they wanted a man.

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Post by sillypup » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:08 pm

I say it depends on the business and how it's run. if they focus on gender then they are money oriented. most serious business don't care for gender issues. they focus on quality of massage. they let the client bring up the gender issue. I believe it is not the business responsibility to bring up gender preferences. bring up gender will just make the sexism in the field worst as that which is focus on tend to grow more and persist.

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jyoti
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Post by jyoti » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:05 pm

I could've written that post, sillypup :)

My husband and I practice together. This gives people the choice between 2 therapists. We operate the way you described. When we get a phone call from a prospective client, we first get some background information on what they're coming to us for (is it sore neck and shoulders, relaxation, car wreck, etc?) and we discuss the symptoms they've been having. We then ask them when they'd like to come in. If they say something like "sometime today, tomorrow, or Friday" then I say, "Jay has an opening at 4 o'clock today and I have one at 2pm on Friday, which would work best for you?" We NEVER ask about male or female therapist. To us, it's about skill, not anatomical plumbing. If we as a profession downplay the gender issue and slowly morph it into a NON-issue, perhaps we can change attitudes over time. :)

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Post by sjidoulamt » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:45 pm

The spa that I worked in had a script as well: "Do you require a male or female therapist, or are you flexible?"

The spa owner felt that generally, people want to BE flexible, so they might give it a try. It seems to be working, the male therapists are regularly booked.

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EgoMagickian
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Post by EgoMagickian » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:59 am

Wow... I actually like that script. I like that it doesn't favor one gender over the other, it reflects that a preference on the part of the client is *the client's* and not some external truth, and it gives the client another, possibly preferable option (to be flexible). That latter part is so important!

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Post by sjidoulamt » Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:01 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the "flexibility" option is given BEFORE an appointment slot is offered, even if we are wide open. The client is more likely to be flexible when they think it will give them a better shot at getting an appointment. Since keeping female therapists booked is never a problem, any client that says they are flexible are automatically given to one of the male therapists.

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EgoMagickian
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Post by EgoMagickian » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:27 pm

Now *that* is smart, smart, smart. I like it.

Of course, all of the MTs where I work are male. But that's a different story :-)

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Post by softhearted515 » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:03 am

All valid points but I had a male mt friend and where he worked they didn't mention to the clients that their therapist was going to be male. He said the look of horror when he introduced himself to them got to be to much. He would have preferred at the time of setting up the appt. they were told a man was going to massage them.

petra
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Post by petra » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:30 am

When I was a receptionist, we had to schedule by seniority to a certain degree. Unless, of course, someone was requesting a specific therapist. So, it kind of worked out somewhat the way jyoti does it. "Bob has an appointment available at 2, Marcy has an opening at 4," etc. With names that were ambiguous, people who were concerned would generally ask, but I'd usually find a way to work in a he or she pronoun. It worked pretty well, there weren't any surprises, therapists of all genders were booked and happy.

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Post by massagecenter » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:45 pm

My wife and I own a practice and we always ask. Unless its a couples massage we usually just take the oppose t for each of us.

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JasonE
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Post by JasonE » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:53 pm

The place I work at makes sure the client knows who they are booked with. If someone prefers one gender over the other, fine. Male therapists are booked as much as any females at our place.
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Post by tranquilspirit2006 » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:16 pm

Female here, and work in a spa type setting - although we offer facials, scrubs, wraps, nail services etc, the MTs mostly have regular clients. When we had a male, we'd just say 'Joe has an opening at 1, Mary has one at 3' etc. We never asked M or F because just about everyone automatically said female and that wasn't fair to 'Joe'. Sometimes they would ask if 'Joe' was M or F but not always. He had a really good, regular clientele.
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NaplesLMT
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Post by NaplesLMT » Mon May 26, 2008 7:57 am

SJI, I like the wording your spa used. It is reasonable to be proactive in avoiding problems when we know that some folks are not flexible for whatever reason. It is actually a service to the client.....
Naples LMT

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