“I want a (male/female) therapist.”
We were able to accommodate this client and assured him there was no need to apologize. We have one of each, so that request is no problem for someone scheduling a massage. But I am the only foot reflexologist and Chris is the only craniosacral therapist.
Do you care one way or the other about the gender of your bodyworker? Most of our clients don’t seem to. They want skilled bodywork from someone who listens to their goals and helps them achieve their desired outcomes. They want to feel better.
Still, getting hands-on work to reduce stress and tension includes being able to relax into the experience and beyond.
Clients who have no preference about therapist gender still have other needs, such as no touching the face, no piano music, or no floral scents. Each client has a unique range of pressure that is optimally therapeutic on a given day. All of these factors are ways to give the nervous system input it welcomes and avoid noxious (nociceptive) input.
Maybe someday that client who called himself a knuckle-dragger will no longer care what gender his therapist is. But for now, his nervous system needs that reassurance to feel safe enough to relax.