What went on here? Interpreting physical contact.(8 Posts)
I am a woman and need a bit of male help to interpret a situation.
I am presently seeing an osteopath to help with some issues I am having. The therapist is male, but highly professional and I am very comfortable having physical contact with him. I tend to wear a singlet top and light stretchy leggings for this treatment.
The treatment does involve him touching me eg. pressing parts of my back, moving me into different positions by touching my legs, arms etc. At times he also needs to lean his weight on me. So it can be quite intimate, but he is very professional and we tend to avoid too much eyecontact at these moments. To be honest, I do find him quite attractive, but I feel a bit self-conscious of my slightly flabby self next to his finely toned exterior.
Yesterday I was on the edge of the couch, sitting on my heels with my feet hanging off the end, but bent right foward so that my head was down and he was treating an area of my back. However, as he pushed forward, I felt the curve of my toes (feet hanging off the end of the bench) come actively into contact with something that I was fairly sure was his crotch, as if he had pressed himself against me. Then it happened a second time. I did not react at all and stayed still. When I stood up and I looked carefully at him he did seem a tiny bit flustered and began talking about an exercise that he had not yet shown me, which is not usual for him. Then it was fairly close to the end of the session. I did not feel unsafe, but just a bit puzzled.
So what is going on here? On one level I feel he must be insane, as I am really not showing some of my best features during these sessions - my feet are definitely 'natural' women's feet, not pedicured works of art.
Is this kind of thing ever accidental?
Am I over-interpreting this?
Is it likely to be just 'of the moment'? - looking at it objectively I was in quite a sexualised position at that moment and he does handle my body a lot in these sessions.
Does doing this mean anything to cause conern about him?
NC for professional anonymity.
I work as a physical therapist (male) so may be able to help. I'm sorry you were made to feel uncomfortable, that shouldn't happen. I can't fully understand the physical position you were in, so I can't visualise the technique he may have been using. I have a few thoughts though: the practitioner should explain each technique being used, especially if there's likely to be a contact that you might not be expecting. All osteopaths are registered and strictly regulated by the General Osteopathic Council. Although physical treatment by it's nature brings a level of intimacy, osteopaths see the patient as just that - their patient, with no sexual thoughts. Having said that, there are as in all professions a very small number that may abuse their position. Thankfully it's very rare. I would strongly advise you to tell him (by phone, e-mail or at your next appointment) that you felt uncomfortable last time when he was doing that technique, and give him the opportunity to explain. If you're unhappy with his response, your options range from just requesting a female practitioner to lodging a complaint with the GOSC. I'm sure he'll be very keen to explain what he was doing so that you feel comfortable, but to also realise how other patients may feel uncomfortable when he does this technique. He can then improve his practice.
I had a massage from an overweight girl once - to lean over me I felt her crotch and front of thighs occasionally on my feet or elbows. I also felt her breasts touch me for an instant as she massaged my mid back from over my shoulders. I didn't think she was trying to rape me or get off on it.
Its dangerous to paint men as monsters in every situation, but on you go if it amuses you.
And its dangerous to dismiss anyone, male or female, feeling uncomfortable with physical contact from anyone else, male or female. Much more helpful advice from Physicalcontact. OP, if you find this man attractive would it be a good idea to find a different therapist, regardless of whether this was an accident or not? Mixing therapy with attraction sounds like a recipe for disaster
Its dangerous also to transmit 'i feel uncomfortable' to 'he is abusive/doing it intentionally to make me feel uncomfortable' make sure these distinctions are clear!
Thanks for the views. Obviously I am trying not to jump to conclusions, hence asking for opinions.
NotDead, she asked for help to interpret it and whether it was a cause for concern. No one mentioned monsters. Except you.
OP, was he working on your sacrum?
It could have been accidental, it could have been something else.
Would you feel ok saying "can we work on it a different way as last week the contact felt uncomfortable for me?"
If you don't want to go back because you don't trust him now, then that's fair enough too.
Sounds to me that it was accidental from your OP. If he goes to put you in that position again mention it maybe? Lightheartedly?
'Don't be pressing your crotch against me this time! Haha! ;)'
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