Just because I've been doing massage for over nine years now doesn't mean I know everything and have seen everything.
When my client told me, "By the way, just so you know...I'm really hairy," I should have refrained from uttering a condescending, "Oh, don't worry about it, I've been doing this for a long time and, trust me, it's not a problem."
I AM professional enough that not even a shocked "MEEP!" escaped me when I draped my client's back, but the "most hirsute client EVAR" position was handily won. Yes, he beat the German-shepherd-esque client I massaged way back in school.
I wasn't even grossed out, I'm over that shit. The logistics were interesting, however. Half a bottle of lotion was used, as the pelt absorbed the lion's share before it could reach the skin. Care was taken not to pull or tug too much, nor to tie knots in the hair (which has been known to happen on occasion!).
I could share more, but making fun of my client is not the point. He can't help the fact that he could wear a mask and nothing else and be set for Halloween. The point is that I have no business getting too big for my britches. In nursing, that's a given. I'm a total n00b and know nothing. But I guess in massage therapy, I've been getting complacent. It's really good that I'm working in a new, fabulous spa, where I'm learning new modalities (WARM BAMBOO, ZOMG, it's AMAZING!) and new techniques. It's important to stay (somewhat) humble.
I ain't all that!