Hi Mr Dentist,
Let's be brutally honest here. You seem like a decent human being, but I can't say I'm ever reeaaaally happy to see you. You probably don't like me much either. But we deal with each other, don't we?
We have a deal, in fact. You inflict immense pain on my body from time to time, like the sadistic f**ker that you are, and I pay you massive sums of money for it.
Of course you're also doing something I need. I wasn't blessed with the most robust teeth in the world, and despite a pretty decent diet I've always required a steady stream of dental work.
So, although our relationship isn't the healthiest one (actually it might even be codependant!), I understand that I'm stuck with you. For now.
You know what's interesting though, Mr Dentist?
We're actually not that different - you and me.
We both put our fingers inside other people's bodies for work.
That's pretty much where our similarities end though.
You work at the top end of the body - the mouth.
I work at the bottom end of the body - the vagina.
You're a dentist.
I'm a pelvic wellness specialist and Yoni Mapping Therapist.
Medical. Physical. Clinical. Technical. Precise. Goal-Orientated.
All of which are important for dentistry, don't get me wrong. I'm soooo grateful for your technical skills. I thank the Gods every f**king time I am released from your clutches relatively unscathed because you seem to know what the f**k you're doing with those hundreds of scary looking tools, needles, drills and spiky things you stick in my mouth.
(Does it give you some kind of power trip, to have so many torture instruments at your immediate disposal?)
However, sometimes I struggle to understand where you're coming from because, well, let's just say I'm a little different in my approach to penetrating people's internal orifices.
Therapeutic. Body-based. Loving & gentle. Flowing. Present moment orientated.
I'm interested in creating a space that feels relaxing for the nervous system. Safe. Peaceful. Not just in terms of my session room, but in my whole way of being with someone in that space.
I want people to feel that all of them is welcome, that emotional responses are normal & I'm experienced in guiding them through whatever might arise. I want them to know it's ok to pause or do something differently. I want them to feel that there's no rush.
So we both penetrate other people (with gloves on our hands) in a regular workday - like it ain't no thing.
Except that it is a thing, isn't it?
Most people who've been to a dentist know that it's often a big f**king deal to have someone's hands / fingers / multiple implements inside your mouth.
Especially when it hurts.
Or when I feel like I'm just a body to you, sitting there being poked and prodded - my emotions or responses rendered insignificant. Like you're fixing a f**king car or something.
Or when I'm having a trauma response and everything in me wants to bite down.... hard on those nimble little fingers of yours... smack you down in one swipe of my arm and run like hell as far away as possible.
Don't think I haven't fantasised about that, Mr Dentist.
Actually I'd say I spent at least half of my 90 minutes in the chair yesterday fantasising about exactly that - after deep breathing failed to help. It's the only thing that kept me sane, gave me some small vestige of power or dignity.
But I won't actually bite you and smack you down, Mr Dentist, don't worry.
Partly because my mother raised me to be a nice person, but mostly because I know you do martial arts and you'd out-ninja me hands-down any day of the week.
I do want to remind you of this though: It's natural and normal for people to have trauma responses / fear / intense emotions in the dentists chair.
The mouth and face is the location for 30-40 per cent of the body’s sensory and motor nerves. It’s one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Dental work has a major impact on the nervous system and penetration of any kind is vulnerable AF.
Our sensitive nervous system is designed to protect us against scary or painful stuff... and dentistry feels like slow torture... the modern day version of being eaten alive by a crocodile or some other crazy shit like that.
You are penetrating people all the time with your work. The entirety of your work involves penetration, sometimes for hours on end. Going inside people's bodies and doing shit that's painful or at the very least, uncomfortable.
I know you're overworked. Tired. Stressed. Maybe haven't had much time with your kids lately. Running late with clients. I won't make speculations about your sex life (although that's my specialty if you're ever looking for coaching!).
But please for the love of all that is good and holy...
Remember when you have someone in your chair, that you have a whole human being before you.
A complex mish-mash of bones, tissues, muscles, fascia, organs and also emotions, memories, neural pathways, past traumas, anxieties and lots of other stuff.
My unsolicited advice for you:
See if you can find ways to be with people's emotional or traumatic responses a little bit more compassionately. Skip the platitudes and inane chatter and learn about trauma and how it gets stored in the body. Read some stories about medical trauma. Learn about how to support people emotionally.
You don't have to become a f**king therapist, though.
Some simple reassuring words, spoken with empathy and presence, will go a loooong way.
"I understand this is hard / painful / uncomfortable for you, let me know if you need to pause for a minute. "
"Don't worry, it's totally natural to have this kind of response come up. What do you need right now?"
Just taking a deep breath yourself and letting go of your own impatience.
It is my personal belief that a small shift in your approach will make things more efficient in the long run.
PS. After receiving the honour of 90 minutes of your highly-skilled penetration, I paid you $4900 yesterday. I hope you're f**king happy.
This 'open letter' is slightly exaggerated for comic effect (and because I just can't help myself!) I'm generally respectful of dentists and grateful they exist. My dentist is actually pretty great, as far as dentists go. I just wish there was a bit more general awareness in the profession about certain things.
Lucky there are amazing dentists out there like my friend, Dr Fern White in Melbourne, who runs a dental clinic doing incredible things to bring a more holistic, human, gentle approach to dentistry - and teaches female dentists mind-body stuff. Yay Fern - we love you!
If you're interested to know more about my OTHER internal-orifice work (it's actually not as weird as it sounds and waaaaay more pleasant than any dentistry ever!) that's all here.