When the Ethical Collides with the Physical

One of the most common questions I get from readers who are frustrated with the whole dating scene is, “Other than bars or the internet, how the hell do you meet people these days?!?”  My answer?  Stop stressing about meeting someone and stop “looking”; you meet potential dates when you least expect it in the least likely places.

Don’t buy it?  Well check this out. A while back I went to the dentist for a cleaning, and as luck would have it, my hygienist was pretty smokin’.  We began flirting with each other right from Jump Street.  While she was grinding on my teeth, I was strategizing how to make the transition from patient to potential date.  After all, she did already have her hand in my mouth which is a form of foreplay isn’t it?

But because a good opportunity didn’t really present itself, I figured I’d worry about it later and just left.  But then I get a voice mail later in the day from the hygienist’s co-worker telling me that she was talking about me when I left, was wondering if I was single, and if I was interested to give her a call.  Pleasantly surprised because the hard work was done for me, I called back.

To make a long story short, the hygienist and I started dating, and one night we talked about how funny it was how we met, etc.  But after thinking about it some more, I realized she learned a lot about me from seeing my patient chart, which in the medical world, is pretty unethical, and in some cases when you release patient information to others, it’s illegal.  Now I didn’t have anything to hide in my chart, and its actually kinda flattering that she was interested enough about me to look, but what if I was some dude who WOULD get pissed off at someone checking out my chart to get a date?

So exactly where does your physical attraction to someone trump ethics?  Sure, anything worth having is worth a little risk, but it’s amazing that someone would be willing to risk her career because she’s interested in someone.  The hygienist has a really cool boss, so he would never care if he knew she did it, but not everyone is so lucky.  I personally know firemen and paramedics who have been disciplined and even fired for getting hot patients’ phone numbers from their ambulance reports and contacting them afterward.  I know cops who saw a hot chick on the road and ran their license plates to find out about them.  And don’t even get me started on lawyers who date their clients.  Kinda gives new meaning to being screwed by your lawyer, doesn’t it?

Certainly some people who do the chart-peeking thing because they don’t know it’s wrong, but the rest probably do it because they feel it’s worth the risk, especially if you feel chemistry or a connection with the person.  I’m not condoning it, of course; let your conscience be your guide.  But take a little risk and you might land yourself a hot hygienist too.  It gives a whole new meaning to “gettin’ a little oral” doesn’t it?

You can hear more on the whole ethical vs. physical debate on my “Fireman & the Shrink” podcast by clicking here.

You can find out more about Jon at www.jonibrahim.com and make sure to check out his podcast “The Fireman & the Shrink” and all the other cool sex stuff at NBC’s Better Sex page at www.nbc5.com/bettersex.  You can email Jon at sex911@nbc5.com

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2 Responses to When the Ethical Collides with the Physical

  1. California Girl says:

    Hope you had a super 4th, Firedude.

    I agree that going into a person’s patient records to get a home phone number might bring trouble across the board, no matter what the profession of the would-be romantic.

    I also can see why firefighters, paramedics and cops would be held to a higher standard than a dental hygienist. The first three are public servants who respond to help people in distress. The hygienist works at a business that clients choose to visit. And there’s usually none of the danger, trauma or other conditions involved which might make the situation more sensitive or the people more vulnerable.

    If superiors have a problem with people accessing confidential information in the pursuit of love or sex, seems like a good idea just to hand out business cards and invite people to call you if they “have any questions” or need something you’d be happy to provide.

  2. Jon Ibrahim says:

    Hey Cali. Hope you had a good 4th too!

    Yes it’s true people in emergency services are held to a higher standard than others. The last thing a car accident victim, who feels pretty vulnarable at the time, needs is to feel even more violated by a fireman looking through her chart to get a date, especially since we gather information from them such as when their last period was, are they are birth control, etc. And yes, even though a hygienist is a more casual situation, your dental charts still show pretty personal information such as medications you’re taking. If you’re on depression meds or anti-anxiety meds, that might not be something you want a potential date to know right off the bat.

    I like the business card idea, especially in situations like that. It makes it look more subtle. After all, when you meet someone in a bar, for example and you hand out your business card, you know damn well you’re not giving it for business. You’re giving it for social reasons in hopes she’ll call you–so you can then get down to business 🙂

    Thanks, as always, for the comment!!!

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