This is where I speculate on the speculum and get intimate with the misunderstandings and blunders during a visit to a male gynecologist.
Why would a man in his mind become a gynaecologist? Why would a woman ever choose to go to a male gynaecologist in the first place? And would a guy ever go to a female urologist to get his deep south checked?
I have always questioned men’s motives for choosing gynaecology as a profession. Scenes of male doctors talking about “freaky fannies” didn’t help dispel my lingering suspicion that some male docs have something other than a mere clinical interest in the V before the Monologue.
With a bunch of these thoughts tumbling in my mind, I recently ‘chose’ to go to a male gynaecologist. From the moment I fixed the appointment I became a nervous wreck, and every time the thought crossed my mind, I heard the needle scrape off the record playing in my head.
On the day I switched to my hysterical laughter mode – a defence mechanism which has got me through many a tough time – a state of mental frenzy, when all rationality is replaced by re-runs of my favourite stand up comedies. So effective is this method that as I was polishing my family jewel (as you do for the ever dreaded yearly appointment), I was seriously tempted to wear my ‘Cute Beaver’ t-shirt that sports a toothy rodent as a picture.
I finally got to the clinic with a supporting friend in tow. In the waiting room we found a group of ladies chatting away as if they were simply sneaking a cigarette break and a coffee. How could they be so unperturbed knowing that they were about to expose their insides to a complete stranger of the opposite sex?
When we were finally called in, without much introductions the doc asked my friend if she’s active. Since my friend is a fitness devotee, and looks like pure muscle on legs, I almost gagged at the obviousness of his question. “Of course,” she said, “I exercise regularly.” He gave her a weird look until we finally realised that he was referring to her sex life!
He then asked her to remove ONLY her panties. I couldn’t help but wonder how she would remove her panties without removing her jeans but, she knew what he meant so she briskly removed everything and hopped on to the couch. As she lay there, stark naked and staring at the ceiling, the doc handed her a square paper napkin to cover her ‘private part’. Clearly this is his attempt to make his patients feel a little more comfortable but, please, let it be universally known that, a 20cm by 20cm piece of paper does not do the trick.
Then came the huge circular spotlight strategically pointed towards the sacred spot. By now I was mentally out the door, in my car, driving off at full speed towards the proverbial horizon, but, instead I just sat there with my eyeballs popping out of their sockets. Unfortunately this made my friend so nervous that no amount of jelly could make her experience painless. As hard as she tried not to discourage me, her distressed facial expressions made me want to slap the doctor into another profession.
Her inspection over, it was now my turn. “How heavy are you?” he said, referring to my periods, but as I opened my mouth to answer, I choked and wondered ‘do I answer in ounces? cubic centimetres? Pad changes perhaps?’
I hopped on to the couch almost breaking a hip in the process, and as my brain went into overdrive I was introduced to the square paper napkin, the alien light, the jelly soaked speculum, fingers, and an experience to write about.
The parting conversation focused on the dangers of over-cleaning down under. Some of the words used included ‘gently,’ ‘shower head’ and ‘yogurt’.
Ordeal over, I still wonder – are doctors trained not to have dirty thoughts while at work? If so, then how do they then turn them back on when they go home to their partners?