Tales from the Tail — Do Doctors Ask the Right Questions About Sexual History?
ST, a PhD student, was studying at his favorite coffee shop when he made eye contact with an old high school boy friend. Not a prior fling. A friend who happened to be a boy. They rekindled the friendship rather quickly and both realized they had a similar same-sex attraction. They made plans to meet back in Philadelphia for the Thanksgiving holiday and this came to fruition the Friday post-turkey day. The night was magical — starting at Woody’s Club, dancing till 4am, and with the fire burning strong, they decided to take it to a local Philly bathhouse for an early morning rendezvous. Passionate sex ensued, with ST fully taking his friend’s cock and loving every minute of it. That, combined with the atmosphere, made for one hell of an orgasm.
The subsequent day, another courting occurred — despite their massive hangovers — and ST’s mouth opened wide 😳. Now sober, he actually caught a glimpse of his friend’s enormous 🍆. His first thought was, “Fuck! How did I take all that last night?” They proceeded into foreplay, but after merely a few minutes, ST wanted him inside. With his hole all wet and just the tip now entered, ST sat further on him and although it was painful, he didn’t seem to mind. Pumping ensued and ST could feel how much enjoyment his friend was experiencing. As he was relocating his hands for a more receiving position, they immediately became wet, making finger prints on the sheets, and he screamed “STOP!” The lights came on to expose a disastrous sight — bloody sheets — which not only ruined the intimacy, but clearly fractured an element of the relationship. The “evidence” was cleaned and ST departed first to the bathroom and subsequently to his home. He was finally able to attempt a selfie of his 🍑 and self-diagnosed himself with a hemorrhoid and skin tag. Over the subsequent weeks, he locally managed the anal issue with steroid creams, baths, and such, but without any real improvements, he decided to see the Chair of colorectal surgery at one of Manhattan’s prominent institutions.
Without being asked any probing questions about sexuality, anal intercourse, or anything associated with ST’s lifestyle or at least the cause of his new little anal friend, he was examined by a plethora of physicians-in-training, 👀 at his ass in the air (talk about fucking humiliating!). To boot, in the Chair’s office, after ST’s pants were up, they spoke of the anal issue and the icing on the cake was his final comment: “time will heal this for sure, but why would you care how this aesthetically looks — it’s just your ass.” At that point, ST grabbed his belongs and proceeded to walk out, without looking back, even though the doctor kept saying, “Did I say something wrong?”. Googling around, he stumbled upon Bespoke Surgical and was ecstatic to find that we provided unbiased, non-judgmental healthcare that was geared directly at the LGBTQ+ community, understanding all that surrounds anal play. And in case you were wondering, clearly the bloody terror must have scared off his old high school friend because since then, he has become a 👻.
ST’s story, and many others that are told within the walls of my office, have so many similarities (but for sure different punchlines). Yet the common thread is the lack of sensitivities towards our community, mostly stemming from physicians at large. After hearing calamity after calamity, I felt the best way to achieve overall change on this matter was through many ways of educating — both clients and physicians, respectively. One such educational modality is through surveys and at Bespoke Surgical, we were interested in seeing what patients were being asked by their doctors. So we decided to conduct a survey, looking at Americans of all sexual identities to see how they compare. We asked a number of questions that related in particular to the LGBTQ+ community because it is often a struggle to get the same quality of healthcare as the rest of the population.
Are Physicians Asking Patients, and vice-versa, the Right Questions About Their Sexual History?
To get the best care, a patient, not only has to be comfortable with their physician, but the doctor has to be able to relate with the patient. While questions about a patient’s sexual history may be uncomfortable (for either party), it’s important to know their habits and what they’re into. Without judgement, it’s a fact that your sexual habits play a role in how you should be treated. If you’re into anal, BDSM, toy play, or even just vanilla sex, having this knowledge will allow your doctor to give you the right assessment and options for management and overall risk adjustment.
How important is it to have a doctor with the same sexual identity as you?
We told respondents to rate that importance on a scale of 1–10, with 10 being very important. We found that, in general, most people want a physician with the same sexual identity as them. But, LGB individuals were 20% — 30% more likely than straight respondents to answer with a 9 or a 10. It’s clear that being able to relate to your doctor is important to our community.
Has your doctor talked to you about some of the most important healthcare topics for the LGBTQ+ community: HPV/Guardasil, anal pap smears, PrEP/Truvada, or prior STD exposure?
What we found is that between 41% — 47% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual respondents hadn’t be asked about any of them. While that was a better rate than straight respondents, it’s still too high of a number. Doctors need to be asking about these, especially if they know their patient is LGBTQ+.
Overall, we found that doctors were not asking their patients enough or the appropriate questions about their sexual history. At Bespoke Surgical, we want to not only shed light on these major community issues, but also alter the course to a more accepting universe, specifically as it pertains to LGBTQ+ healthcare. It’s our goal to arm both patients and physicians with the questions and topics to ponder, discuss, assess, and most importantly, impact-fully change; people should achieve whatever outcomes they desire. It is our responsibility to be instrumental on the solution. Sexual identity, regardless of one’s ultimate acts to achieve desires, need not be judged or have bias placed in any way, shape, or form. As in ST’s storyline above, how dare any professional ever make a comment towards one’s true self-analysis and/or their privatized sexual individuality or cause for concern.
To all who are listening, the 🍑 goes beyond its defecation function and serves as a major sexual orifice of preference for many. Get fucking used to it! Study it. Learn it. Use it. Bespoke Surgical is here for everyone. We will make it happen!