I like to think I'm as worldly as the next guy.
I’ve read "Playboy" and even looked
at the pictures. I've tuned in with amazed curiosity
to those t.v. tabloids. But deep down, I think
I'm a Victorian prude kind of fellow. I think
I'd be much more comfortable if sex was a secret
of married bedrooms rather than front page news.
Unfortunately, that is not the world I live in,
nor the world I work in.
A man with chest pain, in the throes of a heart
attack, tells me loudly, "it started when
I was making love." And he uses more colloquial
slang then "making love." He could have
related that part of his medical history in a
whisper, rather than as an announcement to everyone
in the E.R., including the ten year old in the
People nowadays are just too too proud of their
sexual shenanigans, even if they're sick or dying
because of it.
Recently a young man came in, accompanied by
his "partner," with multiple cuts on
his feet. He'd put them through a window during
some vigorous sex play at home. Now accidents
do happen but this couple was very boisterous
about their prowess. They were hugging and kissing
while I prepared to sew him up. We kept the curtain
open at his bedside in fear they were contemplating
consummating their romantic athletics on the E.R.
I've also seen lots of injuries to genitalia
incurred during the "act." Minor vaginal
tears are common but heal well if the patient
will only allow themselves a little respite. Once
I had a man come in holding his groin in great
pain. "I fell off," he told me. And
he wasn't talking about falling off any ladder.
He had bent his penis backwards and torn the "corpus
Stuck foreign bodies are also common ED problems
- among men and women, straight and gay. Now,
we all know about the standard battery powered
devices and replica genitalia. But my god, fruit
and sports equipment?
As doctors, we’re used to seeing those most
intimate of areas during physical exams. But how
complicated is it to put on a hospital gown? How
many times have you walked into an exam room with
someone sitting there with their hospital gown
on backwards - that is, open to the front - with
all their attributes hanging out – and not a care
in the world. I know patients expect that doctors
have "seen it all," but still, where
did public modesty go?
These are just a few examples of "sex in
the E.R." Perhaps Oprah will read this column
and I can get my fifteen minutes of fame as one
of a panel of doctors talking about it all. And
you know you'll be watching, awaiting those titillating