Speculum: A Cautionary Tale

Janie and I had our physicals a few weeks ago and, just to be efficient, they were back to back. We didn’t think much of being in the same room together during one another’s exam, but really only because we didn’t give it enough though beforehand. Our general physician also does our annual exams, those of the lady variety. We learned pretty quickly that next year we’re definitely not going to be in the room together for that. In fact, we’ll have separate appointments on different days, maybe several weeks apart just to be safe.

I was the first in the stirrups and just as we were about to begin he started digging through his speculum drawer, like it was a full of candy and he just couldn’t find his favorite kind. He started mumbling about sizes and I had no idea what he meant because every prior gynecological exam experience always seemed to offer a one-size fits all speculum. At the same time, all my prior gynecological exams also seemed to be opportunities for the doctors to do something totally fucking insane, like take that opportunity to discuss my parents opinions of my sexuality or, you know, step out in the middle of everything to take a call from a wife.

He pulled out a couple of options and offered them to me, asking “Oh, hey, what size is your vagina?” and before my look of panic and confusion could sear into his soul, he turned to Janie and said, “I SHOULD PROBABLY ASK YOU.” Then they communicated in a series of gang signs before I spontaneously combusted, leaving only tiny shreds of my dignity on the exam table that were quickly swept into a garbage can. Just then, Janie fell into a well and when our doctor’s staff lowered a rescue searcher down to help her out, she requested some juice and to be left alone because, despite the dark and the unknown in which she was submerged, it was somehow more comfortable than sitting in the doctor’s office discussing the size of her wife’s vagina. To this day, anyone visiting the building where our doctor has his office can hear Janie’s cries for another juice box and, this time, maybe some french fries, too.


  1. May 31, 2009

    Last time I was at the doctor they had to look around in the different examining rooms for a longer speculum. I had no idea they came in different sizes either.

  2. May 31, 2009

    I made it to stirrups . . . I am not brave enough to continue.

  3. June 2, 2009

    Gee, I’ve never been offered size options either? How do people know? Is there a device — some sort of guage? And, PS: your doctor sounds like a bit of a tool

  4. June 2, 2009

    my doctor is one of my longest-standing and bestest friends. he advised me last year that field evidence now suggests that prostate-poking is no longer providing useful information on prostate health. I’m pretty sure he just didn’t want to have to hand me a hot dog at the bar b q after sinking a digit to the knuckle in my manhole.

  5. June 3, 2009

    my god that sounds like a horrible experience, was he serious when he asked janie about the “size”? that’s just fucked up.

    i’ve always asked for the smallest b/c it’s such a horrible, horrible experience. then they say “be calm” and i’m like you are sticking a cold hard metal thing into my special place and there is no way i can be calm about it. i did have an amazing lady doctor many, many years ago that would warm it up for me.

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