Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sex & the Doctor/Patient Relationship

 

I’ve been working on my “new patient” paperwork for evaluating a new doctor. I never assume that the doctor I am seeing will work as a primary physician until after I have an initial appointment with them. Unless they can treat me as a partner and equal in my own health, I won’t have anything to do with them.

Now, I haven’t had any real issues filling these out, but I’m glad that when the paperwork is more than 2 pages long they chose to mail it out early to give me a chance to fill it out (whereas it would not be filled out completely if I had had it at the time of my appointment — it’s 4 pages, plus pages to explain my issues).

But I came across a question that I have never seen on a new patient intake form before.  They want to know if I’ve had more than 4 sexual partners.

I understand that sexuality is an important part of one’s health. Letting your doctor know about your sexual activity (and its relative health or ill health, as well as how careful or how ignorant you are about protecting yourself from STDs) is important. It is also important for them to know your sexual orientation and where you are on the whole gender spectrum.

But, it is a subject difficult for many people. Women who have had over 4 sexual interactions in their lives are told by our society that we are “dirty sluts” or “skanks.” It doesn’t bug me, but I could see some female patients avoiding the question for fear of being judged by the doctor. And that’s even BEFORE considering whether one should confide their sexual orientation, thoughts on polyamory/open relationships, transsexualism or any of thousands other issues that people fear to confide to anyone — let alone a medical professional who is supposed to have strict ethics.

It’s the specific number that bugs me. Who chooses that line in the sand? I know that “on an average” most heterosexual women have 4-5 sexual partners in their lives and most heterosexual men have maybe 6-8. I’ve never lied about the fact that my numbers are more than 10x the average for a heterosexual woman (which may be a surprise to one of my old boyfriends who found me on Facebook some months ago………I think I was still somewhere in the single digits when I was with him). But I can see some heterosexual woman (or even bisexual, not so sure about lesbians) looking at that and saying to themselves: “Oh, I’ve had 6. I must be a slut!!”

We are so very quick to judge ourselves worse than anyone else.

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Categories: Body Health, Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“In this world, nothing is binary, except Death & taxes”

OK, so I took some serious liberties paraphrasing from Ben’s original quote. However, it doesn’t make my title any less true.

As with many of my posts, this one is probably going to piss off people on both sides of the political spectrum. Again, just because it pisses you off, doesn’t mean that what I am saying is false.

I have a rather eclectic group of individuals among my Facebook friends.  The ONLY groups I refuse to accept a friend request from are those either on the Alt-Right or on the (not media named, but essentially means the same kind of people but on the opposite end of the spectrum) Alt-Left.

I’ll be just as blunt with my reasons for refusing them as I am with any other subject. It’s very simple — they are zealots / extremists / fanatics — and I will have absolutely NONE of those who are on the fringe if EITHER the Left OR the Right.

Just as an aside: I FIRMLY disagree with Thesaurus.com’s inclusion of the word ‘activist’ in their synonyms for each of the red, underlined words in the above paragraph!

Sadly, I believe that because the definition of activist includes the word vigorous, that somehow means that vigorous is exactly the same as ardor or fervor for a zealot; exactly the same as farthest from the middle or farthest removed from the ordinary or average for an extremist; or exactly the same as an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal for a fanatic. I believe that if you have absolutely ANY analytical ability you can see that the above is nowhere NEAR exactly the same.

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Too Damned Stubborn To Stop

There is a lot of discussion of resiliency among people in therapy. Why? Probably because they’ve heard their therapist say something about it, and to quote Inigo Montoya (Princess Bride) “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

There are people who use this word to describe people in other classes. For some, the actions and choices of the rich define what they think resilience is.  On the other hand, there are quite a few professionals (not necessarily all involved in psychology) using the word as a goal for the poor, because if they can “just be resilient” then life will be all unicorns, rainbows and butterflies.

Guess what, people? It ain’t that way in the real world.

  1. There are resilient and not-so-resilient people in all economic classes. Neither your economic status nor your relative financial success/failure defines your ability to be resilient.
  2. To quote the American Psychological Association (APA) Psychology Help Center’s brochure on “The Road To Resilience” resilience is defined as:
    “Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.”

Let me say this loudly:

The ability to persist
IS NOT
being resilient!

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Categories: Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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