Tag Archives: intercourse

One Radfem’s Experience with Gynecology

This is just an experience babble, because I feel like I have to get it out.  Not much political in here, so if you dun like personal stuff feel free to skip this.  Or if you do, feel free to share your experiences with gynos.   I literally have hundreds of drafts to publish, so expect a real(ish) post sometime this week.

I knew things were going to be bad from the get-go.  I was prepared to be lectured on how I just needed to try a different pill, and find the one that’s “right for me.”  Still, I hoped that maybe, at least, she had women who were going off the pill (probably to try and conceive) and came in because their periods were way off or their body started freaking out.

Just the nurse asking the basic questions confirmed that my pessimism was well-earned.

“Are you sexually active?”

“Yes, but I don’t have intercourse.”

She looked at me like I had grown a second head. “…Do you have oral sex?”

“Well, I don’t go down on him.”

“So, ‘no,’ you aren’t then.”

“…”

Can you say, erasure of my lived orgasms experience?  Cunnilingus, of course, does not count as sex, unlike blowjobs.  So, apparently, I’m abstinent.  This isn’t news to me, since men like Hugo and Glen had been telling me I am.  It should make me more upset than it does, to know that the love making I have doesn’t count for anything at all, just because a dick doesn’t get shoved somewhere.  The implications for lesbians are obvious.   I swear, if I’m ever forced to go to a gyno again, I’m going to ask if having anal sex makes me as sexually active…when it’s with a strap-on and my male partner receiving.

I explained why I came in to the nurse: My last period before I came to the doctor that had taken around 50 days to come, and the one before that just 30 days- what scared me was it seemed to be getting worse, not better.  At the time of the appointment, I hadn’t had a period in over 80 days, and I knew stressing about it would only make it worse, so I decided get a doctor’s opinion.   I said I suspected it was due to me coming off the pill,  since the first few weeks off it threw my body into chaos.   She responded noncommittally, telling me the doctor would be in soon.  The urine test came back negative for pregnancy,  which wasn’t a huge surprise since I hadn’t had intercourse.

I repeated my suspicions to the doctor.  Unsurprisingly, she promptly dismissed them.  I should have no problems going off the pill, it wouldn’t throw my body off at all and my periods should be back to normal immediately.  To try and convince her that coming off the pill had a huge impact on my body, I told her about the month long depression after the withdrawal period and about my breast-yup, just one-lactating and becoming sore and inflamed.  (I now think this was a plugged duct, since after I “expressed” some of whatever the hell was coming out, it started to heal and feel better.)

She proceeded to explain to me, as if I had never had a period, that some women suffer from “premenstrual syndrome,” aka PMS, which could cause those things.   (Who the hell goes through a PMS-induced funk for four weeks?)

And of course, the pill had probably been covering up my extreme PMS, and the best thing to do would be for me to go back on the pill to avoid it again.  I tried to explain that I had never lactated or had sore breasts even before I went on the pill, or before my latest period.   Of course, that was ignored, and she suggested instead that maybe I had PMDD, which, of course, would be treated by the pill.

She then went on to tell me I should go back on it, to regulate my periods.  I told her that I didn’t want to “regulate” my periods, I wasn’t going to take hormones and raise my risk of stroke for such a small reason, and reemphasized that I did not want to be on the pill.

As a doctor, she should know and explain to the patient there is a difference between a period and the withdrawal bleeding experienced when stopping hormonal contraceptives.

When I told her about going off the pill, she asked why I would do such a thing.  I said my partner and I weren’t going to have intercourse anymore, so there wasn’t much of a point.  I had health reasons, too: , having migraine headaches makes one four times more likely to suffer a stroke, and I have those probably once or twice a month.  The pill also increases the risk of stroke significantly, and I don’t want to up my risks of stroke for no reason.

Her response?

You’re more likely to have a stroke due to pregnancy than from being on the pill.

…dfjsdlfj.  Hey, doc, you remember where I told you I’m not having intercourse?  And even if I was, you heard of condoms?  Aren’t doctors supposed to look out for our health, and weigh the risks and benefits of the drugs they prescribe?  Oh sorry, I forgot this was women’s health, which means the goal is to make it as non-consequential as possible for a man to stick his dick in you, or deal with the consequences of him doing that.

When the “regulate your [unruly] periods/PMS/avoid pregnacy” approach didn’t work, she shifted gears.

It was “dangerous” for me to have irregular periods, because it could mean I have an estrogen deficiency, which would mean I could suffer from osteoporosis sooner in life.  And guess what I might do, to ensure that I wouldn’t suffer from osteoporosis early in life?   I should be on the pill to ensure I would develop “healthily.”  (No, she didn’t say anything about testing my hormones before recommending I get on the pill).

Eventually, she gave up on converting me to pillitute, and said I could change now for the exam.  I told her I didn’t want a pap smear.  She told me they were needed just to check for STDs.  Well, I wasn’t “sexually active” so that wasn’t a problem-the issue seemed settled to me.

So, after our one-on-one, I changed into the paper thing, took off my pants, got on the table, and laid down.  The doctor and nurse came in. I’m not sure why the nurse was there, she didn’t do anything the whole time.  Now I think she was there to hold me down in case I fought back.

She springs it on me we’re going to do the pap smear.  I said I don’t want to (again).  Couldn’t we not do it.  She said we had to, to see if anything was “wrong.”  She didn’t explain what she might find that way, or what STD might cause a missed period.  Just that I “had to” have one.

I don’t think I said anything, so she started examining my vulva.   At least she warned me before she inserted the speculum, I guess.  I started crying at this point.

She told me if I relaxed it wouldn’t hurt.  Relax, relax, relax.  It’s going to hurt if you’re tense.  She just kept saying to relax.

I cried and screamed the whole time.  I honestly wish I had flashbacked, or dissociated, but I didn’t.

The  finger exam was next.  I had done that before with no problem, because my last gynecologist had been really kind.  I told her I would be okay with that, as long as she just used one finger.

Less than a minute in, she told me she was inserting a second.  It wasn’t a question.

After being allowed to dress myself, she tells me I have to go get blood drawn to test my TSH, LH, estrogen and prolactin levels, which makes perfect sense to me the.  I go the checkout and get the prescreiption for getting the testing done.

Apparently she thinks I’m too dumb to know what the word “hirsutism” means or just too dumb to google it, becuase she put that as a symptom on the sheet, next to amenhorea.   It actually is a legit condition, and a sign of problems-I’m not denying that.

What pisses me off is that she didn’t bring it up to me during the exam-if you think there’s something wrong with me or a symptom that something is off, I have the right to know.  It’s my goddamn body.  But I guess she thought I might get uppity.

I feel like I was raped all over again, but now it’s almost worse.  Because of who I am now, I can’t just write it off as what sex is normally like.  I enjoyed sex so much, and now I can’t.  I feel like everything people say about radical feminists is true: I’m a prude, that I just need to be “taught” how to have sex, I’m sexually dysfunctional and just plain fucked up.

*Do lesbians even really go to gynos?  STDs, cervical cancer, pregnancy, and birth control are pretty much straight-women exclusive.  I suggest they just rename gynos to “birth control dealers” and be done with it.

Women = Holes

After FCMs post on neovaginas, I feel more horrified than ever at what men think of women. Even more so after doing some research of my own, in an attempt to find a least one medical diagram that shows the vagina as closed. (I couldn’t find one.) But the more I think about it, the more it all fits together.  There are so many things that reflect the belief of vaginas as holes, and I’m slowly putting the pieces together from everything.

Tampons

I always thought I was a freak, because I couldn’t get a tampon in or even a finger. I imagined that normal vaginas (not mine) were essentially gaping holes in women’s crotches. That women just walked around with them open, 24/7.  Well, I looked up some advice given to women who have trouble using tampons-and the girls were just told to keep trying, squat, or that they just aren’t used to it yet.

Now, I think the difference might not be my vagina, but my determination to use a tampon-which is nil.  My theory is that the reason most women use tampons, instead of pads, is because menstrual blood is considered yucky (this way you don’t have to see it till you pull the tampon out), because you can still wear thongs, and it hides a bodily function.  It’s possible my vagina is just more anti-penetration than other women’s (or it’s genetic, my mom can’t use them either), but considering I’ve never had difficulty with nigel fingering me when I’m aroused, if I wanted to, I kinda doubt this is the case.  Tampons desensitize and train women for dealing with the discomfort and pain that comes with pleasing of men and being feminine.

Fingering, Men’s Ideas about Women’s Sexuality & Porn

Speaking of penetration-how many women really masturbate using dick-like objects?  I’ve always just touched my clit, and nothing more.  But of course, dudes fantasize about women fucking themselves with their fingers or whatever objects are around.  My ex-boyfriend always used to say, “It’s okay to enjoy sex, clits are the only organ humans have that are purely for sexual pleasure.”  But did he ever touch it, for anything other than “foreplay”?  Fuck no he didn’t.  Touching my clit was just leading up to the “main act”-since we weren’t having intercourse, this was fingering me.   And when I say fingering me, I don’t mean he touched my clit too during it or used his whole hand against my vulva.  Nope, just the ol’ in-and-out of fucking.  Needless to say I never had an orgasm with him (although that would be news to him).

His terrible bedroom skills aside, this situation still seemed so weird to me.  He clearly knows that the clitoris exists, and he touched it, so he clearly knew where it was and that it feels good for me to be touched there.  And yet, he never touched it except in the foreplay before fingering me.  Why?  Because women have holes that need to be stretched and filled by dicks. The vagina is the central part of our sexuality, as men see it. (And because we’re taught the male perspective, women see it this way too.)  I’ve never even heard of a man touching a woman’s bits without fingering her.  If a man doesn’t have intercourse with a girl, or she doesn’t want to go that far and the dude is a Nice Guy™, it’s blowjobs and fingering.  I mean, even gay men get that just being fucked is boring-that’s why they have reach arounds.

Can you tell which are medical models and which are sex toys?*

But of course, men’s asses are closed.  Gay men who bottom are not asked to have their asses pryed open annually to ensure their health.  Men are also not paid $450 in exchange for medical students getting to use their asses to practice prostate exams on.**  I couldn’t even find a model dummy that helped students learn how to perform prostate exams or STD tests for men.  (Someone should alert the MRAs of this reverse sexism.)

Women’s asses, on the other hand, are now just as open as  our vaginas.  In porn, men will repeatedly pull out of vaginas and asses, and the camera will focus on the “gaping” of it.  How it remains open because of being fucked repeatedly.  The man will enter again, fuck, and then pull out.  Or just keep entering and exiting.  And just leave their dick outside of the “hole.”  I’ve seen quite a bit of both gay and straight porn, and I rarely saw this in the gay stuff, and if it was there, it was in the more BDSM kinda shit.  For facials, women often leave their mouths open as well.  Our vaginas aren’t the only holes we have any more—now we have three.

Another common thing in porn is inserting various objects into a woman-not just dildos, but coke bottles, pool cues, and entire fists.   For my FTM ex, before he got a strap on dick, the goal of sex was basically to see how many fingers he could fit inside of my vagina or my ass.  Now, I’m horrified that my body could adapt to that-because even just two fingers feel uncomfortable, and anything back there is a hell no.  I don’t understand how I possibly survived his fist being in there.

Our Personalities & Socialization

The entire construction of woman, as men have created it, is based on vaginas being holes, and women being only vaginas.  This is sorta like what Dworkin addressed in “The Root Cause,” but if I think the idea of male as the positive and female as the negative needs to be connected to how men see sex.  Women are gaps, spaces, and some sort of abyss.  Our entire personalities and lives are constructed around this.  Without PIV, or without a man, women often feel empty and pointless.  And we’re told our lives are pointless without men, thanks to fairytales, porn, and the comments of others about lesbians, and celibate or single women.  Our vaginas and lives must be filled by man.  Or at least other people, and never ourselves.

I wish I could say more about this, but I’m having a lot of trouble finding the words to express what I mean by this.  Hopefully I’ve gotten it across even though I’m lacking on detail and clarity.

Rape

Everytime I think of how men see vaginas, and by extention women, I get an image in my head I just can’t get rid of.  A woman, just sleeping. And a dude thinking that her vagina is gaping. So he does what all dudes do to any hole, gay or straight-he sticks his dick in it. And it’s not rape to him or anyone else, because she has a hole.  And vaginas are always open and ready for sex.  Women are always open.  We’re always “consenting” because our sex organs are always open for fucking.  Men have to get hard.  But women don’t necessarily have to get wet for intercourse to happen.  Men invented lubrication for this purpose.

I’m sure my experience is a common one.  A man is attempting to fuck, or finger, a woman.  When it doesn’t go in easily, what do men do?  They keep pushing, or they tell the woman to just relax.  Or, if they have a condition such as vaginismus, the woman receives “treatment,” where she dilates her vagina using dildos until it can accommodate a penis.  Or the most recent method-botox.  If you’re born without a vagina, or with one too short for a dick, doctors can make one.  (More fucked up: In the FAQ, pretty much every question is asked about creating one with surgery, except can I orgasm with this vagina?)  Or if you’re having a kid, you can have a c-section for “vaginal preservation,” so your hole isn’t too big for him to fuck anymore.

Well lookie here, that cervix thing was pretty easy to find, wasn't it? Fyi, this is a medical model. That students use to learn how to give gyno exams. Yikes.

*I made it black and white to emphasize that they have the same fucking structure.  The only real difference is the porn tan and color detail given to the sex toy one.  Color is available here.

**Credit for the inspiration for this sentence goes to the quote in the article about modeling for medical students, from sex educator/female-empowerer: “I  provide a vagina and breasts to medical students learning to do their first pelvic and breast exams.”  She doesn’t provide feedback so doctors can know when something hurts a patient or how to make them comfortable—she just provides a vagina and breasts.

Also I hate the Vagina Monologues, seriously.  Because really, the idea that vaginas are the essence of women is so very cliché.

Get this shit outta my system

Lately, I’ve been depressed.  Not the sort I’m used to, that comes after recovering new memories or thinking about men and quickly turns into a healthy rage.  It’s not even like I had before, where I felt too hideous to go outside or forced myself into dieting/starving.  But a total “blah” feeling.   I can’t think of anything coinciding with the beginning of this mood change except me going off the pill.

Here’s a timeline of the past few weeks:

Week 1 off the pill (or when I would be on the placebos): Happier than I had been for quite a while.   With my withdrawal bleeding/artificial period came a swollen left nipple and a bump under it.  Lactated some from that boob for the first time ever.

Week 2: Nipple problem went away right after my period ended.  Discharge and my wetness/ejaculate is definitely different in texture, consistency and taste.  Mood goes up and down.  Told my nigel if this continues I might just go back on the pill, because I’m so sick of it.

Week 3: Total down.  Maybe felt happy once this week.  Haven’t wanted to play games, read blogs, or do anything.  I try and have sex in an attempt to feel normal or good.  Nigel notices I’m pushing myself into sex in the hopes I’ll enjoy it, return to normal or feel something.  (I did that a lot when we first started dating because I assumed that was all he wanted and I wanted him to stick around.)  Now he refuses to do anything with me for at least a few weeks, no matter what I say I want.  Which I think is honestly the best thing to do, but I hate that I’m so desperate to feel anything I’ll push myself into things.

Week 4 (now): Don’t want to see nigel, my parents, or anybody  (not even my pets).  Not reading any books or blogs, playing any games, enjoying music, or drawing much (even tho I just got my wacom tablet, ffs).  Can’t remember the last time I laughed, or what I last talked to nigel about.  Sleeping when not at work.  Seem to be getting worse.

I’m pissed off (well, “mildy irritated” is more accurate considering my mood problem now) about no one requiring drug companies to do studies on and explain/warn about the side effects of going OFF a certain medication.  Did anyone ever tell me that missing my cymbalta by a few  hours would render me nonfunctional for the rest of the day?  When I say “nonfunctional,” I dun mean emotionally like I am now-I mean I could not walk in a straight line.  Needless to say I wouldn’t be surprised if this WAS all the result of coming off the pill and no one talked about it.  (Semi-related: I would not be having these problems at all if I weren’t born female, because there would be no need/pressure for me to be on hormonal birth control.)

I’m fighting with myself now.   A very large part of me wants to try taking the pill every other day and seeing if my depression goes away or lightens, so that I can know its the pill.  But another part of me is scared shitless that’ll make my moods fuck up worse, not to mention I want to keep that shit out of my system permanently.

I really have no idea what to do.  I’m already on antidepressants for my PTSD-as much as you can take of the type I’m on (120mg a day of Cymbalta). I’m thiking about going to my shrink to try and change to different ones, but it’s quite likely changing antidepressants (and defs going off cymbalta) will fuck me up more.  I just want to be myself again.  Sorry for this pathetic excuse for a post, but not wanting to do anything means I don’t even want to write.

TL;DR: The pill is dangerous and I want to be off of it, but going off it seems to be making my life a living hell.  (Or something else is, but I have no idea what else it could be.) What the fuck should I do?  Will I just have to wait this out?

I’d rather have intercourse than suck dick.

Yup.  Really.  From what my lover has told of the douchebags discussing their sexual conquests/rapes at his school, men generally prefer blowjobs to intercourse. 

What?  I don’t understand that at all.  The feeling of flesh against flesh is the best part of making love to me, and while I enjoy my lover going down on me, I prefer to be on an equal level and very close.  (symbolism matters!)  Most blowjobs, too, are done with the man sitting on a chair/couch and a woman sitting on the floor or him standing and her on her knees.  Yikes.  Not even on an equal plane.

The thing is, with intercourse…men can believe women enjoy it, because we’re being touched too.  For some women at least, I’d think intercourse causes considerable amounts of pleasure, especially when the guy doesn’t act like his dick is a hammer.

Because blowjobs are generally one sided, he knows she’s getting jack shit down there.  He’s using her sexually and she’s not even getting physical pleasure out of it.  Any “pleasure” she might get is pride and happiness at pleasing him, showing she’s willing to serve.  Not that most women enjoy intercourse, but men can at least imagine they do.  (Except as conceptualized in deep throat, which provides a rationalization for making a woman gag.)  And as many men and pornographers point out, you can’t speak or argue with a dick in your mouth.

I always thought it was weird that in pornography, “foreplay” (hate this word, assumes that everything except intercourse is just a warmup)  is generally the woman going down on the guy?  Wtf?  That doesn’t make any goddamn sense, since most women don’t orgasm from intercourse.  And if you’re going to have it, shouldn’t you be doing something for her before it?  I sure wouldn’t get turned on enough for intercourse by that.  But of course, sex, especially in pornography, is for the man, and he gets off on the power-trip.

As Dworkin said, intercourse is synonomous with violation.  You fuck someone, you nail them, you screw them-all incredibly violent things to say.  The same is true with blowjobs: that sucks big hairy dick (something is bad or stupid), suck my dick (screw you), skullfucking, facefucking, gag on it, cocksucker (a loser).   Even Renegade Evolution, a “sex-positive”, has the tags on her blog: “Bobcan suck my strap on in hell” and “other people who can suck my strap on in hell.”  You’d think, as a woman and an advocate for “freeing” women’s sexuality, she would say “suck my clit.”  But no, that’s not degrading.  Sucking dick is what’s degrading.  “Suck my dick” is a command.  It’s using sex to degrade and intimidate someone.  It’s a rape threat.

Because of deep throat and the pornography that followed it, I think blowjobs are now the patriarch’s preferred method of “sex” and degredation.  So I refuse to give them.  Because of conditioning, if you give a guy a blowjob, you can bet he thinks you’re degrading yourself.  And he probably likes that.  If he says he doesn’t, you can’t know he still sees you as an equal- he can’t erase the cultural impact of pornography and the way the act is discussed and conceptualized.