Saturday, December 07, 2002

The latest health threat

So you're afraid of anthrax and smallpox. But don't forget about that ancient Hawaiian disease called "lakanuki". It is spread by lack of sexual contact.

Perhaps I exaggerate, but somebody seems to be worried about it. A while back we had a surgeon general advocating teaching masturbation in schools, and here I thought you had to teach the little varmints to stop. A few years ago we had a Miss America who was pushing condom distribution in schools and that was OK, but now we have one who pushes abstinence and officials told her not to talk about it. And now there's this:this:
Women suffering sexual problems ranging from a general lack of desire to severe genital deformity are being prescribed vibrators on the National Health Service to help them rediscover their sex drive....'Almost half of all women suffer from a sexual dysfunction, and sex shops and their accoutrements could be a vital part of their therapy,' said Dr David Goldmeier, consultant and lead clinician in sexual function at London's St Mary's Hospital.
I'm tempted to ask if this allocation of medical resources is the reason why we don't have cures for cancer yet, but I suspect the relevant personnel are not all-stars. Whatever the "necessity", to my knowledge vibrators have never required a prescription.
Although one in three women now owns a vibrator - according to recent research by Ann Summers sex shop - the instrument's use in medical circles remains controversial.

'Vibrators are completely a new concept for almost all of the doctors and nurses I come across,' said Sh! manager Angel Zatorski...
No way am I buying that one. I was a small town boy and I learned about these things in my early teens at the latest.

Story time: Once a bunch of us frustrated freshman engineers made a trip to a pr0n emporium. There was a glass case full of all sorts of strange looking devices. Form follows function, you know. It didn't take too much imagination to figure out what they were for or how they were used in most cases, although some seemed geometrically improbable.

Then the guy behind the counter caught me rubbernecking with that same dumb look that caused an experienced stripper to burst out laughing onstage a few years later. He asked if I was interested in anything, and I mumbled something about just looking at the 'hardware'. Just my luck - the clerk noted that they had a product by that name designed to cause erections if 'rubbed in briskly'. Of course about anything short of battery acid would also work in that application, and I was 18 at the time - if the neck of the tube had been bigger....

But really, aside from some moments like in the movie "40 Days and 40 nights", the frustration didn't kill me. I had some pretty clueless ideas about how horny women were, but I'm having a hard time believing it was any worse for them than it was for me.
Although vibrators started life as a medical tool back in 1883, Zatorski says that the majority of medical experts she has spoken to had never seen a vibrator before she arrived at their offices with her 'party bag'.
Interesting. I had read elsewhere that Victorian doctors occasionally diagnosed a condition they called 'hysteria' which required vigorous application of some ointment to the vulva, so this isn't exactly new stuff.

Then again, maybe it's a local problem. There is a movie called 'No Sex Please, We're British', and we've recently had a heavily-linked article by an American woman suggesting that Brits are lousy lovers. Or perhaps Andrew Ian Dodge has gotten to the bottom of it.

Link stolen from Alex Whitlock via American Kaiser. Yes, this post has been lying around for a while.

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