Sex Toys at your local OB/GYN
April 7, 2010 3:38 PM   Subscribe



 
About friggin' time someone did this, although I am surprised it is a male OB/GYN.
posted by 6:1 at 3:47 PM on April 7, 2010


My OBGYN told me to buy the 'I Heart Female Orgasm' book. And I did. And... it was a good idea.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:48 PM on April 7, 2010


This is exactly what the tea partiers have been trying to warn you about. Vibrators will be mandatory under Obamacare.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:48 PM on April 7, 2010 [25 favorites]


Blogger bemused, uncomfortable with similar, if not same, approach.
posted by chavenet at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2010


They missed a golden opportunity by not dropping the 'l' here:
Over time that private epiphany would turn Scheinfeld into an unlikely public pioneer.
posted by yiftach at 3:51 PM on April 7, 2010


Back before home electricity, doctors would have steam powered vibrators and such at their offices. for treatment of "Female Hysteria"
posted by delmoi at 3:53 PM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, it's not like there isn't a history of women, orgasm and doctors' offices. Do I just know this better than Details?
posted by el_lupino at 3:57 PM on April 7, 2010


You and delmoi, anyway.

All snark - and the historical "double" nature of this doctor's practice - aside, there is nothing wrong with this.
posted by yiftach at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2010


Do I just know this better than Details?

You mean other than the picture accompanying the article?
posted by DU at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2010


It's odd that an OB/GYN is uncomfortable talking to women about their sex lives.

Also, what is the relevance of the office manager's breast size?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


You mean other than the picture accompanying the article?

Well, even giving them the benefit of the doubt there, they're between 80 and 300 years off, depending on which sources you buy.
posted by el_lupino at 4:05 PM on April 7, 2010


There's something a bit creepy about the facelessness of the erotic art mentioned in the article.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:06 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"He couldn't deny it anymore: Something was missing between him and his wife...Later, after his wife had returned from Europe....." I think I know what was missing LOL.
I'm sorry about that.
Actually I'm glad there's at least one dr. out there who lives in reality and not this bizarre imaginary place we've been trying to will into being where it's like "you get off my way or not at all, and if not at all then you have a mental problem". Maybe reality will spread.
posted by amethysts at 4:13 PM on April 7, 2010


I too, applaud the doc's approach. If there was more healthy dialogue about our sexuality, I think there would be far fewer issues with it. And if more people were sexually satisfied with their partners, well, I can't see that being a bad thing at all. (understatement intended.)
posted by the_royal_we at 4:18 PM on April 7, 2010



About friggin' time someone did this, although I am surprised it is a male OB/GYN.


Actually, vibrators started out as medical devices intended to cure of wide range of symptoms that consituted "hysteria". Instead of rubbing women off, Doctors with carpal tunnel created machines to do the job for them. Vibrators have long been the domain of white doctors. It is kinda bizzare to see the device close the circle and return to their birthplace.

That said, Lelo is one hell of a company.
posted by JimmyJames at 4:28 PM on April 7, 2010


This is exactly what the tea partiers have been trying to warn you about. Vibrators will be mandatory under Obamacare.

*Click* *Simcity 2000 population cheers*
posted by catchingsignals at 4:31 PM on April 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


I don't know how I'd feel about a sex toy sales pitch after an appointment with my doctor! Probably a little like the blogger that chavenet linked (surprised, and impatient and a little annoyed because come on I'm done here). I'm not really the target audience, though, and it's good that this doctor is talking to his patients about paraphernalia they can incorporate into their sex lives. Basically I am all about frank conversations about sex, and people learning what feels good to them and how to do it.

A vibrator room in a clinic might be alright, too—I imagine that some women are sketched out by the idea of "XXX Adult Warehouse"-type sex stores and are put off buying sex toys because of that, so I'm happy that this guy has made them available in a nonthreatening environment. (I hope it's nonthreatening!) I know that I was sketched out until I discovered ye olde internet and its toy emporia, but that's not for everyone.

Also he has excellent taste in vibrators! I like the Lelo toys I have a lot.
posted by bewilderbeast at 4:33 PM on April 7, 2010


I don't know how I'd feel about a sex toy sales pitch after an appointment with my doctor!

Free buttplug with every prostate exam! Perhaps not.

Vibrators have long been the domain of white doctors.

Say what?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 4:48 PM on April 7, 2010


The subscription pop up of Robert Patterson's head between a woman's legs adds much to the article I think.
posted by kanata at 4:49 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow! I am jealous. The only thing I get when I go for my annual checkup is a digital prostate exam and a lollipop.
posted by 300two8 at 4:57 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be less than impressed with this. Not only is he (probably) getting kickbacks with the prescription nonsense that goes on, but now I'm getting upsold on orgasms?

Just give me my papsmear and get the hell out of my business. I've got things to do and sex toy shopping is not on the list.
posted by geek anachronism at 5:00 PM on April 7, 2010


It's odd that an OB/GYN is uncomfortable talking to women about their sex lives.

I thought this as well, but I've never had a male obgyn, or one that was anywhere older than middle age. Do women who've had male obgyns find them less frank, or at least more reticent, when it comes to sex talk?
posted by frobozz at 5:31 PM on April 7, 2010


a lollipop?
posted by frobozz at 5:32 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


And Scheinfeld's secret weapon, in terms of making sex toys more attractive and nonthreatening, appears to be Brenda Catapano, 47, his bosomy and effervescent office manager.

wat.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 6:01 PM on April 7, 2010


Yeah, fuck him if he's marking up the price on a sex toy if all his patient needs to do is haul their ass across town to the dildo section at Target.

And geek anachronism, these "kickbacks" you speak of, tell me again what color the sky is on your planet?
posted by docpops at 6:06 PM on April 7, 2010


My gyno once told one of my friends (we all go to the same one now, because she is awesome): "Forget [lube brand xyz], you don't want that crap, go with [lube brand abc]! It's waaaay better." Imagine this being said by a young blondish doctor who kinda looks like Elliott from Scrubs and is far too perky for her own good. It's hilarious. Better that than the humorless old trouts I formerly suffered!

So, y'know. I don't think it's a bad idea.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:08 PM on April 7, 2010


No doubt. A landmark occurence here locally was being able to buy Astroglide at Rite-aid instead of Spartacus Leathers.
posted by docpops at 6:28 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


*Click* *Simcity 2000 population cheers*

Still doesn't beat unlocking vibrators in Civ4. I love Leonard Nimoy's delivery of the quote: "When I give orgasms to women, they call me a saint. When I ask why women are having trouble having orgasms, they call me a pervert."
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:00 PM on April 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Imagine this being said by a young blondish doctor who kinda looks like Elliott from Scrubs

You know, it has been a long time since I've been to the gynecologist.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2010


Horace Rumpole, I'm just getting to the point in my life where my doctors are younger and hotter than me, and it's both funny and irritating all at the same time. (My general practitioner is a dead ringer for Leonardo DiCaprio, it's creepy!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:31 PM on April 7, 2010


I'm pro this idea, but something rubs me the wrong way about male OBGYNs anyway, and this strikes me as even creepier. Also, surely some female OBGYN did this first?
posted by lunit at 9:04 PM on April 7, 2010


Actually, earlier today I sent this doctor an email thanking him for that very thing. LELO is a beautiful (and entirely rechargeable--no batteries) product and I think that sex toys being validated by the medical establishment is a huge sex-positive step.
posted by opossumnus at 9:21 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nice photo of the doc and a bunch of crap stacked on some Metro shelves.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:22 PM on April 7, 2010


I thought this as well, but I've never had a male obgyn, or one that was anywhere older than middle age. Do women who've had male obgyns find them less frank, or at least more reticent, when it comes to sex talk?

I don't know about male GYNs, but the vast majority of my female GYNs regardless of age have ranged from uninterested to "too busy" to uncomfortable with discussion of my sex life unless it was absolutely necessary to mention in direct connection with treatment of a physical issue. So, when I was single and got tested for STDs, I'd get a perfunctory safe sex talk, and when I had recurrent yeast infections for awhile I was warned that I'd want to abstain until it had cleared up. Discussion of how often my SO and I have sex? Nah. Any curiosity about being me being bisexual with a male partner? Nah.
posted by desuetude at 9:22 PM on April 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


There is a large overlap between what OBGYNs need to get to their patients and what is sold in adult retailers, and has been for a while. I work in one of the regular old sex shops, without a clinic attached to it, and I regular serve folk who've been sent down to the shop by their doctors. Many toys, I think, have been relegated to the sex shop because of that attitude above where it seems out of place for your doctor to talk to you about the pleasure end of sex. It's like their only interest should be in the business end, the making of the babies and the functionality of all the plumbing. A good example is the duo tone ball, which is basically just two weighted spheres that are used to train the pelvic floor muscles. They're often recommended for women post-partum, to help regain some of the strength lost during pregnancy. Even the humble wand has a therapeutic use in the treatment of vaginismus. This really isn't that odd a development, and I applaud him for taking a proactive step on things.

Also, add me to the chorus of people pleased to see him picking the Lelos instead of some cheap Chinese made junk, of which there is a lot. They do have a much more clinical feel to them.
posted by Jilder at 9:25 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember waaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day (think 20+ yrs) when my OB/GYN sold Aqua Glide out of her office, (back then, I think it was only available in the backs of certain magazines). I sure hope she doesn't sell that crap any more, because of the glycine.

I do realize that physician's used to treat "hysteria" in the office with vibrators. But that's not what this one is doing. He is encouraging his patients to embrace their sexuality. THAT didn't happen in the olden days of treating hysteria!
posted by 6:1 at 10:51 PM on April 7, 2010


docpops: And geek anachronism, these "kickbacks" you speak of, tell me again what color the sky is on your planet?

You know, that thing with pharma companies handing out favours for preferential prescriptions for their products? I've read about it a lot. Does that not happen in ob/gyn practices? I was under the impression it was quite rampant.

I talked to a gf about this today and her first response was 'how very 18th century of him'. And yes, kinda creepy unless I'm specifically asking about sexual dysfunction. My ob wasn't particularly reticent about sex but I didn't really bring it up except to say 'hey it hurts' to which he replied 'it's only been 10 weeks, let yourself heal properly first'. Other gyns have been somewhat similar. I'm glad it's there for those that need it but I just get creepy visions ala the blog post where my papsmear becomes yet another gauntlet of 'jesus fucking christ, I don't want to buy your shit, stop trying to sell it to me' combined with 'no, this doesn't mean I hate sex, it means I don't enjoy the same things you do'.
posted by geek anachronism at 11:34 PM on April 7, 2010


I would prefer more OB/GYN's sold these types of products from the office. It sounds like a healthy embrace of sexuality (and, I go to my doctor's more often than the local sex shop). I know toys work for MY "hysteria"!
posted by _paegan_ at 11:36 PM on April 7, 2010


I'm pro this idea, but something rubs me the wrong way about male OBGYNs anyway, ...

*snicker*
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:23 AM on April 8, 2010


If you build it, they will cum.
posted by Goofyy at 1:24 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of a Chris Morris sketch.
posted by Narin at 4:29 AM on April 8, 2010


I'd be for this as long as the OB/GYN is not getting kickbacks from a certain company. I live in a relatively small town and entering the one sex shop here is not something I've ever been able to make myself do. Having a discrete place where I could buy such a thing that would be nice.
posted by kanata at 6:13 AM on April 8, 2010


I find it odd that the normalization of products that alleviate the need for a sex partner is considered "sex-positive".
posted by LogicalDash at 7:06 AM on April 8, 2010


I find it odd that the normalization of products that alleviate the need for a sex partner is considered "sex-positive".

How so?
posted by desuetude at 7:14 AM on April 8, 2010


products that alleviate the need for a sex partner

Um, no, the thing is they don't really at all. Come on, even some of those weird dudes from the RealDoll documentary have partners, and a vibrator is hardly a RealDoll.
posted by clavicle at 7:20 AM on April 8, 2010


I said "alleviate" not "eliminate." Of course people still want real sex, sex toys just make it less urgent.

I mean there probably ARE some women who can get everything from a vibrator that they'd want from sex, but even discounting them, this is a service that makes it easier to go without sex if you want to. It certainly won't make anyone have MORE sex. So the "pro-sex" designation is odd.

Not that I mind. I am probably more concerned with precise language than is generally helpful.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:33 AM on April 8, 2010


In the beginning of the article they talk about how the dr. bought one to enhance the sex that he and his wife were having. The problem that he's trying to address is that plain old in-and-out doesn't get work for all women. The sex toys help with that. They help sex be better. Hence pro-sex.
posted by amethysts at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2010


Bravo Dr. Andrew Scheinfeld!
posted by nickyskye at 8:35 AM on April 8, 2010


It certainly won't make anyone have MORE sex.

This is where we disagree.
posted by clavicle at 8:47 AM on April 8, 2010


I mean there probably ARE some women who can get everything from a vibrator that they'd want from sex, but even discounting them, this is a service that makes it easier to go without sex if you want to. It certainly won't make anyone have MORE sex. So the "pro-sex" designation is odd.

This is part of the thinking that helps keep sexual health in the dark. You seem to assume that using a vibrator is a solo-only activity, and that masturbation alleviates the desire for sex.

Vibrators don't replace people. They can be used alone or with one's partner. Masturbating doesn't make most people less interested in sex with a partner.

Actually, masturbation certainly does often make women want to have more sex. A lot more sex. For one thing, greater familiarity with one's own response can make that partner-sex more fulfilling and less inhibited. Secondly, women don't require the recovery time that men need to have more orgasms. Thirdly, orgasms, they are addictive.
posted by desuetude at 9:09 AM on April 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm pro this idea, but something rubs me the wrong way about male OBGYNs anyway, and this strikes me as even creepier. Also, surely some female OBGYN did this first?

I'm sure you didn't mean this to sound as anti-male as it did, right? Why are male ob/gyns creepy? Because they are attracted to women and are doctors for women? Why does that matter? And how do you know a female ob/gyn isn't a lesbian? And, again, why does that matter?!

Some people are professional in their behavior, and some are not. Gender doesn't enter into it.

Actually, masturbation certainly does often make women want to have more sex.

That's absolutely true. It's not a tit for tat (sorry) "for every time a woman masturbates, she won't have sex with a partner" equality. The more accepted approach these days is "use it or lose it" when it comes to a woman and her sexual desire. The more positive reinforcement, physically and mentally, the better for her sex life.


Do women who've had male obgyns find them less frank, or at least more reticent, when it comes to sex talk?


My current ob/gyn is a middle-aged male, very open to questions or concerns I have with my sex life and quite frank in our discussions. No embarrassment. If I have problems with my sex life, he listens and works with me. Which is why he is my ob/gyn.

I've had a female ob/gyn that actually refused me an Rx for birth control because I wasn't married yet (!) and it went against her own morality, and a male ob/gyn who wouldn't take my concerns seriously (which may be why my endometriosis had progressed to the point where, when I found my new ob/gyn, we had to go the surgical route to take care of the problem).

I think you have to be really pro-active when it comes to your health care. And I like what this doctor is doing, whether he gets kickbacks or not. Doctors get kickbacks from drug reps all the time, which is a lot more (potentially) harmful, imo.
posted by misha at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2010


I see one doctor for both my primary care and my gyn stuff. When I went on Prozac, she was very forthright about asking me how it was affecting my sex life. when I told her "the desire is still fine, the orgasms are still fine, but the distance between A and B has gotten a lot larger," she very frankly told me to head down to Toys in Babeland and check out some mechanical assist options. If I didn't live in a city with a very woman-positive non-skeevy sex shop, I might truly appreciate having a back room with such products available.

Plus the Lelo stuff looks gorgeous. I mean, just simply gorgeous. I might have to, uh, investigate further.
posted by KathrynT at 10:11 AM on April 8, 2010


I'm pro this idea, but something rubs me the wrong way about male OBGYNs anyway, and this strikes me as even creepier. Also, surely some female OBGYN did this first?

I'm sure you didn't mean this to sound as anti-male as it did, right? Why are male ob/gyns creepy? Because they are attracted to women and are doctors for women? Why does that matter? And how do you know a female ob/gyn isn't a lesbian? And, again, why does that matter?!


Yeah, I don't agree with the anti-male sentiment, and I agree with you in theory.

But, I have to say that I won't go to a male gyn. Not because I think it's sexually improper, but because the world is still a sexist place, medicine has some institutionalized sexism that hasn't quite been beat out of it, and I'm therefore more comfortable with a female gyn. I admit that I'm not being fair to the many excellent male gyns in the world. I don't hold any other doctors to this standard. (My dentist didn't have braces, my surgeon still had his gallbladder.)
posted by desuetude at 10:24 AM on April 8, 2010


I don't think it's anti-male to want a female ob/gyn either. As desuetude points out, there's still a lot of weird institutional crap in medicine, as there is everywhere; having a female Bits Doctor isn't a guarantee that you won't, for example, get sewn up extra-tight after childbirth "so your husband will feel like you're 18 again" but I feel like it cuts down on the possibility.
posted by KathrynT at 10:33 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


having a female Bits Doctor isn't a guarantee that you won't, for example, get sewn up extra-tight after childbirth "so your husband will feel like you're 18 again" but I feel like it cuts down on the possibility.

was this a tongue-in-cheek example or does that truly happen often enough to be a common concern?

Seriously, that's messed up. I'd like to believe that most male doctors wouldn't just go and do that without any warning.
posted by scrutiny at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2010


Scrutiny: No, it really happens. That's two examples, but I've certainly heard of many, many more.
posted by KathrynT at 12:24 PM on April 8, 2010


desuetude: But, I have to say that I won't go to a male gyn. Not because I think it's sexually improper, but because the world is still a sexist place, medicine has some institutionalized sexism that hasn't quite been beat out of it, and I'm therefore more comfortable with a female gyn. I admit that I'm not being fair to the many excellent male gyns in the world.

I know more than one woman who won't go to female ob/gyns or GPs for pap smears because they take far less care and are far more dismissive about the pain than male ones. It's all about your experience and your comfort level. And the doctor's professionalism.

and now I'm terrified of birthing with anyone but my previous ob
posted by geek anachronism at 3:38 PM on April 8, 2010


It certainly won't make anyone have MORE sex. You are so wrong about this. So very very wrong. There's a reason the word "sex" is right there in the name of sex toys. Not to mention that excluding the use of sex toys from your definition of sex is indicative of a fairly hetero-normative view on what counts as "Sex."
posted by stoneweaver at 4:04 PM on April 8, 2010


For hetero-normative, perhaps you should be saying vanilla-normative.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:54 PM on April 8, 2010


BrotherCaine, I think stoneweaver is operating on the assumption that sextoy sex is not "real" sex in some people's minds because it's not human-penis-in-vagina sex. (Vanilla...though...I dunno. I wouldn't consider a vibrator kinky.)

Of course, the assertions about women not having more sex if they're using sex toys and so forth are also ignoring the featured cock rings in the article, which are pretty much exclusively used in partner sex.
posted by desuetude at 8:25 PM on April 8, 2010


KathrynT, geez thanks for the heads up. We're thinking of trying to have kids soon... It never would have occurred to me that this was something a doctor would just do.

It's like an episode of mad men or something, "Oh Bob, lemme tell you what I did to your wife, you're gonna thank me later."

jesus.
posted by scrutiny at 7:39 PM on April 9, 2010


Scrutiny, I don't mean to suggest that it's common, but yeah, there's a long tradition of women's bodily autonomy in labor not really being respected. It's definitely something to keep a sharp eye open for when choosing a maternity and birth care provider. Any sort of "Oh you silly women with your silly ideas" talk should get some shrewd consideration.
posted by KathrynT at 12:53 PM on April 10, 2010


I'm still angry to this day about a story about a court order obtained by an OB/GYN to force a pregnant woman with cancer to carry her fetus to term rather than getting another course of chemo. I'm not sure when it happened, but I keep looking for a link to the story.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:34 PM on April 10, 2010


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