I’ve recently had a falling-out with my internal karma sutra coach. Obviously, this has left me in a very difficult position.
As a family GP, I think it a good thing on the whole that my patients can come to me with a wide variety of problems. Several of them trust me to advise on some of their most intimate dilemmas. But let’s face facts; I just don’t want to bloody well know about their bedroom antics.
One recent patient, a young, confident, professional woman, typifies my concerns. ‘I’m alright in most positions, doctor,’ she tells me. ‘But doing it doggy-style gives me a pain deep inside, about here. What do you think? Do I need a scan?’
‘I think you need a fricking modesty transplant,’ is what I think, but don’t say. Internally, I’m curling up into a foetal position. This is horrible. Why does she think I’m in any position to have an opinion on this? I’m just not equipped to deal with this sort of thing.
I remember quite vividly the course of lectures back in medical school on blood dyscrasias. I can recall embryology and seminars on the limbic system. I feel sure that if we’d had a series of lectures on the ins and outs of rumpy-pumpy, it would have stuck in my mind.
Fer Christ’s sake, I’m a middle-aged working-class bloke from Hartlepool. What do I know about bum sex or threesomes? I only know two positions: socks on or socks off. I am not, by any criteria you care to mention, Dr Ruth.
Another low point was when a pointy-faced, boney-arsed, haggard nightmare of a woman literally dragged her skinny alcoholic beau into my consulting room. ‘There’s something wrong with him, doctor. He can only last about eight minutes. Can you make him last a bit longer?’
Eight minutes, I thought. What’s his secret?
However, instead of congratulating him, I asked his partner to step out of the room for a minute. With a face like a wasp with a grievance, she complied.
The boyfriend and I eyed each other nervously. If this was an episode of Mad Men, I’d have offered him a cigarette. ‘What’s this all about then?’ I asked.
‘Oh I dunno, doc. She’s been reading one of those women’s magazine that says we’re all supposed to bang away for hours like Sting and his missus. She thinks that everybody does it like that.’ We each raise a cynical eyebrow.
‘Go out and buy a Ouija board, you and your missus,’ I advised him. ‘Raise the ghost of Nye Bevan, and ask him whether this is what he meant when he thought up the National Health Service. Then get back to me.’
Dr Phil Peverley is a GP in Sunderland