Many doctors don't routinely ask their patients about sex. Some of us are embarrassed, some of us don't have the time, and some of us just don't want to know. Oftentimes it's up to you to bring sex into the conversation. Here are 5 tips to help you talk to your doctor about sex.
1. Make the first move.
I have to admit it. Even I, a self-proclaimed "sex-friendly" doctor, don't routinely delve into the details my patients' sex lives. Not because I don't want to -- I'd love to here about the orgasm pill you found in Mexico or the flavored lube you can't live without (as a matter of fact I'm supposed to, it's my job). But oftentimes I'm just so busy with all the other aspects of your health that the ins and outs of your sex life don't come up. If you want to talk about sex, you might have to make the first move.
2. Make time for sex talk.
Sex is a big topic, too big to be fully addressed in the typical 15-minute office visit (hell, I have a whole website devoted to the topic), and definitely too big to be "sqeezed in" at the end of a visit about something else entirely. If you have sex on the brain, make a seperate appointment to talk about it. And if you'd like more time than the typical 15 minutes, schedule an extended appointment. Most offices can schedule patients in 15-, 30-, or 45-minute blocks.
3. Don't beat around the bush.
I know that talking about sex can be uncomfortable, and you might be embarrassed to bring it up, but if you want to talk about sex, jump right in. If you came to see me because you think the 20-year-old you met at that sex party may have given you crabs and you don't want to tell your husband (and not for "a rash" like you told my nurse), say so. My job is to help you -- not judge you -- so let me know what you need. Odds are, you won't be the first case of pubic lice I've treated that day.
4. Be open and honest with me about your sexual practices.
While, "I enjoy being sodomized by wooden spoons" might not be something you routinely share with your friends or family, you should tell your doctor about it. As awkward as it may be, the more I know about you and what you do, the more adept I am at helping you. Besides, when I see the splinters, I'm going to ask.
5. Find a doctor you feel comfortable with.
Since the onus is often on you to bring up all things kink with your doc, find a doctor you can talk to. The doctor who reminds you of your grandfather, your ex, or anyone who ever told you that "sex is dirty", might not be the best person to discuss your sex life with. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your doctor about sex, find a new one.