My boyfriend is a cock doctor

column_my_boyfriend_is_a_cock_doctorUpon meeting acquaintances for the first time with my boyfriend, the conversation often goes something like this: Acquaintance: “So what is it you do for a living?”

Boyfriend: “I’m a urologist, actually.”

Acquaintance: “Neurologist? Oh how lovely.”

Boyfriend: “No, a UR-ologist – I work with the other head”.

Invariably, this leads to an awkward giggle and a bout of intense shoegazing, as conversation swiftly turns to more mundane topics. So what is it exactly that causes polite company to run screaming for the hills, when one’s chosen profession is revealed to entail a specialised interest in the genitalia of strangers?

Sure, being an architect would certainly elicit a more genial response, but damnit urology is as honourable a profession as any!

For obvious reasons, the primary subject matter of such a profession is certainly bound to cause one to prick up ones ears (pun intended). And indeed, there are many funny consulting room anecdotes (and others which are equally stomach churning) which my man is only too happy to share, especially in the company of my conservative, Catholic parents. Preferably at dinner time.

You see, the good doctor is in on the joke too, and revels in the reactions evoked by his daily operating theatre antics. Naturally, of course, patient confidentiality is always strictly adhered to, ensuring that patients’ names and identities are withheld to protect the dignity of those under discussion.

One rather unnerving incident comes to mind. For good measure, members of my extended family, were on this occasion being treated to a slideshow of holiday snaps taken by my boyfriend on our recent holiday to Thailand. So far, so good – azure skies and golden beach sand and then, suddenly…. Wtf? An (admittedly impressive) pecker with a zipper agonisingly enmeshed into its tender flesh.

Apparently doc had forgotten to place his surgical case images into a separate (and more discreet) folder. To her credit, my poor Mom’s riposte was that she’d never seen more than one of “those” in all her sixty years, and hoped never to see another again!

But on a serious note, let’s just consider for a moment the professional implications of being a gay urologist in South Africa, more specifically one who works in the public healthcare system. Imagine the potential reactions of mostly heterosexual men, were they to become aware that their practitioner was in fact (gasp!) a practising homosexualist.

I know it’s ludicrous but I can clearly conceive that there would be men who would assume that he was getting some sort of extracurricular thrill out of performing an examination of their shrivelled knobs (not likely, gents).

Sadly, notwithstanding our progressive Constitution and the advances in equality that the gay community continue to make, the reality is that, like many gay professionals in other sectors, he must continually work within the confines of what is essentially an “old boys club”, which requires discretion and a level of assimilation.

Happily for me though, my partner’s interest in penises (peni?) is not merely academic. So what do I think of his trade? Am I wracked with jealousy by the fact that he gets to inspect meat flutes on a daily basis? How do I measure up, given the presumably encyclopaedic database which he has accumulated over the years?

Luckily I am fairly confident in my manhood, and take comfort from the fact that, by his own admission, none of his patients cause him to do a double take. Perhaps the old adage “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” does hold true. Besides which, I have no doubt that there is nothing sexually attractive about a festering, STI riddled schlong or one into which a pencil has been strategically inserted via the urethra (true story). That takes putting some extra lead in one’s pencil a bit too literally, doesn’t it?

Having a urologist partner does at times bring home in a very real manner the need for all of us to ensure that we maintain good sexual and reproductive health. With my 40th birthday looming large, he has become increasingly adamant that I undergo my first prostate screening. I always assumed that diseases such as prostate cancer were only the preserve of older men. Not so, says my good doctor: While for most men at average risk of prostate cancer, discussions about prostate screening usually commence around the age of 50, it is recommended that men with a family history of prostate cancer start screening earlier.

As many of us know, whether from comedy sketches or otherwise, the prostate screening entails one’s doctor inserting a gloved finger into the rectum in order to feel the prostate for hard, lumpy or abnormal areas. The test takes only a few minutes to complete and may cause slight, momentary discomfort. In the event that something suspicious is detected by the doctor (and no I’m not referring to that new butt-plug you purchased online), your doctor may refer you for further testing.

When all is said and done then, there’s no compelling reason for any man to baulk at the prospect of visiting the urologist. Yes the subject matter may at times be hilarious, but ultimately this practitioner performs a vital and sometimes lifesaving role. On the upside, at least when my time comes, there will be no uncomfortable avoidance of eye contact when I get my first (free) prostate exam…

Mickey Diablo is a contributing writer for Health4Men. The views expressed in this article is that of the writer’s. To find out more about Health4Men or to find your nearest gay-friendly clinic please visit www.health4men.co.za

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