‘Body & Soul’ is a pull out section of the Times (UK) every Saturday. As far as I am concerned it is a must read with a birds eye view of research, new developments and news about anything health related.
In each edition there is a Sex Advice page where a readers question is answered by both a (male) GP Dr Thomas Stuttaford and a (female) Suzi Godson who is an author of books about sex.
The questions they tackle are right across the spectrum of sexual encounters – consider these two recent examples.
After having cirrhosis diagnosed my husband has been unable to sustain an erection. Will liver transplant help or is this problem with us for ever?
In my native New York, I used to dress as Yogi Bear and have sex with like-minded women. Now I live here and I’ve met a girl; should I tell her I’m a ‘furry’?
Now it is not my intention here to tell you what each response was but it is probably worth quoting one paragraph from Suzi’s answer to the second question for any furrys that should be reading this (well you never know!)
“Britain’s furry community may be smaller than in the US but there are people here who share your interest. UKFur (www.ukfur.org) the main website for furries in the UK has more than 1500 members and they arrange get-togethers in London and across the country.
The thing that strikes me each week by comparing the two responses is the marked difference in advice and I find myself wanting to see more responses – another male (non medical) and female GP would be interesting. Reading them I frequently agree with the female view rather than the doctor’s. Not always but I find a much more balanced view from the female author.
I have to own up here to a bias.
Having worked for many years in the Nursing Profession I have a jaundiced view of Doctors and probably GPs in particular for their medication culture. I think that things have certainly improved but in my opinion my GP colleagues have been too ready to accede to patients demands for drugs as a solution to their problems and very dismissive of alternative therapies.
I was arguing with my medical colleagues way back when about the amount of antibiotics they were dishing out for straight forward colds (virus!) I could go on and on about iatrogenic illness and side effects – I have been known to get on my soap box on this subject.
I was having dinner recently with a very close GP friend and we were discussing obesity which is such a modern day problem and killer. He admitted that he could see obese patients one after the other surgery – but that medicine was helpless (what I suspect he meant is that a pill hasn’t been found yet to solve obesity) – all he could do was offer the normal advice – control what you eat and take more exercise.
I firmly believe there are things he can offer his patients. I followed up by sending him a copy of Adam Eason’s Think Yourself Thin which I KNOW has helped so many people including myself to control weight. A week or so later I asked him what he thought of the product and he admitted he had listened to the introduction but that was all. He didn’t believe in all that sort of hocus pocus.
Now – that is from an intelligent man who admits he has nothing up his sleeve to help his patients – and yet he is dismissive about hypnosis and similar techniques, without even trying it out on one of his volunteer patients. This is a therapy that does offer a solution to so many people. It is all very well offering sound advice about reduction in food intake and more exercise, but where is the motivation going to come from? – where is the willpower to be found? – where is the element that is going to change the mindset.
Why oh why are doctors so blinkered
It is only recently that a more holistic approach to patient care has been taken by more doctors. By its nature medicine has to have specialists but this has often led to fragmented care of a single body. I have witnessed surgical interventions with scant regard for the psychological effects on that person with disastrous consequences.
Even in his reply to the Furry question above the Doctor finishes with this sentence. “Fetishism is a different problem but if necessary may be moderated by psychotherapy combined with medication.”
Hmmm – medication – where have I heard that before?
I guess my main concern is that getting answers to any sexual or indeed other behavioural problem is a bit of a lottery depending on who you go to see. Clearly differences male to female but also with professional background and even prejudice.
Perhaps the answer is to write to a column such as this one in the Times where you get a mix of answers.
If I had a specific question similar to those above I think I would be more inclined to try to find a discussion group albeit on the web rather than go to a doctor or single practitioner as you are only going to get one perspective on the issue.
Always – but always question whether you should be leaping to medication as an answer. So many problems are just things going on inside your head and alternative solutions such as hypnosis may well be the answer to break old and unwanted subconscious behaviour.
I’ve just thought of a slogan – ‘Instead of a pill, change your will’
Now where was that furry website?