Doctors always ask you personal questions, but how much do you actually know about your doctor? How can you make sure he or she is the right fit for you? If your doctor can't relate to you, you might not be getting the best care you possibly can.
Bespoke Surgical recently ran a study on sexual education and comfort discussing sexual health with physicians. It covered both men and women who identified as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. What we found was that respondents who identified as bisexual or homosexual were 20%-30% more likely than those who identified as heterosexual to rate the importance of having a physician with the same sexual identity as 9/10 or 10/10 (translating to "very important"). Why do you think this is? We believe it is due to the benefits of mutual understanding. If your doctor has a deep understanding of your sexual habits and lifestyle, he or she can be better able to properly answer your questions, as well as ask you the right questions.
I think it's important for you to be able to ask your doctor (without fear of judgment):
- What medical training or cultural sensitivities do you harbor as a physician taking care of a gay male or female?
- How do you tailor your care to individualized homosexuality and, more importantly, a modern family and all of its dynamics?
- Based on the sexual activities I engage in, what should I be concerned with and what preventative measures should I be taking?
- What tests should I be getting if I'm a top, bottom, or versatile?
When it comes to questions your doctor should be asking you, here are my top questions:
- What type of relationship are you in (single, monogamous, open, or other) and how are you ensuring mental sanity in your relationship? If there are children in the equation, how has that affected your relationship?
- How do you engage sexually and what have you explored (S&M, fisting, watersports, etc.)? Do you douche? And if applicable, do you use condoms and/or are you on or do you know about PrEP, TaSP, and PEP?
- Is what you use for sexual pleasure functioning appropriately? Are you experiencing any pain during sexual activity? Are you always reaching climax? What about your partner—can you get them off?
- Are you happy with your current sexual practices? If there are activities you haven't yet explored, why is that?
- Do you both talk about issues surrounding your relationship—not just sexual ones?
The framework laid out above of a dialogue between you and your physician is of the utmost importance to our community. We have to take ownership of our actions, both positive and negative, and demand a higher standard of appropriate, affirmative, non-judgmental healthcare. Research into the mental and physical ramifications of homosexuality has only scratched the surface, and now that we are openly discussing these important issues, we cannot pioneer this field further without addressing our healthcare needs. I do believe that creating a culture of community—specifically on the medical/sexual front, where everyone has access to superlative "homocare"—will lead to a much-improved state of health. But this ideal takes two to tango—on one end, a patient who is in tune with his sexuality and overall well-being, and on the other end, a physician who is well-versed in all the sensitivities, nuances, and issues surrounding homosexuality. We at Bespoke Surgical are leading the charge in taking on the plight of substandard healthcare and are asking you to demand more from your physicians. This will allow a more fruitful sexual practice, along with improving one's relationship and overall happiness.