Shouldn’t women be having speculum orgasms?

Sexual woman in bed

Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Christiane Northrup, inquiring minds want to know:

If, as you claim, women have orgasms at the moment of birth, shouldn’t they be having orgasms during speculum exams?

As Dr. Northrup explained:

“When the baby’s coming down the birth canal, remember, it’s going through the exact same positions as something going in, the penis going into the vagina, to cause an orgasm.

Right, and when a speculum is inserted in the vagina (and again when it is removed), it is going through the exact same positions as the penis going into the vagina. So why don’t women have speculum orgasms?

Could it be because you can’t profit from the idea?

Most people (myself included) dismiss orgasmic birth as a lucrative figment of your imaginations, complete with the hucksterism attendant on all form of quackery. And certainly, Pascali-Bonaro’s website Orgasmic Birth does nothing to disabuse them. You can’t even get to the home page without being barraged with a plea for your email address:

You deserve to give birth with Dignity, Love and Pleasure! Learn how to move from Pain to Power. Subscribe now to receive my Pleasurable Birth Tips PDF & Free Weekly “Keys to Unlock Your Pleasure” enews!

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#af937b”]If women women can have birth orgasms, shouldn’t they be having speculum orgasms too?[/pullquote]

According to you, orgasmic birth is the best kept secret. Indeed, it’s so secret that it has only been described in Western, white, well off women who have read the natural childbirth literature within the past 40 years. It is so secret that it apparently never happened before then in all of recorded human history, and so secret that it never happened among African and Asian women. And it is so secret that for all of recorded human history childbirth was routinely described as excruciating and agonizing.

Who knows the secret? Ina May Gaskin, of course.

In the film, world-renowned midwife Ina May Gaskin helps us to understand the normal rhythms of labor and women’s ability to have ecstatic birthing experiences…

Women can experience birth as sensual and pleasurable, and can enter a natural state of ecstasy. New research shows that the intimate experience of birth affects a woman’s life profoundly. Babies are also affected emotionally and physically, and over the long term, by their birth experience.

Gaskin is the lay midwife who wrote this:

Sometimes touching her very gently on or around her button (clitoris) will enable her to relax even more. I keep both hands there and busy all the time while crowning … doing whatever seems most necessary.

And this:

Sometimes I see that a husband is afraid to touch his wife’s tits because of the midwife’s presence, so I touch them, get in there and squeeze them, talk about how nice they are, and make him welcome.

As well as this:

I might want to have a cunt one day and a twat the next. On the third day I might decide that pussy is my favorite word.

These quotes, taken from the 3rd and 4th editions of Gaskin’s book Spiritual Midwifery, sound immature, foul mouthed, and sexually inappropriate.

What is the purported key to having an orgasmic birth?

The key to having an orgasmic birth is spending money on lay midwives like Gaskin and their natural childbirth associates.

What a coincidence!! Who could have seen that coming?

But if birth has been described, in every time, place and culture as excruciating and agonizing, how could any woman possibly have an orgasm at the moment of birth, when the vaginal opening is being stretched to 10 times its resting size, often tearing as a result?

Pascali-Bonaro is graciously willing to talk by phone to you or me for the low, low price of $195 an hour.

Or, if you book before July 31, you can join Pascali-Bonaro at her woman’s retreat on Italy’s Amalfi Coast from August 30th to September 6th ($3500 if you book after July 31).

But I prefer to ask Pascali-Bonaro and Northrup publicly:

If women women can, as you claim, have birth orgasms, shouldn’t they be having speculum orgasms too?

165 Responses to “Shouldn’t women be having speculum orgasms?”

  1. Caroline Dubois
    July 22, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

    I am not a doctor nor a scientist, but I wonder if orgasm during childbirth could be caused by hormones in the brain, and would have nothing to do with the vagina?

  2. Gatita
    July 18, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    OT but interesting: The Surprisingly Political History of Potty Training

  3. July 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    lol I started a blog called “menstruation without fear” that discusses orgasmic menstruation. If uterine cramping is supposed to be orgasmic, why not menstrual cramps?

    • SporkParade
      July 19, 2015 at 5:02 am #

      Don’t laugh, I actually read an essay for a class on feminism that argued that the way we describe menstruation is sexist because we use negative-sounding terms like “disintegrate” and “break down,” while erections are described using positive-sounding terms.

      • Amy M
        July 20, 2015 at 7:35 am #

        Oh good lord. I met a (NCB) woman who hated the term “water breaking” because she felt it indicated defectiveness. She used the term “waters releasing.” I don’t think I said it to her, because it didn’t really mater, but the amniotic sac does break/rupture and there’s no judgement about it. How else would the water release? That sac would be defective if it DIDN’T break (at term.)

        • Mattie
          July 21, 2015 at 5:20 am #

          Well, no, waters can break during labour or right before birth and that’s fine too, it’s only really a ‘defect’ when the baby is born in the caul and requires someone to break the sac. Note, I watched a video where a baby was born in the caul during a waterbirth, it looked like the lady was laying an egg.

          • Bombshellrisa
            July 22, 2015 at 11:23 am #

            Home birthers romanticize babies born in the caul. Not kidding

          • Mattie
            July 22, 2015 at 11:53 am #

            I mean…sailers used to keep the cauls of babies born in the caul on their boats to ‘protect them’ people believe a lot of odd stuff.

          • demodocus
            July 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            Weren’t there some old myths about that, making the child special in some way? Or maybe my fantasy novel habit is messing with me…

          • Bombshellrisa
            July 22, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

            No, you have that right. It’s something that a midwife will talk about during those long, cozy appointments. Well, not a CNM but a woo witch.

          • mabelcruet
            July 23, 2015 at 2:36 am #

            I’ve read that too-babies born within the caul have the gift of second sight, or can communicate beyond the veil or something like that.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        July 20, 2015 at 8:23 am #

        Why the problems with descriptive terms?

        Contractions aren’t contractions, they are “rushes.” No, they are contractions. The uterus contracts. Literally.

        • SporkParade
          July 20, 2015 at 8:29 am #

          Well, there’s also the fact that ejaculation is associated with orgasms, which are usually a happy event, whereas menstruation is associated with cramping, breast tenderness, headaches, stomach upset, and a whole other slew of not pleasant things. So obviously the author is ableist against women with dysmenorrhea.

  4. sdsures
    July 18, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    A “birth orgasm” is like the Loch Ness Monster.

  5. E.B.D.
    July 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    Jesus Christ, if anyone touched me or talked to me like that when I was in labor, they’d have their ass kicked so hard then would be sued for everything they own. Then my husband would kill her.

  6. sdsures
    July 17, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    Are there any readers here with experience in US law who could perhaps answer a question? I’ll try to write it in point form in case anything needs to be corrected. I’m Canadian, and the only US law I know of is from watching “Law & Order” (LOL!!) so I know I know absolutely NOTHING. But that’s why I’m asking for help.

    Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) has to do with the First Amendment, which deals with freedom of speech. (Verbal, written, other, all?)

    Ina May Gaskin writes explicitly in her book that she sexually assaults her female clients by touching their clitorises to stimulate a sexual response (ugh, shudder, barf…).

    I don’t know if there is courtroom-verifiable proof that this has actually taken place, or whether any plantiffs would be willing to have ever come forward to sue her for sexual harassment. (I’m hoping someone would sue her, of course!)

    There must be cases, surely, where unscrupulous doctors have abused the trust of a patient either children or adults, under the guise of medical treatment in similar fashion.

    But Ina May doesn’t even HAVE professional credentials to hide behind. Either way, what she does is inexcusable.

    So, regarding the sexual assaults that she claims to do to women, is she protected from prosecution by Brandenburg, or not?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      July 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Nope. If you’re stupid enough to announce to the world “I sexually assaulted my patients!” then technically, yes, you can be prosecuted for the assault, though not the obnoxious speech. Doesn’t matter if it’s on Facebook, in a book, or on a billboard. (Every so often here, you’ll have some moron log into a computer in the midst of burglarizing a home to post a variation of “Lolz totally ripping off this joint,” or filming themselves doing same and then posting the video online. This is why defense attorneys drink, but I digress.) Problem is a) statute of limitations, though this varies from state to state, combined with b) willingness of a client to press charges. Finally, bear in mind that the burden of proof is on the prosecution’s side: they have to prove this wasn’t consensual, and in many of these cases, good luck with that. Ugh.

      • July 18, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

        no one cares though, seriously. Look at the rate of conviction for these types of crimes. Its extremely low because the judicial system doesn’t care about this at all. Marital rape was legal in many places until the 70s. The sentences handed out to pedophiles are a joke. The police disbelieve victims generally speaking. Girls who are under the age of consent who are forced into prostitution get charged with soliciting and treated like criminals. One of the stubenville rapists is off to a lucrative football career right now, despite all the nonsense about how the rape accusation would “ruin his bright future”.

        • sdsures
          July 19, 2015 at 5:46 am #

          “Ugh” seems to be the word of the day. (No argument there.)

        • canaduck
          February 23, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

          Not that this changes your overall point a bit, but legislation against marital rape (in the U.S.) only began in the 70s. It didn’t become illegal in all the states until 1993.

    • Azuran
      July 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      Since all her the women in those case are probably over the age of sexual consent, someone has to press charges. Though very disturbing, it is not illegal if it was consensual.
      Should one of them actually press charge of sexual assault. It would be ridiculously hard to prove without a doubt that it wasn’t consensual. Since Ina May is some sort of legend in home birth, there is obviously a reasonable doubt that people who hired her for her ‘orgasmic birth’ experience kinda knew what that meant. Considering how very few cases of rape actually end up with a conviction, it is very unlikely to happen in this case.

      • Daleth
        July 22, 2015 at 10:38 am #

        You also have to consider medical ethics. I don’t know what the rules are where she practiced, or if there are rules applicable to lay midwives, but real healthcare professionals have ethical rules they have to comply with, in addition to complying with the laws that apply to everyone in the state or country. If there are ethical rules that apply to midwives, I’ll bet you $1000 that they do NOT allow midwives to get sexy with their patients!

    • Cobalt
      July 17, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

      It’s hearsay, not sworn testimony. Wouldn’t hold in court. I’m not a lawyer though.

      • Daleth
        July 22, 2015 at 10:36 am #

        It isn’t hearsay. A person saying what they themselves did is not hearsay–it’s an admission, a.k.a. a confession.

        Here’s an example of hearsay:
        A person says, “I know that Ina May masturbates her patients, because a friend of mine who was her patient told me so.” The witness is reporting what some other person said and claiming that it proves that some third party did or did not do X. No go–that’s not evidence that the third party did or didn’t do X.

        Here are two examples of testimony that is not hearsay:

        1. Ina May says herself–on the witness stand, or in a book, or on TV, or wherever–“I get both my hands in there and masturbate my patients.”

        2. A patient of Ina May’s says “she put her hands down there and masturbated me.”

        Either of those would be totally valid evidence in court. The first example is an admission/confession, and the second is testimony from a witness with personal knowledge of the facts.

        • Cobalt
          July 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

          It really doesn’t work like that. If she had written “on this day I did this to this person”, maybe an investigation could be triggered. Maybe.

          There’s no reason to believe that the writings constitute a reliable account of anything by legal standards. She really could say “I thought it sounded good, so I put it in the book”, and there’s no way to prove that that’s not true. Now, if a victim came forward that could prove she was a client and made an accusation, the prosecution could use the writings to show that IMG approved of such behavior.

          The writings prove only that she’s got a sick mind, not that the events related are strictly true.

          • Daleth
            July 24, 2015 at 10:43 am #

            As you mentioned above, you’re not a lawyer. I am. I wasn’t saying, though, that the book alone could trigger a formal investigation or charges–you would need a victim/witness for that. But here’s what you could do with that book, as a prosecutor (or civil litigator looking to sue Ina May):

            1- Reach out to Ina May’s former patients to see if any of them experienced what she describes in the book recently enough for the statute of limitations to not kill the case, and wants to press charges;

            2- Confront Ina May with it in a deposition and/or on the stand, after asking her whether she did that to your client–either she says “I never do that, I just put it in the book because it sounded good” or “I sometimes do that but not with your client.” In either case, unless she’s an amazing actress the jury is likely to believe that she’s lying on the stand and was not lying in the book, rather than the reverse, because when she’s on trial for doing that she has every reason to lie and deny it, whereas when she was writing the book there was no particular reason to lie.

            But my main point was that you CAN use it in a deposition or in court because it’s not hearsay. And even hearsay can trigger a reaching out to possible victims as described in (1) above.

    • Mattie
      July 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

      Only if it’s done without consent, what may be shocking and horrifying to you may not be shocking and horrifying to the women who voluntarily go to Ina May/The Farm for care. I think if she were practicing in a hospital and women did not have a choice as to being looked after by her then she’d have faced problems before now. The women who choose to labour/birth with The Farm Midwives likely have a very different view of ways to cope with labour…and right or wrong, that’s their choice to make.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        July 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

        Only if it’s done without consent, what may be shocking and horrifying
        to you may not be shocking and horrifying to the women who voluntarily
        go to Ina May/The Farm for care.

        They go for care, but are they aware about her sexual fondling? In the Ina May post, there are all those who are saying, “I’ve read everything from Ina May and never heard this.” So do they go knowing that she is going to fondle them? I don’t think so.

        • Mattie
          July 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

          well, if she asks first it’s still done with consent, but it’s also entirely possible she doesn’t actually do it regularly, in spiritual midwifery she talks mainly about her past experiences of managing various labours for various different women, it’s not a ‘how to’ guide as in ‘always do this’ but rather ‘I have done this and it worked’

          • sdsures
            July 19, 2015 at 5:44 am #

            Or rather, “I’ve done this and nobody complained.”

          • Mattie
            July 19, 2015 at 9:51 am #

            Well that too, you do have to wonder why nobody has complained though, the women who birth with IMG aren’t exactly the women who shy away from complaining about other HCPs.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 19, 2015 at 10:45 am #

            But they LOVE their mws. Midwives aren’t “health care providers” they are loving, caring helpers. Look at the Ina May cult thread where commentors go through all kinds of hoops to avoid acknowledging that she even said those things!

            Midwives are constantly excused for doing things that doctors could never get away with. But that’s typical of cult behavior

          • Gatita
            July 19, 2015 at 11:40 am #

            There are so many stories where midwives kill babies and severely injure babies through incompetence and the mothers thank them and praise them for it. There is a lot of brainwashing going on. If you haven’t seen it already, check out From Calling to Courtroom, which is an eBook detailing how to emotionally manipulate midwifery clients so they won’t sure you. Gaslighting 101.

      • July 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

        Mattie, women cannot meaningfully consent in that situation. Ina May is in a position of authority over the laboring woman. Teachers, psychiatrists, and parents have authority over others that make those in their care incapable of meaningful consent. The laboring woman is in extreme pain. That can alter your sense of reality just like using drugs or being critically injured- you can’t meaningfully consent to sex that way. The laboring woman is at the farm, in the middle of no where. What would happen to the woman that tells Ina May “no”? Maybe there is a cruelty to her when patients refuse what she says, its hard to know unless you dare to try. Maybe she would say “you’re on your own then” when you have no one else to help and you are far from any other source of help. You cannot meaningfully say “yes” unless your “no” is a viable option. I don’t care how much discussion happens beforehand, if you are caring for someone else in any medical capacity its impossible for them to meaningfully consent to sexual activity of any sort while you are rendering aid to them. It isn’t appropriate or healthy and there is so much risk to the patient that its completely unnecessary.

        • Mattie
          July 19, 2015 at 10:01 am #

          But women in labour can, and do, consent. They consent to procedures, treatment, monitoring etc…If we accept their ability to consent to those things, why can they not consent to nipple stimulation or clitoral stimulation if the outcome of that is to affect their labour? I would argue that plenty of people have said ‘no’ to her in the past, many of the birth stories you read from women who laboured/birthed at The Farm include them declining certain things, and yet the care was still provided. I find it incredibly difficult to believe that if a)she was doing this against the wishes of the labouring person and b) it was happening with frequency, not one person would have complained anywhere about it. I don’t mean law suits (because they are hard to prove, and rarely if ever get convictions) but on social or traditional media…

          Like many people have mentioned, these are people who are exceptionally vocal about all other aspects of their care.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            July 19, 2015 at 10:06 am #

            I’d like to see the consent form that Gaskin used to obtain consent for such actions.

          • Mattie
            July 21, 2015 at 5:24 am #

            Actual legit question, but do all procedures during labour care require a consent form? AFAIK the only thing that had a consent form was c-section, and possibly epidural although I’m not sure. We certainly never did forms for VEs or pain relief, we asked and documented in notes.

          • Inmara
            July 21, 2015 at 6:32 am #

            In US it’s probably different, but here consent form has to be signed if midwife or OB offer intervention (e.g. pitocin, breaking waters etc.) and laboring woman refuses. As midwife told in prenatal class, even women who have insisted on “natural” birth are reluctant to sign a form which says that from now on they are solely responsible for outcome, and usually they agree to go on with necessary intervention.

          • Mattie
            July 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

            Ok, thanks, yeh UK it’s just ‘offered x, (name) declined consent’ in the notes, and then it would likely be offered again later on and again recorded in notes.

          • SporkParade
            July 19, 2015 at 11:11 am #

            They can consent to medical procedures. Sexual contact, however, is one of those areas where the weaker party (the patient) is assumed incapable of giving meaningful consent. Didn’t Ina May brag somewhere about getting so buddy-buddy with her clients that she never gets sued for bad outcomes?

          • July 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

            There is far too much potential for abuse of patients in creating a sexual relationship. Sexual activity isn’t a pill or a procedure. Maybe you should ask a therapist about this because you don’t seem to understand the difference.

          • Mattie
            July 21, 2015 at 5:16 am #

            Omg seriously, no thanks I don’t need therapy. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about people, claiming that IMG is a sexual predator without any actual complaints having been made about her is actually slander/libel. Unless the person abusing is getting some kind of sexual pleasure out of the situation, and the person being abused feels as if they are being abused/has not consented, it is not abuse.

            This is not the same as a doctor taking advantage during a vaginal exam, or inappropriate touching during a breast exam, or a teacher having a sexual relationship with a student. The quote used by Dr Amy doesn’t actually specifically refer to using breast or clitoral stimulation to cause an orgasm, and both can be used to increase the amount of certain hormones being produced, so it’s entirely possible they are being used to increase contractions or increase the amount of ‘natural’ pain killers being produced by the women. If the woman consents to that, which she can do-just as she can consent to pitocin or an epidural or gas and air-then it’s not sexual abuse. Whether there is any science behind the things being done is another matter, women can and do use things with little scientific back-up during labour (homeopathy, acupuncture etc…) and they again, can consent to that.

            I will reiterate, I think it’s weird to want to have an orgasm during birth and I personally wouldn’t want someone using clitoral stimulation to help me relax, but that doesn’t give me the right to claim that other people who make that choice are sexual predators or are being preyed upon by sexual predators.

          • Who?
            July 21, 2015 at 6:22 am #

            Interventions are generally proven to achieve a particular goal. It might be IMG’s view that orgasm improves labour, but has that been proven? Consider all the proven interventions and tests she won’t go near.

            I don’t disagree with your theoretical argument, but I think in a world where you ride past pitocin, gas and air, pethidine and epidural and arrive at clitoral stimulation, some boundaries have been crossed.

          • Mattie
            July 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

            I don’t believe she says anywhere that orgasm improves labour, she says it makes women more relaxed and that for some women labour can be pleasurable rather than painful. Those are things that are true, also in reading spiritual midwifery and also Guide to Childbirth she doesn’t suggest that all women will have orgasms, or that they should. As for them not being proven to work, you’re right, and it would be interesting to do research on that, but my argument is that women choose birth options that do not have any scientific backing all the time (homeopathy, acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy). My argument is that if women choose these things for their births, it’s their right to do so. Especially if they make those decisions prior to the birth when they are definitely in full control over their decision making.

            If I was in labour and my care provider was like ‘is it ok for me to stimulate your clitoris so you orgasm’ I’d be like um, no thanks. But if they were like, I know this sounds crazy but from experience we could try it and it may help get the baby out faster or help you relax more and feel the pain less, I might give it a shot. But I don’t feel it should ever be done without consent, like nope, not at all, not ever.

            Unless someone here has had a baby with IMG attending as a midwife, and can say they they were touched inappropriately and without their consent, you’re arguing against a hypothetical situation and getting angry about something that might not be happening. Bearing in mind that IMG started as a midwife in the 70s and that the first babies she delivered were those of the women who lived in the commune and lay around the place naked, and swam with each other naked and took drugs together and did some other vaguely unusual things, perhaps it wasn’t so cray at the time…we do not know if it’s something that still goes on in her practice, or if it’s something that the Farm Midwives do as part of their practice.

          • CrownedMedwife
            July 21, 2015 at 10:49 am #

            Libel or slander, come on Mattie. IMG either used her position of authority or she condoned a sexual environment in the intrapartum care of women. Neither are appropriate in the care of women during labor and both constitute inappropriate actions of a sexual assault. As one of most frequent, under reported and least prosecuted crimes against women, your ability to excuse or rationalize IMG’s behavior is repugnant. Healthcare is not an orgy between a women, her partner and her providers; nor is it a subtle or overt action with sexual intents. It is sexual assault. You’ve always expressed a willingness to reconsider your thoughts here. I strongly encourage you to take a step back and reflect on how your justifications for her behavior just contributed to the long held attempts of society to justify, rationalize or excuse sexual assault.

          • Mattie
            July 21, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

            If you’re stating something that is untrue and is also damaging to a person’s livelihood or reputation it is slander/libel. Stating you feel she was acting inappropriately is not slander/libel, stating she sexually molests the women in her care (what many commenters have said) is.

            I am all too aware that sexual assault and rape are both underreported and under-prosecuted. I however do not think that trying to override the lived experiences of people who consent to things you personally find icky does any benefit to the people who are being assaulted or raped. IMG is not having a sexual relationship with her clients, none of her clients are complaining about the treatment they received, nobody has come forward on any platform anywhere claiming that IMG sexually assaulted them, or even did anything to them without their consent.

            In order for sexual assault to be taken seriously, you have to look at consent. The problem society has, and why so few people are punished for sexual offences is that the victims are never taken seriously, because people think they know better than the victims what their experience actually was. If you do that to consenting women too, it actually perpetuates the idea that women don’t know what ‘really’ happened. Nobody gets to decide what is or isn’t sexual assault other than the person being assaulted, or in the case of a child their parent/legal guardian.

            A fully grown woman over the legal age of consent is perfectly able to consent to sex and sexual acts in any situation. If there are rules against sex and sexual acts (as in the case of universities, hospitals etc…) then both parties should accept that, but it doesn’t take away the ‘consent’.

            This whole argument is moot however, as we don’t actually have any proof she is doing this at all, this may have been something that happened once or twice in the past, or something she made up. People are basing their arguments that she is creepy, sexually manipulative and abusive on one line in a book that nobody who has actually used her services has ever mentioned or said they’ve experienced or been unhappy with, add to the fact that she’s no longer even practicing midwifery (it seems, she is no longer listed as on of the midwives at The Farm) and it just seems to be a bit daft.

            The original post was saying how orgasmic birth is practically non-existent. What IMG did or did not do during her years as a practicing midwife doesn’t actually have anything to do with whether orgasmic birth does or does not exist, or can or cannot exist without clitoral stimulation. Unless you were present at the births where she did use it, and witnessed exactly what happened, why, and what was said between client and midwife it is not your place to judge whether it was sexual assault.

          • CrownedMedwife
            July 22, 2015 at 9:21 am #

            Whether IMG is still practicing or not is irrelevant. Passage of time does not diminish the magnitude of those actions. The quotes are her written statement of what she did and condoned as acceptable actions as a person of authority in the role of a health care provider. Her admonition that she fondles or stimulates women “keep both hands there and busy all the time” does not sound as though she obtained a consent, nor imply an intent to sexualize her method of care. No one has to come forward to say “they were unhappy with their care” in order to identify her actions as untoward, consent or not.

            Imagine a scenario in which a young woman is undergoing a colposcopy, she seems tense and nervous during a biopsy, so the provider “keeps both hands there and busy all the time”, fondles her breasts and encourages her support person to do the same, all in the intention of oxytocin release to decrease anxiety and promote healing of the biopsy site. The young woman isn’t aware of routine or acceptable colposcopy practice. Can such actions be romanticized into a practice for the benefit of the woman? What if the provider asks consent? What if the woman perceives the providers interventions as in the woman’s best interest? Is that sexual assault? Removed the romanticism Spiritual Midwifery and Woo projects on the birth process and the fondling and touching becomes apparent as sexual assault.

            You seem to have a romanticist ideology in regards to IMG and step forward in her defense. As you have said, you know all too well that sexual assaults are under reported and under-prosecuted. The ability to excuse IMGs actions as quoted in her own behaviors or minimize the magnitude of her behavior as distanced in the past is disturbing. Reread EX HOMEBIRTHERS recount of her experience of actions by her provider, her trauma and her failed attempts to hold the offender accountable. Defense of IMGs actions only allows her followers to perpetuate her behaviors that add to the under reported and under prosecuted sexual assault in intrapartum care.

          • Daleth
            July 22, 2015 at 10:25 am #

            “Stating you feel she was acting inappropriately is not slander/libel, stating she sexually molests the women in her care (what many commenters have said) is.”

            It’s not slander or libel unless it is untrue. Ina May told the world, in her books, what she did. Ergo, it is true (or else she tells really bizarre, sexually inappropriate lies about her patients).

            Doctors and other healthcare practitioners have to get patient consent even for perfectly normal medical care. When possible (i.e. if it’s not an emergency), they get signed consents. Ina May doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who’s likely to get all her paperwork in order with every patient, and even if she were, as a lawyer, I CANNOT IMAGINE how I could possibly draft a consent form that gave a healthcare practitioner the legal right to to masturbate a patient! I don’t exactly see that standing up in court even if such paperwork exists, which IMHO it almost certainly doesn’t.

        • mabelcruet
          July 23, 2015 at 2:48 am #

          It sounds horrifying, and I hate the thought that any half decent person would think that it was a reasonable thing to do to someone during labour, and I’m sorry you suffered through this. But I have a vague idea that in British law the intent of the perpetrator is part of deciding whether it could be considered sexual assault or not. I think there has been a case in UK where a patient accused a doctor of assault, but actually he was examining her eyes and had to get very close with his ophthalmoscope. She thought he was moving in to kiss her. Of course, it means that he didn’t explain what he was about to do,which is poor in its own right but it was decided that he had no sexual intent so it couldn’t be sexual assault. I wonder if Ina Mays excuse would be that she was touching purely to assist birth and had no sexual intent? Doesn’t make it any more acceptable in my opinion though.

    • July 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      I brought a suit bc the same thing ms gaskin did to her clients was done to me and left me really traumatized afterwards, but like all sexual assault cases there is an extremely low rate of arrest, conviction, or civil liability. I did absolutely everything in my power to have the perpetrator held accountable and no one cared. There is a culture of disbelief around sexual assault, even when the perpetrator admits it. There are still people out there that think bill cosby is innocent, or that what he did wasn’t a big deal. That 2nd thing is what makes it impossible to get accountability- everyone claims to be against sexual assault, but when it comes down to it people are only against what they think counts as “real” assault and assume everyone else is using the same definition. iirc more than half of teen boys think its okay to force a girl into sex if a lot of money was spent on her first. If you just don’t use the r-word most people are quite accepting of sexual assault generally speaking.

      • sdsures
        July 19, 2015 at 5:43 am #

        I’m so sorry that happened to you.

    July 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    I can’t believe I’m the only one posting this, and I scanned the comments for compatriots, but no. Whatever, I am a scientifically-minded person who is really low on the woo scale. I had quick easy, though certainly not pain-free, un-medicated but medical hospital births. …and I had an orgasm. It was actually quite embarrassing – my MOM was right by my head and there was a birth team around, for the love of all that’s holy. I personally thought it was a matter of my nervous system saying, kinda, FIRE ALL THE TORPEDOES, for lack of better description. Obviously that wouldn’t happen with a speculum exam. I hope no one noticed, and frankly I doubt they did. I’ve told very few people (except for my husband and now all of you). I’d be horrified if a provider tried to touch me sexually, as described in that Gaskin quote – it does sound criminal though I guess you have to start asking questions about consent. But sorry folks, in my n of one – it happens.

    • Roadstergal
      July 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

      I could believe it’s happened, yes, because people have all kinds of different wiring, especially when it comes to sex. Given the popularity of sounding, I’d be surprised if someone, somewhere hasn’t had an accidental orgasm from a catheter insertion. But to say that orgasms are a natural part of catheter insertion, that all patients _should_ have orgasms with catheter insertions, that it’s abnormal not to have one and due to the patient being too tense, that the patient should be fondled during a catheter insertion to facilitate an orgasm, and most importantly that you should pay big bucks to a lay urologist to have an orgasmic catheter insertion because it’s an important part of your catheter experience… yeah.

      • Mattie
        July 17, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

        I definitely 1000000% am not for the idea that orgasmic birth should be the norm, or should be ‘encouraged’ by weird inappropriate touching, but also I have seen some incredibly horrible comments suggesting women who experience orgasmic birth are paedophilic in some way or that orgasmic birth itself is paedophilia.

        Orgasm is a natural bodily response and one that cannot be controlled and does not always mean you’re experiencing sexual enjoyment from a situation (rape victims can orgasm, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy the experience). Birth hormones are complex and the combination of hormones and specific sensations and stimulation may in some women trigger orgasm, a good healthcare professional should take the cue from the mother but generally treat it like a bowel movement in labour…a side-effect that could cause embarrassment for the mother and should be dealt with courteously and professionally.

        • Cobalt
          July 17, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

          In any inappropriate-for-sex situation, having an involuntary orgasm is one thing, setting out to have one is another, declaring it should be the norm is yet another.

          Also like having a bowel movement in labor. If it happens involuntarily (and it frequently does), the medical staff will be professional about. This does not make promoting deliberately pooping on L&D nurses ok, or give anyone the right to force an enema on a laboring woman.

          • Mattie
            July 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

            haha no, I would be very sad if someone deliberately/knowingly pooped on any nurse or doctor haha

            Side note: I read a great anecdote from a student midwife once where she was getting ready to catch the baby and caught a poop instead. “Congratulations, it’s….disgusting actually”

          • sdsures
            July 19, 2015 at 5:49 am #


          • MaineJen
            July 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

            …time to change those gloves

          • Roadstergal
            July 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

            It’s the difference between “Oh, man, that was wacky, I never expected stress and pain to have that effect” vs “I’m planning to use my baby as a queen-size sex toy.”

          • Mattie
            July 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

            Yeh definitely, also with the amount of oneupmanship that goes on in Natural Parenting/AP communities…are you gonna get/do we have people faking orgasm during birth, cause that to me is creepier

          • James Long
            July 18, 2015 at 11:01 am #

            I laughed at your comment. I’m sorry.

          • Nick Sanders
            July 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

            Hop in, there’s plenty of room in the handbasket.

        • Angharad
          July 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

          I don’t think any of us are horrified by an involuntary bodily function (those happen, and there’s no shame, but it may still be uncomfortable or distasteful) as by the idea that it’s desirable enough to spend hundreds of dollars achieving.

    • Cobalt
      July 17, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      The presence of a baby in the birth canal generates a lot of pressure*. This pressure is rapidly and dramatically relieved by completing delivery. The sudden relief, combined with high hormone levels, can feel SPECTACULAR. To a very few, it can feel like an orgasm. But it’s almost certainly not really an orgasm**, and it’s not something one can predict, control, prepare for, or moralize about. It’s mechanics, nerve and circulatory interference, and individual perception.

      *Understatement Of The Year Award, coming right up…
      **Human sexual physiology being what it is, never say never. Someone, somewhere has already done it.

    • sdsures
      July 19, 2015 at 5:47 am #

      A sudden drop in pain can create euphoria. That’s all that was.

  8. Elaine Hursen
    July 17, 2015 at 1:43 am #

    Wouldn’t orgasming as a result of the presence of a minor be pedophelia? Sick fucks.

  9. Sue
    July 17, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    How can I ask this politely/discretely….these people do know, don;t they, that vaginal intercourse doesn;t involve the head of the penis stretching and entering the cervix?

    ANyone who has had any procedure that dilates the cervix will know that the pain is EXCRUCIATING!

    NOt to mention that any man who is “equipped” with the size and shape of a baby human would have to be in some record book!

    • sdsures
      July 19, 2015 at 5:50 am #

      I think people who think the penis can get anywhere near the cervix must have failed high school anatomy.

      • Mattie
        July 21, 2015 at 5:35 am #

        it can, and it’s very uncomfortable (at best) and horribly painful (at worst) for the woman. Although, and don’t ask me why, cervical orgasm is apparently a thing…maybe that’s where ‘birth orgasm’ (forgive the pun) comes from?

  10. Allie
    July 16, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    If any care giver had attempted to touch my breasts and “button” while I was crowning, I would have punched them in the face. If my husband attempted to do so, I would have punched him in the face. Not saying I wouldn’t have found the physical violence mildly satisfying, but certainly not orgasmic : )

  11. Azuran
    July 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    Every single time I read Ina May Gaskin describing how she touches women during birth, it’s make me feel violated…
    It’s sounds like she is a sexual predator using birth as an excuse to abuse women.

    • Megan
      July 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

      Yes. If I ever did what she describes I would lose my license and be disciplined by the state medical board.

      • Who?
        July 16, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

        Well yes but you’re an actual doctor, with a degree (or two) and training and peers and a whole professional network with defined roles and responsibilities and licenses and certificates and insurance: she’s a solo ratbag with none of any of that. Who on earth is there to discipline her?

        She writes her own story and polishes or removes the bits she doesn’t like.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          July 17, 2015 at 9:47 am #

          She writes her own story and polishes or removes the bits she doesn’t like.

          And yet, she left this stuff IN!

          She is a sick fuck.

          • just me
            July 17, 2015 at 10:20 am #

            Seriously. If I were into woo and read those parts of the book that would snap me right out of it.

      • Sue
        July 17, 2015 at 1:49 am #

        Indeed. But regulation and consequences only seem to apply to professionals.

    • Angharad
      July 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      I HATE that she feels entitled to “make the husband feel welcome.” I can make him feel welcome on my own terms at times when I want to, which did not include during labor. Nobody else gets to tell him when and how he can touch me.

      • Young CC Prof
        July 16, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

        In labor, there are a lot of things you don’t actually control. You don’t control how long it takes, or whether there are complications. You absolutely should have the right to control who is present and how they touch you, and telling you your husband HAS to be there and intimately involved is no more empowering than automatically banishing him to the waiting room like it’s 1955.

        • Angharad
          July 17, 2015 at 12:19 am #

          I wanted him to be there for moral support but not touch me. And I think that’s ok. And if a woman wants her husband to touch her, or be gone, that’s fine too.

        • sdsures
          July 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

          In Russian professional figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva’s memoir about her first (late) husband and skating partner, Sergei Grinkov, she wrote about when they were expecting their first child. They were living and working in the US at this time.


          “I was well into labour, and the nurse kept asking me where Sergei was. He was in the parking garage of the hospital, because in Russia men don’t help with the birth or be present. I wasn’t worried, but they really wanted to get him here for the birth, so I told them where Sergei was. The nurse went to the car and tapped on the window.

          Sergei: “Oh, done already?”

          Despite the fact that Sergei spoke no English, the nurse managed to get him up to the delivery suite in time to see their daughter, Daria, be born.

          I love that bit of their story: “Oh, done already?” It’s a cultural difference, to be sure, but I’m not sure it still exists in Russia today. Daria was born in the early 1990s I think.

          Here’s the book. I think Gordeeva wrote another book as well called “A Letter for Daria”.

  12. Captain Obvious
    July 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Tampon, diaphragm, menstrual cap, or pessary orgasms?

  13. Maya Manship
    July 16, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    If there is anything I would call birth rape it would be what Dr. Amy quoted from Ina May Gaskin. I am now convinced she is severely disturbed and needs to be locked up.

  14. Megan
    July 16, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    I think the other thing they conveniently forget is that women’s sexual response is not all about physical stimulation. A large part of it involves the brain and the right circumstances to be able to relax. For most women the excruciating pain of labor is not the right circumstance! Hell, I can totally get out of the mood, even right before orgasm, if my baby cries or the phone rings. Ina May could touch my clitoris all day long (though, eww, gross!) and it wouldn’t result in an orgasm for me if I wasn’t feeling it (because, eww, gross!), IYKWIM.

    • Poogles
      July 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

      “A large part of it involves the brain and the right circumstances to be able to relax.”

      Right, and if you can’t be that relaxed during birth that means YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Oy.

    • anh
      July 17, 2015 at 3:50 am #

      I think their response to this post would be what Poogles said. Of course you don’t orgasm during tampon insertion of pelvic exams becuase they aren’t sexy. for a low fee these people will teach you how to manipulate your brain so that you believe it’s sexy. which is ridiculous

  15. Chrisp
    July 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    Never ceases to amaze me – that women listen to these kooks. As someone who had a natural delivery, it was anything but orgasmic. I am very weary of all this nonsense.

  16. moto_librarian
    July 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    Every time I read Ina May/Christine Northrup/Pascali Bonaro’s writings on orgasmic birth, I need to brush my teeth, since it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth. Sorry, but I have no desire to sexualize the act of child birth. The idea of having an orgasm while giving birth squicks me out big time.

    • Allie
      July 16, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

      Word of the day: squick. Love it.

      • sdsures
        July 17, 2015 at 11:19 am #

        Word of the week, month, year…

  17. Dr. W
    July 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    I am not an OB, but I received excellent training and must have done 150 pelvic exams in school. Anyway, one the strangest experiences of my training was a patient calling the clinic back, an hour later, and asking me out on a date. Beautiful woman, I said no immediately, of course. My exam had been completely professional, I had stayed south, as you do, and nobody was smoking a cigarette at the end of the exam. Beyond the obvious ethics violation, I just thought any woman who could get interested while stainless steel was inside her, wielded by a stranger, must be pretty darn unbalanced.

    Yeah, orgasmic birth sounds so ridiculous. Ima is such a freak. Did Dr. Amy say you could try to practice for orgasm during birth by masturbating with a football, or was that my wife? I do not remember. I laughed my butt off, either way.

    I am not a woman. One of the gifts of my OB rotation was my realization, 2 days in, that God had probably known I was not tough enough to be a girl.

  18. Megan
    July 16, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    I first realized how crazy Christine Northrup was when I was browsing her book in Barnes and Noble and read her take on miscarriages, basically, that women who have multiple miscarriages “have difficulty accepting motherhood and their feminine role” and that “the fetus is a source of constant messages to which the mother responds with sublet psychobiological adjustments.” Furthermore, she claims: “Her personality, influenced by her ever-changing life situation can either 1) act upon the fetus to maintain its growth and development, or 2) create physiological changes that cause abortion.” So in other words, Christine Northrup thinks women who repeatedly miscarry cause their own miscarriages!

    Yeah, after reading that after having just had my second miscarriage, I wanted to punch that woman and after that, considered everything she said to be hogwash. So it doesn’t surprise me in the least that she not only thinks a penis in the vagina causes orgasm (for most women, clitoral stimulation is required), but that a baby being born (while often tearing the perineum) would cause orgasm. She is delusional.

    • Angharad
      July 16, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      I’m sorry for your loss. Miscarriages are so heartbreaking.

      I’m constantly amazed by how these people kick women when they’re down due to the difficulties of pregnancy or childbirth or breastfeeding, and now they’ve added direct victim-blaming for those who lose pregnancies. Disgusting.

      • Megan
        July 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

        Thank you. We managed to finally have a pregnancy stick the third time and now have a beautiful daughter. I at least feel fortunate that I never believed her crap when I read it. (And I was so glad I previewed the book so I knew not to waste my money! Better to buy baby things!!) I knew it couldn’t be true because I wanted nothing more than to be a mother. People like her are cruel.

    • attitude devant
      July 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

      That’s right up there with the wackos who insist that vomiting in pregnancy represents ‘unconscious rejection of motherhood,’ or that arrest of labor occurs because of relationship issues between the mother and FOB. All of these claims are absurd and outrageous.

      • Sue
        July 17, 2015 at 2:17 am #

        ANd meanwhile, when looking after women who DO miscarry, many of us have to work hard to convinve them NOT to feel guilty, but to reassure them that there was nothing they “did wrong”.

    • Young CC Prof
      July 16, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

      Ah, that’s right up there with the claim that failure to progress in labor is caused by psychological conflicts: Bizarre, without any basis in fact or any evidence, and incredibly cruel.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        July 17, 2015 at 9:44 am #

        I can imagine (never been in labor myself, so this is a guess) that labor can be more painful if you aren’t relaxed. Pelvic exams, for example, are going to be a lot more uncomfortable if you’re tense and uncomfortable with the care provider. I imagine that that’s also true of pushing, in that if your vagina is all tensed up (for lack of a better word) it hurts more to have something go through it.
        For example, when my OB does a pelvic exam, I barely notice he’s there. Hell, when I get a pap smear I don’t even feel the pinch that one’s supposed to; he’s just that gentle and good at his job. On the other hand, when I had a pelvic in the ER due to bleeding during pregnancy, I didn’t know the doc, the doc had no skills in that regard, and rather than being on an OB-type exam table, I was lying on a bed with my hips propped on a bedpan. That hurt worse than losing my virginity, and, bluntly speaking, that’s saying something. It was probably a combination of stress (am I miscarrying a very, very wanted baby?), discomfort with the care provider (I’d never had a pelvic exam before, and he was abrupt and rude), and bad positioning (I was one of three patients in a major ER, and they couldn’t put me in a room with an pelvic exam table?).
        At the same time, the plain fact is that for the vast majority of women, labor is freaking AGONIZING. Of COURSE they aren’t “relaxed”! Relaxation has nothing to do with whether cervical dilation hurts. It might make certain things about labor easier or even less painful, but it’s not going to make labor NOT painful. This constant nonsense about how it’s the mom’s fault if labor hurts is BS, plain and simple.

    • Amy M
      July 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

      That’s just disgusting, how those women exploit vulnerable women like that. And I was thinking the same thing about penis/vagina sex—usually, the penis just going in/out doesn’t directly cause orgasm. Even Ina May is aware that the clitoris is involved, even if she gives it infantile names.

    • Sue
      July 17, 2015 at 2:02 am #

      Since the greatest number of miscarriages occur very early, and often before the woman even knows she is pregnant, that is even more ridiculous than it first seems.

      • Inmara
        July 17, 2015 at 2:56 am #

        Then it’s woman’s subconscious causing miscarriage, duh!
        When I had unresolving health problems during puberty, some people had the courage to insist that they are because my mother secretly wanted to have a boy during pregnancy, and therefore I’m preconditioned to have gynecological problems…

        • Sue
          July 17, 2015 at 4:53 am #


        • sdsures
          July 17, 2015 at 11:23 am #

          I wonder what EL James’s protagonist’s subconscious would have to say about that.

          Oh wait – it wouldn’t, because the subconscious isn’t sentient!!

      • Sarah
        July 31, 2015 at 5:31 am #

        Fifty percent of early miscarriages have a chromosomal defect! The idea it’s the mothers fault makes me really sad and really sick because I work with women who have multiple miscarriage/ pregnancy loss etc and the LAST thing they need is some false sense of blame! Disgusting!

    • sdsures
      July 17, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      “her take on miscarriages, basically, that women who have multiple miscarriages “have difficulty accepting motherhood and their feminine role” and that “the fetus is a source of constant messages to which the mother responds with sublet psychobiological adjustments.” Furthermore, she claims: “Her personality, influenced by her ever-changing life situation can either 1) act upon the fetus to maintain its growth and development, or 2) create physiological changes that cause abortion.””

      What the…?

    • demodocus
      July 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

      I’m sorry for your losses; they must have been heart wrenching. My youngest aunt had 5 before she finally had her daughter. She didn’t even tell her mother until 5 months along, and the rest of us until 6 months. T’s an adorable 8 now.

  19. Anothergreatpostbydramy
    July 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    Erm… Why isn’t an old lady playing with a ‘button’ during labour also termed ‘obstetric violence’? If an obstetrician had suggested it (not that they ever would) all hell would break loose…

    And clitoral stimulation (whatever the situation) will result in orgasm – so we could have orgasmic fill-in-the-blank!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      July 16, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

      Yep. My thought when I read this part

      What is the purported key to having an orgasmic birth?

      was, well, if others are anything like my wife, it probably starts with the clitoris.

    • July 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Try it with me and it will lead to physical violence. No DA would even charge me with assault.

      Just. Ew.

    • Allie
      July 16, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

      Ha! Wouldn’t that be nice, if the customer service representative at the DMV stimulated my clitoris while I waited to renew my driver’s licence : )

      • Daleth
        July 17, 2015 at 10:11 am #

        Ew ew EW!

      • Megan
        July 17, 2015 at 11:23 am #

        It might make the wait seem shorter… 🙂

        • Roadstergal
          July 17, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

          And the DL photo seem weirder…

  20. Mel
    July 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    My last three pelvics have involved brand new interns in Family medicine.

    This has lead to some memorable interactions – the time one intern said “Oops!” in the middle of the exam followed by my GP saying “Mel, you might have a bit more spotting than usual today” and the time I heard the GP’s instructions to be careful not to close the speculum too quickly so that you don’t accidently grab the cervical os which I could have lived many years without knowing – but it has never involved an orgasm for me.

    For that, I am grateful.

    • Kelly
      July 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      Um, my first one ended up with a pediatric speculum and with such a bad reaction my doctor thought that I had been abused. So far from any kind of pleasure. Plus, don’t all the magazines talk about how to get an orgasm. I mean they make it sound like it might take more than inserting something into the vagina.

      • Mel
        July 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

        My first one started with a peds speculum – I was 22ish – and ended with a discussion of vaginimus and possible treatment options. I don’t have a history of abuse – but I do have cerebral palsy that leads to tight muscles.

        I was really freaked out at first – after all, this wasn’t something I expected to hurt like crazy – but I am very grateful that my doctor was knowledgeable about the treatment options. Vaginal intercourse can still be painful for me from time to time, but at least I have the skills to reduce the pain to mild discomfort – and a husband who is more than willing to find other ways of enjoying “couple” time….

        • sdsures
          July 17, 2015 at 11:27 am #

          I also have primary vaginismus, cerebral palsy, and a history of abuse, so what they did for my recent pelvic exam, after trying the pediatric speculum (ouchies and severe panic attacks), was book me in to have in done under GA. My case is such that I only need a PE done every couple of years, or if there is a problem (excessive menstrual bleeding was what happened to cause concern).

          I can barely tolerate reading excerpts from Ina May; they disturb me a lot.

      • Amy M
        July 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

        This one time, at band camp….

        • demodocus
          July 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

          I got that line every time I told a student that I played the flute in school. I started ending “I played the flute” with “and no, I’ve never been to band camp” with a mental “you pervert for asking”

    • SporkParade
      July 17, 2015 at 4:24 am #

      Here was my first pelvic exam after giving birth. “How is my episiotomy healing up?” “Well, I wouldn’t have sewn it up like that.” “[Panicking] What do you mean?” “It just isn’t very aesthetically-pleasing. But don’t bother getting it fixed because it’ll tear again the next time you give birth.”

  21. Alcharisi
    July 16, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    You would think that if Dr. Northrup were so in tune with women’s sexuality, she’d know that most women achieve orgasm by way of direct clitoral stimulation, not from the penis entering the vagina.

    • Mariana Baca
      July 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

      Even for women who orgasm vaginally it doesn’t happen simply because “penis entered vagina” — poof! Also, since when is a vagina stretched to a 10 cm diameter “the exact same position” as a penis entering a vagina?

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        July 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

        I know guys tend to overestimate their size, but I’ve yet to hear of one who was so dumb that he’d brag about a 10cm circumference…

        • Mariana Baca
          July 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

          you mean diameter, not circumference, but yes.

        • Megan
          July 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

          I don’t know. SOme of those MRA’s sure do think a lot of themselves…

          • Roadstergal
            July 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

            …and aren’t too good with the metric system…

          • Mattie
            July 16, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

            or how vaginas work…lol

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

            Yeah, but it’s hard to hold that against them…

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            July 16, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

            I certainly won’t be holding mine against them.

          • Mattie
            July 17, 2015 at 2:04 am #

            I’m not expecting them to become qualified gynaecologists…just to have a basic idea on how (for example) people with vaginas who get raped do not have some special way to ‘shut down’ reproduction like ducks do. I know that particular quote came from a nutty republican not specifically an MRA but you know potato potahto lol

          • FormerPhysicist
            July 16, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

            Or with the difference between diameter and circumference. 10 cm circumference is 3.2 cm diameter, or 1.25 inches.

        • JellyCat
          July 16, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

          If anyone had 10 cm circumference, they would faint every time they have an erection …

          • Poogles
            July 16, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

            “The problem is, god gave man a brain and a penis and only enough blood to run one at a time.”- Robin Williams (oh man, I miss him!)

      • Roadstergal
        July 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

        If a penis even bumps my cervix, it’s not a happy feeling. I can’t imagine that one stretching it wide open is going to make my sex life go gangbusters.

        • Alcharisi
          July 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

          Just be glad you’re not a spotted hyena. Then you would give birth through your clitoris.

          • Roadstergal
            July 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

            Thanks – I wasn’t planning on uncrossing my legs for the rest of the day anyway.

          • Alcharisi
            July 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

            I live to serve.

      • sdsures
        July 17, 2015 at 11:30 am #


    • attitude devant
      July 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      I know right? How can we even see these people as legitimate when this basic, well-known FACT seems beyond them?

  22. Angharad
    July 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m uncomfortable with the idea of an orgasmic birth for so many reasons. I don’t want to have a sexual experience when I’m around virtual strangers (my OB and a delivery nurse) and I don’t want an infant to ever play any part in any orgasm I ever have. I find comparing a baby to a penis wildly inappropriate. And I personally am just not that much of a masochist.

    • Cobalt
      July 16, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

      The thought of using your baby’s body to achieve an orgasm is vomit inducing.

  23. demodocus
    July 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Clearly not someone who’s ever gulped enough water at once to actually make her throat ache a little.

  24. Trixie
    July 16, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    I’m not going to Google it, but I’m guessing Rule 34 applies to the term, “speculum orgasm.”

    • Roadstergal
      July 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      It’s the fifty-first shade of grey.

      • demodocus
        July 16, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

        so long as your dom remembers to respect your safe word, it’s all fine with me. I’d rather get a surprise cup of tea and a snuggle, but I’m pretty vanilla.

    • Cobalt
      July 16, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Medical fetishes happen, and can go way beyond a “sexy nurse” outfit.

      • JellyCat
        July 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

        That’s true, but I have never seen sex toys shaped as fetuses entered birth canal and up to scale of course, but maybe I’m too ignorant

        • Cobalt
          July 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

          Just don’t Google it.

        • Azuran
          July 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

          I’m gonna bet that a fetus shaped sex toy is actually a thing. probably up to scale too. And if hours following medical blog taught me anything, someone, somewhere, accidentally fell on one while naked.

          • Liz Leyden
            July 17, 2015 at 12:41 am #

            “I’d just put some lotion on my feet. . . “

  25. Roadstergal
    July 16, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    I have been cheated out of my transvaginal ultrasound orgasms! If only I’d had Ina Mae fondling my clitoris during them!

    • demodocus
      July 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

      Me, too! And here I was just happy when the tech-nurse-whatever was one of the people with the lighter touch rather than that one woman. Hello!

      • Roadstergal
        July 16, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

        I got a transvaginal ultrasound once from a highly sexy OB. Still didn’t orgasm. Maybe the lighting was too harsh.

        • Amy M
          July 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

          No, it was that you didn’t trust..uh..transvaginal ultrasounds.

        • SporkParade
          July 17, 2015 at 4:28 am #

          Wow, and I assumed that the OBs doing the ultrasound set the lights to “mood lighting” so they could see the screen better.

          • Roadstergal
            July 17, 2015 at 11:39 am #

            There were no candles!

        • demodocus
          July 17, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

          The lights were a bit dim in my exam room, (to see the screen better?)

    • Amy M
      July 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

      Haha! I had a bunch of those, thanks to infertiity. All the women in my online support group referred to it as “dildo cam.”

      • Roadstergal
        July 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

        It’s funny, but the bit that got to me the most was that weird crinkly loose condom thing they put over it. And then poking around like they lost their car keys in there and they’re not leaving until they find them.

        • Megan
          July 16, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

          Actually the first TVUS I had (in the 90’s) they used a tight cover on it. And the tech had to roll it on like a condom. And he was hot and I was 21… Awkward… 🙂

          • Sue
            July 17, 2015 at 4:55 am #

            If he tried to poke it through your cervix, however, the excrutiating pain would soon have reversed the effect of any amount of cuteness on his part. (pun intended)

    • JellyCat
      July 16, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

      Unfortunately during all transvaginal ultrasounds I had, I was required to insert a probe in myself … Not much fun

      • Roadstergal
        July 17, 2015 at 11:38 am #

        I’ve had two in California and one in Illinois – in CA, they asked me to insert it myself, in IL they didn’t. I know women with a history of sexual abuse who prefer to insert speculums themselves, and it makes the difference for them between getting a smear and not – maybe that’s the rationale?
        Also, I’ve had too many TV ultrasounds.

    • Daleth
      July 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      What an absolutely revolting scenario!

  26. Cobalt
    July 16, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Thankfully, this has never happened to me.

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