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An Unusual Physical Exam Class


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Before leaving for the day, we learn that just the men will have a special class tomorrow. That’s mysterious enough on its own, but even more so when we learn we’re to change into hospital gowns beforehand. The class is abuzz, and wild rumors abound. One grows from a comment our instructor Tim once made about his own training: students in his class did all of their physical exams on each other. Is that going to happen here? We hope not.

 

The special class is on our mind all through the next day of lectures. Though the women aren’t involved, they’re curious, too, and, when they’re excused for the day, they look back over their shoulders at us with puzzled expressions. Now just the eight of us are left, looking at each other and wondering what will happen next. Tim sticks his head in the doorway and tells us to meet him in the clinical room.

 

We stand around nervously until Tim finally announces that we’re about to experience what women go through when they get pelvic exams. We’ve been preparing for the upcoming female exams, and this exercise apparently is designed to give us some perspective. And so, one at a time, and with a palpable sense of relief, we simply lie on the examination table and place our feet in the stirrups. We get some sense of the loss of freedom and control a woman has during a pelvic exam, along with the desire to preserve one’s dignity.

 

We decide to keep the details of our special class a secret from our female classmates, and, of course, we’ll be playing it up for all that it’s worth. Our first opportunity is at tonight’s group dinner at Tampico’s before our evening class. The women are dying to know what happened, but no straight answers are forthcoming. Instead we limit our responses to pained expressions and cryptic comments.

 

“It’s just too embarrassing to talk about,” says one.

 

“I just went home and cried,” says another, sniffling.

 

“I’m just now able to sit down again without too much pain!” exclaims a third.

 

As far as I know, the women still don’t know what happened.

 

 

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